How Much Stuff Do We Need?

Once again, there seems to be a theme to stuff I’ve been finding myself reading. The Universe always seems to be telling me something these days!

Lorna was sharing yesterday about Loretta Laroche’s view of “stuff” – how it clutters our life and adds to the stress.

The FlyLady is always talking about the freedom we would have if we just decluttered – got rid of “stuff”! It’s way easier to clean without all the stuff getting in the way.

I read Leo’s blog http://mnmlist.com/the-true-cost-of-stuff/ that speaks about the true cost of stuff. It is quite enlightening as well. It goes way beyond the price tag on the stuff that we buy.

Our society has become so engrossed in having more stuff than the next guy. We constantly compare ourselves to the neighbor that just bought a new SUV or the next cool gadget.

I’m just as bad as the next guy – always worrying about money so that we can pay for our stuff, worrying about keeping the stuff nice, worrying about getting rid of stuff that we’ve collected over the years and on and on.

How much of this stuff do we really need? How much of the current economic situation is due to the fact that we all buy too much stuff? How much debt do each of us have just because of stuff.

We can’t take this stuff with us when we go. We just leave it behind for our children to deal with! Like they want the stuff! Why do we do this?

I think it’s because we’ve always been hunters and gathers – that is what makes us human. Generations upon generations have worried about having stuff. More than just the basic needs. We want to “improve” our lives. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. We should be trying to improve ourselves.

But, what I think we should do, is try not to let this “improvement” take over our lives. I think we need to simplify our lives. Get the basics. The things that make us happy.

OMG – I just said “the things that make us happy”. You may be horrified when I say that! I don’t mean that we need things to make us happy. I mean that there are some things that contribute to our happiness.

Take me for example: the “things” that contribute to my happiness is *gasp* this computer! It enables my ability to talk and talk — which I love to do. Another “thing” – fabric – so that I can quilt and express my creativity through that.

Things that don’t contribute to my happiness – I’m slowly getting rid of. For example, clothes that I don’t like or that no longer fit. Why would I hang onto those? But  we all do it – look in your closet. I’ll bet there are things in there that you don’t really want! Get rid of it!

I am not saying that we should all become hermits  living in a tent in the woods. Humanity has come a long way and we don’t have to be like that. The brilliant inventions that have advanced society are awesome, in my opinion. But, I don’t think we should let this stuff take over our lives. Especially to the point where it stresses us out or hurts our world.

Let’s simplify. Let’s only take what we need. Let’s give back and share with others. Let’s make everyone’s lives a little better. Let’s get rid of the “have’s” and “have not’s”. Let’s make sure that everyone has the stuff they need!

Check out this video from Daughtry: What About Now?


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2 thoughts on “How Much Stuff Do We Need?

  1. Stuff is overrated. You often hear of people who say that they had a fire, and lost everything, and it set them free. In my blog post that you said inspired you (http://www.couchsurfingori.com/2009/12/10/a-couchsurers-view-on-stuff-worldly-posessions/) I give a lot of quotes from Fight Club. I really love that movie… it really points out that there are 2 sides to us… the hunter and the gatherer (Ed Norton / Brad Pit) – and the hunter is way cooler. The hunter doesn’t care about the stuff. But you nailed it! It’s just something for us to worry about. Can’t afford the fancy BMW? Get rid of it, and get a honda… or a moped (if you live in warm weather).

    Things can make us happy by the way. It’s not a bad thing. My camera makes me happy. My Ipod makes me smarter (with the right ammo on it), and various books I listen to make me smile. Getting things makes us happy… there are certain receptors in the brain that light up when we are getting stuff– that’s why women love to shop so much…. there’s an actual chemical reaction.

    But once we have it… well.. that’s a whole other story.

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