More Stuff or Less Stuff, that is the Question - by Charlotte Murray


Boxes of Stuff - by Charlotte Rydlund

This month was a big deal for me. Why? Because after 23 months of living without my belongings, we were finally going to have our beloved stuff delivered to our apartment. 23 months! That’s how long ago we had begun packing up our place in Switzerland for the big move across the ocean; and yes, it took us more than a year to finally settle down again after all the adventures. That was part of the fun.

I was so excited that I would have ‘new’ clothes again, I would have my favourite cast iron pots, and we would have a little bit of furniture. It was going to feel like a real home again, and as there had been several false starts in terms of the delivery date, it made the anticipation even more acute.

As the day drew closer, I noticed that I had begun getting nervous and stressed about receiving our things. Was there going to be damage? Would my clothes fit? Would we have enough space? Around the same time, I came across an article that was so fitting to my situation and my anxiety – it was called “Clear The Clutter: Stop Organizing And Just Have Less Stuff”. I couldn’t agree more. And this is when I realized why I was anxious.

I had been living almost two years without stuff. Everything we had been living with fit in a car (granted it was a large Yukon). But still, I had become used to not having a lot of stuff, and yet feeling that I had everything that I needed.

Receiving our things was a bit like Christmas all over again. Opening all the boxes and seeing things I had forgotten we had, and others that brought back such great memories. Indeed it felt like our home had been delivered to us.

I admit I’m still adjusting to having all the stuff around, despite the comfort of having familiar things around me. We had done quite a good job of culling things before we made the move, primarily because we were paying for it, and because we were honest with getting rid of stuff that we had not used in the last three years since our previous move.

And that’s what I’m taking out of this experience - having more stuff does not make for a more comfortable home. It’s a nice problem to have. From my perspective, having lived that long without stuff, it’s not necessarily about having a lot of stuff, or little stuff, but having the right stuff for the situation. Having the stuff that has a purpose, the stuff that makes you feel good and look good. And so this is what I’m working on right now – being conscious about the stuff that I have unpacked, being honest with myself of whether I actually will use it or not, and appreciating and using what I have. It’s about being mindful about the stuff I have; but mindfulness is something I’ll cover more next time…

So in the meantime, here are a few things to think about:

-        What stuff do you have that you appreciate?

-        What stuff do you have that weighs you down?

-        What stuff would you not miss if you didn’t see it for two years?