Philosophy of Stuff

Philosophy of Stuff – July 5, 2011.

We have more stuff than we need in our home.

Turns out I developed an entire philosophy of stuff back in 2011, soon after the realization we had too much stuff.

New stuff continued to pile up but we’re over that now. Culling has begun. I took a load of books to donate to the Friends of the Library book sale last week.

The impetus has been recent awareness of mortality, highlighted by the death of Mother. She did things right and disposed of much of her stuff during the years before she moved in with my sister. Many of us would emulate the best qualities of our parents. We can’t take stuff with us when we die, and what reasonable person wants to leave the trouble of sorting it to others?

We have a duty to reduce, reuse and recycle all the stuff our consumer society has wrought. These days I’m working more on the reduce part of that.

I’ve long felt an urge to go shopping when my calendar is blank. When I lived in Mainz, Germany, if I had a free weekend, I felt I should cross the Rhine River to Wiesbaden and visit one of the big box stores. Living in that large community provided different options for food and clothing from what I could find at the Kaserne’s Post Exchange. Last Saturday, after a political event, I drove straight home, resisting the impulse to head to the home, farm and auto supply store or the warehouse club without a specific shopping list. It felt pretty good.

It’s time to put my philosophy of stuff into action.

1. If I use it, or am very likely to use it, keep it where I can get at it.

2. If I can use it for grounding my writing, keep it in a filing system.

3. If it is a family keepsake, keep it in a special place.

4. If it does not fit into 1-3, pick a disposal method.

Now begins the hard work: carving out time to reduce the amount of stuff before late winter gardening prep begins. Maybe easier said than done, but this year there is hope.

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