I often share the story of why I’m so passionate about people getting rid of the things they don’t need or want so that they can help someone else. I tell this story in the hopes that people will understand how much their unwanted stuff can help others. Normally after sharing this story, people feel motivated to purge their unwanted stuff so it seemed like a fitting story to share here.
I have been a single mother since my daughters were 3 years old and 6 months old. Their father didn’t pay child support like he was supposed to and neither his family or my family was there to help me out. So it was just me and my girls fending for ourselves. I have always worked full time and have always had what I felt was a very good job for someone without any college. But the high costs of daycare ate up the majority of my paycheck every week. I remember eating popcorn for many, many meals in order to feed my children. All we had in our livingroom was a loveseat. We didn’t have a loveseat and a chair, or a loveseat and a couch, we just had a loveseat.
At one point my car engine blew and it was going to cost a couple of thousand dollars to get it fixed. Clearly I didn’t have the money to have it fixed and so we just had to wait until I could save up the money to have it repaired. Since I am not a quitter, we just continued trudging forward. Every day I would walk my children to daycare with diaper bags hanging off my shoulder, carrying one of them and holding the hand of the other. Then I would catch a bus and ride it for an hour to my job downtown. Only to spend an hour riding the bus home to pick up my kids and walk them back home. We did this for 7 months – during the rain, snow, sleet and heat. Can you picture that? Imagine trying to grocery shop under these conditions. It wasn’t easy – but we did it.
One day at work, I overheard a co-worker complaining to another co-worker about how much stuff she had in her basement. She was complaining that her 2 year old already had a TV and VCR in their room and she was sure she had 2 or 3 more of each in her basement. I could hear the pain and frustration in this persons voice as she spoke of the mental pain her excess stuff was causing her and all I could think about was how odd it was that her 2 year old had a TV and VCR in their room and how much I wished I had her stuff. I am confident this experience played a part in my decision to become a professional organizer. It also plays a role in my desire to match up my clients unwanted stuff with people that need it.
In January 2012, I launched The Stuff Stop to help people connected their unwanted stuff with people in need. If this story has touched you in any way, I’d love to hear from you!