Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Moving is such a sobering experience...AKA Song of STUFF

...because it forces you to realize just how much STUFF has to be packed up and taken to the next place. No duh, right?

Last week DollinkDaughterLLS packed up her and DollinkSonInLawDRF's apartment to make such a move.

DDLLS is not a packrat.
She's not one to keep things beyond their 'use by' dates (dates which are sometimes based on practicality, other times, sentimentality).
DDLLS is constantly purging belongings, and her ability to do so has always been an inspiration to someone like myself, who tends to keep far too many things for far too long and for all the wrong reasons.

Save for a vast library of wonderful art/design books and quite a fashionable array of beautiful/cute shoes, DDLLS' lifestyle keeps to a minimalist approach.

Yet there was still quite a bit of STUFF to pack before the movers arrived. This, the STUFF of every aspect of daily living.
Here, there and every which where that things could be stored - there they were. Useful stuff. Aesthetically pleasing stuff. Valuable stuff. Sentimental keepsake stuff.
Under, over and in each available nook and cranny of their apartment was - more STUFF.
As her packing assistant, I bear witness.

What of STUFF, then?
I've been doing a fair amount of purging STUFF this year, so for me, expounding on HAVING TOO MUCH STUFF is always a front-burner topic.

As a consumer culture, most of us have no problem seeking out and then acquiring more NEW STUFF every day, week, month. We're in the same proverbial sinking boat, weighed down with our individual/combined abundance. Acquiring is in our hunter-gatherer blood. Instinctual behaviours aside, acquisition of things to improve or facilitate our everyday living has surely gone beyond survival, and gotten the best of us, has it not?
We end up with so much that it soon feels like our STUFF possesses us.

We NEED most of it, don't we? Is it simply a matter of STUFF Management, then?

I did a major purge of my household belongings a few months ago.
Actually, the task is an ongoing one, and yes, it's a constant battle.
(How very telling that a military term is apropos...)

Today I was in the master bedroom closet again - going through wardrobe/accessories once more. I got rid of 2 more handbags. Hallelujah. Still have 13. Why can't I get by with just 2 or 3?!? Sifted through my shoes again - chose 2 pair for the 'to go' pile. Those shoes hurt my feet after less than an hour walking in them. Move 'em on.
(I won't confess to how many shoes remain...)

Going through the purses, I happened to glance over at my remaining stackS of tee shirts. Even after the last purge = still waaaaay too many. Why DO I feel the need to own 8 black tee shirts that look almost identical?!? I finally pulled out the stained one with the little pin holes from getting snagged on LordKnowsWhat and trashed it. A tough decision (why?!?), but I did it.
Less one black tee.

What an endless vicious crazy cycle/ lifestyle.

Dig this article on SDA (Senseless Desire to Acquire).
Here's another good one.

STUFF is good.
TMS (Too Much Stuff) is not so good.

Definitely FFT (Food For Thought).


Lauren said...

Even after all that purging, I STILL feel like we have too much stuff! Or is it that we don't have enough storage space in our new apartment? I stopped by Ikea earlier today and made it out of there with a pack of S-hooks and 2 picture frames, but boy oh boy was I tempted to get more STUFF! (or at least some stuff to store our stuff in...)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

This is a constant and ongoing struggle for me, too.

I feel like such a hypocrite, amassing stuff as if it can fill some undefined need even as I know it can't.

There is nothing like moving to bring home how much excess baggage we carry through life.