Sunday, November 29, 2015

Buy Less: Reduce Your Stuffprint

I was inspired by a simple Venn diagram that beautifully showed "Stuff" in relation to "Stuff We Care About".  This is my re-interpretation of that:

I came up with the word 'stuffprint', representing the footprint of space our stuff takes up, and I think the word conjures up how stuff can take on a shape and size that becomes overwhelming. I believe the quote about stuff I see thrown around the internet also sums up the sentiment of my poster:
“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” -William Morris
So, before you lament on how tired you are of looking for x,y, or z for the umpteenth time, consider reducing your stuffprint and taking back your time, space, and sanity.  There are many ways to reduce your stuffprint, but the process is pretty much the same for all of it and has 3 stages that aren't completed so much as repeated.

1.  One needs to get rid of stuff that isn't useful or loved.  
How much, how fast, and what you do with the stuff is all up to you.  Taking the commitment to moving the stuff out of your life that isn't useful or beautiful, though, is what you need to do to start.
2.  One needs to prevent more stuff from entering their now less-occupied space. 
Our current culture tries to push stuff on us to inspire us to acquire more!  Free samples, brochures, catalogs, swag, and more from companies trying to entice you.  Even if you avoid shopping and internet sales sites, though, then there are the well-meaning friends who give you things - gifts, stuff they are trying to clear out, things that no longer work for them they think you can use..  It is hard to say no to something free you could, in fact, use, but to keep your stuffprint small, this is a skill you will need to acquire.
3.  One must constantly cull and cultivate the stuff they have to keep it useful and loved.  
Be it from things wearing out, tastes changing, or needs coming up that didn't exist before, you will eventually need different stuff than what you have.  To keep the stuffprint small, you will need to give up stuff before gaining more.  Otherwise, with every new pet, new baby, new job, or life change you will end up right where you started with too much stuff you don't actually have love or need of.

And then after you cull and cultivate, you will keep needing to get rid of stuff that finds it way to you, despite the best efforts to prevent it from entering.  You will redouble your efforts of prevention, and then have things change and need to modify your stuffprint.  It's a cycle, really.  But totally worth applying to your life if you are feeling overwhelmed by material things.

No comments:

Post a Comment