What’s up with “stuff?” I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with stuff lately. All last weekend I processed my late father’s belongings so my 85-year old mother doesn’t have to (and there was A LOT). Then I came home on Monday and started packing my own belongings to move (yes, unbelievably) again. It seems giving things away has become my new hobby. It doesn’t seem as easy as it could, or perhaps should, be.

Emotional Ties to Stuff

It’s interesting observing how I react at the thought of selling, giving, or tossing my father’s belongings. Watching others choose is even more interesting. Twenty-five cents can make the difference in somebody buying the silly screwdriver or putting it back down. Twenty-five cents. Return on investment has something to do with it. I think it’s more emotional than anything. My theory is that people have a set point inside them that feels good and even a mere quarter could push them to the other side of it.  It made a difference to me if someone wanted to pay a decent price for my father’s tools as opposed to lowballing me so they could go sell it on eBay. So I guess I have my set point too.

The Magnetic Pull

I also noticed the magnetic-like pull some items have. It’s like they wrestled with me as I tried to put them in the trash or out for a used item store to pick up. It was as though hands popped out onto the top of the trashcan to keep me from getting the item inside. (Once I got them to the curb it went away.) Curious. Visions of my father came to dance in my head. Was it hard because I didn’t feel like I was honoring his memory? Was it hard because I didn’t know if they would be truly valued by the new owner? Was it hard because something he loved might find itself in a trash heap? I was fine with an item going away if the new owner was really going to use it. One man bought all my father’s scrap metal for artistic welding projects. I was thrilled. It would live on in a creative way. Some items I just kept because I didn’t like the attitude of the person who offered me the nickel for the $100 thing. Who cares? For reasons unknown to me, I cared.

How do you deal with stuff?

So, I’m curious. What is your experience with stuff? How do you handle it? Give me some tips. I still have to process MY stuff now and I’d love to have some ideas on how to do it better.  What do you know?