In February, I sold my home and moved into a furnished condo, where we’ve been waiting for my daughters to finish out the school year. We plan to move up north in about a month. Because we would be in this condo for such a short time, I put 99% of all our possessions, our “stuff,” into storage. It didn’t make sense to move twice in five months. All we brought with us, basically, were our clothes, toiletries, a computer, a coffee maker, our Wii game, a griddle to make our Sunday-morning pancakes, and our cat.
What’s interesting is that after living all these months without all this “stuff” that I had accumulated over the last decade, this “stuff” that I spent so much money on, ran up my credit cards to buy, this matching-this and matching-that “stuff” that I thought I couldn’t live without . . . I don’t miss, AT ALL! In fact, that storage unit holding all my stuff could burn down today and I wouldn’t care one bit.
Well, except for the pictures of my kids.
But that would be the only loss, really. After living stuff-free, I have come to realize that you don’t need to surround yourself with so much “stuff” to be happy. As long as you have your children by your side, your cat prowling the house, food in the fridge, some clothes and a clean bed to sleep in every night, you really do have it all. It’s enough for everyone.
OK, a T.V. to watch the weekly episode of “House” would be nice, too.
Imagine looking at your home from your front yard through one of those time-lapse cameras that speeds everything up so that months, seasons and years fly by in seconds. You’d probably see bags and bags of “stuff” being hauled into your home, wouldn’t you? Think about all those shopping trips you’ve been on, not to mention the stacks of boxes left at your door from online purchases. There’s a lot of “stuff” inside your castle, isn’t there? I swear, our homes are like mini Smithsonians of “stuff.”
My good friend had an epiphany recently about the importance of “stuff,” too. Instead of wrapping up a bunch of stuff and throwing it under the tree this Christmas, she and her husband have decided to take a trip to Italy with their teenaged son. She figures that the memories they will make in Italy as a family will far outlast any of the gifts they will exchange. Do you remember any of the gifts you received last Christmas?
We live in a capitalist society. We buy, we sell, we consume. I get that. And I’m sure when I’m re-nesting up north, I will be happy to be a consumer again, happy to be reunited with all my “stuff.” But I do take a certain comfort from knowing that if I had to, I could easily live without my “stuff,” just as I have been, very happily, for the last five months.