Paring Down

by design on December 7, 2010 · 6 comments

Today Brian complimented me on my scarf and I said, thanks, but I need a new one, it’s the only one I have and I’m so sick of it


Although I consider myself pretty conscious of the negative impacts of over-consumption and, in addition to that, am just damn cheap, the concept of MORE!, MORE!, MORE! is so ingrained in me.

We live in a small house and I hate clutter.  As a result, we probably have less stuff than most United Statesians (I’m making up that word, since I hate how “American” implies that the U.S. is the only “American” country, which clearly isn’t the case).  And yet, I still have a whole drawer full of cotton t-shirts, we’ve got 25 spoons in our utensil organizer, on that note, we have a utensil organizer, and I’ve got at least 10 pairs of shoes.  We own eight throw rugs, four of which stay folded up, eagerly awaiting their turn at collecting our shoe-dirt.  I’ve got three winter hats, three pie dishes, six decks of playing cards and at least a dozen picture frames.  I’ve got a broom to sweep the kitchen, a broom to sweep the garage, and a broom to sweep the back porch.  I’ve got so much stuff that I could get rid of half of it, right now, and still have so much stuff. 

An unexpected benefit of the planning process is a daily realization of how much I don’t need.  As we make preparations to sell, loan out or give away almost everything we own, I’m doubly conscious of any new item we take on.  I’ve taken to looking at things in a new light.  Instead of buying things, we make do with what we have.  We’ve stopped buying new things and yet, like magic, we still have everything we need. 

And on the subject of stuff, check out Annie Leonard’s video if you haven’t already seen it.  It’s a good enough reason to simplify, even if you aren’t planning on traveling the world. 

Click to view The Story of Stuff.