Friday, July 04, 2008
My world is getting smaller, shrinking a bit as I focus on class work and reading for class and my work at the church, so I crave open spaces again.

Yeah, didn't take too long to abandon a nice colourful design for the site.

But I've been thinking, again,


Actually she's like me in the whole clutter thing, she just doesn't need to be worried about my mad random thinking.

And now that she's not reading, where was I...

Oh yeah, "one"

What if, we had kinda like just one of the stuff we needed.

You know. Like one, or perhaps two but no more than three,



One pencil.

One purse or briefcase.

One scissor. Or is it one scissors?

One radio.

One plate per person.

One vehicle.

One bible.

One salt shaker.

One quilt per bed.

One outdoor hose.

One box for useless papers.

Or one useless paper.

One couch.

One box of storage.

One coat.

One pair of underwear.

Well, ok, the idea breaks down. But you get what I'm after here?

We go through life gathering stuff that sticks to us. Then our job becomes that of stuff storer, and as we age we gather more stuff and need homes for our stuff.

My kids grow up and leave home and when they leave, boy do they have stuff. Not junk, well mostly, but stuff. We've taught them how to gather stuff, I'm just not always sure we've taught them how to not let the stuff own you.

That is a tricky one, because stuff accumulates around you as you progress through life.

You need a certain wrench or pen or marker or scissors for a certain need. Then when that need is met, you are still left with the tool you required, so you rightly save it, because you just paid for it and may have need of it again. This is good stewardship.

But then you end up hauling that tent around for the rest of your life, the one you used for just that one trip camping and have never wanted to use again.

I don't know, there are no easy answers here folks.

Well, unless you have a quonset in the back yard you can use to hold all your stuff.

Collecting or gathering is passive, it happen to you as you progress through life. But divesting yourself of your stuff needs to be active. It takes a deliberate act on your part to lighten the load.

To get rid of. To give away.

I'm not saying I have a handle on this yet people, I'm just saying I've been thinking...

Which can always be dangerous.


  1. I can totally relate. What a world it would be if I had only one pair of shoes, one outfit to choose from (maybe grey t-shirt and blue jeans), etc. etc. I would LOVE that. It's one of the reasons I've made an effort to give up on some of my obsessions, which tend to lead to collecting...And as much as I love collecting, I really hate collecting. Know what I mean?

  2. i don't think you've taught us to 'gather stuff'. i think its quite the opposite. every time i told you i needed a bigger room you would tell me i needed less stuff and to get rid of some of it. not noticing that my room was only slightly bigger then the bathroom...
    but i have learned to not collect stuff. at least i'm working on it. every year - every time i go to pack for school or something - i go through my mounds of stuff and reduce it. i take out the nifty things that i used once but haven't had a need for in the past year. slowly letting go of the things i never thought i would be able to. closing my eyes and tossing things i know i won't miss but can't throw away because they have strange possessive powers.
    i think all my clothes fit in one suitcase now. less than any other girl i know. thats shoes included!
    and in your house in the fall you need at least ten blankets on your bed before the heat gets turned on, but i agree. one quilt would be nice. seeing as i now have accumulated ten blankets...
    and the tent in the basement that i only got used once, i would love to use again, but have never been able to find time, and i don't have a car to drive it to the lake, and it kills the grass in the backyard, and the one time i took it out thomas broke the rain cover thing and i haven't been able to find time to fix it yet. its not that i don't want to use it. i love it. i just have been working or in school for the past two years and have not been able to take it out.
    (please don't toss it. i'll take it with me when i move out. after a graduate. so like 5 years.)
    but ya.
    i think simplicity is the goal of a lot of people these days.
    to be free of the stress that comes with owning stuff.
    having stuff weighs down on you.
    oh to only own the clothes on your back and be free.
    but then you have to eat, and so you need pots to cook your food in, and you can't wear the same thing to work everyday so you need more than one outfit, and really you want something to sleep on at night so you need a bed, but blankets and pillows would be nice too, and what if friends come to visit, while they can't eat off the floor and sleep on the ground, so you get extra beds and blankets and plates and cups, and it goes on.
    i think we would all love to have less. but its so hard to live when we are used to having a lot.
    sorry to write so much.
    i guess its something i think about a lot too.

  3. yeah Hillary you have come a long way in how you treat your stuff.

    Oh and I should add I wasn't referring to you or your tent. It can stay with us as long as it likes.

    But you touch on a good point. Sometimes we begin to trust our stuff to give us comfort so much so, that it becomes unhealthy. And when those things take such a prominent place in our lives, we need to look at why we can't let them go.

    Shows a lot of growth and maturity to recognize our dependence on things, and to begin to let go of the stuff. Then I guess it doesn't "own" us.

    anyway, yup, you've been changing in this, and I've seen the change.

    Now, about that huge mother of all chairs in your room....

  4. its comfy.
    its the only piece of furniture i own.
    it was ten bucks.
    i like it.

  5. Yes - stuff - I just emptied our home of 26 years - the place our kids grew up - what an overwhelming task! I put it off for 5 months - well three maybe cuz my husband had surgery so we recuperated for 2 months first. I would go in and take one thing or two things and bring to our new house and leave the rest ...sitting there.
    Then I had to get serious so decided (I'm sure God helped me realize) to just go in and "do". I refused to allow myself to think on what had to be done, just went in each day (well nearly every day) and "do" for 2 or 3 or 4 hours.
    After 7 weeks of 'doing', I hauled away 11-15 (I lost count) loads to charity garage sales, 6-7 loads to the dump, gave away some to a needy family, and brought some stuff to our new home - some of which will not stay and now the house is empty. Praise the Lord!!!
    Now to clean it. :(
    Good purging to you (That's what my sister-in-law calls getting rid of 'stuff').

  6. Wow, good, hard work Vanessa.

    I wonder if i could do that.

    Well done.

  7. I'm a bit late to this particular party, but I thought of your post this afternoon when perusing the latest Ikea catalogue. I realised that, not only was I thinking about acquiring more stuff from the secular retail temple, but that I was only looking at storage options. The solution to having too much stuff - buy more stuff in order to tidy it up ?!

    I don't know, I make stuff last for years, but still seem to accumulate it. Looking around the world it is such a privilege to have this sort of problem.


I'm moderating all the comments these days.

Copyright Randall Friesen. Powered by Blogger.