I have been cleaning, purging my household of ‘excessories‘; those items without a purpose that seem to build up around the place. They arrive in the arms of well meaning friends and kids who’s parents have told them to get rid of their junk. It would seem that junk carries an energy necessary to its survival. Some people unconsciously feel this energy and have a hard time letting go. As an alternative to chucking it out, they try to find a new home for it. This is an admirable thing to do considering how full our landfills are becoming, but my question is “where did the junk come from in the first place?” I think this is a complicated question with more than one answer.

While in the Anchorage, Alaska airport last summer, my daughter and I spent a lot of time watching planes land and take off from the cargo runways. We were shocked at the number of cargo planes from China. They stop at Anchorage to refuel before continuing on to their destinations. I was puzzled at first until I made a connection between all the labels on my items at home, “Made in China”. It is rare now to find items that are not made in China . It’s all about marketing. Lower production cost, lower retail cost. The lower price is so enticing that many times I have bought an item on impulse because the price was so good. I am working on breaking that habit, separating ‘needs’ from ‘wants’, after all, how much ‘stuff’ do I really need?


About art4life

I have a visual art practice and (way too) many ideas, thoughts and opinions I want to share. Thanks for listening.
This entry was posted in home life, my opinions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to ‘excessories’

  1. Dawn says:

    I have too much stuff, certainly for the size of place we have. I need to get rid of things too. I hope in the next week I can clear a few things from our home. I won’t say a lot, no need to set myself up for failure.

  2. oreneta says:

    WAY less than most of us have got…have you ever looked at the book Material World? It is a photo essay with some text…and very illuminating. One of my favourite books in the world.

  3. art4life says:

    Dawn: it is great that you have some time to work on your place! Clearing out feels so good!

    Oreneta: Thanks for the recommendation on the book. I will definitely check it out. You might be interested in the book, “Massive Change” by Bruce Mau. It is a series of interviews with creative thinkers who talk about ways of change in all areas, housing, economy, information….etc. very interesting. This website “Massive change in action” gives example of what design communities have done to make change. Interesting.

  4. amanda says:

    We can become so attached to stuff. My husband’s grandma has been slimming down her inventory of stuff, but can only let it go if she thinks it will be used, and she doesn’t like to give things to people she doesn’t know. What a dilemma, wanting to slim down, but not able to just give it away. We often bring home a load of her things, pick out a few interesting items, and take the rest to the thrift store. It makes her detachment easier knowing we have taken it. She has also been a great source of old magazines and newspapers for collage purposes.

  5. I hear you on this! Where did it all come from? Did you hear about the island of trash they found in the ocean?



    Blessings and thanks for writing this post! You are breath of fresh air!


  6. art4life says:

    Hi Lacy,

    I will check out the link you posted. I hope it won’t be too discouraging :0

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