Recently one of my close friends, Kate (who works for the awesome neighbourhood sharing organisations, StreetBank) drew my attention to a thought provoking film: My Stuff. The film centres around 26 year old Petri Luukkainen, a man from Finland who decides to put all of his stuff in storage and only take one item back per day, for a year.
The idea struck a chord with Kate, who believes passionately that we don’t need to own as much “stuff” if we simply opened our homes (and hearts) to others and shared the resources we already have. For Luukkainen, by shedding himself of his belongings, he was able to focus on the things that really mattered.
As Kate pointed out, the film teaches us two main lessons:
1. We don’t need as much stuff as we think we do
2. Emptying your life helps you to focus; enabling you to tackle any problems that lie within by thinking about what really matters .
It’s not just about consumerism and our relationship with stuff, it reminds us to share more with the people around us. A really nice message as we come closer to Christmas.
For me, the concept of having a “stuff” detox is very timely, as I plan to go backpacking next Autumn for six months. In order to be prepared for living with minimal belongs, I need to re-wire my relationship with what I have in my home. Every time I move house I carry everything with me, never really stopping to think if I need or even want it anymore.
So I have decided to join Kate in an advent challenge. For 24 days in the lead up to Christmas, I’m going to give away one thing a day to people in my local community. I’ll use Streetbank to link up with other members locally, and offer things up for free.
Not only will it clear out my house and hopefully stop someone buying something new; it will also help me break my connection the all the unwanted stuff lying around the house!
Fancy the challenge too? Get in touch with Kate (at firstname.lastname@example.org) to find out more about sharing resources on Streetbank, and don’t forget to let me know how you get on!