Books Magazine

We All Have Too Much Stuff

By Periscope @periscopepost

Too much stuff? Too much stuff?

Do you have too much stuff? Chances are, if you’re reading this from the comfort of your first world home, you probably do. At least, that’s the conclusion New York Times Bucks blogger Carl Richards comes to after reading about a man who decided to get rid of all of his stuff and live with only 15 possessions.

Inspired by Andrew Hyde’s near-monastic rejection of worldly goods, Richards said he went home and quickly found 15 things to bin. And that got him thinking about the cost of just having too much stuff:

When we hold on to stuff we no longer want or use, it does indeed cost us something more, if only in the time spent organizing and contemplating them. I can’t tell you how many times I have thought about getting rid of that tie (for instance), and every time I went to choose a shirt for the day, I would think about the few that no longer fit.

Even though Hyde’s example is an extreme one, I love thinking about extreme examples because they have the power to compel us to act. In this case I found myself thinking:

Why exactly do you own what you own?
What could you get rid of and not miss?
Do I really still need that?
What is it costing me to own that?

Are you compelled to get rid of your stuff now? [Ed. note: I am - I can count more than 15 things on my desk alone.] What seems like the optimal number of items to own? Only as much as fits in a suitcase? A caravan? A studio flat? A semi-detached bungalow? Leave a comment!

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