One of George Carlin’s best routines was about STUFF. Debuted in the mid 80’s, it still rings true today, over 25 years later: nearly 1.9 million viewings of this 5 minute clip on YouTube alone.
The Encarta dictionary defines this noun as ‘… generally material things, especially when unidentified, worthless or unwanted’. While I don’t like it, have to admit that Georges’ line about ‘a house is a place where you leave your stuff, while you go out and get more stuff’ hits a little too close to home.
As a Decorator and a Stager, dealing with STUFF is how I make a living…organizing, editing, re-positioning, etc. Value/worth, like love, is emotional, intensely personal, and always in the eye of the beholder. I never question it, unless it’s an impediment or contradiction to the client’s larger goal, or when I catch drifts of ‘unwanted’.
“Unwanted” does not mean “worthless”. Every day I see and hear about unwanted things of value. Often unwanted things are kept at great expense(time, money, energy) simply because it’s not known what else to do with them; keeping them and waiting is deemed a better option than the curb. If there are to be any silver linings from the last few years, its’ a our very real understanding that donating is kind and meaningful, and more places/organizations exist to make it easier.
Recently, 11 Girl Scouts and their 4 leaders from troops #2687 and 2287 in Pleasantville collected about 50 pairs of eyeglasses for the local Lions club to organize and re-distribute, and a number of small appliances for the project close to my heart, Furniture Sharehouse. Zero Waste Day, courtesy of the Town of North Castle Recycling Committee netted us almost a full moving van of furniture and furnishings; as well as perhaps thousands of articles of seasonal clothing for the Community Center of Northern Westchester, quite a number of bicycles for Recycle a Bicycle, and a van full of cat/dog supplies to help support the work of a pet rescue/adoption agency.
Bottom line, you should have things you enjoy and value around you. But if you find your stuff more of an obligation, please check out my Good Turns page-or google- for some local solutions. Besides having newly-freed up space, it’s green, and a potential tax write-off- you can make a real difference.