January 5, 2013
You never really know how much nerga has accumulated in your world until you try to pack it all up and move it someplace else.
I have just finished the process of moving from a 4br/4ba house to a 2br/2ba rented condo. The piles of stuff just kept coming out of every drawer, closet, shelf, cupboard. A lot of it went to the Goodwill. Some was re-gifted to friends.
One friend who is just setting up housekeeping in her first "real" house bought a bunch of my furniture. She can't understand why I want to head the opposite direction in terms of non-property ownership.
I feel so wonderfully light all of a sudden. I have seven book cases that are completely empty. I need to get rid of them before the nerga invades again. I have a working theory that if you keep the nerga breeding grounds, spaces like cabinets and shelves, to a minimum, then you will not accumulate so much stuff and/or will deal with it piece by piece without letting it pile up.
It is such a wonderfully free feeling to look at something which serves no purpose other than as a memento (say of a trip) and fondly consign the memory to my mind and let the object go.
Anybody else battling the nerga monster?
September 24, 2012
I can totally see where you're coming from! I have a small apartment that I could move out of to a bigger room in my building but I like where I am now. The less space you have, the less nerga you can accumulate simply because you don't have the space for it!
January 5, 2013
Yes, and with a smaller amount of nerga around, I'm finding that I can actually find the things I do need to wield, those that have a real tangible use. Example, if a flashlight is at the back of a drawer with a bunch of nerga in front, you cant find it and/or don't even know you have it when you need it.
So you then go buy another flashlight. Rinse, repeat until you have a dozen flashlights kicking around.
It's a nice combination, less nerga, and greater utility of other things.
June 5, 2011
You're absolutely right - we can accumulate an amazing amount of "stuff" and often the things we keep in storage (loft, cellar, garage and shed) are things we probably made a poor choice in buying the first time around.
We moved last June ... to a smaller house.
Newfound paleo lifestyle coupled with that move prompted us to really look at our possessions and question (again) how much is truly useful, beneficial and worth keeping. Both of us have been married before and both started again with, quite literally, nothing.
After the first skim, simply removing almost everything from the loft, cellar and shed (no garage), we were left with seven rooms ... seven days. One room a day was completely cleared of stuff and what remained was only what was truly useful, beneficial or worth keeping.
When we moved in, we had yet another chance to pare back.
The only things left are one bookshelf of cook books which could be packed up, gifted and removed in half an hour, and, our fencing equipment, a sport which requires quite a lot of equipment. I think the skiers amongst us can appreciate that.
What we have now is a "one in ... one out" policy.
That applies to everything. Cycling life is really cleansing and keeps us moving forward. Some things can pin us to our land, our culture, our heritage and perhaps lessons learned, but in the main, it's better to move forward without looking back.
February 28, 2013
When I was on my previous contract in Egypt, my last apartment out here was a very small one bedroom. And I mean small. Kitchen only had a hotplate and a microwave (that I never used) and a fridge. I loved it and it did a very good job of limiting what I could carry around to and from the USA or buy here.
My current place is too big but was about the only thing I could find when I came back for my next job. I'll try and downside in the future.
Overall I'm pretty much a minimalist. Extra crap I carry around is driven by my job and having to tote a laptop, etc.
But when I started off with the minimalist thing, I found out that the less I had, the less I needed.
It is interesting to read up on planned obsolescence and how the consumers desire for the latest greatest stuff is manpulated.
February 22, 2010
I am continually trying to balance a conflict between the desire to not have lots of "stuff", and the fact that my pursuits require lots of expensive and bulky equipment, e.g. bicycles, ski gear, musical instruments, etc.
September 20, 2012
I absolutely believe that if your hobby/creativity-outlet requires 'tools' and 'stuff' that it's a crime to not have it around. When inspiration truly hits, I have no desire to go shopping first or stomp it down until 'someday'! I'll leave self-denial to the religious folks.
February 28, 2013
I try to be a minimalist with various degrees of success. One thing that I have studied on some is the hunter-gather tribes both past and present.
I have worked in about 14 countries over the last 20 years or so. Several of them in Africa. I was asked one time about the poor of Africa. My response was that I think some of the people of Africa did not consider themselves poor until we (Westerners) showed up and told them they were poor.
What I meant by that was that often their tribal/village life was all that they knew. Good or bad, they have no outside references to compare their life with. Often they had plenty to eat, intact families and, as recent studies are showing, long lives and a lot of leisure time.
Then the westerners show up and bring with us satellite TV, magazines and our material possessions and suddenly, what was fine the day before is not enough for the people in the village. We essentially tell them that they are poor if they do not have Levis, color TV, Coke and a call phone.
It would be like aliens landing tomorrow and asking us about our lives and we tell them that we work 40 hours a week, pay for our housing and food and live to our 70s or so. And for most of us, we are content with that because everyone else is in the same boat.
But then our new alien friends scoff at us and tell us that on their planet they live to be 400 years old, in perfect health, work 5 hours a week and play the rest of the time.
Suddenly our life that we had accepted as being OK the day before would not be good enough, we would be poor.
Ok, longwinded way to get to my point but read this Wikipedia article on the Original affluent society.
From the article:
"The basis of Sahlins’ argument is that hunter-gatherer societies are able to achieve affluence by desiring little and meeting those needs/desires with what is available to them."
January 5, 2013
Very true, Randall. And so much of that which we perceive as "needs" is really just manufactured needs. Advertisement telling us we will be everythign we could ever want to be if only we buy <xyz product>.
I have been paring back my nerga even more since moving in. Got rid of all the spare bookshelves and cabinets. No nerga breeding grounds.
Next time I move I think I'm going to get a 1br/1ba with no dining room. If friends come to visit, they can get a hotel room. One person having dinner at a table that seats eight is rather a waste of space. (My Mom's table kept for the sentiment. Letting go is a gradual process.)
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