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WildernessPunk 7/19/17 Possessions

How much? How many? Possessions, what do we really need? Out of everything you own, how much have you used in the last month, the last year? Do you have things which haven’t seen the light for over a decade? Depending on your age, I bet you do.

Of course, even in the US, there is a wide curve in how much people possess. A twenty-two-year-old bouncing into a new apartment, might have less than a twelve year old living in suburbia. Others own rooms full of items and in general the older one is, the more likely they own more and will continue to do so as long as their health permits.

Overall, I’d guess the richer one is, the more they possess, (and the more resources they consume and the more they hurt the environment) although poverty is no protection against accumulating too much. Everyone is different, but most people in this country tend to fill any place they have, given the time.

Why do we keep so much? As I allow myself a moment out of the piercing desert sun, I leave my half empty Uhaul and contemplate the type of things I’m moving through the shimmering heat.

Half Done

Perhaps we should look at both the positive and negative aspects of doing so before we move on. Let’s go positive first.

  • Saving items is environmentally friendly on multiple levels. I’m keeping things out of the landfill, instead of replacing them with something new whose construction uses part of the environment and it also creates a carbon print to be produced. Often when I contemplate throwing away a non-perishable item like a broken table, this is the thought which nags at me, “This is so irresponsible to be throwing this into a landfill, when with a little work it could be fixed.”

 

  • You might be able to use it. Again, I’m helping the environment by not replicating something I have. I’m not wasting money buying something new.

 

  • Certain things are useful sporadically. I’m not just talking about winter and summer clothes here. There are also things like camping equipment, hunting and fishing gear, and vacations supplies, which all though used less frequently, as very valuable when it is time to bust them out.

 

  • Sometimes you can pass things down to friends. “I’m sick of this old sofa, but my buddy moved into a new place and has almost nothing in there yet…”

 

  • Lastly, it is yours. You worked for the money to get it. You carried it into your home. Items are part of your capital base and most of us just want this to increase. It is the way of mankind.

 

Alright let’s head into the negatives.

 

  • Too many things make your living space one big mess. Sure, some people like things tidier than others, but having crap spread over everywhere in every room gets ridiculous. You are weighing the pleasure of having nice things by the overabundance of them to the point where nothing looks good and little is enjoyed.

 

Storage unit 2

  • You have so much stuff you can’t find what you need. We have possessions so we can use them. But when we have too much, the things we need are unfindable or buried in some closet and if you forgot where you put your keys, it might be a half an hour quest to locate them within the clutter.

 

  • Clutter is dangerous. It is easier to get hurt when things are twisting your ankle, stabbing your ribs, or falling off shelves. Not to mention carrying items through narrowed spaces makes it more likely you might throw out your back.

 

  • No clean level surface to put my beer on.

 

  • If/when you have to move, well… that’s when the nightmare really begins

 

  • If you are a renter, having too much crap can get you tossed out of your place too.

So what is the answer? How do we balance all our things? The younger generation may have a lead on some of us. They seem happier just having a little screen to stare into and get much of their entertainment from the cloud.

Much of our lives we are told to get more, get more. But why do we really need more and what are we getting? Do I really need those 25 extra shirts I never wear? Are my files of paperwork I haven’t seen for 5 years really something I should still be keeping?

Conan

It is hard to get things and sometimes even harder to throw them away. Perhaps the best idea would be to want, need, and use less. Remember the mouse? But despite of my words, I still don’t want to get rid of my Conan comics.

 

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Alex of the Gods

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You can grab some of my fiction here, which I promise has nothing to do with this.

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