I am writing to inform you that I am resigning from my position as Stuff Manager for the Townes Household, effective April 5, 2015. I hope you find that forty days is ample notice to find a replacement for the position, or to restructure as necessary.
When I began this position nearly fifteen years ago, I never dreamed that this organization would grow to its current size. What started as a meager position (and an even more meager salary) managing only 400 square feet of minimal stuff has more than tripled in fifteen years, and expanded in both scope and mission. I have tried my best to keep pace with this growth, implementing new systems of organization and streamlined processes. I have hired and trained assistant managers (who also complain about the meager pay) and have even implemented numerous systems of sticks and carrots to provide external motivation when the intrinsic fails. As one assistant manager aptly pointed out just this week, it seems that each time we try to eliminate the ever-growing quantity of stuff, we only manage to keep pace with the Acquisitions Department.
I know it is customary at this point in a resignation letter to thank you for the opportunities for professional and personal development, or to express the the enjoyment I’ve experienced in my position as Stuff Manager over the years. Forgive me if I fall short of this expectation, but know that I hold myself wholly responsible for the length of this completely mismatched employment. The fault is mine, and mine alone. There is nothing you, dear stuff, could have done to provide more meaning to this position. There are not enough beautiful baskets, built-in organization systems, or carefully curated pins on Pinterest to develop a love of stuff management in the heart of one who longs to manage a lighter load. Moreover, as I develop other professional interests, I find that my role as Stuff Manager is a time-consuming distraction from pursuing my actual passions. As Peace Pilgrim once said, “Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you, and in this materialistic age a great many of us are possessed by our possessions.”
If there is any way I can be of help during this transition, please let me know. I stand ready to assist in the search process for my replacement(s), and will do all that I can over the next forty days to find new managers for each and every object of stuff that needs to relocate due to my resignation. I will continue to train the assistant managers within the organization to manage the stuff that remains. I will not, however, continue to manage superfluous stuff at the end of this forty day notice, and at such time, all stuff that does support the values of this organization will be unscrupulously discarded.
Readers, if you too are considering resignation from your role as a Stuff Manager, I cannot recommend the following resources highly enough:
Becoming Minimalist – This blog is written by Joshua Becker, an ordinary guy who had an epiphany cleaning out his garage one weekend (or rather, his neighbor offered him an epiphany). Click on the link and read “Our Story” and if his story appeals to you, consider digging into his blog. There is great, great stuff here.
Art of Simple – The Art of Simple defines “simple living” as “living holistically with your life’s purpose” without any additional prescriptive commentary. This blog is a collaboration, and you may find some method or approach that speaks to you simply because it lines up with your values, but you will not find a one-size fits all approach to simple living. In fact, if you feel your life’s purpose is home organization, you might be aptly suited to be a Stuff Manager and you should probably give me a call because I have some stuff for you.
Apartment Therapy – Don’t be fooled by the title, this book can be applied to a tiny apartment or a very large home. This book approaches the organization and decorating of a home from a therapeutic perspective, asking the reader to identify his or her values and create a space that amplifies those values for its inhabitants. It is a unique approach that I’m still working through at the time of this writing.
Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess – Jason and I read this book a couple of years ago with some of our oldest friends, the kind of friends who knew us back when we were managing only a dorm room (or bedroom) of belongings. We met weekly to discuss each chapter, and to implement strategies to take on the excess in our own lives. We made a lot of strides in that time period, and some long-term changes took place. I keep coming back to this book when I find myself slipping into patterns of consumption, and I’ll probably review it again during the next forty days, which you may have noticed coincides with the observation of Lent.
3. But I’ll Need That in the Zombie Apocalypse (and Other Excuses) – On excuses for our clutter
4. Donating Outside the Box – On finding a great place for your donations
5. 7 Ideas for Managing Digital Clutter – On minimizing distractions and clutter on your devices
6. Is Organizing Just Well-Managed Hoarding? – On the difference between organizing and purging
7. Getting to Know Mr. Jones: An Antidote to Consumerism – On exploring where we got all of this stuff in the first place and a communal antidote to over-consumption
8. Taking Back Your Square Footage – On creating space in your home that reflects your intentions and values