Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Good Stuff

A friend posted on Facebook that she has rented a dumpster and is cleaning house.

I found that inspiring.

Although I am surrounded by many things that I love, I also feel trapped by many of the things around me. What a different life I would have if it weren't for all the stuff. (And the mortgage to pay for housing all the stuff.) Yes I need a place to live, and my house is modest, but I can't help but think that I could find a great deal of happiness in a smaller house with less stuff.

How liberating it would be to simplify down to the essentials, or at least to have fewer non-essentials, to scale it down to the truly good stuff.

What is the good stuff?

For me, the best stuff is both beautiful and functional. Items that are a pleasure to use. Items that inspire. Treasured books. Photographs. A cast iron skillet. A well made coffee mug. The perfectly placed lamp. Things that are made by hand. Things made with good materials. Things that are made to last.

I hold onto other things because I think I will use them someday or because I once thought they were the good stuff. But we keep changing and stuff that used to be the good stuff for an old self, is now, just stuff.

I write about this because I think that that our stuff has an affect on our well being and the balance of our lives. I am not proposing an ascetic life, one bowl and one spoon, although it intrigues me. What I am suggesting is to be thoughtful about the things we bring into our lives. Stuff matters. The things we surround ourselves with can add buoyancy or add weight that drags us down.


  1. Agreed! I have never been a 'pack rat' as I call my mom, for exactly this reason. I feel like I am suffocating. Maybe also the reason I decided to clean and rearrange my living room last night at 10pm. It felt great to come downstairs this morning to room with fresh new energy, clean and happy. Spring cleaning should be year round for peace of mind....

  2. "...we keep changing and stuff that used to be the good stuff for an old self, is now, just stuff." Beautifully said! Now, on with the cleaning!

  3. There is a scene in the movie UP where the old man has to push all the stuff out of his house to lighten it up so that it can float again. This is a great metaphor, I think. Thanks for the comments.


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