Less is more

Possessions definitely weigh you down.

I’m not entirely sure why, but when I moved in with my other half I went a little mad. If we’re being entirely honest, I think she did too. We bought loads of stuff. We both love books and enjoy films. We both like crafty things (for her, knitting, crochet and a bit of cross-stitch, for me painting and models as you may have seen from the blog in the past). Neither of us like to see things go to waste, but she has the misfortune to have a somewhat profligate sister of similar size, so significant volumes of clothes have appeared here that would otherwise be in landfill after only a couple of wearings. The house, a two-bedroom mid-terrace affair, soon filled up and this year I have reached a tipping point. I want fewer things.

It has started with the books. I have two large bookshelves full of books (some shelves double-depth), two big boxes under my side of the bed and a similar number up in the loft. If I’m honest about it, it is unlikely I will re-read most of them. I’m slowly but surely trimming this down. The charity shops around me have been the main beneficiaries of this and my visits there have only reinforced my determination to get rid of as many as I can. Even as a book lover, I can see that there are simply too many books in the world. Or at least, in this part of the world. It’s perhaps a debate for another time, but I think that the world would benefit from fewer books (in terms of the range of titles) being published, and then fewer copies of those fewer titles being printed.

Many of the DVDs have also gone. I’ve sold what I can but the rest have followed the paperbacks to the charity shops. We’ve agreed to spend some time watching those in our collection and ditching any we won’t watch again. (Similar comments apply here to the books.)

Clothes which no longer fit are making their way to an Oxfam bin where they will either be sold on as they are, or if not fit for resale, they will be recycled into car seat stuffing among other things.

The recurring theme in all of this is the overproduction of stuff, and I am now determined to no longer be an over-consumer of stuff.

One of the other issues that my previous attitude has created (and I’ve only recently realised this) is that it made things difficult for my family at Christmas and birthdays. I earn my own money and I live in a society based on instant gratification, so by the time the big days rolled around I’d probably bought myself most of the things I would have liked. This year, this has changed. This last month or so has seen half a dozen of my favourite artists release new albums and in the past I would have pre-ordered them, but this year I have simply made a note and will suggest them to family when Christmas comes around. By which time, hopefully, there will be space to store them!

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