I was reading through my 50+ subscribed feeds in Google Reader and found a blog post about consumption and material items.
It reminds me of a lesson: money can buy some comfort, but material items don’t bring happiness. The more stuff you own, the more it tends to own you.
- The things you own have a cost of ownership – the more physical items you have, the larger a house/apartment is required to store it
- You are carrying around the emotional weight of the things you don’t use. That Atari 2600 game console from your childhood you never play but keep for sentimental reasons? Get rid of it and you will be happier.
- You don’t learn your lessons on overspending, because you never face reality. It is possible to buy a full set of gardening tools with the best of intentions, and never use them
- You let yourself buy status symbols—whether an exhaustive book collection. Books, artwork, posters and old magazine collections are nice but they may not increase your quality of life
- You use objects as comfort. Its nice to have a pickup truck just in case you need to haul a new piece of furniture home from ikea, but how often do you need the utility of a truck?
- You are weighed down. If you can’t carry it, you can’t travel with it.
- The more stuff you have the more blind you become to it. If you have 40 drinking glasses, its easy to add more without realizing the bulk it creates.
- If you are overspending, you will never see that money again. Selling items at a garage sale or on Ebay will only bring about 25% of its original purchase price.
- Each object has a path before you bought it. A dish that was made in China, cost a lot in materials, shipping and display before you brought it home, using up a portion of the planet’s resources.
- You like the idea of owning something more than the reality. Its nice to say you have a Ferrari, but this is not practical for anyone but a bachelor.
See the original post where I was inspired to write about the hidden cost of your stuff.