We are built to accumulate and collect stuff. We’re wired to want things and validate ourselves based on what we’ve got…car, house, gadgets, and so on. As a tech person, I’ve built up the typical boxes of cables (Composite, USB, headphones, etc.), most of which I’ll never use. It reaches a point where it starts to bog you down. Living in a good-sized one-bedroom loft apartment after college, I shouldn’t have trouble finding room for my stuff, but it’s starting to build up.
There’s an important lesson to be learned from this: The more things you have, the more you have to maintain, and the more you have to keep track of. It’s difficult to think of an iPod or a car as nuisances, but they can easily become just that. The iPod starts acting up and you spend time fixing it, replacing it, buying add-ons for it and before long it starts bordering on more trouble than it’s worth. The car needs maintenance, gas, washing, a place to park…
You can start to see how these things come with strings attached. Life gets more complicated, and when life is complicated, there’s less time to sit back and enjoy it as is. A cluttered home makes a cluttered mind.
I’m not advocating life without possessions, but we’ve got to identify when possessions turn from positive sustaining things into burdens. One of the greatest things in life (in my humble opinion) can be sitting on the porch on a beautiful spring day at sunset – and there are no gadgets, toys or exciting things necessary to get the full value of this.