Day 11 – Book Review ~ Stuffocation by James Wallman

Day 11 – Book Review ~ Stuffocation by James Wallman

stuffocationStuffocation; James Wellman; 2015;Penguin

I bought this book because i liked the cover and the title intrigued me, but it was worth every penny spent as even though it is a few weeks since i finished it, I am still thinking about it and talking about it.

James Wellman asks the question, ‘…how do we need to live in order to be happy?’ He goes on to write that ‘most we have had enough of stuff…’ Or have we? He begins the book with a a questionnaire on the subject of how to tell if you have had enough of ‘stuff’. One such question is ~

‘(a) is everything well organized in your home, or (b) are there ‘clutter ghettos’ – no-go zones you can’t use and don’t dare enter because of all the stuff that needs clearing out.’  

Then he adds in another quiz ‘Could you be an Experientialist?’

‘Do you aspire to (a) live the rich life you see in reality television programmes and celebrity magazines, or (b) a life rich in, friendships, relationships and experiences?’

He goes on to discuss Materialism verses Minimalism and declares that Minimalism is not the answer to Materialism as ‘minimalists are walking down the same road as materialists only much slower and what we really need is to turn right at the crossroads and try something different..’ He does share a number of ways as to why minimalism is not the answer in the and why it would not be sustainable in the long term.

He share three of the well known minimalists to help us begin to de-suffocate; Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Milburn ~ The Minimalist.com, – the bag and box method, Courtney Carver ~ Be More with Less, – ‘did you miss it game’, and Dave Bruno ~ 100 Thing challenge.

But in the end, what he is saying, is that most of us have had enough of ‘stuff.’

So could you be an Experientialist?

Wellman sets out ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective Experientialists. Here is just one – 1. Know your stuff. What do you have? How much do you have? How much do you need? How much do you use them? Do your ‘things’ give you experiences?

The book is in easy to read chapters. Wellman uses the example of others to explain his reasoning. He moves from materialism, through minimalism and then in experientialism, which he says may be the new way. He encourages you to try your own experiment, by spending time using the money you would normally spend on ‘stuff’ and paying for an experience instead. This book will help you decide where you are on the road from materialism to minimalism and whether it is time to take a right turn at the crossroads. The ideas are well explained and understandable. There are a couple of quizzes to help you out and at the end of the book some ideas to try as well as a great notes sections with ideas on where to go next and what to try.

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