By Dawn Onley
When did we accrue so much stuff? An even better question is why?
We have become a nation who overindulges in just about everything – from food and clothes to gadgets and dishes. As Anna Quindlen marvels in her memoir “Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake,” we have become a nation that builds storage garages because we’ve run out of space for all of our stuff. Rather than donate our stuff to people who could use it, we allow storage units to hold our excesses while our homes burst from the seams with more stuff, Quindlen writes.
I accumulate stuff like the best of them. I have three full sets of dishes, including a set of china. While I love opening up my cabinets and choosing which plate to use, it also baffles me as to why I need three sets of dishes.
Imagine this magnified with clothes, pictures, shoes, art, toys, accessories, hair care products, bedding, etc. So many items. Too. Much. Stuff. And yet somehow, it’s never enough.
“You can never get enough of what you don’t need, because what you don’t need won’t satisfy you,” says Dallin H. Oaks.
As I’m considering ways to downsize and purge, I look at my daily surroundings and know that there are items I can eliminate to become lighter and less cluttered.
This thought is drummed home as I watch the shows on tiny houses on HGTV. While my family won’t be going to that extreme, I must admit I admire the simplicity. I applaud the decision to get back to the things that matter the most in life. Family. Friends. Fun. Experiences.
As holiday circulars flood my mailbox and inbox with “Black Friday,” “Cyber Monday” and other “steals and deals” that I’m advised won’t last long (e.g. “Hurry, You Can’t Miss This Sale!!!”), I want out. I generally love Christmas, but what I don’t love is the messaging that screams out to us every time we turn on the TV or go to the mailbox: BUY MORE STUFF!
Maybe I’m just becoming crotchety in middle age. Or maybe I’m becoming crystal clear about the things that matter, and the things that don’t.