Friday, August 25, 2006

An embarassment of riches

I started reading Not Buying It by Judith Levine today on my lunch hour in the local bookstore*. For those of you who haven't heard of it, Judith and her partner Paul decided to stop buying things for an entire year. There were rules of course - if something broke or wore out they could decide to replace it. But they stopped going to movies, eating out, splurging on fancy food items (wine was a bone of contention), even buying presents. The book (so far) is set up like a diary and very readable. The problem with a book entitled Not Buying It about the subject it is, is that it makes it hard to purchase. And so I didn't. I ordered it through interlibrary loan at my college and Cornell's copy should be winging its way to me as we speak.

One of the first things they did was take an inventory of their home. The book doesn't go into great detail as their exercise was mostly to figure out which goods were necessary and which, when they ran out, would not be replaced. It got me thinking: what if I did an inventory of my home? A literal list of everything I own. How many books, pairs of pants, tchotchkies, bottle of various hair/face/body goos, craft supplies (not to mention unfinished projects) do I have? How horrified would I be by the sheer amount of stuff? It's an interesting question.

As you know, I have been slowly simplifying my life and purging my belongings. At the moment there is a large pile of the results of several recent purges sitting on my living room floor. And another of things I want to sell somehow (eBay? Consignment shop?) sitting in my office/craft room/guest room. At this point my problem is not purging per se, but getting the, pardon my french, shit out of my house.

I need to add "Write an inventory of my house" to my To Do list like a I need a hole in the head. But now that the idea has entered my brain...

Stay tuned. There may be a blogged list in our future.

* while drinking my $3 Starbucks mocha latte.

1 comment:

Shell said...

This is the kind of thing I love in theory. But...I really like my stuff. I like to have My Own Things.

Maybe I'm just that bourgeois?