Stuff and Love

20130718-112020.jpgAs I lighten my load and explore many negative emotions associated with the process, I’ve learned that sometimes, the joy comes later. That’s the good news for me and for anyone else experimenting with minimalism. The joy isn’t always there right away. Well, not for me anyway. I second guess myself a lot. So this process is not any different…

I’m still working through the stuff I put up in the attic when I first started My Simplicity Quest. It’s a lot of stuff. But every day, I take down a few things and decide to keep them or get rid of them. So far, it’s just that. Making a place for the things I decide to keep and converting my boxes of old pics to digital copies is for later. Next year, probably. I must keep it simple or I will quit. I know because that’s what I’ve done in the past.

Some of the stuff is easy to toss in a box labeled “Donate”. It’s not useful, beautiful, nor does it hold special meaning for me. But other stuff is not so easy. I’m getting better. Taking a picture before I send it on helps.

I used to think I loved some of my stuff. But as I sort through all of my personal possessions (and endeavor to be honest with myself) I learn that it’s not the stuff that I love. It’s the people I associate with them. It’s the memory it represents. It’s the way I use it in my life. Stuff is just a reminder of love. My guitar reminds me that l love music. My dad’s old Dunhill lighter reminds me of his pipe and his cigarettes and the way he liked to smoke them while reading the paper. My dresses remind me that I love to feel girlie.

In a big, fat cheesy way, it’s all about love.

Yep. I went there.

(Don’t you love how you start out with an idea about what you want to write and then when you begin it grows into something else? It’s like some strange magic. It only happens when I get to the page and put it out there.)

I had a different title for this article: “Take a Picture. Say Goodbye. Let it go. “I was going to write about finding a picture of a an old backpack. How it made me happy to see it instead of sad. I had details to share about how my identity was wrapped up in that bag and all the happy memories I associate with it. The difficultly of letting it go because it was falling apart after years of use. The joy in knowing that I made the right decision.

But I guess my heart needed to know why I felt that sadness and why I felt that joy. My head and my hands gave me the answer through the process of writing. It’s about the love. Not the stuff.

Thanks for traveling with me along this path. I am quite the corny companion. But if you’ve read any of my other posts, you already know that. And you are still here. I think that’s awesome. Cheers to you and the love you find on your journey…


  1. Totally identify with this post. It IS all about love! I was even singing ‘love is all you need’ to the kids earlier in the car because sometimes I can’t think of any other answers. Us humans are complex creatures, eh? I know just what you mean about writing and then finding it morphing into something else. Sometimes I wonder just who is at the steering wheel when I am typing, lol!

    1. It does not surprise me that you identify with this post. I feel like we have so much in common! We are complex, I think that’s why I get so hungry to simplify my outside world. I need the space to sort out all the stuff inside. Thanks for leaving a comment, Rose who Rocks (that’s how I think of you)!

  2. Lovely post! I understand the whole starting a post with a particular intention, and then it becomes about something else! I guess we’re figuring out the important bits as we go along! And it totally is about love – making room in your life amongst the clutter to spend time with the people you love, and doing things you love! Not corny at all 😉

    1. I’m glad you don’t think it’s corny. I still do…a little. 🙂 Writing is such a strange art. What’s really cool is that we end up finding people who appreciate the process and wonder at its result in the same way. Connectedness through art is awesome. Thanks for leaving a comment. I love your blog!

  3. Great post Ginny! I am totally with you – I have a pile of t-shirts from college (!!) that I don’t wear but I keep them because they remind me of those times and places. I have a friend who made her old t-shirts into a quilt. So here’s a fun challenge – how can we make something from all these items that somehow retains the feeling of love, but takes up a little less space? I’ve never been a scrap book person, so that wouldn’t work for me, but how do we capture the love (which is of course the important part!) and let go of the stuff?

    1. Thanks, Katy! There you go…making me think again! 🙂 I have a pile of shirts too. I took pictures of all of them but had decided to put them away to make a quilt (after I get out of the attic and finish a different quilt I started 15 years ago). Great minds… I’ve been toying with the idea of buying one of those books I’ve seen on Amazon or in gift shops that help you write your life story. It’s a bunch of questions and places for photos and stuff like that. Most of the stuff we keep now are our way of telling ourselves our stories. I have several things my mother passed down to me that include a small piece of paper with information about its history. I have a wonderful trunk she got from an English couple while she was living in Italy. I keep the piece of paper in there. So…after I get out of the attic (almost finished!) I’d like to start writing my story. When I come across an item I don’t use any more but is important, I keep it for now (or I take a picture) so I can write my story associated with that item. I’ll eventually print it out and start adding to it systematically. This is my “someday plan” it’s not happening yet.

      This is my long-winded answer to your question. I think the book will help me capture the love without having to keep a lot of stuff.

      Thanks for making me think. I love your questions. So encouraging, and loving. I still ponder what I would keep if I had to live in a tiny house. 🙂 Cheers!

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