I have stuff. I have a lot of stuff. More stuff than a girl and her dog need. Stuff I use, stuff I don't use- trinkets and knick knacks I've picked up over the years and miles.
A drawer full of thoughts on paper. Pictures from beach bonfires. Craft supplies galore. Old ceiling fans and headboards. Studs from 15 years ago. Clothes with tags still on them (that was hard to admit!). Clothes I haven't worn in years. Tie dye. Sparkle Mod Podge. Cast iron cookware still in the box. Things I kept because I put stickers I love on them- not because I use them. Camping gear and more camping gear. Paper- old address books, planners, bills, manuals, and instructions. You know- stuff.
I have now moved twice in the past four months. Yes, twice I have packed up my stuff -with LOTS of help from family and friends- and moved all that stuff. (If you ever need anything moved, call my brother-in-law at Armbruster Moving & Storage) Each time I moved, I quite openly, thought to myself- I have too much stuff. I ought to get rid of some of this stuff. So I did. I packed up bags full of clothes for Goodwill. I got rid of a decent amount of those 'papers' I mentioned. And I left some of the trinkets behind.
George Carlin does a great routine on said 'stuff' we've been chatting about. Check it out below (he does use some foul language- just to warn you!). Another online gem is the 20 minute film- The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard. This documentary breaks down the consumer cycle from resource to waste disposal and everything in between. It is full of hard hitting facts that make me squirm a little.
In the United States, we have 5% of the world's population. We use 30% of the world's, the ENTIRE world, resources. We also produce 30% of the world's waste. And where do you think that waste is going? 99% of the things we buy are trash in 6 months. 99%! That means that whatever you are spending money on today, your hard earned money, is in a landfill or collecting dust in six months.
I squirm a little because I realize that I haven't been as big a part of the solution as I am capable of. I can do more. Over the past few years, I've come to believe a few things about this life. Sharing really is caring. Toe socks have a purpose. Being alone and being lonely are two entirely different things. Life is a ride, not a destination. And along this ride, nowhere does it say I will be happier if I have more stuff. Nowhere!
So for this year, I will not buy a new article of clothing (except the essentials when necessary). This includes shoes. I will not bring a new trinket into my home unless I remove one first. Minus Glue Dots (and I'm open to suggestions there), I will not buy any new craft supplies. There is more I can do but in terms of my stuff- I think this is a good start!
I'll keep you posted and would love to hear what you are doing!