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Less stuff more happiness
Old 11-24-2011, 07:22 PM   #1
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Less stuff more happiness

As I watch on the news people camping out in front of stores to be first for Black Friday, I thought I would share this great video:
Graham Hill: Less stuff, more happiness | Video on TED.com
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:54 PM   #2
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Excellent short on why less is more. Too bad our generation didn't learn this concept about 60 years ago.
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:52 PM   #3
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Very enjoyable! Thanks for sharing
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:44 PM   #4
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Good idea, It seems most of the things are custom designed or can we find such things in Ikea?

Other topic, I don't like videos, takes too much time for little information. I guess this is fashionable to put things on video. A writeup should also be included with video.
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Old 11-25-2011, 12:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by frayne View Post
Excellent short on why less is more. Too bad our generation didn't learn this concept about 60 years ago.
+1 We visited some relatives in Spain and Italy a few years ago and spent a few days with them in their homes. The enlightening thing to me is that they had a lot less stuff than Americans typically do, but the quality of the stuff they did have was top-notch.
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Old 11-25-2011, 02:22 PM   #6
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I'd seen it earlier (love TED), but it's worth viewing periodically. Thanks for reminding me to watch it again.

Interesting landover: My retention seems markedly better with video than pure text for some reason. No right or wrong, good thing we have various forms of communication.
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Old 11-25-2011, 03:25 PM   #7
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Over several years I tossed, donated, or gave away about 80% of my stuff in preparation for the interstate-move-that-never-happened.

I have to admit that I don't really feel bad about it. For one thing, my house suddenly has closet space that it never had before. Ample closet space is a wonderful thing. Also, my house seemed more spacious due to owning fewer pieces of furniture.

I am slowly buying back things as they seem necessary, so if I'm not careful I'll be living in a smaller-feeling house with no closet space again soon. I am not buying the multifunctional furniture that he talks about (I hate it) but just trying to cut back on what I have.
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Old 11-25-2011, 03:31 PM   #8
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I think that his apartment is perfect, if I lived by myself. I love TED too. It is hard to get away from watching the talks!
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Old 11-25-2011, 03:47 PM   #9
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We went through a round of getting rid of stuff when we moved out of Houston and into a house half the size. We held a "housecooling" party -- the opposite of a housewarming where we are (a) *leaving* the house and not moving in, and (b) where the guests are expected to take some of our stuff away instead of give us more. Managed to give away a lot of good stuff, but stuff we rarely needed and wouldn't have room for.
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Old 11-25-2011, 04:18 PM   #10
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Good video.

I get lots of pleasure from regularly cleaning areas used for “long-term” storage. Have been on cleaning/throwing binge for the the past few months and feel better for it.

Living in an apartment for five years after getting married, we moved to a “starter” twin home and figured we’d move into the bigger single-family home after a few years. That was 30 years ago and we are still in our “starter” home. We absolutely looked and wanted to move up on many occasions, but never did. Things got a little tight with two kids, but we managed and now they are gone. The place is perfect for us now and the less expensive housing over the years has helped us to do many things, including ER. Part of living in a smaller home is the ongoing need to rid yourself of excess stuff.
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Old 11-25-2011, 05:11 PM   #11
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When I think back to the fun times in my life, I actually had very little stuff. I was a student in Europe for a year, and brought everything I needed in 1 backpack. I was moving quite a bit with temporary military assignment for a period of years, and everything I owned fit in my Subaru. We lived in San Francisco for 3 years in a 500sf apartment. Now that were settled with 2 school aged kids, it is a constant battle to not accumulate a bunch of crap. I think we fell prey to lifestyle creep and junk accumulation with rapid career advancement, but now that early retirement is in our sights we are starting to focus more on what is important-- family and friends and experiences, not how much stuff we have in storage.
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Old 11-25-2011, 05:18 PM   #12
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Given what is for sale on Craigslist at any one time, I'm convinced that we could shut down all manufacturing and imports for about 10 years and just swap stuff, with no real hardship.
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Old 11-25-2011, 05:27 PM   #13
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Given what is for sale on Craigslist at any one time, I'm convinced that we could shut down all manufacturing and imports for about 10 years and just swap stuff, with no real hardship.
Hey, it worked for Cuba...
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Old 11-25-2011, 05:55 PM   #14
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I must be really happy...
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:54 AM   #15
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I continue to find things given to me (over 27 years of living in the same house) in cupboards and closets. I delight in finding new homes for the "stuff". The rest gets donated to a local church for their periodic rummage sales.
The funny thing is the older "stuff" is of better quality than what is available at stores today.
I am keeping things of sentimental value (like the porcelain cat statue my Mom gave to me when I was a teenager) and things I bought myself. If it was a gift and is rarely used, it goes.
Little by little, the clutter is being reduced.

When I'm done with the house, next up is the garage and the 20'x20' storage building out back. I know lots of local contractors and will have no problem giving away tools and equipment that I am personally no longer able to use (tendinitis in hands) or have no future need of. My late husband loved to buy all sorts of power and hand tools for fix-up or new projects.
This storage building was built by him, a buddy, and me, from the ground up, in the late 1980s.
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:17 AM   #16
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We are moving, and downsizing, again in 4 days. We will still be occupying 3 times the space shown in the video but it feels good to be getting rid of more un-needed stuff.

I even shredded all but my last 15 years of tax returns.
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:41 PM   #17
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We are moving, and downsizing, again in 4 days. We will still be occupying 3 times the space shown in the video but it feels good to be getting rid of more un-needed stuff.

I even shredded all but my last 15 years of tax returns.
I did that for a few of my oldest tax returns, but I'll probably save 2005 forever. That was the year I forgot to include a cashless exercise of stock options on Schedule D (it was taxed at the time of exercise and proceeds were included as W-2 income, so the net effect on the transaction was zero and I forgot to go back and enter it).

In 2007 we got a letter from the IRS that said we owed $31,000 on our 2005 taxes. I freaked at first until I looked at it and realized what happened -- they counted the sale of the underlying stock as pure profit with a zero cost basis. I called the IRS back and explained the situation and they closed it surprisingly quickly and amicably -- so the letter I received a few days later which closed that case is one I'll probably never shred.
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Old 11-26-2011, 02:06 PM   #18
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Too much stuff clutters up life. We end up storing junk from yesterday that gets in the way of living today and tomorrow. I keep things that have emotional value from my parents, children, etc. If I haven't used something in years I donate it to somebody who can use it. I also find that I like the 'minimalist' look in my home. Less stuff but the things I do have are elegant and bring beauty to my life.
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Old 11-26-2011, 02:15 PM   #19
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Hi All. I know that I already sent out our Xmas list and should have said this sooner, but [brewer] and I would like to request that you not get us gifts this year. Having just moved, we got rid of a tremendous amount of stuff and are trying not to fill up the new house. I would propose instead that you just get gifts for the girls, realizing that a book or a small dinosaur will be loved as much as something more expensive. We are planning on getting you gifts, but from the girls with their imput, so they will be smaller and perhaps even homemade. :-) To us, family is really the essence of what the holiday season is about and getting to see you all in Jan. is more than [brewer] and I could ask for for Christmas. - Lots of love, [DW]
DW, who gets saddled with most of the Xmas shopping, finally got fed up with the consumerism pressure and sent the above to my side of the family. On her side we already have agreed that we will give gifts to each others' kids and just enjoy each others' company without too much stress.

DW was getting way ahead of herself and I told her that as far as I am concerned my gift is sitting in the driveway.
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Old 11-26-2011, 02:43 PM   #20
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DW, who gets saddled with most of the Xmas shopping, finally got fed up with the consumerism pressure and sent the above to my side of the family. On her side we already have agreed that we will give gifts to each others' kids and just enjoy each others' company without too much stress.
DW was getting way ahead of herself and I told her that as far as I am concerned my gift is sitting in the driveway.
Mr. Money Mustache weighed in on the subject in a similar way with his usual low-key, laid-back, mellow, tactful, understated, non-confrontational manner:
Happy Thanksgiving – And Buy Nothing Day! (and Month?) | Mr. Money Mustache
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