At What Point?

At what point does collecting becoming hoarding?

Does the stuff designed to enhance your life or your living environment start to add stress to it?

I read an interesting article about ‘stuff’ the other day (I can’t find it now!) in which the author made some very salient points about how much the stuff in our life detracts from our living of life. We spend so much time organising, sorting, storing…. all the excess in our lives.

It’s made me do some thinking.

Don’t get me wrong here I have stuff. A lot of stuff actually.

I don’t spend a lot on it (I don’t think) I like op-shopping, I like second-hand and hand-me-down.

But I am learning that stuff is not memories

Stuff is not wealth

Stuff is not insurance against loss

Stuff is not happiness

Stuff is just stuff – some of it makes our lives easier – plates, cutlery, tables and chairs. Some of it makes our lives more comfortable – clothing, towels, sheets, heaters, buildings. Some of it brings us pleasure – crafts, games, art…

But none of it (should) define us and though losing it would make us sad and we might mourn the precious things handed down through generations, the letters from our children, the photos…. these do not make us who we are.

So as we unpack after our renovation I am trying to loosen my grip on stuff – just  a little. I still have pretty things in my home. I still love having clothes and enough cutlery and crockery to have people over and many other un-ecessaries.

I know I will still buy trinkets.

I am still trying to find the balance of living simply, living fully and taking delight in every day.

I remind myself every thing I let go of, I give to someone else for their pleasure, to enhance their life, to fill a need in their life – or maybe just to add to their clutter and not mine.

I remind myself even though something is lovely or good quality or worth-a-bit –  if I am not using it, I won’t watch it again, or read it again, or my boys don’t play with it, if I won’t/don’t use it, or I don’t wear it, I have too many of it to actually use them all, or I don’t even like it – then it is selfish for me to own it.

I naturally hoard.

I am in a process.

I am growing.

I am simplifying – slowly.

I like the way William Morris said it – ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’.



10 responses

  1. Good ol’ William, a pretty legendary guy. My latest thinking on stuff and things is “enjoy it now, use them”.

  2. Exactly my thoughts today 🙂 I am currently going through my kitchen and sorting the ‘stuff’… No doubt there will be a few donations this week. I do love a good purge. xx

  3. Well done. keep up the simplifying. It feels good in the end!

  4. Yeah for you – I have a motto – never save anything for a good occasion – use every day as a good/special occasion. Therefore I don’t own a good dinner set or a good cutlery set which sits collecting dust like my parents did – I use my good stuff every day 🙂
    But . . . also because I brought all my good stuff/crown lynn 2nd hand I also don’t ‘freak’ if the kids happen to break a piece *sigh* as Tsunami is so good at doing.
    Lots of love xx

    1. I absolutely hear you about not having a ‘good’ set of stuff. I am really trying not to save things so that I get pleasure from something. I remind myself it could all be ruined so easily I might as well have used it myself.

      M xx

  5. It is way too easy to hoard and way more difficult to force yourself to think about what you really ‘need’ or what you really ‘love’.

    I try to be quite ruthless when I do have a clean-out but it is amazing how quickly the cupboards fill back up again…sigh!

    LOVE LOVE LOVE that toe shot 🙂

    1. Hi Meghan

      I love those little feet too they are so cute!

      I try to be ruthless when I clear out but I have this little voice saying – you might need it some day!


  6. I love this post! And am a big believer in buying only what you need, not what you want. It always amazes me how much we consume, mostly on a whim.

    If I buy something – say a new skirt, I have to pass another skirt to Vinnies. As I have a rule – no more coathangers! And our room is so limited, so when I’m at the shops pondering on a purchase I have to know exactly where it’s going to be stored. And if there’s no room, I don’t buy it.

    All the best as you sort. I’m so glad you’ve continued to keep some balance in the culling/keeping!


  7. I didn’t think we had a great deal of stuff until we moved and the removal company came to give us a quote – he told us we had a LOT of stuff. That made me worry – do we really hoard that much? I always thought we cleared out regularly and tried not to buy too much. Luckily, we moved to a bungalow with loads of storage but I have discovered that after nearly 2 years of living here, we have hardly touched anything in the hall cupboard (known as the Tardis). I think it’s time for a big clear out again – it will definitely make me feel more relaxed – clutter makes me nervous! x

    1. I totally hear you on feeling worried about having too much stuff when someone else makes a comment. I think it is harder to keep things in check when you are really settled in a place because more comes in but not so much goes out – that seems to be how I operate!


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