The Kingdom of Stuff

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

I have become a serf in the Kingdom of Stuff. I've come to realize that my stuff isn't serving me, I'm serving it. Ironically, I started this post 8/25/2016. This post has been sitting in my draft folder for three years, and sadly, I'm still a serf.

In August of 2016, I had just gone through a long series of repairs on stuff that make up my life. It seemed like every time I turned around, a car was in need of repair, a pool pump went down, a HVAC system needed to be replaced, a sink faucet was leaking or something needed my attention. You get the picture. Stuff. We're surrounded by it.

In business, there is always something that is drawing time out of the limited hours in a week. When other things draw on that time, it's easy to become overwhelmed and miss opportunities that are good for you personally and good for your business.

What am I talking about? Stuff. I'm far from a hoarder, but at the same time, I am surrounded by things that I once thought made my life complete. Of course it's important to have dependable transportation. So, I need a car. In this day, a cellphone has become a mobile office. Therefore, I need a cellphone. In order to do real estate transactions, it's important to have a medium to transact documents like a computer. It can be a notebook or a desktop, but computers do make those transactions easier so they're important. Of course, a cellphone can be handy here too, but it's a little awkward for some aspects of the trade. 

Outside of business, our lives are also filled with stuff. That's where my focus has been this year. I've started looking at my daily life and started asking myself, "What is in my life that I don't need? What am I paying taxes on, paying for storage, repairs or maintenance that is not critical to who I am and what I do? What is consuming, but no producing?" 

Just asking the question was freeing, but then comes the decision to act. What am I going to do with the stuff that is tying up my time and resources but not producing anything of value? I won't bore you further with my dilemma, but I want to ask you, "What 'Stuff" is keeping you trapped in a continual series of upkeep? Are there things in your life that are robbing you of available time, resources and space?"

So far this year, I've given away computers, printers, TVs, cars, furniture, books, exercise equipment and building supplies. I've sold office equipment, health-care equipment and miscellaneous stuff that has just been sitting around for that "day" when I would need it. I haven't.

I've always likened my business organization as lean and mean. We can turn on a dime and change course effectively and be at the top of our game in short order. In 2018, I took a hatchet to our marketing programs and eliminated every marketing commitment we had that was not producing adequate returns for the investment. In 2020, I'll be doing the same with the accumulated stuff in my life.

I challenge you to take inventory and see what might be slowing you down, getting you off course, consuming your resources but not adding to the bottom line. What changes could you make that propel you forward in 2020? What is demanding your attention, energy and time that is not producing valuable results? It has been freeing eliminating stuff, but the reality is, 2019 was just a warm up. I'm looking forward to being the king of my stuff and not the serf any longer. 

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Rainmaker
5,457,693
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

We are among those who have too much stuff. It is a real challenge to get rid of it.

Nov 08, 2019 01:43 PM #1
Ambassador
2,893,267
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, GRI, WLS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
603-380-4886

Mike this getting rid of stuff (in whatever form it shows up ) is such an important practice to get and put in place- Like no kidding!  I am not one to hang onto to stuff.  And yet somehow stuff seems to accumlate in our garage and we keep giving it away.  It's such a great feeling to have everything in it's 'place' and we know where it is rather than hunting for it. Very, very freeing.  You're going to notice a HUGE differene once you've got the process down pat AHHHHHHHHH. Breathe......

Nov 08, 2019 02:07 PM #2
Ambassador
816,717
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

Oh, this post is perfect. During this period in our lives where Dave and I are "nesting," waiting for the next phase, we have been going thru the house . . . now if I could just talk him into going thru the garage LOL

Nov 08, 2019 04:18 PM #3
Rainmaker
1,343,371
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Mike,
Purging is high on my bucket list. I have a big house full of stuff...and a garage too. Yet, I basically lived out of my car (while traveling, not homeless) for about 3 years.  Just proved I don't really need most of the stuff I have. 

Nov 08, 2019 04:49 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,458,747
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

We moved earlier this year, and got rid of a lot of stuff. But not enough in my opinion. We really don't need that much to thrive....

 

Nov 08, 2019 06:41 PM #5
Rainmaker
2,969,062
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Mike.

About the only "stuff" I hold onto is paperwork.  About once every two to three years, I go through the stack of papers and discard those that are no longer useful

Nov 09, 2019 03:17 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,853,574
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

No way.  You'll never get rid of it all.  Once you do you'll have this nagging feeling there is a hole to fill in the garage and behold, it will be filled!

 

Wink...

Nov 09, 2019 04:01 AM #7
Rainer
54,297
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

One of my clients shared this thought "If you haven't touched it in the last year, dispose of it (excluding family mementos)." He lived in a small apartment in Chicago and learned the necessity of what is important. His words struck home and I started to get rid of stuff. This helped because within 3 years we relocated to NW AZ. Even though I still had stuff to get rid of, I was far ahead dof the game.  Congrats on feature.

Nov 09, 2019 05:41 AM #8
Rainmaker
2,473,652
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

You get the scoop with Coop

Nov 09, 2019 06:29 AM #9
Rainmaker
726,507
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Your challenge has been accepted Mike Cooper, GRI! I'm on it, and have already begun.  

I, too, am far from a hoarder, but definitely have a number of things that I've been holding on to just in case. Realizing that this just in case hasn't happened in a number of years, it is time to let stuff go. I've been dropping off a few items at Second Chance in Baltimore - one of my favorite ReStores with a social & environmental mission. I really like knowing that my stuff is getting a second (or third) chance somewhere else, too. It makes the letting go part easier.  

Nov 09, 2019 11:11 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,550,512
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I already had too much stuff - then I inherited more. I gave away a lot before I even brought it in the house, but now the task is harder. I find it difficult to get rid of things my mom loved and used.

Meanwhile, every few days I find a few more things to put in the "donate" box and other things that are no longer useful and can go in the trash.

It does feel good to free up space!

 

Nov 09, 2019 11:45 AM #11
Rainmaker
2,573,864
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

A couple of weeks ago I laid down the law to my family for Christmas this year.  Do not buy me anymore things.  I have tripped over what I already have, and have spent a good amount of time, donating and tossing out.  I can't believe I spent the first half of my life accumulating, and now I'm spending the second half trying to get rid of it.

Nov 09, 2019 01:46 PM #12
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Mike Cooper, GRI

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