Douglas Sellers


Stuff It: How We Got Rid of All the Things We Didn't Need

One couple describes its years-long battle to purge their home of the stuff they don't need.

In the United States, there is a tremendous amount of focus on people who buy things they can’t afford, and why that’s bad. We’re an example of an overworked married couple who bought a lot of things we could afford but should never have purchased. This is the story of how we went from asking ourselves “can we afford to buy this?” to “should we buy this?” The shift was harder than we ever thought it could be.

Cara Kitagawa-Sellers: I’ve spent a lot of time attempting to pinpoint the moment when I started to buy stuff I could afford, but shouldn’t own. I’d always accumulated extra things, but it really got bad when Doug and I drove cross-country on our move from D.C. to San Francisco. We wanted something more than photos to commemorate each stop of the trip. We decided on coffee mugs. By the time we reached the West Coast, we had eight new coffee mugs we didn’t need. Doug already owned more than 30 mugs at the time.

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