A friend of mine likes to share articles on Facebook about how people of our generation have too much stuff, constantly reminding us that millenials don’t want our stuff and thus, we should get rid of it all now.
Somehow this strikes me as not just annoying but downright obnoxious. The most recent article was by a woman who was writing about cleaning out her mother-in-law’s home after the woman died, and finding a stash of sweaters that were her father-in-law’s from years past. Apparently he had died some years earlier. She couldn’t fathom why THESE old things had been kept and seem to relish discussing how they were tossed unceremoniously into a dumpster, then going on about how much they had to pay for said dumpster.
If her mother-in-law had been at all considerate, she would have spent the last years of her life throwing out her little mementos and tchotchkes rather than leaving them this mess to clear out.
The title of the article was “Your stuff isn’t worth anything.” Perhaps it’s not worth much monetarily. The friend who posted it recently moaned about owning a set of dishes which had cost over $1000, and is now worth about $35 to an auction house, and how his daughter doesn’t want it. It’s merely taking up space in his home. Someone commented on his lament – “then USE it!” I cheered inwardly.
I was given the heartbreaking task of cleaning my parents’ home when my mother died. As my sister and I say, the hoarding gene is strong in my family. There wasn’t a shirt box given to my mother that didn’t find its way to the attic. We, too, rented a dumpster, and tossed most of those shirt boxes, along with a bit of other “stuff” that was of no earthly use to us but apparently meant something to my parents.
My sisters and I have a lot of stuff, stuff he would consider just junk and apparently we should immediately clear our homes of the things that give us joy because our children and grandchildren won’t want to do it. To this I say, “tough shit, I won’t be here and I don’t care.” I am happy surrounded by my balls of yarn that I’ll never live long enough to knit up, by my hoards of books that I’ve read and the piles yet to be read, by little trinkets that sparkle in the sun and mementos of my ancestors.
Because someone doesn’t want to be bothered at some point in the distant future (I hope very distant) to have to deal with my balls of yarn, and my books and my treasures, I suppose I should give them all up and live in an austere little one room cabin with nothing but a blanket and one pair of clothes.
I’m a touch crabby today. Get off my lawn and leave my stuff alone. And you want to be a minimalist, good for you, go preach it to someone else. And get off my lawn.