The Story of Stuff

Jenny - posted on 01/30/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )

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How much "stuff" do you have? Have you sat down and really thought about where it comes from and where it goes? Or why you buy it in the first place?

I definately have too much stuff. My partner loves his stuff and it is our biggest sticking point as I am trying to move us to simpler living. Anyways, this is a great short documentary.

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Vashti - posted on 02/09/2011

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I spring clean every year to get rid of STUFF, I recently converted the basement to a working space for my husband with strict rules of not accumulating STUFF. I think you have to keep on top of it. When we bought our house, we decided not to furnish until both boys were over 6 and have done pretty good so far. I hate junk. And because I am a stay at home mom, when the baby sleeps and my older is at school, i go through toys that are no longer needed that we can donate, same with clothing, I scan all bills and save them on the computer then shred them, I got a filing cabinet for all the important stuff that we need. When we grocery shop, its usually what we consume in that week, so nothing gets wasted, and this is accomplished by pre-planned meals for the week. It can get overwhelming if we let things pile up, and it really doesn't take that long to tidy up if you keep on top of it. Avoid garage sales!!!! LOL, buying other peoples junk, is a sure sign of accumulating unwanted stuff, sure our taste changes, but if you are goign to make changes, then get rid of the things you are going to replace, don't have sentimental attachement to them, then you become a hoarder...lol. Sell it on ebay, craigslist, garage sales, donate or toss it. We definitely need to do more for this planet.

Jenny - posted on 02/04/2011

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We have to stop thinking of the value in how much we paid for it. It doesn't matter. The value is in how we use it, how long we have it, how safely it was created in the first place and how safely the product can be disposed of. As the doc says we do not see what is involved in how this stuff is made, the transportation involved moving it around from stage to stage and what "recycling" can really mean (sell what you can and trash the rest). Do you know where our DVD players, computers, telephones and other assorted electronics go when we discard them? To places like this: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Recycling... First world nations are kept away from that part of the cycle so we keep creating a demand for this junk. How many cell phones have you owned? How many coffeemakers have you gone through? It goes on and on.



I have stopped frequenting department stores and dollar stores. I am phasing out most toys. I don't do gift bags at birthdays. I am trying to source clothes that are as organic as possible. I am all around trying to get out of the cycle of disposable living.



We have to be more concious of the actual manufacturing cycle, poor labour conditions and volatile, dangerous chemicals that surround it. Again, it's not about the money.

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Sal - posted on 02/04/2011

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we moved about 9 months ago and spent weeks before hand going through stuff, gave to freinds (the baby stuff black market is amazing) went to charity and the tip, thought i had it beat, then when push came to shove i still had more stuff than i want, i am terrified of turning into a hoarder (my parents are a bit not tv special worthy but bad enough) and i am forever having to justify why i don;t want to keep stuff i am given are go and buy somethnig new, my mum tried to give me a salad spinner last week, i have been left home 20 years almost and never needed one, yet trying to convince her that the colander and a tea towel would still work like it did last week and i didn;t want hers which was clearly an inferior salad spinner as she bought a newer more wonderful one....

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I can't view the documentary. My Internet connection is having issues. When it's fixed, I'd love to watch it. But going by this conversation...

I'm with everyone else here. It's amazing how stuff just accumulates. Lately when buying I've been questioning...1. Do I NEED this item? 2. Do I LOVE this item? If the answer to either question is "NO" then I don't buy it. The same when getting rid of stuff. If the answer is "no" out the door it goes (to the thrift store, though last year we had an amazing garage sale!) This was a hard transition for me. My mom places sentimental value on objects. It was hard to come out of a house where every object was kept, because someone might use it one day or because it was so and so's favorite toy or necklace or whatever.

Jenny, you say it's not about the money, but in a way it is. How much debt would we (society) really have if we only had what we absolutley needed (and I'll add the word 'loved')? Your point about money is completely different than mine though...and I agree with your point.

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I miss my Freecycle group!!! I did it all the time in Florida. Now, the closest area to me is 2 hours away :( I've been giving Jacob's old toys to a friend who runs a daycare in her home. His old clothes I've been giving to a friend of my MIL's, who has a grandson that's the perfect age gap behind Jacob to wear them all. As for other "stuff" in general, we did a big yard sale before we moved and got rid of most of the stuff we don't use. What didn't sell, we donated through Freecycle. I'm super glad we did all the downsizing though. I'm not the most organized person in the world and if we still had all the "stuff" we used to have, my house would be more chaotic than it is.

Becky - posted on 02/04/2011

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I have way too much stuff, and my kids have way too many clothes and toys. Seriously, I go to put away clothes they've outgrown and think, hmmm, I don't even recognize this! And my house looks like Toys R Us threw up in it. It's out of control. A lot of that stuff and clothes came from Kijiji and garage sales, but it's still out of control.

Veronica - posted on 02/04/2011

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Wanted to add - our 'garbage' is usually just that - garbage, we do recycle and reuse -- and a lot of stuff in our house gets worn down to the bits before we get rid of it -- for instance, i have coffee cups with no handles and are cracked and chipped - but I dont care my husband and I use them, as long as they hold a beverage -- when they drop and shatter, then i toss it. Kids' clothes too - patched, and resewn - if i can donate something i will - but if its beyond give-away status, i use it for scraps for sewing or rags for cleaning.

Veronica - posted on 02/04/2011

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I have a ton of shit - is what I call it - between what is mine and my husbands - to accumulation of 9 years, and 6 kids - its rediculous in my house. I wouldnt say I was a pack rat - I just don't have time to get it all done, and stuff does get shoved somewhere to get it out of the way. BUT when I do go through my stuff - some is garbage, and the rest i donate - whether its to a charity, or to a family member that wants it.
I think clothes are the most we have in the whole house, it used to be toys too -- but i made a point to downsize dramatically, because we had too much to organize properly - now i have maybe two little tote full - and that is great for me :)

Krista - posted on 02/04/2011

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I'm not at ALL a pack-rat, but still feel like I have way too much stuff. The only thing I could say that we really hoard, though, is books.

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Most of my stuff was free, second hand, or discounted. I only spend decent money on food. Food is a stuff i love.

Laura - posted on 02/04/2011

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Yeah, I find myself looking around my house seeing something I don't need and don't use much and think about how much money we would have if I hadn't bought some of this stuff.

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This video is awesome! Telling it like it is! I try not to consume more than my need, i like simplicity. Society needs to get off the treadmill. We need to fix this problem before its too late. Our planet is going to die, where will we live then?

Desiree - posted on 02/04/2011

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I recently did major renovations to home that required that my family move out for 8 weeks. Well then we realised just how much stuff we had accumulated in 14 years of marriage. Now my mom in law has passed so we have had to go through her stuff too and I have inherited even more stuff. I have stuff around my house that doesn't belong to me or are my tastes while my own stuff is lying in a box somewhere and I haven't seen since we moved back home.

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