Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Hotel Room Smile...and Other Stuff

Let's face it, as humans we collect stuff.  Your stuff may be different than my stuff, but we all have stuff.  Some of your stuff may be so important to you that you can barely manage to call it just stuff, you want to call it "your stuff."  I have stuff, lots of stuff.  I thrive on stuff.  I have bookcases and shelves full of stuff.  I look at the stuff, I remember why I have the stuff.  I feel exhausted knowing the stuff is always there...always.

Okay, so that was my little confession, I have stuff and my stuff consumes me.  Not good.  Have you ever been in a hotel room and felt really at peace?  There is nothing you have to do.  You have tucked your few suitcase items into the drawers and put your toothbrush in the bathroom.  You sit on your bed and just relax.  Why is this different from home where your toothbrush was already in the bathroom and you didn't have to unpack?  I will tell you why, and it is really quite simple.  At home you need to take care of and maintain your stuff. Laundry, dishes, dusting, vacuuming, picking up, de-cluttering, organizing, neatening, purging, and list making all revolve around your stuff.  When you sit in a hotel room you don't have any stuff to maintain, and thus the peace.

Now there are a few people out there who are going to ask what kind of slob I would be if I didn't do the above mentioned items.  And I agree, I would be a huge slob if I didn't do dishes, wash my clothes and pick up my house.  The important part is that I would have less to do if I had less stuff.

When I was a kid my mom had a few infuriating phrases.  One of my least favorite revolved around nick naks.  I would see some amazing must have trinket in the store, and with money in hand I would ask, "Can I have it?"  My mother would look at me and say, "Are you going to dust it?" Ahhhhh! I hated that. I didn't want to dust it anymore than the next kid, but I was drawn to stuff like a moth to a flame.

So I ask you to look around your home.  Look at the items you see, and the ones you don't normally see. (You know, the things stuffed in drawers and cupboards.) Ask yourself, do I want to dust this? Do I want to maintain it? Do I want to organize it? Do I want to look at it?  If not, GET RID OF IT.  Yes I know I just yelled at you, but really, why do you have it?

I heard the gasp you just made, don't think I didn't. I gasped the first time someone told me the same thing.  I have been slowly getting rid of my stuff.  I give it to friends who could use more stuff (okay, they don't need it, but if they can use it and pass it on then I have done a good deed.) I also donate to charities, nothing says joy like the option to get tax credits for my stuff.  I also have considered selling my stuff, I even have stuff in the garage to sell right now.

So why should you get rid of stuff?  Because it makes you tired.  I for one can't sleep enough as it is, I don't need something else making me exhausted.  Let's think about it, you buy stuff with your hard earned money, you then bring that stuff home and take care of it. You clean it, store it, organize it, and move it around numerous times. You probably find use for it, or even joy from it for a while.  Then it just becomes more stuff to deal with.  When it gets to that point let it move on.  Find a home for it, just not your home.

It will do you good to release your stuff.  Not only will you feel lighter, you will want to buy less stuff.  This is good for your bank account, and hopefully that will make you smile.  And when you smile, I hope you remember the feeling of sitting on a bed in a hotel room, being at peace.  Then remember you didn't have to pay for a hotel room to get that feeling, and smile again.

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