[Thought] We Own Things? Things Own Us?

Posted Under: Personal Finance, Thoughts

I saw a commercial on TV tonight advertising storage and warehouse space. It begins with a lady entering her garage from the house but her car is not in her plain sight, instead… you guessed it! She sees a crap load of household utilities, furnitures, etc. Simply a load of crap. She then beeps the car with the unlock remote, and it shows the car completely buried under all the junks. Since it is a storage commercial, it inescapably concludes with her showing a happy face as she is loading them junks into a rented storage.

You know what I think when I see that?

I see the result and disaster created from materialism. It reminds me of an old saying that goes something like we may own things, but we end up getting owned by those things we own. How true!

Remember I talked about my Memorial weekend clean-up and how nice and uplifting it felt afterward? It did take me awhile to learn and realize. I used to think maybe keeping those things around, there will be use for them somday, just MAYBe. But then I have come to learn that having all those things creates clutters that annoy and stress me out unconsciously. Why? I would attribute it to the loss of space, which leads to the feeling of being confined and closed in. On top of that, I have to figure out what to do with a lot of these items! Often time all the items we keep just do not have a real purpose and do nothing but take up space. Trying to figure out what to do with them in this scenario is just the symptom that we are getting owned by these unnecessary things.

Thus, here are the few things I propose for us to do:

  • Throw out or sell (craigslist/ebay/amazon…) unused, unnecessary items in the house - first step to fixing cluttered status quo. Do with cleaning.
  • Consistently keep our space clean and organized - again, this keeps the mind clear and thus allows for thinking clearly.
  • Have discipline when making purchases - understand if the item is needed, if it has its usage in daily living, and/or if it will be frequently used. If you must buy, buy things that offer lasting, long-term happiness, comfort, or higher standard of living.
  • Keep it simple - do we really need all these furnitures, fancy electronics, Persian rugs, gadgets after all?
  • Find peace and happiness within self - do not fall for “retail therapy” to fulfill these two purposes. Ask yourself, “Does it really make me happy long-term if I buy this?” or if it will just be a few seconds of joy right after purchasing, which begs the question if it’s worth it for dropping all those cash.

Not only will these tips save you money from unnecessary expense. You won’t have to pay for these storage space too. Yay! Either way, it doesn’t hurt for you to think about the points above when you want to buy something.

On a last thought, I really wonder how in the world can someone accumulate so much stuff as to run out of space? Wouldn’t they realize how much space is left and control what they purchase based on that? Oh well…

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