Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: My Crap

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Can you think of one of the top growth companies that didn't exist before the 1950s? Storage Units. Frightening isn't it? In fact, The Economist reports that 1 in 10 families use them. Why do we need storage units? Because we need so much crap. Really? For the first time in my life the scales are falling from my eyes and I am becoming a believer in less is more. Thank you Jen Hatmaker; you have officially made my thoughts and gut wrenching guilt over consuming come to an end. I hope.

I told you guys a few weeks ago that the book 7 is rocking my world and I would walk you through a few transformative issues from the book. Today I focus on my crap... I have this hideous necklace that I keep in my jewelry box as a reminder of my absurd desire to follow my feelings when it comes to stuff. When I purchased it several years ago I thought it was the perfect accessory to make simple ensembles pop. Wrong! The thing is ugly. Really ugly. I think I only wore it once, but at the time I was quite sure I needed it. I will hold onto that necklace forever, as a reminder that things/stuff/crap won't make me happy. And feelings are just as fleeting at high waist jeans and high-heeled sneaks. 

I have tried to stuff every empty place in my life, heart and soul with stuff and none of it has filled the void. Ever. More has never made anyone eternally happy. In fact, there are millions - dare I say, billions - that are happier with less than what I have. True. I recently watched a documentary called Happy and there are researchers who have studied this very thing, uncovering the truth that stuff does NOT improve our quality of life. 
So, I am officially simplifying. Subtracting from my crazy emotional mathematic equation that says more + more = happiness. I am refusing to believe that lie. I am refusing to compare other people's external lives with my internal knowledge of my own life. It will never compare. I am getting off the hamster wheel of consumption because purchasing that new whatever only provides momentary enjoyment and then I'm left with all the same feelings that were there before and a stupid storage unit!

Who's with me? xo


  1. I LOVE this Brooke! And I'm with you, doing my best to purge before we move!

  2. It is amazing -"blessed are the poor in spirit" - I love hearing all these amazing stories of people who lost everything from Storm Sandy and one woman said, Our home is where ever we are together - all the "stuff" in the world does not make a home, it is the people.

  3. So true :) Some one once said to me, that we spend the first 30 years of our life filling our house with things. After that we spend the next 30 years trying to get rid of them. So true. I'm now 30 and I have started realizing how much I have to get rid of.

    - Jenny

  4. Hey!! I love that Jen Hatmaker!!
    How are things?

    Happy favorite holiday!! Enjoy your family!

    Purge!Purge!Purge! LOL

  5. Absolutely with you ! I'm actually sparing the essentials to save more room for simplicity and real living. Always keeping on mind "Some people are so poor, all they have is money".

  6. "7" is a game changer. I am trying to get the family to downsize by 1/2 but no dice. So we have decided to pack up a bunch of books,dishes, games and toys and store them in our attic to see if we really miss them or not....then I'll purge them. Sometimes I want to move so we have a good reason to downsize.
    I crave simplicity yet I like other peoples junk. ugh.

  7. Rach - moving is the best way to downsize: pack, donate, toss.

    pve - amen friend. amen. love it.

    jenny - ha ha ha. so true.

    shon - i know, right?

    lisa - YAY!

    jeen - i love that quote. it's so true.

    nicole - i love that idea. now if we could just get into our attic. ha ha ha and, i'm right there with ya, i crave simplicity, love a good deal and can always find something to bring home. uggghhh indeed.

    love you ladies! xo

  8. I am favoriting this post. This is really something I have been struggling with lately, and it's only exasperated by the blog world. I went on a three-month shopping freeze recently (really out of necessity) and I found myself being more thankful and content with what I have. But once I broke the freeze, the flood gates opened and I couldn't seem to stop, I seemed(seem) to keep thinking there's more and more that I "need". And the guilt has been gut-wrenching and crippling, like you said. Thank you for the post, I wish it was a topic that was more often addressed by bloggers. You rock, lady!

  9. I'm sooo with you.

    I just got back from living three months in a bamboo village with the Karen refugee people in Thailand. There was no clutter in their huts. They have the bare essentials, and that's it. I'm ashamed when I look at the "stuff" around my home.

    Why can't I be content with not having, and not give into the world's way of having? I have two friends that are fasting for one whole year from buying clothes - it's been hard, but they've managed just fine.

    - Kimanh


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