Time to come clean

1 Sep

OK. Confession time.  I have a lot of stuff.  Not as much as I did, say a month ago, but still, more than the average airline seems to think is appropriate as a luggage allowance for trans-atlantic flights.  So, unless my daily attempts to see if I can upgrade to business class (they get more bags) prove successful, I clearly have to make some tough decisions about what stays in storage, what gets gifted and what makes the trip.

But first, a look back at what I used to own … all my furniture and plenty of household items were given away to friends and family, or donated to community groups! Yup, even the table I bought at a yard sale, the $5 lamp from a thrift store.  Now, considering that just about everything I owned was given to me or bought second-, third- or whatever-hand, I think I’ve done my bit to spread “stuff karma” out in the universe.  And it was uncanny – a friend needed some extra furniture to add to a spare room, another had students coming to stay for a year, and someone else knew of folks who were out of work, short on cash and expecting a new addition to the family.  People were generous to me, and so I got to pass that on, right when someone needed a hand.  Just as importantly, it all went on one day AND they did the lifting! Hard to argue with that kind of efficiency.

So what’s left? Clothes, bags, hats, scarves and shoes – I had about 30 pairs! Some framed prints, photos from when they used to print them out, and all the myriad things that you stick in the junk drawer, the back of the closet, or the handy Ikea storage container, just as long as they are out of sight … and of course, out of mind.  In short, all the stuff that is super-annoying to sort through, but seems to take up an alarming amount of space!

What’s interesting is that the less stuff I actually own, the more protective I think I feel about it all.  Things I haven’t thought about in years are all of a sudden my long-lost friends, things I can’t imagine living without.  That sheer purple blouse I’ve worn exactly twice since I bought it – love it! The dress that I wish I could find the receipt for, cuz the tags are still on – best friend!  Don’t get me started on all the things I’ve convinced myself I *might* need.  Weird how that works – there’s a metaphor here somewhere.

But I think I have a strategy, or at least the beginnings of one.  My very wise friend Sarah said to me today – what you need is a few things for each of the various niches; think shallow and wide, not narrow and deep.  She’s profound, that girl.

What I need to figure out next – how shallow is shallow? Hard to know when you’re drowning in stuff, and everything feels deep! Anyone need a tote bag?


One Response to “Time to come clean”


  1. Ready to change how we think « Saying It Out Loud - September 28, 2010

    […] use it and deal with it when we’re done.  I’ve written about stuff as a consumer and as an owner, and realised since moving into a small student bedroom that living with less stuff is not only […]

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