“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” -William Morris

I love this quote that I found on Simple Mom’s site. I’ve been trying to incorporate this philosophy into my own life lately. I’ve been sorting and purging like crazy lately (as much as I can while also taking care of Bouncy McHyperpants).

I am loving the feeling of getting rid of stuff that I no longer want or need. It gives me a feeling of power over my stuff, rather than the other way around, which is all too common in our consumeristic society (and I include myself in that – I am affected by my culture, whether I like it or not).

Stuff is like that. Sometimes I think it has a mind of its own. It calls out to me when I’m in a store, or reading a magazine, or seeings commercials on TV. It’s quite amazing, really.

The other night Honey and I were in Ikea (LOVE that place. But dang, it’s dangerous!). We were buying a new entertainment unit because the one we had was not sturdy enough to be childproof for the previously mentioned bouncy child (it was a $30 utility shelf originally, and pretty wobbly). We also decided to get a couple of new cushion covers, which are simply beeyoutiful!

On our way to the check-out (the place is so huge, it’s practically an epic journey just to get to the cashier), I found myself in a really great mood. It was nice to be out with Honey and all (a friend was sitting in our house while the little guy slept), but I think there was perhaps more to it. I think that buying things actually contributed to my good mood.

It was not totally surprising to me. A little disturbing, maybe, but not a complete surprise.

And that is why that quote is so great. I remember it when I’m tempted to buy things, when I’m tempted to accumulate stuff. There are times when stuff can be great. When it’s useful… or beautiful. But beyond that… it tends to just become clutter.

I think I’m going to frame it and put it up somewhere prominent in my house. For real. I want to try to be a little bit counter-cultural when it comes to stuff. Maybe try some of the things listed in this article on a life of less.

A year ago I took a Seminary class called “Gospel, Church, and Culture”. The professor had us watch this short animated video documentary on the origins of “stuff”. I loved it immediately. It was so convicting. It is an excellent visualization of the big picture of stuff, especially for those visual learners like myself. Watch at your own risk!

Have you thought about our culture’s obsession with consumption? Have you ever tried to consume less? What’s your personal philosophy of stuff?

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