We’re working on simplifying our lives. To outsiders, our lives are already pretty simple. We don’t own much of the big ticket stuff many people have. We don’t have a big TV or sound system. We don’t have a big suburban home. Heck, we don’t even have a dishwasher.
And we’re pretty happy with that. I find the more stuff we have, the more stressed we become. We are happiest on the road, stopping for picnics in conservation areas. Green grass, blue skies. Not indoors. And not with too much stuff.
Literally drowning in the clutter of consumerism, stuff starts to take over our lives. We can’t find anything in clutter. Hubby owns three or four baseball caps and can’t find any of them at any given time. What’s wrong with having just one and hanging it up? And if I have to hear “Honey, where’s my …” one more time –
There’s a cost to stuff. You are literally paying (rent or mortgage) for an object to occupy your home. Is box of junk sitting on your closet floor, maybe about 2’ x 2’? What are your housing costs? Per square foot? What’s it costing you each month for that box to sit there? Does it outstrip the value of the objects inside?
We have all kinds of stuff like this sucking the value and enjoyment of our home. And we’re getting rid of most of it.
Why do we have six lunch bags? There’s only five of us, and the baby doesn’t even take a packed lunch. Having extra stuff (in case of lost lunch bags) means we have to store it and move it around. Every time I open my cupboards I’m bombarded by an avalanche of lunch bags. I just quickly grab what I need and shove ‘em back. Shut the door quick.
Too much stuff breeds procrastination. We own four vacuum cleaners. And trust me, we’d be lucky to use one of them regularly. Right now I’m sitting at the kitchen table, writing on my laptop with a computer from 1996 beneath the table, waiting for me to transfer the few files I want and wipe the hard drive clean. It’s been sitting there for a few weeks now, ever since I pulled it out of storage.
And don’t get me started on children’s toys. I think there should be a law that any toy manufacturer that insists on making multiple parts should send a staff member to your home to help keep track of those parts. I’d have Lego reps here 24-7. And Candy Land, c’mon, those cute little cards will be the death of me. I reached into my wallet the other day and pulled out a picture of a cupcake.
So my goal for this summer will be to get rid of the stuff that is taking over our lives. Does anyone want a baseball cap? Lunch bag? How about a vacuum cleaner? I have a few extra…
How does your family deal with the stuff of life?