Side point: one of the HUGE perks about being single is not having to deal with someone else's stuff in combination with my own.
Real point: do the people we live with affect how we view stuff? Yes. Over the years, I have lived with at least 16 different people including my family & roommates. All of these people have had different views on stuff & have contributed to my current views on stuff. Here are a few of the highlights-
- Freshman year: Buying Star Wars action figures doesn't bring long-term happiness. Don't own heavy furniture that must go up & down stairs when you move! (yep, it's a hidabed!)
- Sophomore year: A 12X14 room for two people means you really shouldn't go shopping a lot. The more stuff you own, the more places you have to find to put it. We crammed out those 168 sq feet, it got really messy, but it was FUN.
- Martinique Study Abroad: What?! You can function in life without owning a couch? What?! Your kitchen is less than 20 sq feet and you can make some of the best food ever? What?! You can live in a Caribbean climate without air conditioning?
- Junior year: Also, owning lots of stuff means you have more stuff for roommates to abuse & destroy. Don't own nice stuff until you live alone.
- Summer in Puebla: Living out of one suitcase in a hotel room with two other girls for 6 weeks can be difficult but hardly impossible! Since we all understood the situation, we all kept things clean & picked-up.
- Senior year: Love your roommates; you don't have to love the existence of their stuff.
- Post-College: Living alone rocks! However, living alone makes you feel like you need to get all your own furniture. This is not true.
- Post-College Transition: Getting rid of heavy furniture is terrible! Hey, I can fit 70% of my stuff in a storage unit & not use it for a month...
- Moving back to Lawrence: Crap. I own WAY too much stuff. Crap. How could I possibly have moved all this 10 times in the previous 4 years?
- In my current duplex: Now is the time to really simplify & minimize! If I haven't used an item in the last year, do I really need to keep it around? Why do I have 3 crockpots?
- Thoughts on books & movies: I thought these were necessary items to have around to have just in case I should want to watch/read them & to show guests my likes, sense of humor & dazzling intellectual prowess. But then I discovered a wonderful concept, borrowing!!! I haven't purchased a movie in over three years. Books I only purchase second-hand if I need it for a Bible study & a friend doesn't already own it for me to borrow. Most of my books & movies have been sold to Half-Price Books or Hastings & I don't miss them. I feel so relieved I don't have to move them again!!! And as for my intellectual prowess, does generating SQL queries through a VB.NET Visual Studio project really make for a good conversation starter? Or, "Oh, looks like you've read Chaucer. What do you think of his use of gender relations as a political statement or how his thoughts on property ownership compare to training your average canine? I have many leather-bound books & my apartment smells of rich mahogany"? My topics of conversation have been simplified & I'd rather not rely on my stuff to generate intellectual discourse.
- Overall: Don't own stuff you don't like. Don't own more stuff than you need, but own stuff that makes you happy. If you hate moving stuff, get rid of it.