Why do we think we need so much stuff?

Posted by: jilly

Why do we think we need so much stuff? - 12/19/12 09:19 PM

It seems so very common in our society to have tons and tons of things, more than we could ever use and enjoy. Why are we like this? How does this happen?
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Why do we think we need so much stuff? - 12/21/12 02:08 AM

Dear Jilly -

I imagine part of it is that many of our parents grew up with a lack of things. So when they could finally afford food and clothes and so on they developed a "clean your plate! The food is precious!" mentality. They developed a "hang onto every clothing item! You never know when you might need it!" So the hardships they endured caused them to cling to things and want to be sure to have things.

Coupled with that, marketers now get master's degrees in specialized psychological ways to inflict wants on the human brain. They literally have it down to a precise science. They know the exact colors, exact sounds, exact shapes to trigger a "need" response in a human brain. Since us consumers don't get to take master's degrees in how to resist this onslaught, we are fairly weak in defending ourselves.
Posted by: illusive Fantasy

Re: Why do we think we need so much stuff? - 12/22/12 04:59 AM

i have noooo problem with any of this...because i watched enough of people who do hoard and ive never followed fads etc..i buy what i need for the purpose of what its used for ...nothing more...nothing less.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Why do we think we need so much stuff? - 12/24/12 06:05 PM

That is fantastic, IIllusive Fantasy - you are an inspiration!

We are slowly but surely decluttering.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Why do we think we need so much stuff? - 12/31/12 05:42 AM

Lisa, I think you are really onto something there, in both ways. We have a scarcity mindset...and are also beleaguered with marketing psychology.

In those senses, we hardly stand a chance.

What to do about it? I think I need to start by not allowing new stuff in, unless they are replacement items.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Why do we think we need so much stuff? - 01/02/13 09:20 AM

Jilly -

We definitely are developing a mindset that if we bring something in we definitely have to send something out. And also every day we work on actively sending things out. So we are making progress.

I've sent out large volumes of books in the past few months, plus large volumes of old gaming gear and computer gear. It's amazing how much is still left despite all of that, but definitely progress has been made.

The spare room used to be jammed full of old computer gear and gaming gear. Now it's much more walkable. Most of the old games are now gone. Now it's a lot of cables and controllers and things, so I have to work on those next.

I used to have stacks and stacks of books to review and I've made a big push to read through them. The stacks are actually whittling down. So that's a nice feeling.

One day at a time!

Tomorrow for example I'm sending out a book, an XBox fan, two Nintendo cases, and an origami set. One from PaperBackBook Swap, one from Amazon, one from ebay, and one from my website. So a lot of different avenues all working together.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Why do we think we need so much stuff? - 01/03/13 07:19 AM

Good job, Lisa! You are working very dedicatedly on this this.

Did you sell all your old games? Does it feel weird to get rid of the old computer items? (i always hear a little voice telling me I might need something later)

It does feel really good, too, to get the to-be-reviewed piles down. I have a lot of Vine books to review. On the one hand it makes me happy to have a thick stack of great books to play with, it would feel nice to read them up and make room for other ones.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Why do we think we need so much stuff? - 01/03/13 02:43 PM

Dear Jilly -

We still have probably 50 games left in the house so we're not quite at wasteland status smile. Still, it's far better than before.

We have 11 microphones for our gaming systems. 11. I think we can sell 9 of them and still have enough for duets smile.

We have lots of gear for systems we don't even own any more. So it all needs to go.

We have probably thousands of books in the house so we're not in any fear of running out. It would just be nice to whittle down a bit. Someday I should go through and do even a rough room by room inventory of what we have here in terms of books. It's far too many.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Why do we think we need so much stuff? - 02/09/13 09:04 PM

Maybe we humans have a Magpie gene. We can't help but be attracted to things and want lots of them.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Why do we think we need so much stuff? - 02/13/13 05:09 AM

Dear Jilly -

I imagine in evolutionary terms that having more items around ensured survival better than having few. Someone might not die because they had too much stuff - but they could die if they were missing an important item. So the ones who hoarded were the ones who survived.