Thank you for visiting The Stuff Stop. My name is Sue Anderson and I created this website as the result of my work as a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Simplified Living Solutions, Inc, coupled with a very painful personal experience. I am passionate about the need to connect people’s unwanted stuff with people who are in desperate need of that very stuff, and to keep usable things out of landfills. The Stuff Stop does just that.
I have been a single mom since my daughters were 3-years and 6-months-old. Sadly, my children’s father, his family and my extended family were not financially or actively involved in the kids’ lives after we divorced. Long story short, I was doing it all alone – physically, emotionally and financially.
Even though I had always worked full time and had a good job, most of my salary was eaten up by daycare costs. That sounds so cliché, but our reality was that daycare costs left very little money for anything else, including food. I ate popcorn for what seemed like every meal so that I could feed the kids. I juggled money to pay our utilities and rent.
At one point, my car engine blew up. It was going to cost $2000 to fix it. I did not have $2000 or anywhere to turn to for the money. So for 7 months, my daughters and I lived without a car and without any help. Every day for those 7 months I would walk my children to daycare, carrying the baby, the diaper bag and my purse, while holding my oldest daughter’s hand as she walked – that is, when she did not demand that I carry her, too. It did not matter if it was raining, snowing or sunny, we did this every day for 7 months. (Imagine trying to hold an umbrella on those rainy days!) From there, I would catch a bus and make the long one hour commute to work downtown. Every night I would catch the same bus back to daycare and then we would walk home.
While we had a place to call home, we had little else. All we had in the living room of our small apartment was a loveseat, nothing else, just a loveseat. Ironically during this same time period, I overheard a co-worker complaining that she was so stressed out by all of the stuff she had in her basement. It was driving her crazy! She complained that her 2 year old already had a TV and VCR in her room and she still had 2-3 more of them in the basement. I was shocked! How could that be possible when all we had in our living room was a loveseat?!
My heart sank as I listened. I would have been humiliated for her to know this, but all I could think of was how much I could have used her stuff. I was fascinated by the fact that although we were on two very different ends of the “stuff” spectrum – excess “stuff” or lack of “stuff” was causing both of us so much pain!
Little did I know that 15 years later I would launch Simplified Living Solutions, Inc., a professional organizing company that helps people through the agony of dealing with too much stuff. Most of the time when people finally work up the nerve to call my company for help, they are more than ready to let go of their stuff, which is a good thing. The bad thing is that they want their stuff gone NOW!
Early in my professional organizing career, so many of my clients would end up with half of their household belongings at the curb waiting to be picked up as trash. Many times items still had tags on them, were barely used and were still in great condition. My heart would ache for the people who could have used that stuff but could not afford it themselves. I was taunted by the fact that I was playing a part in filling our landfills with usable stuff that could have helped others.
Before Simplified Living Solutions was even a year old, I realized that my underlying desire was to help people rid themselves of their unwanted stuff that was causing them so much stress, and to keep it out of landfills by connecting it with people in the community who are in such need of the very same “stuff”.
The Stuff Stop stems from a passion to see the gap bridged between the two. Can you see how much power we have to make a positive impact in the lives of others simply by allowing the excess stuff we do not need to be used by someone who does need it? It feels so great to help others! I hope you will find The Stuff Stop to be a place where you can relieve some of your own stress through the power of giving or receiving.