can’t argue about stuff

“Too much stuff” is a rallying cry among so many Americans, regardless of where they live. It’s easy to get knowing responses when complaining about and dealing with stuff.

Joshua Becker, who writes Becoming Minimalist, advocates for the least amount of things as achievable and ideal. His quote about stuff, below, almost sounds like a commonly-held belief to us.

Stuff - Becoming Minimalist

Sarah Susanka, architect and supporter of The Not So Big Life, comments on our impulsive need to collect things: “If we don’t let ourselves slow down and stop accumulating for a while, we will never see what is hidden below.”

Many folks (we are guilty) opt for the quick fix of external storage. Out of sight, out of mind, right? We’re not sure whether it counts when you store things and just feel better.

"I think that it's time for a confession," says cookbook author Julie Hasson. "Well I am crazy for dishes." She would have to part with her store-sized stash, in a small place.

“I think that it’s time for a confession,” says cookbook author Julie Hasson. “Well I am crazy for dishes.” She would have to part with her store-sized stash, in a small place.

Time for a little stress

Stuff becomes sensitive when when changes are afoot like job relocations, other moves, family additions, empty nests, elderly parents arrangements and more. The stress occurs whether changes happen quickly or are long-planned.

When watching people move into smaller places, you’ll see emotions running high. It takes time to pare down, give away, sell, donate or throw out stuff. Unless you are a certified hoarder, it’s possible to make progress.

This sofa bench functions for day and night-time use. It's ready for overnight guests, including storage filled with all bedding. Specific storage is essential in a tiny house. (Sol Haus)

This sofa bench functions for day and night-time use. It’s ready for overnight guests, including storage filled with all bedding. Specific storage is essential in a tiny house. (Sol Haus)

Design for display and storage

As people relocate to small or tiny homes, storage become core critical. One THJ reader opined that “designers of tiny houses and recreational vehicles do a much better job at designing storage and kitchen spaces” than apartment designers. Let’s add boat designers to the list.

Presumably there’s a place for everything, whether design creates order or people who live smaller are drawn to orderly living. Tumbleweed’s lead designer, Meg Stephens, explains “when designed well, tiny dwellers gain a sense of ‘fitting’ in their downsized surroundings.”

We do know that whatever size place you choose, you will need to take steps to get rid of stuff AND to focus on what display/storage works — as a bibliophile, gourmet cook, artist, skier or your unique self.

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