You’ve got too much stuff. Yes, you. Yes, I do know. And if you are bristling with a low level anger at the mere suggestion that you have too much stuff it means you have WAY too much stuff.
Does it help if I say “we” have too much stuff? Or are you like my husband who is not fooled by this, understanding that “he” is half of “we” and still implicated in whatever it is that I am saying. That is why he still gets upset with me when we screw things up because we did a half-assed job on something (often) and I yell “we are SO half -assed! We are half-assed people!.” I actually DO mean “we” but he can’t stop thinking only of himself and, fair warning if you ever meet him, he does not like being called half-assed.
Anyway, back to your stuff. I mean OUR stuff. We have too much stuff. Even my dog Sugar has too much stuff and, as you can tell from her photo, she is not amused by people piling up or photographing her stuff.
But back to the question at hand, how do I know you have too much stuff? Well maybe it’s because I have helped you move 6 times but for everyone else, it is because what I do is stuff. My business is stuff. And, should you happen to come into my antique/vintage shop downtown, I promise I will NEVER, EVER tell you that you have too much stuff. Instead I will happily pretend that you don’t have nearly enough stuff and that you actually desperately need that zippo lighter, pocket knife, pair of earrings, old typewriter, cup and saucer, Richie Rich comic book, old clay pipe or Hummel figurine. OK, the Hummel is pushing it. I don’t think anyone needs a Hummel figurine and even I can only pretend so much. Should you know someone who actually does need a Hummel figurine, please send them to me as I have a couple hundred that I would like to unload, I mean sell, I mean get into the hands of a dedicated and lucky collector.
At this point you may be asking yourself, why do I care that you have too much stuff if my business is selling you stuff? Because eventually someone is going to have to get rid of your stuff. Maybe it will be you and you will come down to the shop lugging boxes of your stuff (the buyer is in Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) or maybe not. Maybe it will be your heirs, who will walk into your house and proclaim, “Crap! Look at all this stuff! Where did they get all this stuff? We need help!” and then they will call us to run an estate sale to liquidate all your stuff. And I don’t like doing giant estate sales for people who never got their stuff under control so, in the spirit of the month of January and new beginnings, let’s pretend you are going to do a little cleaning out. I know just where to start.
The first thing you need to do is to stop pretending you are going to miraculously find time and motivation to become a superstar on Etsy. All those things that you have amassed because you are going to make something? The beads, the typewriter keys, the yarn, the wood, the vintage jewelry you are sure you could deconstruct and turn into something really cool, the fabric, the broken pictures frames, the entire box of Betty Crocker recipe cards from the 1950s, the baskets, the unfinished furniture, the doll heads, the scrabble tiles and dice. Throw them out. Give them to charity. Get rid of them. You might, someday, make something but you don’t need a room full of somethings to make one something.
Again, does it help if I say “we?” Because if you are wondering who actually has an entire box of Betty Crocker recipe cards from the 1950s and doll heads, that would be me. In fact, I have (or had) a lot of this stuff, stuffed on shelves in my office, awaiting my Etsy debut. When I finally started digging through it, I was shocked (and slightly dismayed) by what I had saved. Here are a few select items from that larger collection.
I arranged them to try to make them look pretty but there is really no getting around the fact that this is some bizarre and creepy stuff. What did I possibly think I was going to make with this stuff? A scary Harlequin doll head (how did that even get in my house? ), a pair of Girl Scout socks and Bingo cards? Porcelain doll legs, recipe cards and a child’s bunny puzzle? I would like to say that this was the extent of my “gonna make stuff” hoard but it is barely the tip of the iceberg. There are 300 more recipe cards where those came from and I won’t begin to tell you how many buttons I have. I’ve actually had to start collecting boxes and jars so that I have somewhere to store all the buttons.
And so, who’s with me? Ready to swear off illusions (delusions?) of Etsy greatness and dump the strange collection of things you have stuffed everywhere that might someday, somewhere, somehow become something but probably not with your hands?
No? You still want to find, amass and store items of dubious usage? You want to remain an unrepentant collector? Well then, just keep one thing in mind. Our shop is open Tues-Sat from 11-6. Come on down! Perhaps we can interest you in a few hundred Hummels. Quantity discounts available.