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Thoughts on moving and addiction to our possessions





Wolf1918
Having just completed a cross country relocation I have come to realise that we do not own our possessions, our possessions own us.

In the process of moving, I found stuff I had not seen for years, had not used for years and things I had forgotten I even had. But still I was unable to get rid of them, so those things needed to be packed and moved to my new location, where without a doubt they will stay in their boxes for years again, and I won't see them or use them.

This is insane. However, I'm sure if I have to move again it will be the same story.

We are slaves to our possessions.

I am planning on slowly reducing this. It's not that I have tons of junk. I didn't even need to rent a truck to move everything. But still it was way too much stuff. My goal is to reduce it down to basic clothes, my cat and bird, a laptop and a few books.

If I could reduce it down to what I could carry in a backpack, that would be even better, but I don't think I can manage that! Confused And the more time that passes, the more the memory of this move will begin to fade and I will again start collecting more things!!

Any way, it's good to be settled back in, have a secure roof over my head, not to have the constant daily stress I was under in my old place, and to be nearer to family.

Any one else have any thoughts on being owned by our things?
Chad
Liu
Well, if you let your possessions own you, I would say that it's an unhealthy obsession that you should probably seek help for. (: I've seen people with the problem that they can't even throw away used band aids, gum, etc. on this TV special. Now that I would say that the possession really owns them.

There's only a few possessions that I can think of that I could not throw away because of a special personal tie and memory generated from it.
DoctorBeaver
Every once in a while I get ruthless and have a good clearout. If I didn't, I would need to live in a mansion just to house all my junk. It doesn't happen as often as it should and I still have piles of it lying around.

There are some things I would never throw away, but most what accumulates never gets used and simply takes up space.

Even now, there are things at the back of the shed that will never again see the light of day. The problem is with mustering the enthusiasm and effort to do something about it. It's far easier to just chuck something into the shed than it is to clear it out again.
a.Bird
I have faced this problem for a long time but spring is finally here and I'm planning a yard sale. I have a lot of stuff other people could use that has simply collected dust for months or even years on end. Anything you don't sell, give up to charity. (If you are a stingy bastard you can even obtain receipts to write off on your taxes Rolling Eyes) All in all, you are absolutely correct that our possessions own and eventually consume us. It's only a matter of time before the illusion of material importance begins to wash away and that ever-expanding universe inside of us becomes available for others to see. This universe of individualism and character is infinite and everlasting. The universe of material possesion is not.
Yantaal
i think it is ok finding stuff that you8 had forgotten, and I even think it is ok to keep bits. because those things can hold memories, i dont keep everything, but somethings remind you of fun times you had forgotten long ago.

just looking at this from another view
thorunn
Wolf1918 wrote:
Having just completed a cross country relocation I have come to realise that we do not own our possessions, our possessions own us.

In the process of moving, I found stuff I had not seen for years, had not used for years and things I had forgotten I even had. But still I was unable to get rid of them, so those things needed to be packed and moved to my new location, where without a doubt they will stay in their boxes for years again, and I won't see them or use them.

This is insane. However, I'm sure if I have to move again it will be the same story.

We are slaves to our possessions.

I am planning on slowly reducing this. It's not that I have tons of junk. I didn't even need to rent a truck to move everything. But still it was way too much stuff. My goal is to reduce it down to basic clothes, my cat and bird, a laptop and a few books.

If I could reduce it down to what I could carry in a backpack, that would be even better, but I don't think I can manage that! Confused And the more time that passes, the more the memory of this move will begin to fade and I will again start collecting more things!!

Any way, it's good to be settled back in, have a secure roof over my head, not to have the constant daily stress I was under in my old place, and to be nearer to family.

Any one else have any thoughts on being owned by our things?
Chad


LOL I know this feeling!!! I have moved alot in the last 15 years....and I've slowly realized that when I haven't seen something for years, and I haven't noticed that I missed it either it is time to get rid of it....even thou it is really hard!
Nameless
Wolf1918 wrote:
Having just completed a cross country relocation I have come to realise that we do not own our possessions, our possessions own us.


You weren't ... moving into Soviet Russia were you? Razz
crimson_aria
I have the same problem. I tend to get attached too much to my possessions that I find it hard to throw things away, even if they're just a bunch of papers and stuff. I'm really sentimental. My family has to deal this all the time. I'm trying my best to change. The solution I came up with just lately is to fix my stuff every now and then and throw immediately the things I know I won't be needing. Because when you keep them longer, doing away with them is harder. hiks >.<
ocalhoun
The best solution I've come across to this problem yet is this:
Whenever you get/buy/acquire something, you should decide when you're going to get rid of it and how before you accept or purchase it.
This places in your mind that the possession is only temporary, and makes actually getting rid of it far easier.
[FuN]goku
AHA. I'm sort of like this, i wouldn't go as far as some of the things Liu mentioned, like saving gum and bandaids rofl thats kind of nasty.

But i do save other things. Like if i have something thats really old, and one day it breaks , i dont wanna get rid of it, i'll just take the pieces and put it somewhere.

Nameless wrote:
Wolf1918 wrote:
Having just completed a cross country relocation I have come to realise that we do not own our possessions, our possessions own us.


You weren't ... moving into Soviet Russia were you? Razz


AHA! I love soviet russia jokes Wink
In soviet russia road fork you Razz
bonestorm74
Yeah it's not really a great thing to be tied to your possessions. Hard in a material world like this to think otherwise though.
PatTheGreat42
I'm not addicted to my possessions.

I can get rid of them anytime I want.

Really. I don't need that old broken toaster. It's just, ya know, I'm gonna fix it soon. No point in wasting money on a new toaster. The new one I got is just to fill in space and make some toast until I fix it.

'Course, I can't fix it until I get money for parts by selling off that old TV. Sure, the picture is entirely green, but some people like that, right?

I'm not addicted to my stuff. I just like having things. Right?
Crazy_Canuck
Stuff. hehehe

Do you guys know the absolutely CLASSIC George Carlin bit on "stuff"?

It is beyond funny. Check it out HERE.
SonLight
The problem of accumulating "stuff" applies also to our computers. When we buy a nice shiny new computer, it always has "so much space I'll never use that much", so we throw more files out there willy-nilly until we have thousands of them and there is no possibility of cleaning up and throwing the unneeded ones away.

I have pipe dreams about organizing things somehow, and being able to shuffle the "unlikely-to-be-reused" files out to dvd. Unfortunately, the technologies available for searching for things and organizing them in categories are not adequate, so I may have to upgrade my computer just to cope with my sloppy habits.
ocalhoun
SonLight wrote:

I have pipe dreams about organizing things somehow, and being able to shuffle the "unlikely-to-be-reused" files out to dvd. Unfortunately, the technologies available for searching for things and organizing them in categories are not adequate, so I may have to upgrade my computer just to cope with my sloppy habits.


You have to be organized from the start. All my files are very well organized in a single directory on the root of the hard drive (to make back up and recovery easier). As long as you never save anything except to the proper place inside this master directory, you'll be organized.

This reminds me of an interesting idea I heard, of a tag-based file system. All files would be in one folder, but they would all have specific tags that you put on. Instead of looking for files in a specific folder, you look for files with a specific tag. That way, you would have the effect of being able to have files that belong to multiple 'folders', and you have more options for organization.
DoctorBeaver
SonLight wrote:
The problem of accumulating "stuff" applies also to our computers. When we buy a nice shiny new computer, it always has "so much space I'll never use that much", so we throw more files out there willy-nilly until we have thousands of them and there is no possibility of cleaning up and throwing the unneeded ones away.


That reminds me. There's a fundamental law of office work - the amount of clutter expands to fill the available desk space.
Laughing
Tumbleweed
DoctorBeaver wrote:
SonLight wrote:
The problem of accumulating "stuff" applies also to our computers. When we buy a nice shiny new computer, it always has "so much space I'll never use that much", so we throw more files out there willy-nilly until we have thousands of them and there is no possibility of cleaning up and throwing the unneeded ones away.


That reminds me. There's a fundamental law of office work - the amount of clutter expands to fill the available desk space.
Laughing


As I sit and look around me I realise this law is not just limited to offices.
Afaceinthematrix
I used to be a like that some. I had a bunch of stuff that I didn't need. Now it's gotten to the point where I'm the opposite. I have very little that I need. I do a lot of backpacking (wilderness trekking) and I can fit most of my valuable possessions (tent, clothes, knife, compass, etc.) in my backpack. I have a few other things that I care about (pictures, comp., tv) but those are just a few things. I can live without T.V., but I need my computer for school.
ankitdatashn
I guess this a a kind of intellectual topic, would return to it in future coz for the moment I'm in a flurry...
loyal
Quote:

Having just completed a cross country relocation I have come to realise that we do not own our possessions, our possessions own us.

In the process of moving, I found stuff I had not seen for years, had not used for years and things I had forgotten I even had. But still I was unable to get rid of them, so those things needed to be packed and moved to my new location, where without a doubt they will stay in their boxes for years again, and I won't see them or use them.

This is insane. However, I'm sure if I have to move again it will be the same story.

We are slaves to our possessions.

I am planning on slowly reducing this. It's not that I have tons of junk. I didn't even need to rent a truck to move everything. But still it was way too much stuff. My goal is to reduce it down to basic clothes, my cat and bird, a laptop and a few books.

If I could reduce it down to what I could carry in a backpack, that would be even better, but I don't think I can manage that! Confused And the more time that passes, the more the memory of this move will begin to fade and I will again start collecting more things!!

Any way, it's good to be settled back in, have a secure roof over my head, not to have the constant daily stress I was under in my old place, and to be nearer to family.

Any one else have any thoughts on being owned by our things?
Chad


I wrote an article on this, from a Muslim point of view.
EDIT: updated link:
http://www.pathofislam.net/spirituality/spirituality-and-materials/

Tell me what you think, mate.

Peace.
deanhills
This was a posting that was so much on the mark for me. I moved last year and threw out loads of junk, also discovered lots of things I had forgotten about, and could not part with either, and worst part was when I arrived at my destination there was barely enough space for all my things. I obviously had thrown out much less than I had thought I had.

Just imagine if anything should happen to us and someone else would be burdened with this problem? I had two close relatives dying last year, and I had to take care of the effects of one, and I resolved there and then to do something about all my "stuff". I was thinking that I would look at the stuff that I do not use at least once a month. Such as my computer books (everything is now available on the Internet), archived clothes in suitcases, book collections. Think this posting has motivated me to get stuck in in a major way.
aswapathy
In the movie "The Jerk" Bernadette Peters remarks that she can do without the money. It's not the money, it's the stuff.

And the problem with the stuff is that it's too easy to get, and to hard to rid of.

Maybe if there was a tax on any stuff that isn't biodegrable...
watersoul
I can really identify with this thread! Every time I move home I'm reminded of how much stuff I actually have hidden in boxes in cupboards etc. None of it is valuable in money terms, things like letters, pictures, memories and things from the past maybe. I try to be ruthless but never reduce the pile by much so the boxes just travel again with me and hide away in new cupboards.
Maybe when I get old and die they'll serve a purpose then though, Grandkids etc will get a pretty cool history picture of my life just rummaging around a few of those boxes Smile
TurtleShell
I just finished a cross country relocation as well. It's true. I have too much stuff and I don't want to let it go. But I've faced 3 major relocations in the last 6 or 7 years and every time I throw away a little more. As time passes I let go of some of the really old things...but some of it I keep. I now have a little drawer of stuff I just can't part with.

Here's the really crazy part: the stuff that builds up the most these days are old bills. I get bad about shredding htem and I'm afraid to throw it away because of identity theft. Wish I had a fireplace I'd just burn it all.
j_f_k
bone of contention in 'the white house' at the moment as 90% of the clutter in the house will almost certainly never get used - yet it still has to be kept.

I'll all for periodic purges - this is what charity shops are for. The thought of moving with 10 tones of stuff which is not needed makes me ill - this is I suppose why moving for people is the most stressful part of their lives.

Pity people who rent and who sometimes will get kicked out of their place because of the circumstances of the owner have changed and who therefore move more frequently than others
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