Stuff.  It breeds.  It has a life of its own.  It’s addictive.  Why else would you place just one pretty bauble on your shelf one day, and the next day have a whole bookcase full?

Have you ever considered your relationship with stuff? Is it as important as your relationship with people?

I know it’s her illness talking, but I feel Mom values her stuff more than she values a relationship with her daughters and friends. If stuff wasn’t an issue, then she would have been able to fix her phone almost 5 months ago. She wouldn’t have gotten mad that time she found out Lynn and I had cleared away 6 bags of recyclables while she was out of the house (you couldn’t even tell we’d been there working for 2 hours).

As I read more and more about compulsive hoarding, I’m learning that the stuff becomes a comfort. The wall of belongings forms a cozy nest where a hoarder feels safe. It’s perceived as having high value, or at least, sentimental worth. A rational mind might recognize “Somethin’s not right here!” But a hoarder isn’t operating with the same rational mind…it makes perfect sense to them to be surrounded by thousands of things.

Even if you’re not a compulsive hoarder, there’s still a lure to acquire stuff. Our economy depends on it, right? We can’t go without food, clothing, housing, and usually, transportation. With quite a short list, we’d have all the essential necessities for living. So why are we attracted to bringing additional things into our homes?

Making a house a home is important, and it is also important to create an environment where you feel peace and happiness, but. But. Stuff gives a momentary thrill while those with whom you build relationships, tending to those details more than the stuff, is where satisfaction and fulfillment come. no big dill
That’s a quote from a blog post I just read at no big dill. Isn’t it so true? I follow her blog because she has lovely inspiration for sewing, and for motherhood. I encourage you to visit her blog.  I’ll wait for you to come back…

Did you see all the neat things in the photos in her post? When I read this today, it made me think about my own stuff. Sure I can throw stones at Mom, but I sure can’t live in a glass house. I’d love to wander such an amazing estate sale. Just imagine the goodies you could find!

My husband would trail along good naturedly, but soon get tired of chasing and chastising our little girls as they crawl under tables, pick up breakables, and beg for snacks. I find myself easily oblivious to all that when I see “potential.”

Scary. It’s so easy to be lured in. But instead, I should really redirect my attention to my loved ones, and find an activity we’d ALL enjoy. I don’t want my girls to think for even one second that they’re less important than my belongings. They should grow up feeling loved and valued. And I certainly don’t want them to value stuff over me, my husband, their future families, or each other. I hope they’ll look back and remember “Mom did things with me” and not “Mom bought stuff for herself.”

Luckily, I’m somewhat of a cheapskate, so I don’t usually bring home much from estate sales or antique markets. I do look for Jadite, and it’s to my benefit it’s somewhat hard to find. That will help me keep it a ‘collection’ and not a hoard.

I’m sure anyone’s connection to stuff is widely varied. I’d love to hear from you. Is it something you struggle with? Do you have more items of value than people of value? Does it bother you? How do you control your urges to bring more stuff into your home? What do you do when you notice you have too much? And, what exactly IS too much?

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  1. By Virgo Clean StreakNot Just Clutter on July 17, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    […] a few moments where I wavered and wanted to keep some things.  Like my Mom, I can see the “potential” of future projects.  But I kept reminding myself that reclaiming this space was more important than vintage sheet […]

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