Labor Day: Deal With Your Stuff


Labor Day Weekend gives Americans across the country a three-day weekend to rest, travel and celebrate our freedom to labor. The number of jobs increased by two million people in 2017 and has continued to climb in 2018. Hourly wages have seen gains and the stock market has seen twenty months of phenomenal growth. Employers across the country need workers and job seekers have options.

Not everyone will be travelling over Labor Day and I would like to suggest an activity of labor that will be mentally good for you and your entire family.

Clean out your closets, basement, attic and garage. For years Americans have been cramming “stuff” into closets, basements, attics and garages. When all of these are filled to capacity, we build storage barns in our yards. Next, we rent storage units to store more stuff.

Have you noticed how many storage units are being built everywhere? They are a big business. People who own storage units make big money because there is such a demand for them. The richest man in Kentucky is in the storage space business. We are talking about a state that has been rich in coal, natural gas and bourbon whiskey. So, this gives you an idea how many people are storing stuff.

I inherited my parents’ old house. After 11 years, I’m still throwing away stuff.

My family took what they wanted years ago, clothes and things were given away or divided up but still there was lots of things that my dad in particular had stored up over the years. Just two weekends ago, I cleaned out another old building of old tools to give and throw away.

My wife’s parents recently passed and left a house with four bedrooms, a basement and garage filled with 76 years of “stuff.” We have given away, held yard sales,

divided among family, given away more and literally still had to throw a lot in the trash. The family sold the house so it had to be emptied.

Emptying a house of an entire life of collected items is not only hard work but emotionally draining. Every item, picture, garment, old gun or piece of china has memories, and it’s tough to just throw it in the dumpster.

Why do we collect and store so much “stuff?” Most of it is socked away in a closet or attic and hardly ever used. Why do we do this? Is it because we think we might want it or need it someday or perhaps our children or grandchildren will want it?

It’s amazing how very little of our things our children want. Most of them want their own stuff. Some people do but by and large more stuff is thrown away and given away than handed down. Often, so much of the stuff we save is junk and no one wants our junk.

Do yourself and your family a favor, start cleaning out your storage spaces now and give it away yourself. Do your giving while you are living and that way you will know exactly where it’s going.

Haul the junk to the dump. Have a yard sale and if you have anything left you will know what to do with it and where to find it. Plus, when you are dead and gone your children will not have to spend their weekends cleaning out all your old stuff that you didn’t take care of yourself.

There is something really nice about having a closet that you can actually see everything that is in it. It’s also nice having a garage or an attic that is cleaned out and organized, and only contains what you really need.

After you have it all done, sit back, drink a cold glass of lemonade and give thanks for the things you have and the “stuff” you really need.

Dr. Glenn Mollette is the author of 12 books. His syndicated column appears in all 50 states. Contact him at: or visit: