Probably many of us do, and if you have or have had children, you can add their stuff to yours, especially if they have grown up and left home, and not transfered their stuff to their new place.
Loads of stuff.
Like Oreo Double Stufs, double the cream just doesn't make a better Oreo. But Nabisco thought it would, and even though we might choose the Double Stufs once or twice over the single stuffs, it's always a let down. They really don't taste any better.
Sometimes, when I think about what is stuffed into my house, I get a little wild eyed and begin a flurry of shedding something, anything!
I fill up a couple of garbage bags with clothing no one has worn in years and donate to Goodwill. I take a stack of little-used books across the street to the public library, which seems to have a perpetual book sale going on. I threaten the grown children with putting stuff up on eBay if they don't come take their electric guitar/longboard skateboard/Breyer horse stable and many plastic horses/ and all the goodies that go along with their former passions. Alas, to no avail.
We still hang on to stuff.
Recently I've been considering a trendy approach to all this stuff-collecting; Voluntary Simplicity.
In my parent's generation, this would be called Voluntary Common Sense & Frugal Living (DUH), and I know I grew up with friends who might then have called it in-Voluntary Lower Middle Class and no-I-don't-have-$100.00-for-a-pair-of-&$%#@!*&
And surely, there were many back to the earth friends from the 70s who were following that trend religiously, and still do.
So it occurs to me that Voluntary Simplicity is really a kindly concept for those of us who have always been super consumers, who never really "get it" when, occasionally, we are overdrawn at the bank or behind on our bills, even though we have some kick-ass outfits hanging in the closet!
Hmmmm, well, a little like me at times....
And with an economic "down turn" grinding away at everyone's wallet, Voluntary Simplicity has become more of a necessity.
But even without a recession, how much is enough?
When do we know if we have enough, and what does it mean to go without?
Is there a beginning and ending point to casual wants, or, after we have sated our need for food, shelter and safety, does want have to continue unabated?
Where or what is the root of our casual wants and desires?
The hunter-gatherer in me loves to search for the best bargain, and as if dragging sustenance home from the field, I've dragged home shoes, bags, jackets, books, magazines, and toys, thinking that I could somehow satisfy the drive to have enough--but if we're honest with ourselves, we recognize that sneaking feeling that creeps in a day or two later when we open the closet and notice many things are neglected and pushed to the side for the comfortable funky sandals or the softly worn T shirt that still has our soccer team number on the back.
We see that we have 6 pairs of black capris and a dozen "cute" shoes that never fit properly. We notice that there are interesting bags to carry our stuff around in, but they never get used because they are too heavy/the wrong color/leather/not leather/for the wrong season. Our books stare back at us from the stuffed bookcase, most of which will never be re-read, when only just across the street (in my case), the public library has everything I could ever read.
So, Voluntary Simplicity.
This is where I am beginning:
1. Eat all the food in the refrigerator that I buy.
2. With the exception of sox & underwear, buy NOTHING NEW.
3. Use the public library
4. Park the car & walk
5. Eat at home (all that stuff in the fridge) instead of out.
6. Invite friends over for Pot Luck (all that stuff in the fridge).
7. Barter, lend, borrow
8. Use it up or use it until it wears out.
9. Take It One Day At A Time!
10. Find others to join me and have fun with it.
Care to join me?