stuff and more stuff

moving, and having to pack up our things, our stuff, our possessions......
are they our life?

do possessions + things = life?

next year we will be living in a very small one room house, while we build our slightly bigger home. we will be storing things in a shipping container, as we cannot store everything in our 'little house', and we are not ready to give up all our possessions/stuff.

some stuff we are planning on giving away, or selling, or will donate. our couch, which has served us well for the past 10 - 11 years won't be coming down with us. as comfy as it is, we have out grown it style wise, and will either make or find another one when we have a new loungeroom in a year's time.
also our tv - i am actually very excited about giving this up. we will have minimal electricity, due to solar power and no mains power at either our little house or our new home. i am sad + ashamed to say that tv has become too much a part of the daily life of our family, so i am very glad to be saying goodbye to it. {we will, i'm quite sure, get a new smaller one at some stage down the track. but i'm hoping hoping hoping that living in the country with endless things to do and play we will not want to watch very much}.

things like books and the treasures that we collect will be the hardest to think about getting rid of. books are a lifeline to me. something i grew up loving and cherishing; my parents instilled a deep connection to books and the stories and adventures they provide. i love going to visit at my dad's, and sitting at his book shelves and just looking looking looking. {i am very pleased to be moving closer to these bookshelves, and being able to borrow more books more often!}.
we will keep our books, and plan to build some wonderful shelves designed perfectly for storing and showing off books.

i know we have a lot of display/collection things - little bottles and ornaments and things like that. they hold special meanings to me, so i'm not sure i'll able to part with them. but i am planning on having (building) a cupboard in the new home that will house these things, and i can choose and edited collection to put on display. rather than having everything all at once; which is what we mostly have now.

with the time of 'giving', yet mostly 'receiving' (for the children) upon us, i am trying and trying to educate our children, and remind ourselves, that we don't need more and more things. little conversations with the children about why they think they need a new toy, or some other something else. it is hard for children, as they like the whole giving and receiving and unwrapping and excitement of it all. {and to be honest, as adults we do too - i love thinking about a special gift to give someone, and then taking the time to choose a fabric to wrap it in, and tying it up, and making a card for them. what i don't like is the guilt of gift buying, and the shopping centres, and the way that gifts are often chosen out of desperation, not long-thought. i don't like all that money being spent on plastic items from major department stores. when there are countless other more ethical, environment, sustainable, community options.}

this year, with my family - as in other years - we are not giving gifts. nothing for the adults or the children. i mean my siblings, and nieces and nephews. instead us sisters (the mums) are taking the kids (the cousins) for a day out to a special place, with a picnic and lots of fun. it will be a surprise location for the kids, to add to the excitement of it all for them. also, we are probably going to give a gift from World Vision Smiles. a pig, or a goat, some chickens, pencils or school supplies, a cow, or a beehive are all wonderful options that will help out a whole community, they are fun items that my kids can have a connection to (and also understand how it can make a difference and what it can give to another child), and they cost no more (often less) than would generally be spent in the major department stores.

of course. there will be some handcrafted goodness. but that's another story. this is the story of stuff. (a ramble in fact....)

have you seen this. go now and have a look at the story of stuff. she's got lots of other ones to look at as well, so i'll understand if you take a while over there. but come back for some more ramble, hey!

about more stuff. yesterday i picked up my fabric and bits and pieces (nice words for "stuff") from the studio. there is a lot of fabric there. it will take up a lot of space in the shipping container, won't it. hmmmmm. what to do about all this stuff. the collection of stuff.

i am planning on spending the next week or so (until we go and housesit at a friend's house in bush) sorting through my stuff. editing and culling and boxing up things. i am sure there will be big piles that i'm willing to part with; i'm hoping anyway. and perhaps some decluttering (another word for getting rid of "stuff") of my fabrics and notions that you may be interested in adding to your own collection of stuff. {ie - i am planning on selling + giveaway some of those big piles of fabric over the next month, so stayed tuned}.

just my little ramble about stuff and possessions and the craziness of gift giving at this time of year. before you go and buy something, stop and think about it. where it came from, how it was made, what it's lifetime is, what will happen with it in 6 months time. think about the real needs of the person who are giving your gift to. even your neighbours or those people who you feel you 'have' to give a gift to, will understand and perhaps even really appreciate you giving a goat or a wind up torch to a child in need on behalf of them. and in the process you'll be educating someone else about the story of stuff, and reminding them + yourself that you have the power to say no to more stuff.

there - a motto for those who managed to read the whole way through this. you have the power to say no to stuff!

*all images from the Smiles Gift Catalogue.
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