One of the downsides of owning a lot of things is you have to care for a lot of things. Caring for copious possessions is simple if you have a team of people to do it for you — cleaning, maintenance, security — but not so simple when you’re the one with all the responsibilities.
I’m not an ascetic. I have stuff. My son has toys, and our family has a car. I’m not an advocate for a possession-free lifestyle. Rather, I adhere to smart consumer practices (spending less than you earn, researching products before your buy them, buying the best quality you can afford, only buying products you need or help you pursue the remarkable life you desire, and trying your best to refrain from acquiring clutter).
Another thing smart consumers acknowledge is that stuff is more than physical objects. Stuff is storage space in your home. Stuff is protecting your things from theft, pests, mold, mildew, and the elements. Stuff is taking time for dusting, cleaning, and returning things after you use them. Stuff is shipping costs, taxes, upgrades, accessories, and energy to power. Stuff is the tradeoff of time, energy, money, and space that you could have used for something else — something you might want more in your life.
Before making a purchase or acquiring a new object, pause and ask yourself if you are willing to accept all the responsibilities that accompany the object. When sorting through the things in your home, ask yourself the same questions. Recognize how the things in your life will impact your future. Don’t get caught off guard by the responsibilities of ownership.