The cult of less

Published August 18, 2010

Mr C and I have often discussed our desire to have less stuff. We move house on a frequent basis and the more stuff you have, the more tired your arms get by the end of each moving day.

The Amazon Kindle apps were a big turning point, I think. A big marker in the sky saying that it really is possible to own less junk. You also have to throw in our fledgling desire to live underground, and you can see we’re not exactly “normal” in the “how people live” sense.

That’s why I’m very fascinated by the Cult of Less - a new project by Kelly Sutton of

Sutton is attempting to get rid of all his clutter, and end up with life that can be stored in two bags and two boxes. He says:

While I don’t consider myself to be some sort of ascetic or societal recluse, I’ve found that more stuff equates to more stress. Each thing I own came with a small expectation of responsibility. I look into my closet and feel guilt. I glance into my desk drawers and see my neglect. When was the last time I wore this? Have I ever even used that?

Instead of trying to distribute my time too thin among all of my possessions, I will simply get rid of most of them. I will eliminate a large part of stress in my life and I will truly cherish the few things that I own.

At the moment, the blog and site appear to be very geared towards the selling of items. I’m more interested to see what happens once the items are all gone.

I came across the idea via Boing Boing, who featured a couple of posts on it here and here. The general response seems to veer between “if he’s happy, I’m happy” and “what is this nonsense? There are people in the world with far less.”

Both good points. My favourite comment was one that essentially blamed him if we never came out of a recession. Whatever the political arguments either way, anything that makes people take stock of what they have and what they really need is worth a second glance.

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