Storing Stuff

It seems completely natural to squirrel away some extra food in the freezer. It seems rational to have a few extra bandages in the medicine cabinet in case a finger is mistaken for a carrot during food preparation. What about the rest of the stuff filling my house? What about the shelves of books I’m planning to read? What about the two extra bikes on the side of the house? What about the specialty pans I never cook with? How did this stuff accumulate? Who was the sneaky bastard who convinced me a bread machine was a good idea?
All these things sit in space I pay a monthly fee for them to occupy. I’m paying to store stuff others could be using. The more I store, the less that is available for others and the more that has to be produced. I’m the ideal consumer. I’m the irrational excuse for an ever-expanding economy.
The storage industry in United States is at 20 billion dollars and “1.875 billion square feet of personal storage.” That means Americans pay more to store the material goods they don’t use every year than most small country’s GDP.
This is eating away at my sanity, so I’ve decided to do something. My goal is simple. I must rid myself of one object a day. A container sits by the door. I drop one unused item in it per day. Once the container is filled it goes to the local thrift store. I’ve made two trips.
Have you heard of the 100 thing challenge?
How about the Story of Stuff?

Posted November 14th, 2009 in Uncategorized. Tagged: , .


  1. Lau:

    Great post Jim, and great initiative. Should be followed. I might start, but need to convince someone here maybe. But guess i could start with the carton box that is still unopened since we moved in here 8 years ago.

    Getting rid of things is one thing, but i find preventing things entering my house even more challenging. People should know me by now, especially parents… but people keep bringing stuff when they visit. How to make sure this doesnt happen anymore? Many are offended when u say something about it. I found myself in fights with my mom, and even my girlfriend, when i told them to stop buying useless shit. Anybody any hints?

    Giving the good example doesnt seem to work, in the long run maybe?

  2. Pops:

    Hi All
    We all have way to many things…
    How many fishing rods do I need? I can only fish one at a time!But yet I feel the need to have several rods per type of fish,and a few spares.
    Lau you need not offend anyone, maybe mention that if you think that you need to bring me a gift, make it something that we can all enjoy, some wine,cheese or even a good loaf of bread.
    Great post Jim

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