Possessed by possessions: are you the owner or the owned?

“Things are in the saddle and ride mankind.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You remember the thrill of the hunt for a new possession? You hear about a cool new gizmo. You think “I need to get me one of those…”

So you do the google hunt, find the best price, type out your credit card number and drag that sucker home.

You wear, sit on, look at, or labor-save with the new possession, feeling quite smug about your excellent taste. Your friends may even envy you a little for getting this new possession.

Time passes. More gizmos and whatchamacallits enter your life. Some of them break. You get bored with others.

One day you wake up and realize you’ve been possessed. Your possessions have taken over your life and now they own you!

You’re exhausted trying to keep them dusted, repaired, organized, and their batteries charged. You’ve lost crucial parts, operating manuals. And who are those people with granny glasses and bell-bottom trousersĀ  in the yellowing photographs?

You can’t find the one thing you really need.

Then the kids leave home, your retirement fund collapses and you need to make some major adjustments to your lifestyle.

Bye bye acquiring, hello downsizing.

Even though I live relatively clutter-free, I’ll be rattling around a 3,000 sq. ft house alone when my last child leaves next month. I can no longer afford to maintain a place this big – and indeed, even if I could afford to, I don’t want to be tied down by so much stuff, so much responsibility.

I want to take back my life from my possessions.

I want to sell this place and find some place no more than half this size…

Which means that HALF my possessions need to GO.

If you’ve done this or are doing this, let me hear from you!Advice, moral support and tips from your own experience always welcome. Maybe you’ve got ideas about selling art? antiques? Dealing with boxes of photos, big honking scrapbooks.

Together we can do this.



Filed under 101 Reasons to Downsize, Back Story, Downsizing, Priorities

4 responses to “Possessed by possessions: are you the owner or the owned?

  1. Downsized to a 27 ft. fifth wheel in 1996. Stored enough only to furnish a small apt. should the need arise. It did. Storage co. had managed to drop the box that held the ‘stuff’ breaking some. Didn’t have room for it anyway.
    So, going to itty bitty from medium size is a challenge. Upping the ante to small again still a challenge. Avoiding accumulating ‘stuff’ again, an even bigger challenge. Good luck.
    Question? How does one break the habit of being a paper addict? It ain’t ‘stuff’ that owns me, it’s paper. Piles of paper. Never can find the one I need so I make another copy. ARRRGGGG!

  2. Oh yeah. Paper. Paper and photographs.
    I don’t have a problem finding the paper I need because I’ve got a good filing system and my P-Touch labeler to make legible labels… I just choose to keep too much paper. I’m like a magnet for the stuff.

    I’ll keep you posted on what I do about it.

    • Gretchen

      Shred, shred, shred. Old checks, tax returns, investment documents, bills, out of date medical stuff. The longer we live, the more there is.

      It’s a little sad going through all those old files of careers I once had like teaching ESL and Communications, and graduate school, other classes, running other churches programs, craft projects I’ll never do no more. . . and all those fruity ideas that never ripened.


  3. Aaagh – haven’t even begun to tackle the boxes of old letters, journals etc. College papers even!

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