Thursday, December 20, 2012

Stuff Stuff Stuffity Stuff

So I've realized recently that I have way too much stuff.  I started thinking about how annoying it is to pack and move and worry about storage for your things.  I recently organized my apartment -- took out everything that was stored in my closet, threw away things I don't need, recycled lots of paper, and found things that I didn't know I had, such as clothes.  Then it struck me -- how is it possibly OK to have so many things (clothes) that you forget you own them?  As such, I continued to aggressively shed away clothes & donate them.  After getting rid of a bunch of summer clothes when I packed them away and took out fall/winter clothing a few months back, I found more and more stuff that I didn't need (clothes that are ugly, clothes that don't look flattering, clothes that I don't wear, clothes I don't like).  It feels oddly really satisfying to comb through my clothes and find ones to get rid of and donate -- yay for less stuff.

I recently finished Cline's 'Overdressed: The High Cost of Cheap Fashion' -- given that many of my clients are retailers, I loosely keep track of headlines, and the book had been mentioned a couple of times in the news.  Guys, apparently the clothes we buy at H&M and Target and the Gap and the like are really shitty quality and simultaneously trendy & not unique.  People used to cherish their clothes, repair them, and take care that they lasted for a long time.  Now we expect things to fall apart and go out of style, and we plan to just buy more and more.  Well duh, you might say.  It's true -- none of that is brand new information.  But I've decided that the new pattern is bad for my brain -- someone who is used to throwing out things and buying new ones, rather than figuring out how to rework the old is probably going to go out and buy a waffle batter dispenser, instead of just using a damn bowl.  And then maybe at work, this person will just do what they know instead of inventing a new way of solving a problem, because that’s the easy way.

What I'm trying to say is that I don't know how to build furniture, or repair pipes.  I'm not even good at combining food together, so my vegetables often go bad instead of getting cooked.   And that’s not good and should change.  There are a lot of skills that might not make it on your resume when you’re looking for a job, but are useful to have.  In my industry, most people make enough money that things like eating out vs. cooking, buying books instead of going to the library, or buying the latest apple product instead of using your (gasp) 2 years older ipad, seem inconsequential.  Maybe they’re not.

I’m not a spontaneous person, but realizing that if I had few belongings, I could just pick everything up and move somewhere else, made me feel free and happy.

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