As a member of the first world I spend a lot of time thinking about stuff (i.e. finished goods). ‘Tis the season for giving stuff, getting stuff, buying stuff, selling stuff, wrapping stuff, shipping stuff, stuff accessories, stuff management, stuff storage and stuff disposal. I have to admit that that I enjoy researching, learning about and sharing my ideas on stuff. I have spent many weekends solely focused on buying stuff to eat, wear, play with, install and use. I have also spent entire weekends just getting ride of stuff. It is really amazing how much time we spend of stuff management.
I recently watched a great video The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard that goes into great detail about where our stuff comes from, where it goes and the impact it has on our world. I strongly encourage you all to take the time to watch the video and share your thoughts. It raises a lot of interesting points.
Last year we remodeled our kitchen (out with the old stuff, in with the new stuff). In order to determine our budget for the remodel we tested out how effectively we could reduce spending. Our goal was to use existing cash flow to pay as we went on the kitchen. It was really amazing the impact that reduced stuff consumption had on our cash flow and time management. We ended up making up for it with the spending on the kitchen so don’t even think of implicating us on reduced consumer spending in 2007. We are good Americans and we do our part. But it just might be time to take another look at our stuff oriented life.