A Minimalist

A Minimalist

A blog post

I've recently been involved with helping to clear out the living spaces of someone who died. These are a few of my observations: 

 Humans just like stuff. Usually, the more stuff the better.

Very little of this stuff has much objective value.

Often we keep stuff because it has some sentimental value… or we just don’t want to confront the reality that we won’t ever use something given to us as a gift. And disposing of it would be disrespecting the person who gave it to us.

We have so many places to put stuff that we don’t really know how much stuff we actually have. And so many of those places keep the stuff from being visible, hide the stuff from our view.  Cabinets, drawers, boxes under a bed, more boxes on shelves out in the garage, up in the attic, out in the shed… it’s all tucked away out of site. We always seem to find enough space for new stuff. Sometimes we even rent more space from a storage company. 

If it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. Where have I heard that before?

There’s probably an evolutionary reason why so many of us are so attracted to having more of anything. If there is, I don’t know what that would be. , but it seems logical that one exists. You would think, historically speaking, nomadic peoples would want less as more would become a barrier to moving around. So the whole subject is confusing and it really doesn’t make much sense.

We buy and accumulate stuff, we put it where we won’t see it, we forget about it, we pay for the space to keep it. We sometimes try to find something and get frustrated when we can’t find it. After a while, the piles of stuff become like background noise… unnoticeable and part of “just the way it is”.  Not really realizing that someone is eventually going to have to deal with it all, we decide that the future will take care of itself. And, if questioned about it, we spritely say “The kids can take care of it”.


Slightly Better than Most