Thursday, August 07, 2008


There's nothing like moving in the heat and with 3 flights of steps to make one painfully aware of one's stuff. Over the last couple of years, I thought I had been fairly rigorous in stuff reduction, but trip after trip I found myself coming to dislike many of my possessions and as I put things away in the new place, the garbage continues to fill and with each item I feel a little bit lighter, a little more at ease. Paul Graham postulates we are constantly taking account of our surroundings to make a cognitive map and when there's clutter, it makes it that much harder to do, and we find it exhausting. So when you feel depressed or tired, look around, maybe it's simply being in an over-stuffed environment. Graham's got a good quick to read essay. Check it out.

Give Paul Graham's essay a read.

"I have too much stuff. Most people in America do. In fact, the poorer people are, the more stuff they seem to have. Hardly anyone is so poor that they can't afford a front yard full of old cars...."


Nancy Brown said...

Stuff - love an item or use it on a consistent basis or throw it out!!!

Marc said...

One word, minimalist

munsoned said...

Last year I moved from a multi-room apartment to a loft. All that open space prohibits hording stuff. I kinda like it. I coulda made a killing on my taxes had I gotten receipts from all the Goodwill trips I made. Guess I gotta move to a smaller loft.

nicol said...

I am so with you on this. Minimalist is a good word, Marc. Unless it's functional and has a purpose, I don't want it.

oldmanandhisbike said...

We are regular contributors to the local Goodwill store and recently were able to help out our grateful niece who suffered a fire at their place by passing along a number of unused furniture items. But there is still much more that can go.
Remember the Miesian motto: Less is more.
Well, except for bikes and bike parts. You can never have too many of those!

bryan said...

^^^^ Now accepting applications to take your stuff for you.

Eh, maybe not.

Veronica said...

reduce, reuse, recycle
BTW, we listed a couple of truck loads of stuff on craigslist "Pick up and it's yours for free" and it all went within 24 hours. Much cheaper than paying for gas to haul it to Habitat for Humanity, goodwill or other donation sites..

sydney said...

That's a great idea, V. I have used "freecycle" in the past, but I think craig's list is much more highly trafficked.