Most THINGS don’t Matter Unexpected Gifts Do

Life Lesson: Most THINGS don’t Matter Unexpected Gifts Do

Oftentimes, we are caught up with THINGS.

We collect things. We clean, organize, and display them. We feel a loss when things go missing.

Yet, if we let go of some of these things or even better, don’t bring them into our homes, we’ll receive unexpected gifts that may surprise us.

Brenda Avadian in Mexico Drinking la Leche fresca de CocoWhile on a trip to Mexico, my husband and I lived high on the hog, we also lived along the middle of the hog, and under the hog. Okay, I’m stretching the cliché a little.

We returned home appreciating that we had a shelter even though it was a fixer-upper. We questioned if we should proceed with remodeling.

Even now, in our information-rich world, the more things we acquire, we run the risk of creating physical clutter, which soon grows into toxic mental clutter that takes time away from what matters in our lives.

Ever ask a person a question and not get a straight answer?

C’mon, what is it? Yes or No?

It’s hard to decide with a clutter-filled mind.

Instead, when we declutter the various cluttergories in our lives, we feel lighter, more focused, and are more decisive.

At around 7 minutes in the video, you’re invited to do an exercise. Click on link for an overview of the STUFFology 101 Cluttergories. Print a copy and then write your notes (from the video) on the reverse.

And the hog?

We finally ate the hog, but carnitas are not part of this story except for an unexpected gift.

I crossed one item off my Bucket List—a goal I’d had since I read stories in the 5th or 6th grade recounting family gatherings in Mexico.

What was it?

Watch the end of the video for my unexpected gift.

Yours will be different, and that’s what makes these gifts unexpected.


If the embedded video does not display below, click on



Who has time to read?

Who has time to read? You do, despite the temporal clutter in your life. I like to read for pleasure, for personal development, and so forth. With all the demands on our time, it is a good idea to have a plan for your reading.

When preparing STUFFology 101: Get Your Mind Out of the Clutter, I read and subscribed to many newsletters and articles about clutter, some of which we reference in the Additional Resources section of the book. I continue to read and watch videos from other experts; you never know what will trigger a fresh idea.

One such expert is Maria Gracia from Get Organized Now! She has wonderful stuff on her website to help you control your clutter. In one of the videos on her YouTube channel she explains how to organize your reading. As someone who loves to read and is still building my personal library, I really appreciated her perspective.

Remember too that you can always read from your smartphone or tablet through one of the popular reading apps like Kindle or Nook.

You do have time to read when you follow Maria’s advice.

Pick up that book or magazine and enjoy a good read today!

Pharrell Williams HAPPY video image

Freeing Ourselves from the Shackles of Clutter to Work Happy

Ann Vanino  Working HappyFriend and colleague, Ann Vanino of Moving Forward Coaching & Consulting writes in her monthly Working Happy Newsletter, “Clear away the noise and listen to what your heart is saying about your happiness.”

Sometimes we need to clear the clutter—the obstacles to unencumbered living to release us.

As we clear the areas of clutter in our lives, we feel lighter and even happy. We feel FREE!

Every month, I write a reply to Ann. Her newsletters seem to address a challenge I’m having in my life. Is it a coincidence? Or is it proof that we’re following a common path?

Dear Ann,

After the last few days of TOO MUCH STUFF—digital clutter–I keep returning to your subject line: Working Happy.

When I am backlogged with emails, even valued correspondence, I keep asking myself, Brenda, are you working happy, right now?

Recently, the answer’s been, I could do better.

What better time to digest and apply your newsletter nuggets in my life.

Clear the noise of clutter–in my case, an excess of emails, which cause me stress.

My goal is to reduce them further until I only have to deal with a manageable number each day.


I would be disingenuous as a STUFFologist, if I said you can deal with your clutter once and for all. The truth is, it’s an ongoing process.

Any inspiration we find that will keep us on the path will free us from the shackles of clutter and help us work happy.

One person’s message about being happy has been viewed over 612,000,000 times around the world.

Try a little dose of happiness right now, click on the video below or click to visit Pharrell’s Happy video on YouTube.

Hear what’s calling you is a path to Working Happy, Vanino writes.

I’m listening, Ann!

What are you waiting for?

What shackles of clutter must you release in order to work happy?


Stuff Happens!

A man’s home is his castle, unless his wife says otherwise.

Does stuff matter? Consider the question in the context of relationships like marriage. What is important to you may not be important to your spouse, and vice versa. Rather than argue, it is sometimes easier to let clutter encroach on a space you consider your own. My garage is such a space.

If a man’s home isn’t his castle, at least his garage is.


My Castle

Is that true? You decide after viewing my garage story (apologies for the video quality).

We share more stories of how stuff matters in Part II of STUFFology 101: Get Your Mind Out of the Clutter. Does stuff matter to you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Eric Riddle Letting Go speech

Letting Go is Hard to Do

Stuffologist Eric Riddle Letting Go speech“Letting GO is hard to do,” says STUFFologist, Eric Riddle as he relates three distinctly different experiences he’s had with each of his three daughters.

View Daddy’s tug-of-war of emotions as he learns to let go. Video taken at Toastmasters Division Contest April 2014.

“What does that mean, at the end of the day, is it harder to let go of things or … people?”

Watch Eric Riddle’s presentation about Letting Go, by either clicking in box below or clicking on the text link at the end of this post.

Eric Riddle on Letting Go – STUFFology 101 Video