I own too much crap! I’m no hoarder, but I still own too many unused, unwanted, unneeded things. I hang onto to stuff believing I’ll need it for the future, but after six decades of experience, I’ve hardly ever needed what I saved.
I wish I had an app for my tablet that knew absolutely everything I owned and the last time I used it. This is a fantasy app, because even if I had such an app, I’d never input all my crap to track. I wished I had this fantasy app that magically knew everything I owned, when each thing was last used, and counters for all the categories of ownership. I could contemplate iPossessions every morning when I woke up, and before I went to sleep at night, and it would inspire me to lighten my physical load, and theoretically, every day after that, my spirit would grow lighter. Aren’t we psychologically burdened by ownership?
How many pair of pants do I own? I tend to wear my three favorite pairs of jeans over and over. Many other pairs of pants have hung on their hangers for years unworn. Why?
I have about 700 hardback books and another 500 digital audio books, plus over a 100 and growing ebooks. I know I will never read most of them, but I keep saving them. And like an idiot I keep buying them! I’m cleaning up my home library/office this morning trying to make more shelf space for books. Either I need to buy another bookshelf, or get rid of about 20 feet of books stacked in piles around the house.
If you don’t know it exists, why own it? If you don’t use it, why own it? If you’re not using something and someone else could, why not give it away?
There are even websites devoted to reduced ownership, like The Minimalists. Some people like Andrew Hyde, who is a traveler, takes this concept to extremes, he only owns 15 things. I have no need to go that far, but maybe getting my list below 1,000 items might be a fun challenge. I’m sure my current list would run more than 5,000.
There’s a website called The Burning House which asks people to submit a photograph and a list of things they would grab to save when their house is on fire. Think about it! What would you take? Those items should be your real prized possessions.
If my house burned down, what would I miss? What would I cry over not having ever again? And how many things would I never know that I had lost?
Or think about it this way, what if your house burned down and you got a new one. What possessions would you replace first?
[After this wonderful pep talk to self, I shall go forth and throw away! ]
JWH – 9/29/13