I suffer from American consumerism in reverse, where I obsess about how to get rid of stuff I own and how to own less. I'm not bragging--I think I obsess TOO much, and also I still do have a hard time parting with things, and I still do have occasional compulsions to buy things I don't need.
But my boss was complaining the other day that some people she knows are giving away a bunch of stuff in preparation for a move, and people aren't taking it all. "You stupid, picky people! Take it! It's FREE!"
The thought of having more stuff really does give me the shakes. I already have too much.
See, I was raised by compulsive hoarders. My mother and aunt are big time packrats, like the kind you see on self-help TV shows. I was raised to think it's normal, and it took a few years of living on my own to reform. But BOY have I reformed. I see how the clutter burdens my parents, sucks their finances dry, and hurts them more than it ever does help. So now I am equally compulsive about NOT hoarding because I don't want to turn into them.
I'm already on the right track--I live in a very small house and I have gotten rid of many, many things. I don't even feel guilty when people give me things as gifts and I take them straight to Goodwill if I'm not going to use them. But still, I spend a lot of my time fantasizing about how to get rid of stuff (even stuff I am using!) and as I said, the thought of acquiring more stuff gives me the shakes. And I still think I own far too many things.
(age 9) and