Friday, June 12, 2009

Too Much Stuff Syndrome

Today, over at Canada Moms Blog I am pondering a new philosophy. I am continuing (click here for CMB post) my thoughts about the consequences of the idea that more stuff equals happiness. I also talk about vodka (shocking, I know). Hmm, got you thinking didn't I?

Take a look at this picture and tell me, if this was in your house, how happy would you be?

This is the result of having too much stuff. Yes, I could purge it into the garbage but that's the easy way out. I think you know me too well by now to know that I don't take the easy way on things like this. Instead, this all needs to be reused where possible or given to someone/someplace to be reused or recyled. That takes work. I am human, I don't particulary jump up and down with excitement at the prospect.

And this is just the stuff that we are deeming no longer necessary (except my excercise ball, that is staying). In the storage space, closets and drawers is a whole lot of other stuff. It makes me dizzy just thinking about it.

The new philosophy, should be, buy LESS stuff. Because if I can avoid the need to sort, haul and disperse my crap for others to resuse, won't I be a little bit happier?

I would like to think so.

Don't get me wrong, I think giving to those less fortunate is essential however, does someone less fortunate than a cheap radio that lasted 1 year and no longer works. Probably not. Maybe it not just about not buying stuff but also if you do need to buy something, let it be something that isn't totally useless in 5.2 months. Have you driven by your local landfill lately? Personally, the mountain of trash I see when I do is morbidly depressing.

But then again I do hit the vodka every now and then (and by "hit" I mean I have one drink and I am dancing on the table with a lampshade). So tell me, what do you think? Not of me (that would be opening a whole can of worms - I don't have thick enough skin) but of this whole idea.

Let's get talking about this!



nicole said...

You are on the right track. For me, it is partly a matter of spirituality. I know that the longing in my heart, the emptiness that I sometimes feel, will not be satisfied by "stuff." St. Augustine (I think?) said "Our hearts are restless until they rest in you, O God." I'm working on getting to the point where my heart is resting in the right place. We are somewhat on top of the "stuff syndrome." Not having money to buy things helps. Not having room to keep stuff helps. We have half a garage full of stuff waiting to be distributed to various organizations. We just need to load it in the truck and get it there.

Anonymous said...

I know we have talked about this before, and I hole hartedly agree. However I am still trying to go the less is more route, a work in progress I guess. Except I think I still need allot more work because today at a garage sale I bought someones old junk.

The vodka, you wern't kidding all it takes is one drink ;-) I couldn't let that opprotunity pass me by lol


Elaine A. said...

Well of course we are purging like crazy around here right now since we are moving and it does feel good. But I did buy a bunch of stuff at IKEA the other day since I needed new bedding for the boys since they will be bunking together soon and I HAD to have a rug there for the baby's room. So I think to call it "stuff swapping!" But pretty much everything we have purged has gone to our favorite charity here. We'd rather do that and write it off of our taxes than take it to Goodwill or something like that. But yes, in general, we all have too much "stuff."

KATE said...

I am a total purge kind of girl! I hate the clutter crap and unfortunately I've ignored it for WAY too long. I'm in the middle of it myself. I just went through my little Sammys closet and just from his closet came out with 1 bag of trash and 1 bag to go to the thrift store! It's ridiculous!
I'm also in the middle of the "no more buying" mode. Really I am done purchasing crap that ends up useless, and my kids just do not need anything else! So I completely agree! :)

Hannah said...

I am extremely anal about having things put away. I wouldn't say my home is minimalistic, but everything absolutely has its place. HOWEVER, we have certainly acquired plenty of "stuff" that we probably don't really need since buying this house 10 years ago. It's good to have a purge every now and then. I do that with my own clothes and the boys' clothes and toys fairly regularly. But there are some things hidden in closets and drawers that really could do with sorting out ... and I don't have the energy (or desire) to tackle those projects right now!
My friend has a policy which works for her. When she buys something new, something old has to go. So if she buys a new book, she gives one away. If she buys a new article of clothing, something old gets chucked. I like that idea. Especially with kids in the house!

Alicia W. said...

Girl, If I took a picture of our two car garage (that we have NEVER used for our cars in FIVE years) - You wouldn't feel so bad! I promise you. :o)

Cheryl said...

We all have a room or two that is cluttered with stuff. Emotional or not, we hang onto stuff. Although not as bad as my parents generation. They say we are less attached to stuff. We like to purge every year, generally a move to a whole new house helps!! (hee hee!)
Buying less would solve alot of issues for me and my bank account!

jengacek said...

I think most of us have a room of "shame"! Right now it's the baby stuff that we need to get rid of. I keep hanging on to it in case one of my sister-in-law's ever decides to have kids! But who knows when that will happen so should I store it for another 3 - 5 years? I don't think I have the it will go to charity soon. Now if only I could define "soon"!!

Kristie said...

My Philly Moms Blog Clutter post just went up today. Yes, great minds think alike! Unfortunately- no Vodka for me right now....

BeachMama said...

I don't even want to talk about the stuff we need to purge. We were doing well up until we finished the basement, but now that it is done, I can see the stuff lingering behind closed doors. The time is coming near, I can feel it.

Angella said...

Matthew seems to be continually purging, but it's mostly stuff that the kids have grown out of. We've gotten better over the years at really assessing what we need, versus what we want.

Kami said...

I went down in our basement last Saturday with the intent of "organizing" and came away in tears, literally, I'm not kidding. John and I hashed it out (most of the junk is his) and we will be holding a yard sale in a few weeks so we can get rid of the junk rather than simply move it around. A much better option.

Anonymous said...

oh kami, you should see the inside of my house!! its a nightmare. why do we insist on holding on to stuff? tony and i have boxes of stuff from when we moved to yorkton back in 2001. will we ever use it? if we haven't used it in 8 years, i highly doubt we will. its so overwhelming to go in the basement. there is stuff everywhere.

but i agree, less stuff means less cleaning up, less stuff laying around waiting to be stepped on or broken, which in turn makes both mom and dad, happier :)


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