Saturday, July 19, 2008

Awash in Stuff

I've thought for several years now that we have too much "stuff". Since my husband and I switched gears to a one-income family, we've drastically reduced any traces of recreational shopping we may have been accustom to in our earlier years as a couple.

After a few years of gradually cutting back on shopping, I still feel overwhelmed at times by the amount of "stuff" we have in our house. Example: a friend recently had a garage sale. I brought 4 carloads of "stuff" over to her house to sell. And I mean CARLOADS. Front, back, and trunk were packed with wares that we no longer use. And I felt like I didn't scratch the surface of "stuff" we don't use.

How can it be that our family has so many possessions, yet use so few of them on a regular basis? How could we have accumulated so many items that we truly don't value, yet they remain in our house?

While I'm not proposing we live like monks, I believe we (meaning my family, and our American society) should aim to live with items that we:
  • need (a real need! not perceived)
  • serve a purpose (see parentheses above)
  • truly value
I enjoy reading about techniques used to address these points. I'll post links that I run across. For example, the 30 day list is one technique I use on a regular basis.

Don't get me wrong. I like buying things - but not nearly as much as I used to. Part of the reduction in purchases is because of our one-income. But the other part is coming to a realization that I don't need all this "stuff".

The subject of "stuff" is one I am very interested in. I'll post about my efforts to enjoy and use the things I have, make smart purchases, and to thwart consumerism. I'm also interested on any thoughts you have on the subject as well.

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