LESS IS MORE
MORE STUFF? STUFF THAT! WHILE I’M ALL FOR THE SPIRIT OF GIVING, WE NEED TO RETHINK WHAT FORM IT TAKES
As far as Christmas goes this year, I have two words: stuff it, and no, I’m not talking about the roast bird. More and more I find myself panicking at the thought of Christmas for one reason: stuff.
It’s the panic of a woman who needs to declutter before the next wave arrives.
It’s the panic of a woman who doesn’t want to buy more storage to fit more stuff. Or buy a bigger house because we have so much stuff, because that’s what happens in our society – we accumulate stuff and simply keep expanding our homes and storage units in order to hang on to it.
A survey by the Australia Institute found 40 per cent of Australians feel anxious, guilty or depressed about the clutter in their homes, so I know I’m not alone here.
The survey also found that most people have also bought things, like vacuum storage bags, in order to deal with or store the clutter, including having built a shed or garage for that specific purpose. The problem is, stuff is cheap. Toys are cheap, clothes are cheap, trinkets are cheap. The throwaway society we now live in is a clutter-fest waiting to happen.
Stuff wasn’t cheap before. Grandma’s crystal vases were actually crystal and given as a wedding present. A TV lasted decades if you happened to be fortunate enough to have one. Clothes were stitched and repaired, not ditched and replaced.
Now we have fantastic plastic, mass production and, in many cases, more disposable income than our parents or grandparents could have imagined. Even with a low budget, there’s cheap stuff to meet it. At the shops, I am overwhelmed at the shelves and rows of stuff. Each year I wonder where all this stuff goes. Really, who buys it all? Most of it will end up in landfill and that’s depressing.
I’ve taken to online shopping, market stall purchases from small business and adopting a more practical approach or the experience angle with presents this year. I love giving, I love being generous but I don’t want to contribute to clutter and landfill. Nor do I want any more stuff in my house.
Saying that, I have two kids and clutter seems to stick to them like magnets. So before Santa unloads his sleigh again, I need to clear the shelves because the only way I want to feel stuffed at Christmas is from too much pudding.