31 Days :: Nobody’s Dream Job


Hello.  Nice to meet you!

What do I do?  Oh, I’m a Stuff Manager.

Gosh, no, I don’t really like it but, isn’t that what everyone does?

My daily routine involves looking through my stuff, putting stuff away, organizing stuff, feeling guilty because I haven’t organized other stuff, fussing at my kids because their stuff isn’t put away, wading through misplaced stuff in our garage, piling up stuff I’m tired of so we can sell it, packing away stuff I’m really tired of to give it away, asking my husband where he put his stuff, sorting, washing, and drying our stuff, and then dreaming about more stuff that I want and the bigger house I “need” because my precious stuff won’t fit in our current house–I guess it’s too small.

I never planned on being a stuff manager, it just kind of happened and now that’s my job.  Oh, gosh no, I don’t get paid for it.  I just do it because I think I have no other choice.  I have a whole other job that I get paid for and I use most of that money to buy more stuff.  I’m training my kids to be stuff managers too.

What? Why are you looking at me like that?

31 Days of Home. On Purpose Series. Find the other posts here.

And I’m not writing alone, there are over 1200 people joining in writing on their own unique series over the next 31 days.

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  1. This is so funny! You definitely got me thinking! :)

  2. I have never really wanted that title…my aim in life is to train everybody to look after their own stuff so we can all have other jobs!

  3. So true!!! And why is it hard to get rid of stuff we really don’t want?

  4. And then I feel guilty for inadvertently becoming a Stuff Manager.

  5. were you at my house last night? because i was totally having a little, teensy tiny (sarcasm!) over managing stuff.

    bleh. i hate feeling caught up in that cycle. but i want to balance serving my family and fostering responsibility. i have a feeling you’re going there. i’m ready.

  6. So true! And yet so funny. I have been loving this series. Awesome material for reflection and real heart change. Thank you for all the time and energy you pour into these words.

  7. This is good and so true.

  8. OMYWORD. YES. It feels like that. I was cleaning out the basement playroom a few weeks back and was truly feeling exactly that.

  9. Love this. Especially the photo.

  10. So true!!

  11. This totally makes me want to become more of a minimalist.

  12. Letting go of stuff is hard! I’ll be mulling this over today.

  13. mmm … when all is said and done, is this really what we want our legacy to be?

  14. Ah, yes. I can’t imagine why that title never shows up on a business card. ;)

    Good reminder of where our treasure should be. Thanks, Nester!

  15. Nicole W. says:

    Well said! When we can laugh at our character defects it sets us free from shame and guilt. THANK YOU!

  16. Hilarious. And chilling, in a squirmy sort of way. I kept thinking “me too” all the way through.

  17. Ha – Yes! I’m sick of feeling *overstuffed* in my home. Working on that.

  18. Ugh, so true! And why is it that the storage areas in my home are storing stuff I don’t EVER use, so that I have nowhere to put the stuff I do use? That’s been on my mind lately…

  19. I’ve given up fighting it. Stuff ROCKS! Embrace the stuff!!

  20. I totally understand…I sit at my job that pays and think about the “stuff” at home that I should be doing something with! (Don’t worry, I do get work done too!) Like others have said, I think about what I am teaching my kids and how I need to be careful about where my priorities lie. Thanks!

  21. Boo! I don’t wanna be the stuff manager! All that stuff sure creates a lot of stress, doesn’t it? I have been on the William Morris journey this year and it has changed my life for the better.

  22. With 3 kids under 4, I probably spend at least 4 days out of the week just reorganizing “stuff.” Most of it is baby stuff that they cycle in and out of due to age, so I don’t want to get rid of it. We use everything in our home, and yes, there are times that I need all 5 glass vases (like last week when my husband brought home an armful of wildflowers). Though, I would love to have a basement so I didn’t have to hide it all in their closets!

  23. There’s a wonderful book called “how to unstuff your life.” LOL In fact, I am moving soon and am getting RID of about 9/10ths my stuff! no exaggeration! Its amazing that even as an interior designer, there’s very little that I actually NEED, these days. No need for any of those huge, bulky catalogs and even fabrics are all online and if I need a sample, I can just call up the showroom and they’ll send it out pronto. I think what happens is this: We THINK that ONE DAY, we will have a USE for this STUFF and if we throw it out, we will regret it. I had some absolutely gorgeous VERY expensive fabric remnants. Some of them were sitting in my closet. About 3 or 4, I absolutely could not part with, but the rest will go to my cleaning lady who loves to sew and makes pillows out of them! In the process of my purge, however, I have found that if I just spend a few minutes every day putting everything in its place and going through and getting RID of what I don’t need, it won’t ever pile up and become a monstrous-I-don’t-want-to-go-there-project! best ~ Laurel

  24. Those are precisely my thoughts and why I’m getting rid of most of it! Start reading about minimalist living and I think you’ll be hooked! Imagine less stress, more time, a cleaner house, more living space, free weekends, and more money for trips!

  25. Amen!! Preach it sista! Can toddlers read blogs?

  26. So funny, and sadly, so true. Great food for thought! Loving this series. ~Kerri, A Pop of Pretty

  27. Haha Nester, I think I love you. This is exactly the realization that started our own journey to own less…I was so sick of sorting/tidying/cleaning/buying while my kids desperately wanted me to just sit on the floor and play with them!

    • This is SOOO true! My kids, 9 and almost 3, just love to play games and read and just be together as a family. Yes so often I feel we’re bogged down with the stuff of life (there is another word I’d love to say instead of stuff that starts with the same letter!). With the holiday season approaching, I think it’s a great time to reevaluate the “stuff”. Kids need to be kids and have their wish lists, etc, but it’s a great time to think about what to do with the rest of the unused stuff. I want to have time to play on the floor, wrestle, dance, chase, snuggle, and read. More stuff won’t let me do that.
      I’m reminded of a saying in my daughter’s third grade class – work smarter not harder. I think that same saying can be true for our homes. Our homes should work smarter for us, not harder. We should work smarter with our stuff. We should use our stuff in a smarter way so that we don’t work harder. Make sense??

  28. I couln’t have said this better! HAHa, I think we are all stuff managers. You described my life exactly!

  29. So SO true! Thank you for the change of perspective.

  30. ROBIN EKBLAD says:

    lol…so true! A great way to start my day and got me thinking…..

  31. Oh my gosh! This was hilarious (and sadly, so true!)

  32. How did I get this never-ending Stuff Manager job? I think I might have to at least go part-time or one day a week, for this Stuff Manager job to work.. Better yet, fire myself! I’m looking at you Goodwill! I’ve got a truckload coming your way…

  33. Amen! You just described my life perfectly! So how do I stop the madness without giving away my house and my kids and moving into a cardboard box?

  34. Wow, I am a stuff manager too! I would not consider myself to be a major stuff collector, but we sure do have a lot of it! I have been trying to dwindle down the stuff very hard to do when you blog and are always looking for stuff to make the next big blog post!

  35. Wow! I bet we’d all have a lot less stuff if we always thought about it like that! I need to post this up in my house. Great reminder!

  36. Hey Nester-

    Speaking of stuff…I remember watching this a few years back…the story of stuff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLBE5QAYXp8

    Be more. Consume less.

  37. Hilarious. And frighteningly true. Love this concept of intention, purpose. Not by default. Good choice of topic!

  38. What a great post. Stuff manager…guess we all do that to some degree.

  39. Wow, that’s hilarious and also a little scary. So so so true. I’ve been trying to reuse and cut back on stuff but somehow those best intentions always ends up with needing more stuff, even if it’s little stuff like tape and foil and staples. Thanks for the deep thoughts. :)

  40. Nominate this post for most CLEVER post EVER. I’m. not. kidding.

  41. Touché!!

    And ouch. That smarts.

    But WOW, Nester. Well said.

  42. So very true. In fact excuse me as I go throw away at least 5 items :o)

  43. Great post…Guilty!

  44. Funny and totally true. I just filled a box of “Stuff” to give away, and that feels good.

  45. You had me laughing as this really hit home with me.

  46. Nester, you out-did yourself with this one! You have the best ways of writing of the “trivial” things we all do that makes me smile or chuckle or ROFL. Thanks so much. Maybe some year I’ll get my act together enough to do 31 days: I enjoy reading. Yeah, I have to learn to join the linky parties so I won’t be a total stranger!

  47. Amen, you are spot on today. I’ve done every one of those things today except the last one. We left the 6000 square foot monster house behind in June and I’m still pitching stuff everyday, dreaming of the day when we can comfortably fit in some place about a fourth that size. I never want to have that much house again. But God is good. He didn’t overwhelm us with letting go of it all in one fell swoop, and He brought us to a beautiful, peaceful place where we can catch our breath everyday. Daily doses of Jen Hatmaker and theminimalists.com helps a lot too!

  48. I can relate. I can also recommend two books remarkably close in title. Unstuff by Hayley DiMarco and one called Unstuff Your Life by Andrew Mellen.

  49. oh so true…how very true!

  50. You must read these guys, speaking of eliminating the superfluous!


    I’m constantly telling myself “no” to impulsive ‘wants.’ NONE of them are NEEDS!

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