‘Stuff’: A major part of our lives

“Stuff” is a simple five-letter word that people seldom think of or pay any attention to and never in conjunction with anything of importance.

It is just “stuff.”

“Stuff” can be something you put in a box to protect an item. When someone opens up the box later, he removes the item and throws away the “stuff.”

The word “stuff” is universally applied to many items, and in many ways, it designates those items as unimportant, unnecessary or even undesirable.

So, why does “stuff” play such an important role in all our lives? Everyone has too much “stuff.” We move it, dust it and sometimes put it in boxes in the garage or attic.

Have you ever seen a home with an attached garage and the car parked on the driveway? You know why? The garage is full of “stuff.”

A number of years ago, a friend built one of the area’s first storage shed complexes. I wondered how the venture would work out. Today it is difficult to drive five miles without driving past a new storage shed unit.

Guess what is stored in those units? Probably one or two antique cars and maybe a boat but most of them are filled with “stuff.” What has happened to us when we now have to rent buildings to store “stuff” we don’t need? It amazes me that we have not yet built storage sheds on the moon so we could store more “stuff.”

Notice how many items like bins, shelves, hooks, hangers and baskets have been specifically designed just to store “stuff.” We are a society addicted to not only keeping unnecessary “stuff” but storing it as well.

I often think about the history of our great country and the flood of people who moved west in wagon trains to start a new life during the 1800s. Some of those people initially packed a lot of extra “stuff” in their wagons, but the importance of those items like an organ or grandmother’s huge china cabinet were left somewhere along the trail in Kansas. Carrying extra “stuff” through life slows you down and simply makes life harder and more frustrating.

I must admit that I have a lot of stuff. The worst part is that a lot of it is “good stuff.” Now “good stuff” are items that are good but for whatever the reason, you don’t need or want any longer. Sell it, give it away or toss it.

As we speak, I have in my garage a set of double drapery rods for a 14-foot double drape that once was in our living room. My wife has since changed the window treatment, and we no longer need those very expensive drapery rods. But they were too good to throw out, so they have been hanging overhead in my garage for at least 25 years.

I just found a box of keys in my office closet that I am not sure what they unlock, but I am assuming that if I can unlock all the doors in my house and start my cars there is nothing in there I need. These items are just the tip of the iceberg of my “stuff.” My workshop is another disaster. I have boxes of screws, but I can guarantee you, I never have enough of any one size to finish the job, so I always wind up buying more after wasting a day sorting

them out.

But as of today, at least I admitted I am addicted to “stuff.” Tomorrow I plan to toss out everything I don’t need, but today I better go out and get some boxes just in case I find some “good stuff” that I might

need someday.

John Kasun writes from his home in Duncansville and if you stand outside you will often hear him say, “But Honey I might be able to …”, to which his wife replies, “Out — throw it out!”


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