It’s Only Stuff

As the years have passed, I’m discovering how deeply imbedded our society has become with the idea of acquiring more things. When I say things, I mean the excess clothing hanging in closets that are nearly never worn, the wall to wall furniture, the knick knacks in curio cabinets and table tops, and all the other stuff that society has convinced us we “have to” possess. Amidst all this confining clutter, I believe parts of our real selves become lost. In listening to conversations, I hear much about stuff and little about social issues.

A client of mine who goes on walks sometimes with a friend or two, commented on how he’s not going to talk anymore about anything he’s heard on National Public Radio, because his friends seem to not care or simply don’t listen. It’s funny how so many of us have created these little islands for ourselves and dismiss anything that is going on elsewhere. I happened to show a home several weeks ago which is part of an estate. I was shocked at how much “stuff” was contained in that small house. I don’t ever remember seeing the owners outside or heard anything about them. Likely their world was so consumed by the mode of gathering that they paid no attention those around them. In one long day at the auction house, all of it was gone. To consider how much they gave back to society was likely minimal.

I remember some years ago listing a large older ranch home which was also an estate. There was only one beneficiary who was a niece and she lived in Michigan. I met her at the house when she arrived and was shocked at the amount of stuff. She apologized for the state of the home as I did my inspection. An auction was scheduled, and after that was over, I listed the home. In getting to know the niece during the process, she intimated to me her sadness over her aunt and uncle’s lives. She said they spent so much time hoarding that they lost touch with her. She said she reached out to them many times but they seemed to show no interest. She went on to say that she was keeping nothing from their home as she believed it was that stuff that caused the distance between them. Again, it was all gone in one long auction day. If we have to make the choice between people and things, just remember, it’s only stuff that will likely be gone in one long day at auction.