Every fall I sift through my ‘stuff’–attic stuff, closet stuff, drawer stuff and basement stuff. I separate the good stuff from the bad stuff, and then I stuff the bad stuff anywhere that is not too crowded, until I’ve decided if I will actually need the bad stuff. When the Lord calls me home, my children will want the good stuff. But the bad stuff will probably be stuffed into bags and taken to the dump, where all the other people’s unwanted stuff has been taken.

Whenever we have company, it seems they always bring bags of ‘stuff’. When I visit my son and daughter-in-law, they always clear out space for my stuff, such as a dresser drawer or a cabinet shelf.  My daughter-in-law always clears a drawer of her stuff. It would be so much easier to just use their stuff, and just leave my stuff at home.

Recently, I had an extra closet built so I would have a place for all of the stuff too good to throw away, yet not good enough to keep with the good stuff. You may not have this problem, but I seem to spend a lot of time with stuff. Food stuff, cleaning stuff, medicine stuff, clothes stuff, and outside stuff.  What would life be like if we didn’t have all this stuff?

Now, there is stuff we use to make us smell better, stuff to make our hair look good, stuff to make us look younger, and stuff to make us look healthier; stuff to hold us in, and stuff to fill us out. There is stuff to read, stuff to play with, stuff to entertain us, and stuff to eat. And sometimes, we stuff ourselves with food.

Our lives are filled with all types of stuff. Good stuff, bad stuff, little stuff, big stuff, useful stuff, junky stuff and everyone else’s stuff. When we go to heaven, whatever happens to our stuff won’t matter. We will have the good stuff God has prepared for us in heaven.

      (This piece was shared with me over 19 years ago by a cousin of my late mother-in-law and it is so true).

       ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

We were visiting with some older people and the subject of how much stuff we all have today came up. These folks were raised in very small homes, were lucky to have three changes of clothes, most of the time had no running water in the house and some were lucky enough to have kerosene lamps instead of candles. There were no supermarkets, big box stores, etc. and life was much simpler then.

One of the ladies made the remark, ”Have you ever given any thought as to how many things people own these days? It seems to me that folks enjoyed life a whole lot more years ago. They didn’t have all that stuff to pay for and take care of…”

She was spot on–less stuff means less stress. You don’t have to clean it, store it or pay for it! I hadn’t thought too much about it until one evening I saw a television show about people who are hoarders. They have so much stuff that they can’t even walk through their homes.  Many of them are crawling over and digging through piles of stuff just to get to a bed. Some of them are so compulsive about saving everything that they have spoiled food on the counters–which draws bugs, mice and other creepy crawlies. They need professional help to clear out the clutter and find the floor again.

Now, I’m not an advocate of wasting things, but there comes a time when the excess needs to be donated to someone who can make use of the useable stuff. I have my own method of clearing out. In late summer, I do the mowing, picking of garden produce, etc. early in the morning before it gets too hot, and then I head for the house during the heat of the day. I will completely clear the items from one shelf in a closet and give said items a good looking over to see if I want to keep it, donate it, cut it up for grease rags or just plain burn the thing because it’s so awful.

I don’t empty the entire closet at once; if I have to make a run to town or something else comes up, I don’t have a huge mess to return to late in the day. I don’t get in a hurry–I figure it didn’t get that way in a day and I won’t get it cleaned up in a day either, but, if I keep plugging away day by day, I eventually get the area I’m working on all in order. And this really gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Till next time,

by Paula Vogelgesang | Paula Vogelgesang is the author of the monthly column "Pennywise", and is a monthly contributor to the Farm And Livestock Directory. Email her at [email protected].  Please be sure to mention the "Farm And Livestock Directory" when you respond.