Miles Nadal is winding down his big collection of sneakers and autos. Jacob Gallagher in the Wall Street Journal writes:

“As Nadal has gotten older, maintaining his colossal car collection has become a burden. “There’s never a week that goes by that I don’t have one to five things that need to be repaired—parts replaced, et cetera. And that’s not as much fun as it used to be,” Nadal said. Most of the time, he said, he’s being driven in a Chevrolet Suburban. He started to consider that it was time to let the sneakers go, too.

Around his 65th birthday, Nadal woke up and thought, “that’s enough.” He remembered thinking, “Why am I waiting to die” to sell the sneakers off? He said that his plan all along had been to sell his hundreds of sneakers and donate the proceeds to charity.”

Stuff, broadly defined, comes with all sorts of baggage. As Nadal notes in the article that a collection can require ongoing maintenance, storage, insurance, etc. Then there is the psychological burden as well.

Admittedly most of don’t have (estimated) $62 million collections to sell, but the principle remains the same. Stuff can go from sparking joy to becoming a burden. At the very least you need to lessen that burden that your stuff may have on future generations.

In the end, we all want to lead meaningful lives. Possessions can either enhance that or detract from it. Jacob Schroeder writing at The Root of All has a good take:

The lesson here is not that happiness lies in the mere act of decluttering, but in understanding what truly gives our lives deep, meaningful purpose. Material possessions may either complement this purpose or detract from it. The issue arises when possessions become our primary source of meaning.

As with most things in life it’s about balance. And that balance changes for us over time. Just ask Miles Nadal.

*PS, I’ve written a lot about stuff.

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