Owned by stuff? During lockdown, most have us have been spending a lot of time cooped up with our belongings. All this extra time spent surrounded by my ‘stuff’ has encouraged me to do some re-evaluating. To be honest I thought I had been doing a good job sticking to my regular clear outs but since tightening the purse strings further and spending more time face to face with my wardrobe, I see that I own too much again. It’s overwhelming and it’s cluttering my mind. My stuff is starting to take over.
How It Feels To Be ‘Owned’
It’s a familiar feeling. You’re being owned by your stuff if:
You worry about throwing things away.
You’re only at peace or happy if you’re buying something or thinking about it.
You would rather lots of things that make you feel ‘ok’ rather than possessing just one thing that you absolutely adore.
Being owned by my belongings drains funds and leaves me with little space to move around and clarity in which to think. It also leads to a cycle of buying more just to satisfy that short lived adrenaline rush. Whenever I start to feel like this, I adapt the way I approach purchases. It enables me to manage my stuff so that I’m the one in control. Not my things.
How Does Stuff Own Us?
Make a list of answers to these questions and like me, you might learn a lot about why you buy so much.
Does shopping for new clothes offer you an emotional pick-me-up?
Are you shopping out of boredom?
Do you shop on impulse, regardless of any consequences to space or your finances?
Do you want things because they look great on other people, despite their shape and size differences?
Does buying designer shoes spark a chemical in your brain that satisfies a short term longing?
Surprising isn’t it how we never really think of these things. We just add to our ever growing collection without a thought for how something will hold its value. We rarely think about selling it afterwards or what we already own that can work just as well.
We have a super-king divan bed (a bed that flips up to expose immense storage). When you live in London you need to seize every inch of space but it’s become a bit of a dumping ground for excess clothes, old laptops and shoes. While I enjoy keeping a clean and tidy home, some days I look away while I throw in my bits and quickly shut it. Life gets in the way of organisation. It’s sometimes full to the brim, as are the wardrobes and various drawers we have. That tight knee length red dress that’s a bit too small for me is still there, unworn. I’ll probably never wear it again either.
When I feel an impulse to spend purely because something is fashionable or because everyone else has it, I’m not alone. It happens. We’re being influenced every which way not just from people online but also from ads that are every where we look. So it’s important for me to make considerations before purchasing to stop myself from buying things that inevitably own me rather than me owning them. I train myself to consider an item’s value (monetary and sentimental) and then consider its replaceability. By determining its use, I’m not as wasteful.
Gifted items marked with * and old season marked with ^
Words & styling by Lauren Silvester, photography by Zoe Griffin
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