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’.