Saturday, November 10, 2012

More about Stuff

A couple of days ago, I caught up with the blogs I missed while out of town and ran across this blog entry about storage. Her post tied in nicely with the way I’ve been thinking lately about things or stuff.

I’ll never be one of the minimalists who owns just 100 items or less. I’ll probably never participate in the 333 project (although I could pretty easily). But I do subscribe to the idea that whatever I have in my home should serve a useful purpose and be pleasing to the eye. What I don’t find pleasing is seeing stuff cluttering horizontal surfaces, or a house stuffed to the gills with things.

I’ve also always thought that paying for storage at one of those U-Store places is nothing but waste. Get Rich Slowly wrote an excellent article about paying monthly fees to store things you aren’t even using.

I feel the same way about buying home storage solutions only to accommodate more things. Let me be clear, I’m not talking about having some containers to put your lunch in. Or a case for a laptop or some other electronic device. I’m talking about boxes and bins to keep things you’re not using, almost certainly will never use again and yet those things have to stay in your house, weighing you down, taking up space in your home and your mind. That kind of stuff.

One of the most freeing experiences after we’d rebuilt our apartment and our clothing came back from the clothing restoration place was realizing a whole lot of them, in fact, were ruined. We tossed about 2/3 of our clothing, including shoes and coats. Kent says that he missed a couple of pairs of shoes and his winter boots because winter boots and good, comfortable shoes you can walk in are a necessity, and it's really hard to find shoes to fit his size 11 1/2 wide feet. I was luckier in the shoe department or I'd have felt that way too, but otherwise we didn't really miss anything else.

What I learned from the entire experience, not just losing the clothing but losing the furniture and being out of our home for five months, was that my things are not me. They aren't what makes my living space a home. Even more, though, I realized that my things own me as much as I own them, and they take up mental and emotional space I'd rather use elsewhere. 

1 comment:

Lesa said...

What a timely post! I so need to keep this in mind as I begin to switch out my warmer weather clothing for the cold weather clothing this weekend and as we continue to unpack from our move two YEARS ago. We probably don't most of it. Thanks for the inspiration!