People Have Too Much Stuff


| 2/10/2012 11:23:38 AM


Tags: stuff, reusing, garbage, Cam Mather,

People have too much sh*t. And by “sh*t” I mean “stuff.” I debated using that word, but that’s kind of the way I feel about it right now. Stuff is too cheap and we all have too much of it.

I’ve mentioned previously about our recent de-cluttering blitz. It started in the fall when we decided to have some of our books shipped from our printer’s warehouse to our much smaller “warehouse” here at Sunflower Farm. We had been storing them at our printer in Altona, Manitoba, which is just across the border from our U.S. distributor in Minnesota. This made it easy to move our books from our printer to our distributor. But they charge us for warehousing so we decided it was time to save some money and store some of the smaller quantities here. This meant I had to clean out the room in our guesthouse where we store our books and prepare them for shipping. I also needed to build some new shelves for the boxes of books that would soon be arriving. So the de-cluttering started slowly with recycling some extra cardboard boxes that I had saved and then I ramped it up to a full-scale war on clutter.

Around the time that I began to work on my de-cluttering project, we got some extra cable channels and I watched a few of those shows about hoarders. They showed people who couldn’t even walk through their homes because they were piled so high with “stuff.” They made me feel better about my own de-cluttering since my house looks nothing like those ones.  But they also inspired me and after every show about hoarders that I watched, I picked another room and went at it with a newfound zeal.

I finally tacked my collection of clothing. I never throw anything away. I had old jeans that were full of holes. I kept them because I figured there was enough material left to use them to patch up other jeans in the future. I had t-shirts from concerts that I attended while I was in high school, probably 1978 or so. How could I throw away those? But I did and we ended up with bags of my old clothing. One day while Michelle was in town she tried to drop them in to one of those charity collection bins but it was full to the point of overflowing.

A few days later we were in Napanee and The Salvation Army Thrift Store had a big sign out front that read, “Not Taking Donations.” Really? The Salvation Army isn’t taking donations? Turns out that their store and trailer outside were filled to bursting.

t brandt
2/10/2012 8:43:44 PM

Amen, Cam... But: this is another case of how we (the 1st World) have painted ourselves into a corner. Without consumerism, our economy would grind to a halt. And while the slave-like workng conditions of those poor Chinese may seem cruel to us, it's still a better life than they had. They now have a middle class there and they have bought more autos in the past year than were sold in the US (a proxy measure of std of living)... While I personally live a meager lifestyle with few material needs, it would't be good for the economy for everyone to live this way... And living a more frugal, natural lifestyle surrounded by an industrial society is kinda like the kids camping in the back yard, "roughing it"- they know they can always come in the house if a storm comes up...Noah didn't try to save everyone.





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