As I wade through the boxes I have in storage, I wonder why I keep all this stuff. I have too much stuff. When I was 19 I drove across country to start a new life with only as much stuff as would fit into my little Honda Civic hatchback. With room to spare.

When I think about how much stuff I have, I can not help but conjure up the image of the Junk Lady from the movie “Labyrinth” who carries her house and all her stuff on her back. She is bent over and wizened from the burden.

But…but… I need all my stuff! It’s important!

I have archaic technology taking up boxes, clothes I haven’t seen since 2002, newspaper article clippings, and a usb mouse I never used.

That stuff I can consolidate and give or throw away.

I also have boxes of my dad’s stuff. His old photo albums, writings, sketch books full of his doodles, letters he wrote to various friends and family…. How long do I keep that stuff? Forever? He is gone, but his stuff lives on in perpetuity? For what purpose?

At what point does stuff become a burden? I have a friend who purges every year. Okay, that’s her closet, but at least it’s something. I know we are supposed to keep tax forms for a multitude of years, but those old VHS tapes? How often are those boxed up items really used? If they haven’t been touched in a year, how important are they really?

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