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Old 03-29-2010, 08:51 AM   #1
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Let's talk about 'Stuff'

The Story of Stuff

Coincidentally, I've been thinking about stuff for a while now as I'm in the market for the cheapest, largest skip bin my budget can allow so I can rid myself of a truly headache inducing pile of generic, mindless 'stuff'. I have a belief that too many possessions clutter our minds just as much as our houses, so my project of de-stuffing will have 2 benefits for me. I honestly think the possessions we own are carried around with us like an unseen weight around our shoulders. I'm looking forward to the perceived feeling of lightness I think I'll get. Time will tell if this proves true or not, but I digress.

Stuff, FYM. Are you a stuff bandit? Do you think we're choking on stuff? Did anyone see Annie Leonard on Colbert? The video of interest to me is the middle one at the top on the link above, The Story of Stuff. I find her presentation interesting, though not always entirely accurate. Overall, it's worth thinking of though.

Take this thread however you want - stuff in general, or Annie Leonard's project specifically. Whatever.
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:06 AM   #2
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I can't watch the video right now but when I see those hoarding shows I want to get rid of everything I own. I can't watch them anymore because they bother me so much. Maybe all of us have a hoarding tendency to greater or lesser degrees-they can't seem to really pinpoint when it's officially hoarding other than when you can't move around your place.

Stuff does keep you prisoner in certain ways-it feels freeing to get rid of it and clutter does clutter your mind and your life. I have a thing for clothes, I know I don't need all that I have but sometimes when I go shopping I just can't resist new ones. And I do shop as a recreational activity-I blame my mother for that because that's what we did from the time I was a kid. But I can't blame her for that now. That is one time I wish I was a guy. Luckily my lack of space and money is one thing that keeps it sort of in check. I have to put my winter things away soon and I now I'll be berating myself for having so many clothes, like I always do.
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:49 AM   #3
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YouTube - George Carlin Talks About "Stuff"

This is what I think about when I hear stuff. But yeah, it can be overwhelming, especially when you move.
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:57 AM   #4
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Too much stuff can be too much for the mind, I totally agree with you here. It is something which can trouble me a lot at times as well. I remember when moving in 2005 I did away with about half of my 'stuff' (read: clutter), which I hadn't touched for so long. It felt like such a big relief, also in my mind things were so much clearer. Since then, I never keep stuff anymore which I don't use. It only makes my mind so full. Also I like to keep my room a bit tidy (I'm no control freak but just like to walk around normally without stepping on stuff all the time) otherwise I really don't function normally anymore after a while. It does depend though how tired I am feeling. Some days I can handle a bit of clutter better than other days. But in general, a clear view is a clear mind, to me at least.

Which reminds me, in a few weeks, when I have time, I really need to check my closet again. I am quite sure that about at least 60-70% of my clothes will have to go (way too big) And then shopping again sometime for new summer clothes, otherwise I have almost nothing Know that a lot of females will say that But this time it's really true because I know for sure that so many clothes are two or three sizes too big and most of them really old, and that's just extremely annoying. Oh how I love shopping...
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Old 03-29-2010, 01:12 PM   #5
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I have this really anxious personality that is OCD about keeping everything organized, both physically and inventoried mentally. So, in all seriousness the more stuff I have the more stressed out I feel because I have to keep track of it all, all the time. This transfers over into everything. For example I get obsessed with keeping my e-mails cleaned out so there's only one page listed in my inbox, or less than 5% of my quota. When I was a kid I was more messy and kind of a pack rat but as a teenager I changed and now am more likely to donate something I should have held onto longer. Cleaning and organizing is also cathartic for me, not just the finished result but actually doing it. My friend calls it "Dutch Lightning", I will proactively think of things to clean. So, I guess my "disorder" is not hoarding but the opposite end of the spectrum.

I've always been beyond obsessed with gymnastics and as I kid I recorded EVERY meet on TV for years and years and also bought and traded tapes with other fans, so I ended up with this HUGE collection of tapes. I knew exactly what was on each one and watched them all dozens of times. If you asked me as a kid what one thing I would save from a burning house it would be that box of tapes. Heck, I even kept the most important ones in a fire proof safe. Then one day for whatever reason I threw the entire box in the trash, I just dumped it out and didn't look back. Surprisingly, I felt nothing. It was such a weird moment. The tapes themselves were just old VHS tapes, but they represented decades of something I spent nearly every waking hour with and I just threw them out with the trash.

I also have very few possessions that have any real meaning to me other than their practical use. So long as my dogs escaped, if my house burned down today while I'm sitting hear typing this, I wouldn't care less about my computer, camera, or hard drive (renter's insurance would cover these and I know better than to not back things up). I would miss a few things that are "priceless" to me because they belonged to my grandma and remind me of my childhood (they are "priceless" in the sense that they are worthless, not valuable antiques, but irreplaceable to me), but other than that, I'd be better off if my house burned because I could buy newer, better stuff with the insurance money.

Maybe the dogs have something to do with it? I put all my time, money, and energy into my dogs but I see them somewhere between a "possession" and a human being. I don't have any money or energy left over to care about inanimate material objects.
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:27 PM   #6
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I don't have too much stuff. I just don't have enough space.

Books and magazines and CDs, DVD's mostly. And office supply stuff. I'm an office supply stuff junkie. Once in a while, I toss everything out--then I spend the next several years trying to find it again. But for a few days, being destuffed feels wonderful.
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:41 PM   #7
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My name is Bono's shades and I am a stuffaholic.

I hate to throw anything away. When I moved recently I picked a 2-bedroom apartment even though I live by myself. I told people it was because I wanted to have a guest bedroom for out-of-town relatives to stay in if they wanted to spend the night, but the real reason is I wanted a place where I could shove my excess stuff and close the door rather than having it clutter the rest of the place (lucky for me, rent is pretty reasonable where I live). I did manage to get rid of some stuff before I moved, but I just couldn't part with all my 10-year-old magazines I might want to read again someday. And I always feel guilty about throwing away greeting cards people give me.
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:42 PM   #8
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I don't have too much stuff. I just don't have enough space.
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:15 PM   #9
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I'm a borderline shopaholic. I buy too many clothes and too many books (yes, I said books). I never seem to wear the same thing twice. But as long as I am able to pay off my credit card bill in full, which I always do, I guess I just have a slight problem.
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:34 PM   #10
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Stuff. Books certainly, although not nearly as many as in years gone. THat's what libraries are for. Music, but only rarely. What I have I care about. Clothes, couldn't give a rat's arse. I actually detest shopping, by and large. I burrow in for the one thing I am after and get out as quick as I can, because the actual environment of most large shopping establishments nowadays is pretty grim. And since book shops and music shops no longer sell what I want, it's a rare day indeed.
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Old 03-29-2010, 11:22 PM   #11
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Second hand book shops are brilliant because they never seem to be in shopping centres
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Old 03-30-2010, 02:10 AM   #12
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that is certainly true. I make an exception for second hand bookshops.
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:47 PM   #13
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How many things are there which I do not want.

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Old 04-05-2010, 08:18 PM   #14
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Second hand book shops are brilliant because they never seem to be in shopping centres
Typical INTJ.
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:43 PM   #15
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Sorry guys, what were you saying, I was too busy pushing a shopping trolley full of cheapo cigarettes down the avenue.
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