Sunday, January 12, 2014

Freedom from Stuff

I'm watching "You Live in What?" on HGTV. One of the featured properties is a guy who renovated a 1973 Airstream and is living in it in a trailer park in Santa Barbara. One part caught my attention, when he talks about not questioning whether he can afford something, but where he would be able to put it. He then said it was the freedom from stuff.

This phrase, "freedom from stuff," is sticking in my head. I did an online search with the phrase in quotes and without quotes and the number of people writing about this topic, and helping people or encouraging people to at least work toward freedom from stuff, is incredible.

On the one hand, this is very appealing. Less stuff means less clutter, less to clean, less to clean up and organize. But less stuff also means less "doing" sometimes. What do I mean by that? Well, I have a whole bunch of Stampin' Up supplies. Without those things, I can't sit down and enjoy making cards. I love to read and have many books, many of which I do reread or are mine from my childhood and I hope to pass on to grandchildren. We are a homeschooling family and so there is a lot of "stuff" to cover the different subjects in ways we find enjoyable. Etc.

At the same time, I must admit that I do feel there is too much stuff in our hosue. My husband says it often, although he's not much of a "doer" when it comes to things in the house. I can see from where I'm sitting school shelves with some materials on them that haven't been used in ages and likely won't get used again. But I find myself attached to them, unwilling to pass them along. There are "what ifs" in my head: What if my nieces (who come to my place after school) would use them if I just showed them more often? What if I just kept them and passed them along to my kids when they have kids? Some of the materials are things I made or modified. And then there's the sense of waste by getting rid of all kinds of half-used colouring books and anything that has been barely used, to be honest.

I don't know where this "freedom from stuff" motto will lead me, but it certainly has inspired me to tackle what I perceive as clutter. The clutter is definitely stuff that is no longer useful nor desired. And I realize, too, there is such thing as too much stuff in my mind, too much stuff for food... One particular corner with unused school items may just find itself somewhat emptied out today!

How about you? Do you feel you have too much stuff? Does the idea of "freedom from stuff" appeal to you?

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