I have been reflecting on our relationship with ‘stuff’. I am a maximalist and always will be. I have lots of books, pictures and objects I’ve collected over the years. BUT, there was a time when I was keeping hold of several bin-bags of clothes from the 70s & 80s. They were lovely clothes, very evocative of that time in my life.

As I became happier with my current life I became able by degrees to let go of all but a few those things. I realised that holding on to the clothes was effectively holding on to the past, to the me who had worn those clothes. So, although I still have lots of stuff, I periodically weed things out, passing them through a filter of ‘Is this still relevant to my life or am I clinging to the past?’.

I have become aware of a minimalist movement which many people are embracing at the moment. With the living space people can afford being reduced, many people are living in a perpetual state of using storage units for a lot of their possessions. So understandably they end up feeling under pressure to work towards a very functional relationship with stuff – only having what they strictly need for that time in their life.

But our life doesn’t take place in a series of ‘bubbles’; our past informs our present and future. So I wonder whether later in life they will still be glad not to have what they would see as clutter. Or might they feel sad that there is no ‘trail’ of their life history – no cherished holiday souvenirs, no glass vase passed down from their auntie, no Indian top worn at the Glastonbury Festival?

(As to that, Reader, I kept it!)

What do you think…?

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