Get Rid Of Your Crap

I started watching this video today and was floored by not only how good it was, not only how true it was, but also how much it just resonated with me.  I think every tiny house person should watch this and even non tiny house people.

The quotes that stood out for me is “if you don’t answer this question [what does freedom mean to me] there is a corporation, company or product that is happy to answer it for you”

what does freedom mean to me

  1. I knew about this years ago. Even George Carlin delved into it, the absurdity of collecting a bunch of crap. No one ever listens to this. There are great books about shifting your thinking as well. “Your Money Or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Monica Tilford. It’s the Bible to this. Another great book is “The Freedom Manifesto”, by Tom Hodgkinson. Both of these books make you question the whole myth of dreams and material possessions. Both of these are on my bookshelf, and have been for years. I was talking about this back in the 1980s and 1990s when I just entered the work force full time and was questioning the whole absurdity of the 40 hour work week! No one listened. I applied it slowly as the pull to live the lie was sometimes stronger, but I am happy to say I am debt free, and have been for years. I have a pension, live within my means and have medical benefits. This is all due to planning ahead to live a less cluttered and debt existence. Everyone can do this. I wish I applied it more. I could have done even better if I wasn’t so brain-washed about the whole American Dream, err MYTH. As for the job, that’s the only part I couldn’t do right. I hated my job for the most part, but what it did provide was a pension and medical benefits after I retired, so like I said, I could have done better…but I am so much better off than most. It takes a lot of planning and sacrifice to give up on buying so much stuff.

  2. Walden
    Read it !

  3. voluntary simplicity!

  4. I have noticed in my brief 58 years that there are 2 very general mindsets in relationship to owning things and of course the extremes on both ends of the spectrum. There are collectors and at the far end, the hoarders. These individuals seem compelled to ‘have things’. I have a relative who is like this. Storage sheds full of stuff-most of which she hasn’t seen for years. Now mind you, her home is clean and tidy but full of bric a brac. To compell her to get rid of anything. Well, good luck on that. She can’t because “She might need it one day”
    On the other end of the spectrum are purgers. These individuals, like myself, have an almost physical revulsion to clutter. Don’t get me wrong-I too have my very very favorite things;an antique glass bottle, an art print, a colorful piece of batik fabric, a well loved book etc. But I periodically go through my things with the mental process which balances practicality and usefulness with aesthetic appeal or sentimental value. I am particularly brutal with clothing and if I haven’t worn it in 6 months, off to Goodwill it goes.No skinny jeans section for me. I live in reality.LOL Of course I live with 2 other adults in 850 sq feet but… I like the feeling of seeing my favorite things-not having to dig for them. Why have 5 frying pans when one will do? But to each his or her own. I know many people with massive collections of whatever in their homes and this gives them great pleasure, feelings of security…whatever.
    I would think that a collector mentality would have the hardest time adjusting to a tiny life and the space constraints that entails. For many people, giving up “something” is excrutiating.
    And there are probably as many psychological imperatives behind people’s obsession with stuff as there are people.
    Give me wood surfaces, plants, a down comforter, a couple of colorful plates and bowls, a few good books and a little art and I am good to go. Of course being a nomad all my life has probably taught me that hauling a bunch of ‘stuff’ around the country is more effort than its worth.
    Good article Ryan

  5. What this person talks about is sensible, but will probably set off yet another round of rhapsodic “get rid of all your stuff and your life will miraculously improve”. Might. Might not. My freedom involves a huge supply of “crap”, mostly in the form of fabric, notions, tools, hardware, wood, etc. Having this stuff enables me to make a lot of useful items for myself and others or be the person who comes up with the perfect whatever that somebody else needs for their project.

    I like being that person. I like having all that useful stuff and seeing the potential in some piece of scrap. I keep the stuff organised. I am not in debt. Some was scrounged, some given to me because I’m that person who keeps stuff, some came from the thrift shop,some has a story attached. Some of the stuff takes a lot longer to find a purpose than others. Yes, going into debt accumulating expensive consumer goods is stupid but mindlessly eliminating stuff isn’t particularly intelligent either. It’s all a question of what works in your life. There is no single, simple solution.

    • Well, OK, I did get rid of all the slot head screws. Hate those things! Robertson or Phillips for me. I no longer straighten out bent nails and sharpen them on the grinder, or at least not very often.

    • Did you watch and understand the Video? He stated everyone has their own definition of Freedom. If your bliss is is crafting then that is what works for you. That is your freedom.
      His Freedom was lightening the load,ridding the debt,hitting the road.
      To each his own.
      “Go confidently in the direction of Your dreams.”

      • Did you read and understand my comment? You may have noticed (or maybe not) that I agreed with the video about not getting bogged down with debt and said my particular freedom works without seriously paring down the stuff. There are usually a plethora of comments insisting you need to get rid of most of your stuff to be “free” after a piece like this. I’m saying look at it carefully and decide for yourself,while providing an example of another approach. Nothing more, nothing less.

        “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” – Henry David Thoreau

        • Yes I read your comment and wondered why you felt it would open a floodgate of comments to get rid of possessions. If a sentient viewer which I suspect most that view TED are, watches the presentation they understand one’s idea of freedom need not be everyone’s idea of freedom.
          No one is insisting you have too much crap.
          You need not worry.

        • Hear, hear! What you describe is my goal. I don’t think I’m as organized as you, but I have often been the one with “the perfect thing” – whatever it happened to be, because I too see potential in random stuff. I try to evaluate the likelyhood of it being useful. Heh, sometimes I’m wrong and I do have useless crap on hand that I periodically go through and purge.

          I’ve stated more than once that I disagree with the belief that everyone should live by the 100 Items Or Less rule. You have clearly stated just one of the reasons why.


    • It was almost like you were reading my mind Alice. I too am a fiber artist and have yarn, fabric, and such to make things and sell them. I recycle a lot, but never had too much for my home. I also collect two things and they bring me joy, again in moderation.

      I often tell folks to take a photo of their pretties and then let someone else enjoy them for a while. Pretty soon, the hurt subsides and you can thumb through your photo album or screen saver and remember what you had.

      People who come and visit often call me a hoarder which chaps my backside. They have three times the size of house, money to set up a business in that house, and are not crafters.

      So you are right, what works for some wouldn’t work for others. Personally, I could move into a tiny home next week because I would save enough for a storage unit for the things that make me money. Thanks for listening!!

  6. Sounds like a great video. Would be nice to have a reference in the post linking to the original source or the speaker’s website, as the video doesn’t show up on my iPhone. Plus, it’s always nice to give credit where credit is due.

  7. Is there a link to this video because I’m not able to view anything but an image?

Leave a Reply