I see a lot of Legos. And collections: Hummels, purses, plates, hats, Star Wars toys, shoes, holiday decorations, jewelry, books, makeup, cookware … and collectible Legos. By my standards, I have a massive, intrusive amount of Legos in my house: my son treasures sets, and scratchbuilds with loose pieces. I suspect I could build a house with them in a pinch.
So when is too much? I couldn’t answer in a thousand years. Each of us has an entirely subjective idea of abundance, and excess. And I may have a different idea of abundance for my books as for my photos as for my cookware. And someone else will have a different count for his books as I do for mine, or a vastly different number of pots and pans.
I like to try for “sufficient.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary provides the following definitions:
a: enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end; (for example) sufficient provisions for a month
b: being a “sufficient condition” (“sufficient condition” – 1: a proposition whose truth assures the truth of another proposition; 2: a state of affairs whose existence assures the existence of another state of affairs)
Sufficient’s archaic definition startles me. It feels right. How often, if we pare down our stuff to what we regularly use, or what unfailingly makes us smile, haven’t we felt more competent? Not getting lost in the clutter. Not vacuuming up Lego bricks. Not afraid that “I’m only as good as last year’s stuff makes me seem.”
I’ll be posting some book reviews over the next few days. Some of those books may help you rethink abundance. I’d bet they are all available through a library. Another way to avoid accumulation. And it’s OK to ask for help from friends and family or professionals if letting go is truly too intimidating on your own, but necessary.