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Stuff, we need to talk…

I love stuff. I have been a collector of stuff for as long as I can remember.

windowsill stuff

This might come in handy someday, I’d better save it.

I could use this in an art project someday, I’d better save it.

Someone I know might need this someday, I’d better save it.

Reality – even if some of that stuff would come in handy or someone else might need it, I’m not sure where it is now – if I even remember that I have it. And I now have drawers full of things for art projects that never seem to manifest themselves.

In the last several years I’ve found myself saying, ‘We just don’t need any more stuff!’

Not only have I been trying to slow our intake of stuff, but I’ve been going through the stuff we have and trying to get rid of things.

Some stuff seemed really cool when I got it, like that fondue pot, but I NEVER used it.

Other stuff I imagine was sentimental at one point, but now I can’t remember where it came from or why it was so special that I saved it.

This all came to mind because I read this interesting article titled, the answer to consumerism isn’t minimalism; it’s art.

Megan writes about our relationship with stuff and that the issue isn’t that we value stuff too much, but instead we don’t value it enough.

She says, “Because the solution to our problem isn’t pretending that stuff doesn’t have value. It’s creating, seeking out, and embracing the stuff that matters most.”

I think this is a really interesting idea. I do think that because we have access to so many things at such a relatively low cost, much of what we consume is disposable and less valuable. We often go for quantity over quality.

That’s what I’d like to change. I’d like to decrease my quantity of stuff and increase the quality. I’d like to value and embrace the stuff that matters most.

a valued teddy bear

I’ll never be a minimalist. I think I’ll always be a collector of things in one way or another.

And honestly, I’ll probably just have to do an occasional purge of my stuff – separating out the that stuff that matters the most to me and letting the other things go, on to a new home where they can become someone else’s treasures.

What’s your relationship to stuff?

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4 responses

  1. Erin Slater

    I think that this is a learned behavior. I have the same issue…I think we got it from Mom and Dad. I get attached to my stuff at first and then don’t ever want to get rid of it. I’m sure I have offically pasted this on to Madelynn too. I am not able to get rid of things that she used to play with and completely forgot that she even had.

    May 1, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    • So, you’re saying I can blame this on our parents?
      Thanks Mom and Dad! : )

      May 2, 2012 at 2:40 am

  2. I really enjoyed your post and the article you shared. I’m in the process of moving and every item that I decide to keep has been such an exhausting thought process. I have this problem with collecting stuff – it all began when I was a kid. I loved collecting rocks from outside, fun stickers, and even buttons. As an adult my random fascinations have been with pens, reusable bags (I don’t discriminate against plastic bags mind you) and who knows what else. On the occasion, I’ll go on these random purging sprees and they usually feel pretty good…and make room for stuff. Haha

    May 1, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    • This made me laugh because I have 5 container/cups on my desk right now filled with pens. I also have an entire drawer filled with pens. This does not include all my art pens and markers…. I didn’t really think about how many pens I have collected until I read your comment. I also have a closet in my kitchen stuffed with bags – plastic, paper, canvas etc.

      I wish you lots of luck in your moving/purging process!

      May 2, 2012 at 2:39 am

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