transform your space into
your personal haven

a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


editor's note 

o lounge 
o nourish 
o host


submit your ideas

need decorating tips? don't be a wallflower! jump to the discussion boards and talk talk.
other recent LOUNGE articles:
o The Furniture Facelift Fiasco, part II
o The Furniture Facelift Fiasco, part I 
Minor Makeover Miracles  
Handy Household Tools  

o Lighten Up!  

copyright ©1999-2000

ON Weeding
school stuff

by Donna Wilson
1 2 3 4 

As do most things, stuff has a lifecycle -- at the end of which stuff ceases to be stuff and morphs into junk. How does stuff turn into junk, and how do we bring ourselves to purge our spaces of this junk? And what is it that makes us cling to stuff in the first place?

Modern architecture encourages us to hoard stuff. We have closets (of all sizes, for all manner of stuff), basements (for the stuff you don't need all the time but ought to keep because, well, it's your stuff), sheds (for outdoor stuff, and for stuff you don't need all the time but which isn't good enough to be stored with the basement stuff), garages (ostensibly for car stuff but that doesn't always work out), and attics (for memorabilia stuff). That's five different storage spaces in and around our abodes -- all just to hold our stuff. This doesn't even take into account off-site spaces such as your parents' house (for all your K-12 stuff), your significant other's place (for your overnight-because-he/she-lives-closer-to- your-office stuff), your office (for your work stuff), and your car (for all the stuff that needs to go from one of your storage spaces to the other). That's four more spaces for a total of nine unique storage spaces. In reality, we most likely have more than one of a particular storage type, increasing our potential for having more stuff.

The very nature of stuff encourages us to hoard stuff. Stuff begets stuff – the more we accumulate, the more we want to accumulate. What good is an Anakin Skywalker collectible drinking glass without the complementary Qui-gon Jim, Queen Amidala, and Jar Jar Binks glasses? Your subscription of weekly industry magazines? Clearly they’ve got to be kept together as a full collection so that, when that elusive moment of Free Time comes around, you will be ready to devour each one of the 178 issues, cover to cover. And since it is well known that fashions come back every thirty years or so, it is imperative that you maintain your closets full of ill-fitting pieces. So what if they don’t match any other clothing from the present decade?

Our own human nature encourages us to hoard stuff. Childhood experiences are strong determinants of why we collect stuff. Ex-First Lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos, amassed thousands of shoes not only because she was financially able to do so but also because, as a child, her family could not afford to buy her new shoes, and she had to wear hand-me-downs.

but no more excuses ... suggestions for weeding


---------------------------> lounge . nourish . host . laze . home.