I confess that I have a lot of STUFF. Some of it is pure clutter (hello, paperwork!) and some of it is tied up with memories. I have 4 kids and they all present me with STUFF that at least one of us finds important (okay, I am usually the only one who thinks it’s important) and that means space for storage. Like a typical American, I then trot off to purchase storage bins… or maybe I just use the packing boxes leftover from our last move.
What if there was another way?
Enter a new concept, which is actually more of a throwback to how people used to live: Tiny houses. Less space.
Here’s a picture of one (click on the picture for the link).
And yet I cry out, “But–what about my STUFF?!”
For example, I have a couple of hobbies which I enjoy, including traditional scrapbooking. I enjoy the creativity involved in putting together our family albums. Some people would call that clutter. Someday I might switch over to digital scrapbooking, but I have “invested” money in all these supplies on my shelves that need to be used first. Apparently I accumulate supplies exponentially faster than I actually use them, which may or may not be an illusion. Perhaps they simply multiply like mice when left alone together? Whatever the case, I’ve been noticing that my beading and card-making supplies are paying attention…
I was intrigued by this article about wants, needs, down-sizing and happiness. That quickly led to reading up on The Joy of Less. I am not a minimalist, but I admit there are many advantages to the lifestyle discussed in these articles. Conspicuous consumption may have a glossy exterior, but there is ugliness at its core. If you have never seen it, or if it has been a long time, please also click here to watch The Story of STUFF.
What makes you happy?
(Besides family and friends, of course. )
Your home? Your belongings? Your job? Your activities?
Do any of those things tie you down or hold you back from what you want to be? What if you had to give some of it up?
I don’t have much stuff. But, having moved 17 times in a 20 year period, it gave me plenty of chances to get rid of unnecessary stuff.
I feel ya as I am in the midst of decluttering garage, closets, cabinets, shelves, and drawers.
ACK! So much STUFF.
Oh, and, I am clearly procrastinating rather than decluttering right now. 😀
Ah, how appropriate for my Thursday and Friday plans. My husband took the two days off of work and brought home a large, enclosed trailer. My goal is to fill that thing with purged items from the house and garage.
Less stuff, indeed!
Sounds like being a pack rat to me. LOL But we all do it. I could give up my job in a minute flat. And not look back.
I know my pack rat tendencies come from parents that were raised in the “dirty thirties” – “if something still has life in it you don’t throw if away, you never know when you will need it”. Having said that, I did go through a major purge when moving from a house to an apartment. Just not a big enough one… I am still working on getting rid of “stuff” – why do I have 8 champagne flutes? They are lovely, but I don’t entertain. I did get rid of the two sets of china and the silverware though. I am trying to reuse or re-purpose as much as I can before selling or donating, but that takes time.
Very good articles, thanks for the links.
I am not much of a pack rat, but I do still have “stuff.” I don’t feel like any of my stuff is overwhelming me, so I’m pretty happy with the way things are.
I’m trying to de-clutter as much as possible… except for my studio, which is full of material for weaving. Other than that I can do without a lot of my accumulated belongings.
As to what makes me happy – photographing, experiencing nature, a student who suddenly catches on to something they didn’t understand 5 minutes ago…
When I started tossing things out to move to Hawaii, I learned the glory of freedom. My house is very minimally stocked and I am more than happy to toss things out or give them away if they don’t suit my immediate needs.
I just went through my closet and donated everything I had not worn in a year (you know all that stuff I would eventually fit in again or might come back in style). My closet is now filled with the stuff I tend to wear every day…jeans and shirts and one dress for weddings or funerals.
Bathrooms and linen closets are next. No more than two sets of sheets per bed and two towels for family member. I’m looking toward the very small house or condo in our future…if we are ever able to retire!
I come from a long line of pack rats and think I have more than my fair share of “stuff.” My house is fairly small (2 BR, about 950 sqft), but I have a cellar and huge garage. I curse the day my brother finished the attic, making it another place to stash things. Now that Critter has gone off to college I have a strong desire to un-clutter. So far I’ve taken a carload of items to Goodwill and completely cleared out the space at the bottom of my cellar stairs. Baby steps…
My stuff is all very important and meaningful, my husband’s stuff, on the other hand is junk that needs to be done away with! Love those teeny houses, might serve well as a dog house, office or garden shed.