The Obsession With Stuff


It is amazing how much stuff you can collect over time.  With this big adventure looming we’ve been getting rid of stuff. In magazines and TV shows various life experts talk about spring cleaning as the yearly resolution to simplify. I never thought that we had that much stuff, but it is still stalking me. Every time I think I’ve got it all, there is more stuff peeking out of a forgotten pocket or in the trunk of the car or that shoe box yet to be gone through.

Sentimentality is your worst enemy. Do we really need that wedding card, or the college graduation cap… not to mention the high school one? Stuff, we take for granted that we have it, but for some strange reason there is the need to keep it. I skimmed through the book about organizing from the now famous Japanese woman and I get the idea of keeping what brings you joy, but some people think that everything, even the stuff they haven’t used in years bring joy. How about just the necessities? Easier said than done. It’s so easy to convince yourself that you will use it, and then never do.

Just me and my backpack.

When we ventured to South East Asia last summer it was amazing to travel the month out of one backpack. What we think we need and what we really need are often times very different. Even then I thought I could do with less of what I brought. In this new adventure we know there is probably another big move two years down the road ahead of us. That being the case, I’ve been saying that I am going to no longer act American. American in the sense that I do not want to put stuff in storage. I want to live more simply and get away from what is truly an American notion of storage and keeping items that you are not using. I always remember that book from junior high where they had people from around the world display all their stuff outside of their houses. Every other country had less, proof that you can live without.


It was liberating to “pack” 21 boxes to send to Taiwan. But, even now I think it could’ve been less. Most everything else we tried to give a good home. We’re not interested in making money just giving it to someone who needs it or will use it. It’s been pointed out to me that we will have to start over when return, but so what? Yes, I did love my couch, but it’s just a couch. I’ve always liked purging the closet. Even as a kid. Haven’t worn it lately? Thrift store bound. Currently all my clothes fit into two suitcases. I know… I’m impressed with myself too! I think D at this moment has more clothes than me. 

Getting ready to move across the planet has forced us to get rid of stuff. Glad to do it, wish it would’ve happened sooner.

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