Friday, May 16, 2008

Giving It All Away

Check out this NYT article about a family who are trying to do just that:

Like many other young couples, Aimee and Jeff Harris spent the first years of their marriage eagerly accumulating stuff: cars, furniture, clothes, appliances and, after a son and a daughter came along, toys, toys, toys.

Now they are trying to get rid of it all, down to their fancy wedding bands, although finding takers has been harder than they thought. Chasing a utopian vision of a self-sustaining life on the land as partisans of a movement some call voluntary simplicity, they are donating virtually all their possessions to charity and hitting the road at the end of May.

“It’s amazing the amount of things a family can acquire,” said Mrs. Harris, 28, attributing their good life to “the ridiculous amount of money” her husband earned as a computer network engineer in this early Wi-Fi mecca.

Would you do this? Could you? Here's something most blog readers would worry about:

Mr. Harris does have a concern, though. He now telecommutes from his job as a Web systems administrator and is hoping to stay employed through the move. “The question is, Do I have Internet access in the woods?” he said.


Tim said...

Wow, that'd be really tough to do! Although I do envy them for just being able to give their possessions away, pack up, and move on.


Strange Bird said...

No, I sure could not do that. I have made efforts to give a lot away and to buy less stuff, but at the end of the day I also like being comfortable (in a fluffy bed with nice sheets, etc.)!

Anonymous said...

they're crazy!!!!! they can live simply all they want but seriously leave their savings account, deeds, stocks, and retirement account alone. you never know when you'll have a rainy day and or huge medicla expenses. and by then there's no going back.

Clean ClutterFree Simple said...

Well...I think they're nuts. That's me though, I like my stuff! And giving away or selling their wedding bands just doesn't make sense, that feels really wrong to me. There's nothing wrong with having a few special things. It's when it gets out of hand (storage units, McMansions full of consumer goods, unpacked bags of shopping loot) that the stuff wins. Throwing it all away seems just as bad as keeping too much--mindfull consumption is, imho, the ideal.

Rachel @ Master Your Card said...

I nearly moved abroad as a teenager and as part of the initial arrangements, sold or gave away a lot of my things. It made m realise that you do not need much as stopped me placing sentimental value on things. Now I am married with children, I still do not have that many things but have a few pieces of jewellery (including my wedding band) and a few other items that I hold dear.

Anonymous said...

Nobody gives it all away like THIS guy!