I was referred to this article by Paul Graham.  I thought the article was very interesting.  The author explores how our possessions have increased in number and (in some ways) our value of them has decreased in a way.  He also talks about how stuff used to be less accessible in generations past, and as a result, people had less accumulation.  As opposed to today, when industrialized countries have access to more and more stuff at continually lower prices (and many times lower quality).

More stuff doesn’t equate to satisfaction.

Isn’t it amazing how you can buy and buy and never feel satisfied?  Shopping addictions are pretty common, and difficult to overcome.  The deal is, no accumulation of stuff will ever fill the hole that we are trying to make it fill.  It’s about the value of life, people and experiences we come into contact with that should fill our days.  When it comes down to it, stuff will never love us back or help us when we’re down.

No amount of organizing or redesign can hide the fact that one has too much stuff in their home or office.  It’s not something that can be contained by a new product or process.  Really dealing with how much we have, and how much we bring into our lives is paramount.  It’s not worth having if it’s not useful.  It’s not worth the footprint in our space if it doesn’t bring value to life – it’s just stuff.

Buy with purpose.

I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that I like a good quality handbag or a nice pair of shoes that will last.  (For me, quality is more important than brand names – I could care less about what people think of the name on my bag.)  However, unconscious purchasing (which runs rampant in the USA) is a real dead end.  Buying stuff should be something we do with purpose, keeping in mind how it will serve us as a useful possession – NOT how it makes us feel when we buy it.

What’s your thought on “stuff”?

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