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A question I get asked fairly often is about what big takeaways I have learned as a parent, but particularly as a parent who is chronicaling the journey publicly through my blog, Stuff Parents Need. And the answer I give is usually surprising to people. I say, “Stuff Parents Need has taught me that you don’t actually need all that much stuff to rock this mom or dad gig.”
It’s true, friends. A HUGE percentage of the requests for collaboration I receive from brands get a polite but firm, “no thank you” from me (a fact that surprises folks since I regularly enjoy highlighting cool products). And of the collaborations I take on, a fair chunk of them actually don’t turn into content after I give the product or service a trial run.
Why? Because most of it is wildly unnecessary and even burdomsome, in the end. I’ve learned that through lots and lots of experience testing gizmos and gadgets and clothes and toys and beauty products, and well, you name it.
Most of it is just clutter that takes up space in your house, and sucks time away from you day after day, week after week, as you spend what feels like all of your time trying to organize it.
Perhaps I sound a bit melodramatic, and perhaps my own journey with stuff doesn’t seem as relatable since many of the things that come into my home are a direct result of my business. But if you dig a little deeper, our stories likely aren’t so different. Many of us are trading our time for money, and our money for stuff. And then we spend that small amount of free time we have trying to manage the stuff we’ve accumulated, and that management of stuff feels like its own part-time job. At least it does for me, sometimes.
Enter my friend Ruth’s great (and titled-spot-on-for-yours-truly) book, Unstuffed. I ripped through the advanced copy Ruth sent to me in just a few days, feeling SO very relieved to hear this very successful individual get really real, and share about her own struggles with her relationship to stuff.
It was a quick read, and one that I would recommend to anyone who is feeling buried in their own home and unsure about how you got there. You see, this book isn’t so much about the specifics of how to get your house in order, though Ruth does offer some advice in that area. Instead, it’s a book about trying to uncover exactly how you got where you are. By sharing her own story, she touches on a lot of issues that will ring true with others (inheriting households after loved ones pass on, overly generous relatives, the thrill of the bargain, etc.). And I think her focus is a really good one because I can speak from experience when I say that if you don’t address the issues that got you into your mess, you’ll find yourself right back where you started 6 months from now, no matter how ruthlessly you purge today. Understanding WHY chaos is ruling in your home can help you find the solution much better than understanding which under-the-bed storage boxes are the best.
Unstuffed is currently a best-seller on Amazon and I expect it to become a NY Times bestseller, as well (it won’t be Ruth’s first!). It’s doing well for a reason, friends. I very highly recommend it! Oh, and if you have an e-reader, go for the Kindle version and save yourself from having one more book in your house. 😉
And if you are looking for a more practical “walk me through how to get rid of my clutter” type book, definitely check out Becky Mansfield’s Freed from Clutter. She can help you unload the stuff that’s weighing you down throughout your house in 30 days.