your stuff vs. your goals

My trainer friend, Dee, always told my girls and me to think of the horses we ride as business partners. To the extent the horses we ride further our riding goals, they’re a good match. But if and when, a horse isn’t helping meet those goals ~ well, it’s time to find the horse a new job and a new business partner.

I never liked that analogy because I tend to fall in love with the animals I ride. But Dee was right in helping us understand how to be open-handed to better achieve our riding goals.

This 31 day series of enough (and you get free stuff) helped me see the same thing with my stuff. I fall in love with my stuff. But I need to be open-handed and keep my life goals in mind. To continually remember and work toward what ‘enough’ looks like so I can be free to do the things that are most valuable to God and my family.

If the stuff I own furthers my life goals, then it’s a good match. However, if my stuff isn’t furthering my life goals ~ then it’s time to find my stuff a new job and a new business partner.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day moving relentless through my house looking for ill-suited business partners. I found quite a few. And then I wondered what to do … because after packing up and mailing off things I love but no longer use to you during this series, I did discover something wildly amusing: Stuff is very expensive to mail.

So I’ve devised a little plan to help you and to help me with all that stuff. A little more involved than a Goodwill run but I’m hoping more rewarding. I’ll let you know about it tomorrow …

Meanwhile, here’s some of what I learned this month.

L i f e L e s s o n s from E n o u g h:

  • The things in my home should be excellent ‘business partners.’
  • The things in my home should enhance our family life.
  • My things should compliment, not complicate, my life goals.*
  • My things should compliment, not complicate, my home goals. **
  • If I gave something away every single day for the rest of my life, I’d still have more than enough.
  • It blesses and pleases people when you give them things.
  • Rich is a relative term. I am very rich. (Read 7 quick ways to know if you’re rich …)
  • Having more than enough means I have a responsibility to those with less than enough.


And on reading this post, I would love your input:

Have you ever thought about your stuff as a business partner? How is the stuff in your home helping or hindering your life goals or your home goals?


* Working on writing this one …

** Wrote these home goals almost a year ago, time to rewrite and get specific. I do know one is to not have a house stuffed to the brim for my children to sort through when I am gone.


  1. says

    I just discovered your blog, and I’m loving it! I’m obviously late to this conversation, but I just wanted to say that I couldn’t agree more! I actually just wrote on a similar theme regarding Easter baskets ( I’m tired of managing stuff, stuff that gets played with by my kiddos for a few weeks, maybe a month and then makes it into the garage sale pile. And I’m tired of all that stuff detracting from the important things: those relationships that have eternal significance.

  2. Sharon O says

    We are on a journey of moving into retirement in 3-5 years and YES we have stuff to get rid of and remove from this home. Our spare room is a ‘collection’ of this and that and one cannot even begin to find the bed or the closet. NOT a useful room. I am selling all antique dolls on ebay and in my etsy store, there are enough antiques in here I could rent a booth. It begins within. Setting new goals and realizing one can only wear one sweater at a time. One pair of jeans and shoes. I gave a large box of shoes away to three grand daughters fortunately I have a size 6 foot and girls size 4 or 5 are not that far from six. SO instead of giving extras to charity… Charity came to me. :o)
    The girls were blessed and I was free from one more box, it is empowering to say ‘LEAVE’. The biggest hurdle is living with a ‘thrower’ when I am a keeper. (the rule is nothing goes away without consulting me) It is freedom from clutter and stuff that we move towards and empowerment comes to me when I can say, ‘I don’t need it anymore’. (not too different than a recovery process I am not a hoarder but we do have ‘things’)

  3. says

    This is exactly what I needed to read today. We are putting our house in order after a wedding (new stuff! still perfectly-decent old stuff!) and it’s a journey.

  4. says

    I’ve really enjoyed the series. I haven’t thought about my stuff as a business partner, but I do think of t as an anchor. I want to have the just right-no need to worry about it-amount. Enough, but not too much.

  5. says

    i’m a bystander as i watch my in-laws’ “stuff” hamper their dreams. they want to move down here to live near their only son (my husband) but their stuff holds them back. too much stuff in the house to put down the hardwood floors (materials stored in the 3 car garage)…so their cars are parked in the driveway, affording them no opportunity to resurface their driveway. these are things they must do to sell their house, to get a good price, to allow them to retire. but they don’t see it. they still collect free or cheap stuff, storing up for…what?

  6. Tami says

    Just spent the majority of a vacation day going through my “stuff” and sorting it into donate bags and a box for my girls to go through. What they don’t want will join the rest of the items to donate. Trying to be ruthless, but it’s not easy, but It is freeing to look at my rooms and not see the clutter of “stuff.” “Enough” helped me to quit buying; your 31 Days has helped me to get rid of the “more than enough” I already have. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. says

    “My things should compliment, not complicate, my life goals.*
    My things should compliment, not complicate, my home goals.” — great life lessons! Need this reminder from time to time…

  8. says

    Have you read Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider? So, so, so good! She encourages writing a Family Purpose Statement and then evaluating your stuff through that filter. If it doesn’t contribute to your family’s purpose, why do you have it??

  9. says

    I have really enjoyed this series and how its made me start looking at my stuff with new eyes… I cant wait to see what you come up with next… :)

  10. Lori H says

    I meant to add that if you are considering stuff as a business partner, that takes the sentimental gulit out of it! Business-like is good.

    • SDavis says

      True. And I think that’s what Dee was getting at with horses.
      She loves those animals just as much as we do but realizes you have to think beyond that to stick with the goals.

  11. Lori H says

    I love the idea that my stuff is a business partner! I had not thought of it that way. Looking around, there seems to be a lot of bad partners who aren’t pulling their weight, but require that I spend my time maintaining them. Thanks for this insight. Will be putting it to use :)