The Stuff of Life

The Stuff of Life

Shelves overflowing? Feeling hemmed in? Pressured by a distinct lack of space? If the answer’s ‘yes’ you’re in good company. A growing number of people who feel like their lives have become compromised or thrown out of balance by the sheer amount of stuff they own, have decided to do something about it by becoming evangelical ‘minimalists’.

Like the subjects of a recent Netflix documentary, minimalists are usually people who have reached a turning point in their lives that has accelerated a desire to declutter, creating a newfound sense of clarity and well-being. The catalyst could be an obvious event like moving house or something completely unexpected, like the city trader who found he’d achieved everything he’d ever dreamed of by his early 30s. Once he’d reached materialist nirvana via a long sought-after promotion, he realised that it was more like a golden handcuffs deal, and the sense of impending claustrophobia became overwhelming. Minimalism beckoned; he quit his job, stripped things down to the core essentials and never looked back.

Of course, major decisions are much easier to make with the benefit of a healthy bank balance, but the downsizing trend continues across all classes. After all, decluttering costs nothing. As living space becomes more of a premium, it’s only natural to want to create a sense of personal freedom. Technology helps. With audio and visual streaming services readily available, why hang on to all those DVDs and CDs that have gradually become part of the furniture? Inveterate hoarders (mostly men) find it hard to let go of their accumulated stuff for reasons of sentimentality, or perhaps it’s the ingrained hunter-gatherer instinct that’s warped over the years to enable bringing back as much toot as possible from boot fairs.  Minimalists argue that as opposed to being a benign presence, these stacks of books, magazines and films have a detrimental effect, haunting the psyche by constantly reminding the owner that they don’t have the time to get through them all and probably never will.

It’s amazing how people get attached to things, as though they’re saving them for the ultimate ‘just in case’ scenario. As a born accumulator of stuff, I should know.  To name one example, way back before the internet and the likes of Pinterest came along, I used to keep scrapbooks. Which meant also preserving boxes of cuttings and photos and artwork… just in case. Scrapbooks are a creative, visually-pleasing and tactile reminder of much simpler times but they still had a hold over me because it was impossible to ever finish getting through all the blasted boxes of stuff.

I still wouldn’t class myself as a minimalist but I’m beginning to get the decluttering bug. Much to my surprise (and my wife’s amusement as she’s been recommending it for months), once I started getting rid of stuff I began to feel a whole lot better. And now I can’t stop looking for things that are hanging around way past their use-by date. You could say that I still suffer from piles, but they’re now of the virtual kind: via the playlists of unwatched entertainment on offer from the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime and iPlayer.

Of course some things have such emotional, irreplaceable value that they’re impossible to eject. But what happens when you run out of space for them? The constant rise in self-storage depots over recent years are testimony to this. 

And this is where we at Spicer International can help; accommodating storage demands of all shapes and sizes in our spacious warehouses. Whether it’s for business or personal use, we always provide competitive, reasonable rates alongside flexible storage solutions.

Spicer International: maximising your space at a distinctly minimalist price.

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Excellent service, always willing to go that extra mile and very nice to deal with.
Fine Cut Graphic Imaging Ltd