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01:39 PM on 12/11/2011
this is brilliant! You are my new favorite! Thank you!
12:11 PM on 12/11/2011
Excellent Ted talk, as most of them are. And a great message.

Of course, we'll need to do a wholesale redefinition of economic prosperity for the nation, as well. A group of economists have been looking at measures of national progress and well-being, in an effort to get away from our current consumption-based measures of GDP. If we could agree on better measures of wellness, we'd redefine what's really important: health, self-satisfaction, connections with others.

After all, your personal possessions won't comfort you on your deathbed, but good friends can.
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dan can
11:44 AM on 12/11/2011
i think those who really need to read this article won't. and those who read it are already believers...judging by the comments. i love a minimalist lifestyle. we make everything so complicated these days, it's time to simplify.
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granitegirl
so much information - so little time
04:23 PM on 12/11/2011
I read this article and posted it on my facebook page and to a group struggling with "too much stuff".
Stuff has taken over my life and although I am working on discarding, it is slow going.
And yes, I have a storage unit.
I've read most books on having too much stuff and this talk fits right in even though it wasn't
intended for those of us who are more extreme in our accumulation of stuff.
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4PeasInMyPod
Aspie, Mom, Patriot
10:26 AM on 12/11/2011
With several avid readers we are overwhelmed by books and magazines in our house. I am looking forward to purchasing a couple of kindles when money allows rather than invest in the space required to store them as well as cost of more bookshelves.

Just looking at what the ipod has done for music storage I am hopeful that more and more people will move towards electronic storage where applicable.
06:42 AM on 12/11/2011
I get it. The part about clearing our arteries and making room for the good stuff makes sense.

I have always heard of living in a one room shack but not living in a one room whatever.

That sterile and compact way of life may work for some, maybe for the young college student or grandma and even a couple without children. There would be no privacy. Children need more privacy. So do adults.

It isn't really the size of our homes, it is what we have in them that clogs up our life arteries. We reinsulated the ceiling in our home last year, covering an attic fan. It is has cut our heating bill in half. Maybe a bigger home and more insulation would work.

My dear husband and I have had a RV that was basically a one room. We also had a cabin that was one room. We stepped all over each other. My dh and I watch different shows. Dh gets up late, I get up early.

I don't think most of us have much junk. I have tried to stream line my home like a monk's home. But I have a few antiques and 'things I might need some day'. People do spend too much time moving stuff to the garage or storage, then reorganizing it a few months later. I suppose we could buy an extra room for junk so we can take junk with us. Junk is part of the family, you know.
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R
Yeah, I never read comments to my comments.
06:26 AM on 12/11/2011
I see this as a non-issue, as the one-percenters are doing their level best to see we have to do with less...
07:20 AM on 12/11/2011
I laugh when I hear they are going to make this year's Ipad look just like last year's Ipad because someone asked, "How will they know we are better than them, if our new Ipad looks like their old Ipad?"

The same thing goes for housing. "How will they know we are better than them, if our new home is small and their home is big? Funny huh?

I have never been into status symbols. Everything I have and the house I live in is what I wanted. It isn't perfect, but it wouldn't be mine if it was perfect.

My big artery clogs are papers. I suppose he meant to scan them on the computer for more room? Or to disks?
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4PeasInMyPod
Aspie, Mom, Patriot
10:35 AM on 12/11/2011
Yes, the economy is stretching our dollars ever more but in reality the 1% wants us, in fact requires us, to consume and discard in a never-ending cycle in order for them to remain at the top.
01:59 PM on 12/13/2011
Then the really subversive thing to do is to stop consumption. Stop buying, stop discarding.
accelerando
my micro-bio is empty
11:30 PM on 12/10/2011
This year my partner and I got rid of one car. Four years ago we bought a little brick ranch style house that didn't cost the earth. We bought all our furniture at yard sales or the flea market, and it is really good quality stuff. We would like a flat screen TV, but not until the perfectly good one we have wears out--we don't watch all that much anyway. Society wants us to have a smart phone, but we just can't justify it--we do have one that just phones, for emergencies when we travel. Most clothes come from Goodwill or consignment shops. The more we edit, the better the quality of our life. Yes, it's hard to part with stuff, but rather you than death. Yes, it's hard not to join the crowd buying whatever is "hot", but in five years you won't even remember what it was. Start small...keep moving.... :)
anilimili
compassion trumps hatred
10:57 PM on 12/10/2011
Well, I agree. Most of us can do with less. Actually, MOST of the world has very little; while a small part of the world has more than they know what to do with but still feel the need to have. Most of us can zero on the important things, especially in times of crisis--we KNOW that people come before posessions; that even if we lost all belongings we're ok as long as people are safe; can appreciate the need to share this world with others and to make room for those less fortunate. Most of us WANT to give to others, to share, to donate time, energy, money, things.
It seems to me that for the most part it is the everyday routine and the constant flow of media 'you need this' and 'this will make you happy' and 'everyone has one' and 'don't be left behind' that has us reaching for more--newer cars, latest gadgets, more clothing than we can wear, bigger homes than we need, more stuff we will never use.
I don't advocate a cookie-cutter world where everyone has the same basic things and no aspirations for more; but I can agree with the writer that we need to edit the priorities of our lives and our dreams. After all, all too often we BECOME cookie-cutter people when we rush to follow the most recent fashion or craze when we already have everything we need and then some.
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davidprosser
07:26 PM on 12/10/2011
Part II:

And the thing is that there is a disconnect here from what we think and what the environment tells us and what actually ends up happening within us. For instance, studies have been done where college students are asked about what they most want in life and not surprisingly they usually tailor their answer to be about the acquisition of material goods.

But when these same students are asked about what has brought them the most fulfillment recently they give examples of human interaction. And this is because human interaction yields higher levels of pleasure then any sort of "object." But we live in a world which does not teach us this and we are bombarded through gross amounts of advertisement to convince us that material consumption will bring us the happiness we lack.

And this creates a feedback loop because we get trapped into continually consuming more and more to fulfill ourselves but we end up not truly being fulfilled.

We have to remember that we are social creatures, as scientists tell us that we have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years in social networks, and this evolutionary drive, for us to be connected, has continued to grow; which is why we see our social networks now expanding, interconnecting, to form large global networks.
09:13 AM on 08/14/2012
Agree. I asked my really good guy, high school senior nephew, what he most wanted in life and I was shocked when he said "to be rich and successful"- when he saw my surprise, he sincerely asked, "Isn't that what everyone wants?" In a minute, he said "Well, of course, I would want to
care about people, too."
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davidprosser
07:25 PM on 12/10/2011
(My comment in parts due to length)

Part I:

I think we all, if only on a personal level, can understand the need to edit our lives, to make them more compact, and thus more manageable. Today we live in a world where more and more scientists are speaking about our influence on the planet through how much we consume and through the man made climate change we are causing.

These both are tremendous issues which affect greatly all life on this planet and the continuance of life on this planet because in order for life to continue to exist, on all levels, there must be enough resources to go around and a habitable global environment (and on the issue of climate change, many species are less adaptable then humans to the changes which have occurred and continue to occur and this is leading to a lot of species die off.)

But we're faced with a problem of human nature here which prevents us from just switching off our consumption habits: And that is that we, each of us, have a desire to continually receive pleasure and this desire continues to grow from generation to generation.

But instead of increasing our human interactions to be more quantitative and qualitative we have instead chosen to fulfill our ever increasing desire for pleasure with excess material consumption.
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Djay0252
17th Airborne..a tribute to my Father
03:01 PM on 12/10/2011
My story is not about the THINGS that I might collect.( Nothing lasts forever.) but about the things I do for myself but mostly for neighbor and family...and who is my neighbor you ask?
02:59 PM on 12/10/2011
I found the easiest way to edit one's life is to ask myself every time I go to buy something, "Do I need this? I mean, do I really NEED this?" Life editing becomes very practical and do-able. Life edit; it works. And it's liberating. I'm pretty satisfied despite that my dishware doesn't match or despite that I don't have a DVD player. I used to have those things, but when it's all gone and you start over, the life editing process is very easy to do. Give it a try.
01:11 PM on 12/10/2011
Some stuff is fine; the problem in our culture is the way we upgrade and throw away our trinkets every year....I will never need to "upgrade" my american stratocaster or my favorite books but my phone is already out dated
09:25 AM on 12/12/2011
A lot of the reason people update is because the industries that build our furniture, and the stores that sell everything we need in a house, need to keep different trends so people will buy more.

I have noticed lately trendy furniture is modern and uncomfortable looking. They say the trend changes about every 10 years. I don't care. I am keeping my recliners, overstuffed couch and my oak furniture. For me to buy something new, it would have to do more than be in style. I may buy a robot to do house work when they make one. I bought a floor robot vacuum cleaner. It helps a little, but you still have to empty it. I want it to empty itself:-)

I don't have a cell phone. My husband and everyone I know has one. I would get one if I didn't have to use my minutes up in a month. I want one that the minutes last until you use them.
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12:55 PM on 12/10/2011
continued from prior post...

the third thing is that it appears that there is no room for art, books, records, magazines, shells you found on the beach, work files and materials, that amazing vintage sofa, wine storage, childhood memories, plants, photos, coats, pets, luggage, sporting equipment - the things that we enjoy using and seeing and that humanize our space.

i think its great if someone enjoys living this way, and totally support it, and i love the idea of editing out JUNK, but i personally need a little more margin for error...
02:24 PM on 12/10/2011
thanks sheila for your feedback. the issue with expensive furniture is a real one. we're not there yet on a lot of issues. lifeedited is trying to start a movement, where these kind of designs become more mainstream, thereby cheaper. we're also focusing primarily on city living, where a $5k piece of furniture could save $100k because you didn't need an extra bedroom.
we are also incorporating sharing systems, where people can share low-use items like power tools and cooking sheets--things that are nice to have once or twice a year, but take up a disproportionate amount of space in our homes.
lastly, we're not preaching renunciation of all material objects. nor are we saying 420 sq ft is right for everyone (though that's about the average for most of europe). there is room for all the items you mentioned in a lifeedited lifestyle. we are trying to promote a consciousness of heavy costs possessions exact. david friedlander
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11:41 AM on 12/13/2011
Understood, and I totally applaud your themes and efforts! I like the sharing concept, too, although it only takes one person to ruin that kind of thing for everyone (we all had the college roommate who never bought toilet paper!). I will definitely keep an eye out for your future blogs and projects, thanks!!
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12:54 PM on 12/10/2011
although i love the premise of this project, i have to say that first of all, it is extortionately expensive and out of the reach of the 99% to spend this much money renovating a small space that they either rent or may need to get resale value out of.

i have been shopping for murphy beds for 10 years, hoping they would drop in price, and just the most basic icky plywood one still costs $4,000 for a twin (not including mattress)! So something custom like this must have cost in the $200K range (or $500/square foot, not counting the apartment), which you MIGHT get back in NYC in a resale or rental market, but NEVER anywhere else in the US. how can we edit an extra $200K into our wallets?

the second thing is that if you go too spartan, you inevitably realize that you do need that level, that salad bowl, that suitcase, etc. then you have to go out and buy it, creating more waste (and expense) because you just tossed a perfectly good one, then find a place for it. i know, in "editing," you are supposed to be perfectly and accurately predictive of your every need over the coming 10 years but so few of us can be, it sets an impossibly high bar.

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