Ever since I began the process of packing up the contents of our current home to move to our new home, I have found myself thinking of George Carlin. More specifically, I have been replaying his 1981 A Place for My Stuff album in my head. This is his brilliant take on a house:
That’s what your house is, a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get…more stuff! Sometimes you gotta move, gotta get a bigger house. Why? No room for your stuff anymore.
While we are downsizing, or is the correct term now rightsizing, not upsizing, with each box of stuff that I donate to charity, recycle, throw out, and pack up, I find myself agreeing with the comedic genius of George Carlin more and more.
My daughters and I routinely clean out and re-organize our respective bedrooms and closets, which has made this entire process much easier, yet not as easy as I assumed it would be. As I relegated item after item to their appropriate box, I came to the stunning realization that I have more stuff that I don’t need, use, or love than I ever imagined.
I have spent the past thirteen years filling this home with stuff, simply because I had the room to do so. There were knickknacks, books, pictures, and other home décor items dotting the shelves, counters, and walls that looked tasteful and pretty, yet they meant absolutely nothing to me. They were just taking up space.
Coming to that realization has been cathartic in some ways, which is the ultimate of moving clichés. It is true, though. I do not want to have anything in my home or in my life that simply takes up space or that has no meaning or substance to it. What I thought was an uncluttered home turned out be a home cluttered with items that serve no purpose.
Sometimes, when I make the decision to let go of an item, I feel a bit of hesitation. In that moment, I either fear that I will need the item in the future or that I will miss it. There are some pangs of guilt that I should keep this stuff, no matter what. I am loyal to a fault, and apparently, this extends to inanimate objects, as well.
As I second guessed myself and surveyed the boxes of stuff, it occurred to me that stuff has never mattered. Never. What has mattered, and always will matter, are the people I care about and love and all of the experiences that have shaped me into who I am today. I cannot pack them up, but I take them with me everywhere I go, never to be given away or discarded.
As the packing and purging goes on, I am determined to leave the unnecessary stuff behind and to monitor whatever stuff I allow into our new home. I want to create an environment that reflects our family and who and what we love. Now, that’s the right stuff.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story