Saturday, December 11, 2010
Are We All Over-Stuffed?
A friend recently accomplished the 100 Things Challenge. The idea: to only possess that which is completely necessary for living. 100 Things (or less). Everything else must go.
A part of me is really intrigued by this minimalist approach, as it says in Fight Club, "the things you own end up owning you."
But my friend also doesn't have a bed.
And this is where we part ways.
Obviously his 100 things would be completely different from mine (if I actually took it up); a bed would be my #1 priority—as I enjoy sleeping—perhaps a bit too much.
It's an interesting choice; I entirely support anyone who can do it. In fact, it may be the closest thing to anti-capitialism that I can think of. And I love anything anti-capitalism.
But I also love dumpster diving.
Thrift Store shopping.
There are very few things in my apartment that have been bought "new." And they are almost entirely electronics--do I need my t.v., I probably don't need it, but I really don't mind having it.
Could I walk away from my apartment full of stuff with no regrets?
When the four-mile fire was creeping nearer I truly evaluated what I would take with me if I could only fill my car.
1) My computer
2) my journals
3) photo albums
4) certain clothing items
But that's stuff that can't be replaced. Not stuff one needs to live.
I guess my greatest fear is getting rid of my stuff and it just piling up in a landfill somewhere. Is that any better really? I mean it may de-clutter my life, but it doesn't create any less clutter in the world. And if I give it to someone else, aren't I just allowing them to become more cluttered as well?
A better goal for me may be to donate useful items that aren't useful to me to people I know need them, and to just not buy any more shit. It may be a good goal for most people to start with...perhaps ease into 100 things.
Overall, I think this is the perfect time to evaluate what one has, what one needs and what one should let go of.
The holidays in the United States are sadly a time for celebrating over-consumption, from stuff to food, but it doesn't have to be.
We can jointly make it more about connection and community, which, in my opinion, should be what it's all about anyway.