Clutter is very much about being keener to acquire than to let go. We acquireÂ things we need or want but once their usefulness to us has expired we hang on to them. I feel that there are three main reasons for that and they are laziness, fear and indifference.
Laziness of course refers to having the stuff there, being aware that it is a problem but refusing to deal with it because you just don’t want to make the effort.
Fear is all about thinking you might need it some day and keeping it just in case.
And indifference is being aware that you have clutter but don’t mind, don’t care or even like it that way. It can also be that you don’t even notice because you like being surrounded by stuff.Â
I don’t intend to elaborate on that, the purpose of this post isÂ to have a discussion ~ inspired by a situation in my life right now ~ about the insanity that acquiring can be.
So here is my story. As I have mentioned here more than once, I have an art space where I sell my handmade cards and, at the moment, beaded spiders. My space runs as an artist collective of, at present, six artist/crafters. Our price range begins at $1, for a handmade origami gift bow, and goes up to as much as $500 at times for and original acrylic painting. So as you can see our creations are many and varied as are our members.
There has been some contention recently, both internal and external, about the integrity of the value of an artists labour and real art v kitschy craft. And one of the issues is that people coming in to the venue, which also houses tenÂ other art spaces, might opt to purchase one of our least expensive items rather than opting to buy something of greater value, either within our collective space or the venue as a whole. It boggles my mine that anyone would think they might be losing the sale of, for example, a $200 fashion item to a $5 string of origami cranes. I could elaborate more on this situation but that would just be expressing my emotional turmoil and discontent, so I will leave it at that as a lead into my the point about the strangeness of acquisition.
So let us assume that no one in their right mind isÂ quietly making the choice between a $200 or $5 purchase and that they are purchasing the $5 item…
- …because they actually like itÂ or…
- …theyÂ feel obliged to buy something while in the space and just choose the cheapest item they like the look of.
The second reason above is one of those situations where the better choice would be to buy nothing.
This of course got me thinking about the futileness of acquiring stuff just for the sake of it. It brings to mind the clever marketing many companies like Tupperware, and the like, whoÂ almost exclusively sell their products via party plan. In the past even I used to felt obliged to buy something when attending such parties. The host is your friend, they have provided a delicious spread for the event, and how much of a heal would you look if you just walked away satiated, entertained and empty handed ~ well orderless but same thing.
Then there is recreational shopping, where you just go shopping with no real need in mind and end up finding all sorts of things you didn’t know you “needed” and go home with a whole lot of potential clutter on your hands.
All these scenarios above areÂ where most of the clutter comes from in your home. Combine that with the three reasons I also stated as to why it is not being removed and you can end up with quite a mass of clutter on your hands.
So the moral of this story is, don’t acquire for the sake of acquiring. Stuff doesn’t make youÂ happy, at least not for long. If you curb your shopping habits you will also reduce the likelihood of clutter buildup in your home. And removing clutter only to replace it with more clutter gets you no where on your decluttering mission. That is the first lesson in avoiding clutter and it won’t do your bank account any harm either.