This is a Journal of my struggle to control all the STUFF that finds it's way into my home. I don't want to be the "keep this for me" person anymore!
I am not my stuff but my stuff says a lot about who I am.
I am not a professional organizer and I am not a therapist. I’m simply a little old lady who has finally gotten fed up with her consumerism mentality and is taking a journey back to a simpler time. When I was born the world was still using WW11 ration stamps. No matter how much money a person had they couldn’t legally buy anything because stuff simply wasn’t there to purchase. There was a black market of course but in our neck of the woods people didn’t have the money for black market stuff.
Back in those days everyone learned to make crafts. If you needed something; a rug, a dress, a blanket, a pair of shoes, a storage box, a new knife, a broom, a basket, a….. whatever….. then someone learned to make it from whatever was available to use. A new knife? Made from tin cans. A pair of shoes? Made from animal hides saved after slaughter. House shoes were often made from straw or rope. A blanket? Quilts of course! A rug? Tons of ways to make those. A basket? Use pine needles, cat tail leaves, straw, etc.
But here’s the thing…. not every family made every craft. If you needed a pair of shoes, but didn’t have the tools to make leather shoes, you took your hides to a shoe maker. If you needed a knife, but didn’t have the tools to make one, you took your tin cans to a black smith. If I remember right, a dozen tin cans was the price for a small paring knife. Both the shoe maker and the black smith used the extra materials to make trade items or sell items. The shoe maker might trade a pair of shoes for a couple of good knives and so forth. You get the idea? Everyone learned a craft or two as a skill. The extra crafted items could be sold or simply traded.
Life back then was all about family and friends. When things were made, they were made to last a long time. Sometimes people got together to work on crafted items. Like a quilting bee or a basket weaving or even a barn raising. People made things that would last and could be handed down generation after generation. Even factories back then employed people….. not just machines. If a factory had machines it was to help the people and not replace the people.
It’s the modern automation of factories that has created the consumerism of today. If stuff is made extremely fast then it has to be sold extremely fast so the machines can make more stuff extremely fast. To sell stuff fast you must make it so stuff has to be replaced fast too. Make the stuff last only as long as the warranty. Or is it the warranty is designed to be only as long as the stuff will last? Either way you must convince people, through advertising, that they really “need and want” more stuff. Manufacturers must convince the people to buy fast and often. See what I mean?
Ok, back to who I am really. I’m a little old lady who is tired of living paycheck to paycheck in order to keep buying more stuff. I’m tired of being convinced I need and want whole rooms full of stuff. I’m tired of my house looking like a “garage” of collected stuff that I really don’t need for a quality life. I really don’t need a whole room of fabrics (looking like a fabric store) in order to create really nice quilts. I have enough fabrics to create a quilt a week for about 30 years or so. I don’t need that much fabric!
I have enough food to feed ten people for ten years. This is not necessary….. it’s greed and consumerism. Umm…. what about preparing for the future? An economic disaster or a weather disaster? Ok, some amount of food storage is necessary. I’ve written posts about food storage for the future on my main blog. It’s the over abundance of food storage I’m talking about. Why should my daughter’s basement and my spare bedroom look like a grocery store? We each should have a pantry, not a store. People survived through WW1, the great depression, and WW11 food shortages didn’t they? Those who had would share with those who didn’t. We ate healthier because we had to. When I was a child junk food was when Grandma Mama made candy or popped corn. Fast food was how fast Grandma Mama could catch, kill, cut up, and cook a chicken for unexpected company. We survived. I’m living proof of that.
So…. who am I really? I am certainly not my stuff. I’m warm, friendly, happy most of the time, and willing to talk about the hoarded stuff hidden in rooms behind closed doors. A little old lady on a mission to rid herself of stuff that can’t love me back in order to have the time to spend with those who love me for me.