consider yourself: your stuff

OK . . . so it’s hard to find quotes and inspiration about scrapbooking material possessions. Almost anything quotable notes that material possessions are not what bring happiness. I get that. As a former business student, I also get that much of us in the world live in capitalist economies, which works best when products are being made and sold efficiently. No, it’s not quite the “circle of life,” but it’s also not the worst thing under the sun, so consider turning the page now and scrapbooking some of the objects in your life.

scrapbook page

One afternoon before I dug in to picking up our home, I realized the things lying around this year were different than those last year. And so I photographed our little messes and scrapbooked them.

why scrap your objects?

For the same reason archaeologists study the artifacts of past civilizations. The items in your possession reveal information about you personally and about the culture in which you live. In other words: it’s interesting and even revelatory. Am I sure about this? Ask yourself what items you’d quickly throw in the closet if company was coming and which items you’d quickly dust off. Does this say something about you? Are you getting the idea?

which objects should you scrap?

Begin with anything that compels you–treasured items, well-used items, items you take for granted. If you’re having a hard time coming up with ideas, think about the following and makes notes.

what objects are required because of:

  • ­your work
  • your hobbies
  • your daily needs (eating, shelter, housework, yard work, transportation, communication)
  • the other people in your life

what are the decorative or sentimental or just non-utilitarian objects in your life:

  • ­knickknacks
  • gadgets
  • heirlooms
  • accumulated junk

what objects do you really enjoy having and acquiring?

  • and how do you acquire these things? online, stores, barter, gifts, self-made?

what objects would you put in a personal time capsule?

JOURNALING for “I Love {Getting} Dishes: I’m not sure what came 1st. Was it my mom giving me dishes and me thus loving them or was it me loving them and my mom thus giving me more? Anyway, I’ve got a lot of dishes. I like using real dishes even for large parties, and parties are usually an excuse for me to get a few dishes (’cause they do break when you use them well). 1) I bought 4 doz. new wine glasses at Crate & Barrel for Neil’s 50th Birthday Party. 2) Neil & I bought this white stoneware (12 settings) at Bennington Pottery (and then we bought a green and black set--see bottom row 1st plate); 3 & 9) Grandma Hodge gave me her Aunt Allie’s china; 4) The wine & water glasses we got for our wedding; 5 & 6) Mom gave me punch bowls & punch cups & tea glasses & I’ve thrown several really large family tea parties. 7)4 doz. flutes for Neil’s 50th. 8) more dishes in the basement. Bottom) I’ve got many sets of plates -- usu 12-18 each (just incase we have a party). March 2008.

how could you scrap your objects?

  • take an inventory of one particular location (i.e., your purse, closet, desk, car . . .) and photograph and document the key objects
  • contemplate yourself as a consumer and collector and your general tendencies
  • create a page about one object that’s especially important to you, telling its history and meaning
  • scrapbook a collection of those things you have in multiples (i.e., purses, shoes, dishes, magazine subscriptions . . .)
  • scrapbook a theme (i.e., “things I use everyday,” “favorite knickknacks,” “things I haven’t touched in years but still have,” “things I inherited,” “presents I’ve never used,” “handiest gadgets in my house,” . . .

We play a lot of board games in our house and each holiday and birthday brings new ones into our home. This is a page of all the new games we got in December 2008.

priming the engine: ask yourself this about your stuff

As quickly as you can, write down two or three things in/on the following places:

  • your purse
  • your home entryway
  • your car
  • your kitchen counter
  • your bedside drawer
  • your desk
  • your bathroom counter
  • your coffee or end-table
  • just outside your front door
  • your dresser-top
  • the table where you eat
  • under your bed
  • your closet (that’s not clothes)
  • your attic or basement or primary storage area

THEN . . . . what pages do these answers make you want to do?

think about it: quotations

  • Inanimate objects can be classified scientifically into three major categories; those that don’t work, those that break down and those that get lost. – Russell Baker
  • Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is. – Charles M. Schulz
  • Culture relates to objects and is a phenomenon of the world; entertainment relates to people and is a phenomenon of life. -Hannah Arendt
  • It is perhaps a more fortunate destiny to have a taste for collecting shells than to be born a millionaire. – Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; it is a positive good in the world.”- Abraham Lincoln
  • Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on. It is not man – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • The quality of American life must keep pace with the quantity of American goods. This country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor. – John F Kennedy
  • A house that does not have one worn, comfy chair in it is soulless. ~May Sarton

write it: journaling prompts

  • The last little thing I bought for myself was _____.
  • The last big thing I bought was _____.
  • An inherited item that I keep out or occasionally use is _____.
  • Losing my _____ would be a big problem.
  • An item smaller than a bread box that I use every day is _____.
  • An item bigger than a bread box that I use every day is _____.
  • The most cluttered area of my home is _____.
  • An item that gives me comfort is _____.
  • The object I’ve had longest is _____.