Are You A Stuff Manager?

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A couple weeks ago I posted this quote to the Simplified Life Facebook page.  Lots of folks agreed and even shared it to their own pages.  Some left comments, but a comment from my cousin caught my attention.  She said – “I’m SO done being a stuff manager.”

And I loved that comment because I think it is so true.  Many of us live our lives being managers of stuff. For some of us it feels like its become its own full time job.

Being a Stuff Manager is stealing the very life from us.

  1. It keeps us from spending time with family and friends.
  2. It robs us of needed time for ourselves to unwind, be refreshed and rejuvenated.
  3. It keeps us from serving and living the life we truly want.

Instead of adding joy, it steals it from our lives and instead ushers in frustration and stress over having to keep up with it all.

So how do you know you’re a stuff manager?  And how do you get free of this self-imposed role? Here are a few things to consider.

You might be a Stuff Manger If:

1.  If you open a drawer, pull out an unknown item, look at it and decide that even though you don’t know what it does you better keep it in case you need it someday.

2. If you spend part of every day picking up and moving  your kids stuff around.

3.  If you spend part of every day picking up and moving your own stuff around.

4. If you spend every weekend organizing the garage, basement, kitchen or closets. (Or any area of the house)

5. If you pay for a storage building but have no idea what’s in it or have any idea or plan to fit it into your current home.

Fun fact: Did you know that by 2007, a full 15 percent of customers told the self storage association they were storing items that they “no longer need or want.” it was the third-most-popular use for a unit and was projected to grow to 25 percent of renters the following year. Check out the full article here.


How Do I Quit Being A Stuff Manager?

1. Recognize that you have become a stuff manager.  Seriously. Admitting it can be half the battle.

2. Make a conscious choice to begin eliminating un-necessary things from your home.

3. Make a Plan and begin to eliminate items from your home and realize it will take hard work.  We can have an incredible attachment to stuff, even stuff that’s not needed or useful.  When you start trying to get rid of it you will realize just how true this is.  If you’re not sure where to start, try asking a friend to help you think through your plan.  Sometimes having feedback from a trusted source can help jump start the process.

4. Get rid of the little stuff. Trinkets, Fast Food Toys, pens, pencils, office supplies, etc. – You know, all that little stuff that just seems to float around your house.  Stuff that finds it’s way into every drawer, shelf, closet and cabinet.  This kind of stuff accumulates over time without us really noticing.  Most of the time we don’t even need a majority of it.  For the things we do need, a smaller amount will suffice. Eliminating the little stuff can make a huge difference in the feel of your home.

5. Step back and look at the progress you made, no matter how small.  This is a great accomplishment, so celebrate a little!

6.  See the process through.  It’s easy to get excited at the outset of a project, when conviction and purpose has kicked in.  But it’s also easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged right in the middle of sorting and deciding where things should go.  Often projects get abandoned too soon, when if given just a little further effort, could be completed with just a bit more time.  Don’t give up. See the process through.

7. Stop bringing “stuff” into your home.  Make sure that before it comes in, it has a plan and a place.  Is it replacing something?  Where will it go?  What will it do or accomplish in my life?  It’s not that we can’t have stuff, the point is to become conscious of everything you are bringing in and making good decisions along the way.

The great news is that you don’t have to be a stuff manager any longer. You can quit today! Really you can.  Even if the whole family is not on board, you can start with your own things.  Your clothes closet, your personal care items, the kitchen or your workshop.  If you wait until everyone gets on board you might be waiting a really long time.

Remember: Owning lots of stuff is not success…It’s just a lot of stuff that has to be kept up with.


Helpful Reads:

Simplifying Life: When Your Spouse Is Not On Board

Teaching Kids To Simplify: 5 Tips To Get Them On Board



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About The Author

Victoria Mininger

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  1. Melinda | 2nd Jul 15

    Hi Victoria. My name is Melinda and I was a stuff manager. I managed to get off the treadmill several months ago. The reason was a move to 500 sq ft. from 1200!
    I purged a ton, (well, it seemed like a literally ton!) of stuff. The good stuff went to my Mom to consign, lots went to trash, and still more to Salvation Army. And I don’t even miss ANY of it! Except my fabric. I still have twinges of regret over that occasionally. But I get over it. Thanks for the call out! I hope many more people jump on the bandwagon.

    • Victoria Mininger | 13th Jul 15

      That is awesome Melinda! Way to go – those first steps away from being a stuff manager can be tough. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us – how encouraging! Way to go!

      • Melinda | 6th Aug 15

        Thanks! It really is a breath of fresh air, to just relax, and not have to spend hours shifting stuff, so a visitor can sit down!

        • Victoria Mininger | 11th Aug 15

          You are so right Melinda. I don’t mind have a “lived in” house look sometimes, but your right about being more welcoming to our visitors when there is less stuff to contend with.

  2. Rachel | 9th Jul 15

    Working here on the clutter, and getting rid of stuff I’ve held on to for too long. Finding so much freedom in throwing things away or giving things away. Your post reminded me of the book I’m reading: “The Magic Art of Tidying”. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on it.

  3. Andi | 9th Jul 15

    working on NOT being a “stuff manager”… 😀

  4. Sarah Philpott | 10th Jul 15

    Love this! Sharing it with my mother-in-law via facebook!

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