I was at my friend’s house finishing up a painting project when I noticed she had cleaned out the garage. Upon opening the garage door, I also noticed a truck full of junk. Now this is an invitation for me at anyone’s house.
First, let me say that if I really did this in my garage, I could fill up 4 of these trucks… one alone with paint. I have made so many trips to the thrift store to donate things I don’t need that I can’t even claim it all on my taxes without itemizing it, which by the way, I’m not doing. So was there any good stuff in the truck? Not a lot, but yes. I got a grill pan and a 5 gallon bucket I needed. There were a few things that could go to the thrift store.
I did rummage through a bag of small toys and a few other things. Just to make my point clear, we all have the things I’m about to show in some trashograms, my friends here are just being good and clearing out the clutter. My point in showing this as art is to visually show our shopping habits and thought processes when making purchases, even the small ones. Some small changes would mean less waste and less clutter. If we have less stuff, there’s nothing to pick up, although I would have to find something new to harass my kids with. Here we go…
Tiny plastic things. We all love tiny plastic toys if we’re over 3 years old and they don’t pose a choking hazard. Plastic clutter comes in the form of toys, kid’s meals, impulse items in retail stores and are advertised this time of year as stocking stuffers.
What’s under your tree? Is it things people want or is it things that will create more clutter in your house? I purposely shaped the beads into an infinity symbol because it seems never ending. Forget the crayon melting machines, maybe we need to have is a plastic melting machine so we can take all the tiny plastic toys and mold them into new and useful things. Okay, so it’s a toxic idea, but probably only in California. Maybe I’ll use this image for my Christmas card? Oh yeah, I don’t send cards.
Plastic fantasy world. We learn from the time we can walk and talk that this world is filled with colorful plastic fun.
Adult toys. Oh seriously, get out of the gutter! I mean electronics and gadgets that are supposed to make our lives easier, yet after time create more clutter. I’m old, and I remember the days before remote controls existed. So if you were to look now, how many remote controls do you have that don’t go to anything you still own? I’m guessing, without looking, I probably have about 6. Is there any secondary market for these things that I should know about?
- Big picture. What will this be doing in 6 months? Will it still be in use or will it be sitting in the bottom of a closet, or worse, end up in a landfill?
- Need or want? Is this a necessity or a fun thing? If it’s a fun thing, see the first point.
- Alternatives. Is there a used version of the item or is there something a little different that might be more useful?
- Meaning. Years ago, gift giving was more about finding something meaningful to give, a keepsake of some sort. I’m not a very sentimental person, but I like things that make me think of happy memories.
- Don’t buy to just buy. If you’re doing that because you feel you have to buy a gift, then give money in someone’s name to a charity. They don’t collect more stuff, you don’t have to spend a lot of time shopping and someone in need gets help. It’s a win-win-win.
Happy holidays and thoughtful shopping experiences this season!