Letting Go — It’s Just Stuff!

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Are garage sales worth it?

My husband told me that our community was going to have another garage sale. I’m all for it although I wonder how much people earn in money from garage sales.

Is it worth the effort?

He’s looking around the garage and the shed for things to sell. He mentioned the hundreds of albums we have stored in the shed.

I got sentimental: I know the albums have been sitting in storage for a long time, and God only knows when we listened to them.

I just like the idea of having them. Yet it is just stuff taking up space and attributing to the clutter in an overstuffed shed that was built to alleviate the overstuffed garage.

I know it is selfish and idiotic to want to hold on to something that can be downloaded from iTunes, but I still want them. Besides, it seems foolish to re-buy songs that I already have.

However, my technological side tells me to listen to my husband. Why weigh yourself down with things? Why be attached to material items? Especially if they have been sitting in a shed for ever?

I still can’t decide if I am ready to let go.

Then I think about my neighbors on the west side of town whose houses burned to the ground. A lot of them had virtually no time to pack before the fire was literally coming down the mountain. Now all the stuff that takes years to accumulate is in piles of ash on the cindered ground.

I know it’s just stuff; everyone — I think — knows it.

People are much more important than stuff. We understand it; well, most of us do. Yet some of us buy houses so big just so we can put more stuff in it. And others rent storage units to house stuff that can’t fit in their houses. Some of these people no longer can afford to pay for these storage units so other people bid on the storage units so that they, too, can collect more stuff.

We put values on stuff. Of course, the stuff is worth more to us when we sell it than when we buy it. Value can be monetary or sentimental or both. The sentimental kind we can’t collect through insurance. Only through memories.

Perhaps our stuff weighs us down. I know my husband and I were a lot more mobile when we didn’t have a big house filled with stuff. Now when we discuss moving, we wonder how we are going to move all this stuff. We don’t fancy packing it or paying someone to move it, but it must go somewhere. We could keep the stuff in the house and just pay the mortgage, so the stuff has a nice place to stay. I’m sure the stuff wouldn’t mind.

However, we would mind because now we would be living in a new place and naturally, need more stuff. Need? More like want more stuff.

I can only imagine what these people will need to do to rebuild their homes again. I say homes rather than houses because a house is a lot easier and faster to build than a home — unless you’ve come to terms with your home is really where the heart is, and you’ve built your world around everything else but stuff.

I’m ready to fork over those albums and the cassette tapes and the DVDs I will never use again and the dusty plastic vases and the wicker baskets with nothing in them and the hair curlers that I never could get to stay in my hair and the Rolling Stone magazines from the 1990s and the…

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