or: the curse of too much stuff.

Recently, I've become a journalist. For this job I get to visit companies and go to press conferences and seminars and such. While these deal with very different subjects, they also have something in common: the people who organize them want to be nice to journalists. So they give them presents. Lots of presents. Large and expensive ones. Is this a problem? Yes it is. You see, I live in a small one room appartment. I have got everything I need. Not everything I want, I admit, but everything I need. I do not need two (count them: two) identical pieces of Bohemian glass art, crystal wine glasses that can contain half a litre of wine each or, for that matter, a small green statue of a bear made out of recycled plastic. Not even if it's designed by an actual artist.

While this is a problem that has recently developed, it increases a problem I already had: the problem of too much stuff. Maybe you recognize it: all those clothes that you never wear anymore but are too good to just throw away, those cosmetic products that you wanted to try and that turned out not to be too great, the presents your parents gave you that are not quite your taste but they were so proud of them...
My closets are filled with stuff like that. These things cannot just be thrown away, because they might come in handy later. Or because the people who gave them to you would be hurt. Or because there are good memories attached to them. Some time ago I took a course in ceramics where I had lots of fun making cups and bowls and works of 'art'. Now I am left with a stack full of things that turned out nice. But not nice enough to give away... and not practical enough to use... Darn.

Each time I move I try to throw away the things that I have not looked at since the last time I moved. Each time the amount of boxes that I can fill amazes me again. And each time I move to a bigger place that can be filled with more clutter. This vision I have of travelling light, without all this matter that I do not truly need,. might just stay that: an unobtainable vision.

(Travelling light, by the way, is a reference to a very nice Tindersticks song)