Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

Downsizing Your Everything

by Will Wlizlo


Tags: stuff, charity, downsizing, Everything Must Go, spirituality, Will Wlizlo,

 downsizing-your-everything 

“There is something especially sad about this chicken.”—Chappell Ellison

Let’s face it: Most of us have more stuff than we need. (That is, unless, you’ve thrown your ballot in with the tiny house movement.) More clothes, more gizmos, more space, more tools, more junk. Accumulating life’s flotsam seems nearly inescapable these days—and that doesn’t even take into account all the stuff we instantly throw away. Chappell Ellison, a New York-based writer and design critic, is documenting her attempt to rid herself of unnecessary stuff on a photoblog called Everything Must Go (which is also her conduit for ditching expendable goods).

“In an attempt to learn how to live with less,” Ellison writes on the website,

I’m giving away my things, one by one. Sometimes the object will be accompanied by a personal narrative that might make you want the object more (or less). In letting go of these objects and their memories, I hope to understand more about the way in which we place meaning into the stuff that surrounds us.

Ellison’s offerings so far include a number of articles of clothing, books and DVDs, and some odd tchotkes like a Reagan-era campaign-pin and a knit-monkey finger-puppet. Some of her possessions make you wonder “why would she ever need that?” Obviously she doesn’t.

(Thanks, Design Observer.)

Images courtesy of Everything Must Go.