Sunday 30 November 2014

Thoughts about stuff

Left: the box containing our stuff being loaded in Bangalore. Right: our stuff arriving in Gracisce.

Having experienced three international moves in the space of seven years, I have a few thoughts about stuff. You know, the stuff you tend to drag around from one home to the next. The stuff you keep in boxes in the basement or an attic, which simply takes up space. The stuff you either have to face by sorting through it and deciding what is indispensable and what isn’t, or the stuff whose real or imagined utility you don’t question at all and instead just move it to another basement or attic where it sits until the next move.

I’ve learned that you don’t need most of this stuff but you end up paying to pack it, move it, store it, and sometimes even to dispose of it.

I’ve learned that life is simpler without stuff.

I’ve learned that it’s very liberating to get rid of stuff. When I wrote about my experience packing up my previous life in India I mentioned the feeling of liberation and how after purging years of accumulated stuff, I felt lighter.

The reason why I’ve been thinking about stuff is because over the past few months I’ve been sorting through all our possessions, unpacking the boxes we shipped from India, and those we had left in storage for the past 8 years.

Of course emotions are invariably linked to stuff too. I felt a burst of nostalgia when I opened up the boxes packed with my Indian clothes, the smell of India still there. Unpacking the moving boxes I had packed up in London eight years ago (which we had stored in Brussels and transported to Istria recently) felt very strange… like I was handling artifacts from another time. And I was delighted to be reunited with my books and enjoyed the ritual of lining them up on new bookshelves.

I’m happy to finally have the unpacking, sorting and purging behind me and am glad to now have all our stuff in its place, in one place.

Now that the unpacking is done and the house renovations are over, I finally feel like I have a home again.


  1. I try (I say try :) to follow what William Morris said: "If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." All MjuMju gadgets we are accumulating are definitely useful :)

    1. I'm an admirer of William Morris' art and philosophy so I agree with this!

      Yes MjuMju has to be entertained afterall. The South Indian cat is happy as long as she has a cardboard box to tear up!

  2. Hi Isabel,

    The smell of Indian spices will always linger on.

    BTW, your postings are decreasing by the day.

    Please let the photographs flow.

    Sam Cambatta,

    1. Thanks for visiting Sam! You can expect a few more posts this month!


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