When does stuff become shit? A blog on minimalism and a love for stuff


It’s been years since I first saw this sketch by George Carlin and I still find it as interesting as when I saw it the first time. It makes me laugh while at the same time it’s hitting one of my weak spots: stuff. I love me some stuff.

Pretty stuff, a bargain or treasure hunting at a flea market, big epic yes to that with a cherry on top. At the same time I fully realize stuff is not that important and could even lead to drag you down. We all know that feeling of coming home to a messy house because there wasn’t enough time to tidy up a bit, and how much more pleasant it is to come home to a neat place. Somewhere where you don’t tumble over a pile of books to grab something you need. I seem to sleep much better when my room is tidy, even though my eyes are closed (no shit) during the night and I’m not in consciously looking at my room. It’s just a more peaceful feel when it’s tidy.

Sitting here I know I have pretty much everything I need in life, materialistically. Bar a Volkswagen Beetle and a treehouse, but eh. I moved to Ireland with a big suitcase, a medium backpack and some hand luggage, leaving behind quite some stuff at my parents house. Mostly sentimental stuff, because there hasn’t been any moment that I can remember consciously that I was in desperate need for something I left there. Okay at times I would love to have a Harry Potter copy with me but in the darkest of times I should remember I could just run into an Easons and sort it out. From the stuff I have at the moment (leaving necessaries like clothing and toiletries aside) there is probably only 10% I actually actively use. The rest of it just sits about, usually for the prettiness or the sentimental value. I’m a sucker for sentimental stuff. I used to be not even capable of throwing wrappers away if the treat was really yummy or if it was given to me on a special occasion or by someone important to me. Thankfully I’ve gotten a lot better. Most of the time.

Stuff requires more stuff as well as effort and time. Stuff needs upkeep, cleaning, dusting, stuff can get lost and stuff can break and need repairing. If or when stuff piles up it’ll get in your way, eventually. Stuff can cause anxiety and stress and in extreme cases, depression.

When I heard I needed to move to another place, there were a few things that immediately sprung to mind. Besides thinking of how sad it will be to leave an estate with such a great chipper, how am I going to move my stuff, what if something breaks? For example, the trophy I won in a dance competition, how do I wrap or transport it? Even though I know a trophy is not the win or the joyous occasion itself but more like a metaphor, I seem to want to cling onto it as if it is. Had they given me a beer or a blanket instead, the feel of winning would have been pretty much the same – I had a fabulous day dancing and chatting with my friends, enjoying the atmosphere, did my very best and came out on top. Why do I feel the need to connect an object to that memory, and why is it now bugging me?

Is a flea market not just a collection of stuff that is proven not to be needed? What am I looking for?

So when does stuff become shit? When is a bargain a bitch? Also, which stuff will be a plague and needs to skedaddle, and what should I keep?

Brb, gotta sort out some stuff.

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One response to “When does stuff become shit? A blog on minimalism and a love for stuff

  1. Pingback: Rosita does not move but I just did | Annie Orange

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