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Whachya Gonna do with all that Stuff? All that Stuff inside your house?

First let me apologise for trying to be so 'hip' with my subject line but it's a song that gets stuck in your head and there is

When we decided to take the big adventure, sell the house, quit the jobs and go travel Europe, we had to deal with our stuff.

We had to take all the things that we had filled the house with and put it somewhere.

This is a bit an unnerving process because you don't realise how attached you get to stuff.

Our society is such a consumer world that we feel we would be lost with out so many things. The vase. The TV in the bedroom. Your DVDs. The cushions on the couch. The magazines that scatter the house. The garlic press. The full length mirror. The hand towels. Your hanging pictures.

You feel like you're defined by stuff you choose to surround yourself with.

And then it all changes. It sound very earthy but when you release yourself surrounding you with material things, you suddenly realise that life does go on. You CAN actually cope without that recipe book or those placemats or the portable telephone. It is really true. Stuff does not make you happy.

It's easy to see after months living out of a backpack that all you really ever could need in life is in that pack. You suddenly can forget all those things that you thought were important to surround yourself with.

But one of two things can happen when you get home. You may fall quite easily back into your stuff-needing-self. Buying extra plastic containers for the sake of it and because they're on sale and well, you only have 15, another 5 would be really useful, especially for all that space you have in your fridge for ALL 20 OF THEM.

Or you could really stop caring about stuff.

For me, I was slighty forced into not getting stuff as soon as I got back into an apartment. We had no money and I live with a very frugal CFO who helps me to live the like princess I believe I am on very little salary. How? Pointing out the unnecessity of stuff.

Perfect example: When friends have come to visit, they note that there are no plugs in the bathrooms. I questioned a friend over here as to why that was and she looked at me as if I skinned her cat and said, 'Well, there's water in bathrooms. You could electrocute yourself.'

Not quite sure how the 100 million + North Americans have managed to survive all these years with electricity in bathrooms. Perhaps it's because we're don't get drunk AS OFTEN as there is less likely the chance that we will think it would be REALLY COOL MAN if we stepped into the bathtub while sticking our finger in the socket. And maybe also WE CAN CONTROL THE URGE TO ELECTROCUTE OURSELVES. Thanks goodness the UK government saves the crazy wannabe electrocuted citzens from themselves.

I quickly adapted to this. There is an outlet in the kitchen which allows me to look through the front foyer into the bathroom mirror. I have mastered blow drying my hair this way so much so that I rarely even look at the mirror now when I'm drying. (Perhaps this says something for my hairstyle..hmm..)

Neither of the bathrooms have full length mirrors. Actually, neither of them have mirrors built in at all - they have wall hanging mirrors. Cause heaven forbid the builders put mirrors in the BATHROOM. Someone might not resist their natural urge to punch the mirror and slit their wrists with the shards of glass. Thanks goodness for the UK government.

This means I don't get a full view of myself until I get into the elevator which HAS a full length mirror.

Again, I adapted.

The easy consumerism solution would be to buy a full length mirror. The, I could blow dry my hair in front of it AND see what I look like before I leave the house.

But I have already adapated. My first reaction was not to out and buy some stuff to fix the problem but to come up with an alternative solution.

It's only when people have visited that I realise how silly my argument might sound.

I suddenly realise that the majority of the population does care about stuff and that I must just seem like a cheap skate. Most people would say, just buy the full length mirror.

But my first thought is, how often will I use it? Will I be able to take it with me? Where will I put it? DO I REALLY NEED IT?

And suddenly, I've talked myself out it.

It's a liberating feeling to know you feel comfortable without stuff.

It makes it all that more easier to pick up and go again.

Because you have enough human beings that you leave behind, without having heartache over all your stuff.


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