Purge 2012 starts in just over a day

Stuff & Things — Sean Bonner @ 11:44 pm
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I really need to think of a better name for this project.

So I’ve been thinking non-stop about my plans for 2012 and the starting line is fast approaching. Less than 2 days from now I’m committing to get rid of at least one item a day, and not acuire more than 12 items for the whole year. (official rules I’ve set for myself here) It’s a big commitment – but I think it’s an important one. I realize that I sometimes need to make hard rules for myself to actually put things into motion.

Before this all starts I want to clarify that this isn’t an anti-materialistic thing, it’s not anti-capitalist, it’s not about not spending money. It’s about paying extra close attention to what objects money is spent on, and why. If I’m only buying one thing a month, the chance of me buying the really cheap impulse buy version of whatever it is that will break and need to be replaced, is pretty slim. Likewise, the chance that I’ll really research the object and buy the probably a little more expensive, but exceptionally well made version that will hold up for years (or a lifetime) is much greater. I fetishize objects, so this is really about being more careful about which of those objects get my attention. Expect many of those objects to get written about as well, as I hone my attention.

And while this doesn’t officially start until Jan 1, I’ve already started getting things together. I’ve got a big box of clothes from my closet already that I’m going to start documenting, and another box full of things for ebay. I probably have the first 2-3 weeks nailed already and I’m hoping that momentum keeps going. While my goal is to get rid of *at least* one thing a day, if at the end of the year I’ve gotten rid of 500+ things I’m not going to complain.

I also want to come clean about panic padding. This week has not been good for me. I know this deadline is approaching and I’ve been doing the “oh shit, what else might I need?” thing. I’ve talked myself out of most of it, but not all of it. I ordered a bunch of new socks. I bought a book. And a shirt. And a bicycle jersey. And new gloves because mine are all ripped up. But had the self restraint to keep many other things in the shopping cart over night and then remove them before I hit buy the next day. I’m not proud of this of course, but it happened and I want to be up front about it. These items will arrive *after* Jan 1, though they were acquired prior to Jan 1, so it’s a loophole or something. Whatever, I suck, and in less than 36 hours this is on for real. I can’t wait.



  1. I love this project idea! Can’t wait to see how you balance it. Of course, the necessities like food don’t count right? What about quasi necessities like paper napkins? I’m just curious how you’ve drawn your lines.

    Comment by Johanna — December 31, 2011 @ 12:02 am
  2. Thanks Johanna. If you check out the links I posted above in this post you’ll see the previous discussions about the project and where the lines are, I think it’s pretty solid at this point.

    Comment by Sean Bonner — December 31, 2011 @ 12:26 am
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  4. This is an interesting project, Sean. I’ll be looking forward to seeing how it fairs for you. Physiologically we “need” very little, but we (US residents and to an extent the rest of the developed world) are hyperconsumers and to a certain point I think that becomes ingrained within our psyches.
    Best of luck, Sean! Happy 2012 to you.

    Comment by Kelley — December 31, 2011 @ 3:40 pm
  5. I love so much about this experiment. Thanks for sharing this with us. I’m sure we’ll at least learn a great deal. Our society of consumption scares the shit out of me. I hope this and everything go wonderfully for you in 2012 and beyond!

    Stuff sucks.

    Comment by matt — January 2, 2012 @ 5:24 am

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