An experience hit me hard when I helped my family downsize and move into a smaller home. A collection of belongings from three generations of family members had to be dealt with. There were all kinds of items, ones of value to just plain junk.
The process was a slow, tedious one that consisted of trials and warfare. Each person had their own distinct preferences when it came to things they kept. I did the math and calculated a 0.01% return on investment for 30 year supply of empty butter dishes, so I convinced them to let go.
It took four months but we finally managed to get rid of everything that we needed to. After the amount of time spent on this, the auctioneers fees and commission that we “saved” was questionable in the end. About a year later, another family member did use an auctioneer to sell their stuff. I was somewhat intrigued by the process and would definitely consider it seriously if I were to do something like this again.
But what hit me hardest was thinking about how much money was spent. Every item sold, donated, or thrown away all had a price tag in the beginning. Every dollar spent was time exchanged by working to earn that dollar. We work tirelessly to buy things which rarely keep their value. They satisfy us for only a short time before we are off to buy the next thing. Matthew 6 warns us about storing up treasures. Dust, bugs, and pesky vermin don’t care how precious your belongings are. They leave their filthy mess all over the place. Let me tell you, nothing adds value to your stuff like mice poop!
To this day it is still an internal struggle; what to keep and what to get rid of. Renting storage space to hold more stuff, all the while wondering what the point of all this stuff really is. But interestingly enough, I never go back and question all the experiences I’ve had. The places I went, the photographs taken, the laughs shared – all tremendous blessings that I’ve found immense value in. I do enjoy buying nice things, but I’ve come to appreciate the importance of creating memories far more. Memories last a lifetime while most things we buy quickly fade away.