What is your relationship with stuff?

I grew up poor. So poor that my mother put on sock puppet shows as a birthday present. So poor we slept on couches, and in peoples garages.

As a child, I rarely had new toys, always hand-me-downs, garage sale, and second hand store dolls. I still have the first new toy I ever got, I was around 6 years old and my mom got me a bear at Walmart for $8. This was a very big deal. I have had him for almost 30 years, and he has been re-stuffed along the way. His name is Clark.

As a teen, I never had designer jeans (back then it was Guess with triangle on the back pocket), I had never traveled to anywhere nice (most my friends had gone out of the country several times), I never had extra movie money.

I was resentful towards stuff. I was too poor to have stuff. We only had necessities. We had to travel light. I wanted that new Barbie. I wanted a fancy dress. I hated that we could not afford the things my other friends so easily had.  I hated that I never fit in, never had the perfect outfit or expensive hair style.

Now that I am all grown up I have a much different relationship with stuff. I still want that fancy dress, but it no longer defines who I am. I respect stuff. I work so hard for my money Collectors, that when I buy stuff it has to be something I will really use or love.

I have had this private discussion with my Clients. It’s interesting that some of them have gone the complete opposite direction. They grew up poor so gosh darn it if they aren’t going to buy everything they want. They grew up poor!! Filling their homes up with new items that will never be used, just so they don’t feel like they did growing up, just to fit in. Crowding themselves out of their own homes with stuff, just because now they can afford it. Suffocating themselves and drowning in stuff, just to feel good about themselves. Does this sound like you?

Dig deeper on why you fill your home with stuff. How did you grow up as a child? What was your relationship to stuff back then? How were your parents on stuff? Do you buy stuff to drown out uncomfortable feelings? The more you learn about yourself, and why you clutter, the more you will be able to let go.

Until next time Collectors!


JUST FOR FUN I had ChatGPT rewrite my story. What do you think about that?? Let me know in the comments :

Chat Gpt Version of the same story

In the shadows of my childhood, poverty cast its long, dark veil over every facet of our existence. The very notion of extravagance felt as foreign as the distant lands my friends boasted of visiting.

Sock puppet shows, woven from threads of my mother’s imagination, became the grand spectacles of my birthdays. Our beds were not adorned with plush mattresses but rather makeshift sanctuaries fashioned from worn-out couches and the dim corners of acquaintances’ garages.

Toys were a rarity, elusive treasures found in the remnants of garage sales or the forgotten aisles of second-hand stores. Yet amidst this sea of hand-me-downs and cast-offs, there stood one beacon of newness – a humble bear, procured from the aisles of Walmart for a mere $8. Clark, as he came to be known, became my steadfast companion, weathering the storms of childhood alongside me, his fur bearing witness to the passage of time.

Adolescence dawned with its own set of trials, where the lack of designer labels and exotic travels marked me as an outsider in the sea of conformity. Resentment brewed within me like a tempest, fueled by the stark contrast between my own humble circumstances and the opulent lifestyles of my peers.

But time, that great alchemist, wrought changes within me. As adulthood beckoned, my perspective on possessions underwent a metamorphosis. No longer defined by the absence of material wealth, I found solace in simplicity and meaning. The allure of frivolous acquisitions waned, replaced by a reverence for the value inherent in every purchase.

Conversations with clients mirrored my own journey, revealing the myriad ways in which our pasts shape our present behaviors. Some, like me, tread the path of restraint, their past struggles instilling a sense of prudence in their dealings with material wealth. Yet others, haunted by the specter of scarcity, sought refuge in the accumulation of possessions, mistaking abundance for fulfillment.

In the labyrinth of clutter, I found echoes of my own past, reflections of a time when possessions held sway over my aspirations. Yet with each step forward, I unraveled the tangled web of my own motivations, confronting the ghosts of childhood insecurities that lingered within.

So I ask you, dear reader, to embark upon your own odyssey of self-discovery. Examine the shadows of your past, confront the ghosts that haunt your present, and in doing so, may you find the courage to let go and embrace the light of a simpler, more meaningful existence.

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A teddy bear sitting on top of a table.