Man, where does all the stuff come from?

by Julie Gibbons on June 7, 2010

Grand Adventure Summer 2010 : T-2

Phew, it’s been a really physical weekend. What started as an ecoclean turned into  a major merry-go-round of stuff.

Stuff from the attic. Stuff in the attic. Stuff out of the cupboards. Stuff in the cupboards. Stuff to the recycle centre (out-datedly referred to hereabouts as ‘the dump’).

Four big bags of clothes for the charity shop and 5 big bags of books.

Where does it all come from? And why is there still no space?

And here I sit, reminded of a post I flung together about this time last year … Simplicity of travel and the burden of stuff … and the quote to which it referred, by Antoine de Saint Exupery;

In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away, when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness.

So here I sit with two days until we leave, somewhat lighter of stuff but still puzzled about why stuff seems to grow and where it comes from – and why I wait until the week before we leave to do a purge of stuff I promise myself I’ll do on our return?

When will I reach that perfect point of nakedness?

Maybe if I had a project framework to base it all on I’d have more success? Something like Obsessive Consumption or The 100 Thing Challenge.

Perhaps I’ll start with the 100 Thing Houseswap Challenge – and take only 100 things with us, and bring no more than 100 things back. Best get to counting that big pile of stuff that’s growing in our dining room, then …

p.s. Have you watched The Story of Stuff?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanna Paterson June 8, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Found myself asking the same ‘where does it come from’ question earlier today – mainly as we’re trying to squeeze two households into one, so of course there’s more stuff than we now need, but also because I know that some of the stuff was bought without me needing it, but to fill some kind of emotional need – bit like comfort eating maybe? Fortunately my worst excesses are not that expensive: books and (oddly) a huge surplus of pillows.

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Julie Gibbons June 9, 2010 at 8:14 am

Pillows definitely = comfort, so perhaps there must be something in that, Joanna. I know when we house swap we live on very little and don’t attract very much new, so I do wonder if when we’re at home we just fill up the space to give us something to do! Because of course, we’re not busy enough ;-)

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