I have way too much stuff. Way, way, way too much stuff. Recently I’ve been obsessively reading about minimalism and how to cut back on my consumption of stuff in general. I don’t know that I could ever fully embrace minimalism, but the idea of it sure is appealing. Imagine not being burdened by the need to stay “cool” or “trendy” with your outfits, but to be simply classic and elegant all the time with a handful of gorgeous pieces? Isn’t that how it used to be?
It’s pretty terrifying to think of how much waste we each produce each year. I mean, think about how much time it takes you to fill the kitchen garbage bag, or any garbage receptacle in the house. It’s even more terrifying to consider the fact that we also believe these things will bring us happiness and fulfilment, when they clearly won’t, in the long term.
We believe in the power of stuff, as opposed to the power of gratitude and contentedness, to bring us peace and happiness.
More stuff will never bring us happiness. Keeping up with trends will never offer daily fulfilment without the hidden cost of social pressure and insecurity. I love this post by The Minimalists about our consumption habits. The Minimalists have embraced minimalism to it’s extreme, but I just love the life lessons they post about.
Consumption is a continuum that covers an expansive range, with monk-like ascetics on one end and ready-for-reality-TV hoarders on the other. But consumption alone isn’t an inherently bad or evil thing. Actually, it isn’t a thing at all-it’s an action.
As I look around my house, what I see is clutter. Clutter and unnecessary stuff. A lot of the clutter is simply because we have no real shelves in our tiny apartment, but a lot of it is truly due to nothing other than excess. I know people who do a “1 item in, 1 item out” rule in their home. Maybe that would be a good thing for Luke and I to start doing?
What are your thoughts on minimalism and overconsumption? A co-worker pointed out the other day that consumers are not often creators. He was referring to online goods like music and art, but I think the same idea could be applied to physical items too. How much less would we waste if we had a stake in the creation of an item? If we had to knit our own hats and sew our own dresses, how much more care would we take for these items? How much more might we appreciate them?
So, those are my thoughts on this grey Wednesday.