Curse of stuff
My room is a trash hole. Every surface is covered in trinkets, drawings, sticky notes, pens, and stuff. Just so much stuff. It’s great that I can afford all that stuff, but horrible that it’s consuming my living space.
Indexed’s graph on “The curse of stuff” below attempts to chart social class based on freedom in relation to possessions. As someone who falls solidly in the middle class, the graph plots me at minimal freedom, maximum stuff.
Shouldn’t more stuff signify more freedom? Nope.
There’s a dichotomy I face as a young adult: more stuff means I’m doing well financially, but achieving a Pinterest-perfect minimalistic display of said stuff or lack thereof speaks to a higher level of emotional wellness.
[clickToTweet tweet=”I’ve been hexed with consumerism & minimalism. Compelled to want more – expected to live frugally.” quote=”I’ve been hexed with the dual curses of consumerism and minimalism. I’m compelled to want more while simultaneously expected to live frugally.”]
Curse of consumerism
Compulsive consumerism drives most of my purchases. I’m perpetually talking myself down from buying more things. But if I find myself in a craft store, I either have to keep my wallet in the car or leave with a bag full of products I end up misplacing within a week.
I feel compelled to buy new things, but more specifically, to want to buy new things. It seems like being able to purchase a twenty pack of my favorite pens in every conceivable color is a mark of my success in this world. Or at least an indication of my above-minimum wage financial success.
And then I feel guilty. I feel guilty for buying things I don’t use and for wanting things. I feel guilty for my seeming inability to maintain a clean room up to adult human standards. I feel guilty for spending money on something that isn’t groceries or a self-improvement class.
Curse of minimalism
The guilt turns into a desire for change. I want to follow the righteous path of my peers who managed to achieve minimalist lifestyles after reading some book everyone keeps talking about.
I try to berate myself into action. How am I ever going to be a world traveler or even move somewhere else if I have to lug all my possessions everywhere?
[clickToTweet tweet=”How do I invite people over if my room looks like a ten-year-old was left to fend for himself?” quote=”How am I supposed to invite people over if my room looks like a ten-year-old was left to fend for himself for way too long?”]
I took a class about organizing my life and was so inspired that I got rid of carloads of things. I felt proud of myself for finally donating, recycling, and generally evicting all the stuff clogging up my room. My junk was consolidated to a single box. Which is still sitting in my closet. And is now overflowing. Guilt has once again invited itself to the party.
Lifting the curse
I feel trapped by having so much junk, then ashamed about not being grateful for my ability to purchase said junk.
It is certainly from a place of privilege that I even have the problem of too much stuff.
While there is an amount of freedom that comes from unburdening yourself from excess possessions, it’s equally important to consider the financial freedom already afforded to be in that position.
Hopefully I can find a wizard to lift the curse from the land, freeing us all from the burden of stuff. In the meantime, let’s reevaluate our attitudes towards the accumulation and management of possessions.