The shadow side of “Stuff”

I’ve been a little quiet on here this past little bit. My energy has been put into trying to finish off work projects, ensuring that my kids (and Marcus and I) get to say all of the good-byes that we need to, and dealing with our “stuff”… My goodness… I had no idea the energy sucking vampire that dealing with our “stuff” would be…

I’ve always recognized the price that we have to pay to “buy” something. We trade hours of our time to make money so that we can purchase things. Chairs, dishes, clothes, gadgets and toys. What I haven’t fully recognized until these past couple of weeks is the price that we have to pay to “get rid” of that stuff once we have it.

What I haven’t fully recognized until these past couple of weeks is the price that we have to pay to “get rid” of that stuff once we have it.

Yes… I’ve been dealing with a nasty universal lesson this week. The shadow side of our stuff.

Selling items by facebook…

I posted a grand total of 8 things on local facebook “Buy and Sell” pages over the past two weeks. If I ever questioned the lifeforce/time-sucking nature of facebook – I don’t doubt it now. Of those 8 items:

  1. One item sold through the site
  2. Two items sold elsewhere
  3. Two items I decided to give away
  4. Three items I still have

The time I WASTED trying to sell items on facebook, which I could have spent working/cuddling my kids/riding my bike/having a coffee to say a proper “good bye” to a dear friend include:

  1. Six hours dealing with 72 private messages
  2. Five hours waiting for three different people who said they were going to purchase something and never showed up
  3. Two hours attempting to follow up with no shows
  4. Three hours of logistical maneuvering to attempt to accommodate schedules and peoples changes in plans
  5. Ten hours FUMING at the lack of integrity and vulture-like nature of the majority of people I had to deal with

Twenty six hours of my life GONE – that I will never get back – trying to get rid of stuff on facebook… and all I have to show for it is $45.00. I made an average of $1.73 per hour… and I absolutely, positively detest so much of what I have seen of humanity in the past two weeks. As much as I want to shut the door and say “*&#K You ALL”… I still have stuff to get rid of that won’t fit in our shipping container that we are using as storage… I still have to in some way shape or form – deal with all of the “stuff” that at one point I traded precious time to pay for to purchase… and face the fact that once again – that stuff – those decisions to purchase that stuff… is robbing me of my time and freedom.

The end of selling things on facebook…

I took the remaining ads off facebook about an hour ago. I’ve learned a lesson the hard way about selling items via facebook… it takes more energy than it is worth. I’ll put one final ad up tomorrow about a massive moving sale on Saturday – and that will be the end of me trying to sell my stuff on facebook. My time is worth more to me than $1.73 an hour. I need to invest my time into things that truly matter to me and my family right now.

With that said, I have met a couple of absolute gems of human beings through this process. About one out of every 10 has been a true pleasure to deal with. I know that there are a few people who have integrity – who honour their word – and function from a place of incredible generosity – and I’m grateful for the pleasure of meeting them. A beautiful woman this morning came and picked up the four boxes of books that have been sitting in my foyer for over a week (where they have been sitting waiting for one of the no shows…) and took them to a Women’s Shelter. Stuff should bring “joy” to a person’s life – and I’m glad that those books will go to a place where they can do that.

Note to self – remember this before you purchase anything, ever again…

So the moral of the story here is that we pay for our stuff not just when we buy it, not just with what it takes to maintain it – but when we have to get rid of it as well. I’m hoping that I have learned this lesson well over the past couple of weeks… and that I remember it with every purchase that I make from here on in.


Kay Green

About the Author

Kay Green

Professionally, I am an e-learning instructional designer who breaks down the barriers of space and time in learning. Personally, I'm the Mom in the Little-Green Family, and co-planner in our adventures.

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Loved this post. So true! Given we clear house before each move, it tends to give a different perspective on “stuff”.

    Kay Green

    Thanks Kelley:) I’ve developed this deep appreciation through this process for the skills that families like yours have – to do this so often (and I know that you don’t always get a lot of notice either)!

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