Have you noticed tiny piles of useless stuff gathering in your child’s drawers? It comes from somewhere, and now, just before Christmas, is the time to determine how to avoid this stuff that never quite leaves, if avoid is what you want to do.
Over the years, we’ve revisited often the topic of stuff, wasteful junk that we acquire without really needing it.
- Hold on! Holiday Spending
- 10 Ways to Give Without Stuff
- Stuff That Means You Buy Less Stuff
- Yes, Cloth Diapers Are an Appropriate Holiday Gift
- Cheap Products: At What Cost? (6-part series)
- Baby on a Budget (4-part series)
- Save Money on Baby Expenses (4-part series)
- Beyond the Era of Stuff and Waste (plastics)
- Minimize Stuff, Maximize Happiness
Less stuff isn’t just about less stuff, though it is so much nicer to live in a clean space without all of the junk. Less stuff means
- fewer resources up front to make the stuff,
- less expense to buy the stuff, and
- less waste once we throw the stuff away.
Our Latest Story of Stuff
My daughter decided we needed a de-stuff challenge, so we spent the past month going through the corners and drawers of the house we inherited from my mother. It turned out that most of the junk we got rid of was plastic kids’ toys. I thought I hadn’t even let those junky little toys into the house, but they kept sneaking in through Christmas stockings, birthdays, gifts, Scholastic sales, and such.
Everything that could be used by someone else was donated, but piles then bags of this stuff was just broken beyond repair and non-recyclable.
Seeing all of this junk of childhood build up even for children I thought were focused on simple, natural toys reminded me again how important it is not to get caught up in stuff we don’t need, stuff we won’t use, and stuff that will just break quickly.
I’m so glad that my children were able to let go of this stuff so easily. They decided what stayed and what went. Everyone had a veto on getting rid of junk, and everyone was generous in agreeing to one another’s choices. They kept the books, toys, and clothes that meant the most to them, but they didn’t worry about letting go. It’s not always easy for everyone to let go, so I’m relieved they won’t be hoarders. I hope they will be able to let go of the ideas, emotions, and incidents of life when it’s time to start clean as well.
As the season of buying and giving stuff is upon us, focus on genuine needs, buy what will last as long as you will need it, and give consumable or non-material gifts to your family and friends.
Spread the good cheer. We all need that.