New Year’s Resolution: Need Less Stuff


You know you’ve overdone it when every time you take a step your joints sound like bubble wrap.

Let me say, on behalf of everyone who has ever had to move during the holiday season, why the hell do we all have so much stuff in our lives?

I don’t know what happened. We moved into a lovely new place with plenty of space, but now we’re living in, or along, a path that goes from the bedrooms, through the living room, to the kitchen. Veer from the path and you find yourself in a dark jungle of boxes, pillows and miscellaneous mostly small, unboxed items that simply had to fit in somewhere.

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Even the dog has given up his every-five-minutes anxiety check that he is really staying with us and simply picked a spot from which to stare tiredly.

If ever there was a parable for needing smaller government, moving your household provides it.

All the boxes, furniture and other junk we tend to collect is not unlike all the agencies, programs and thousands of laws we either beg for government to provide or at least ignore as they come into being.

Government is chock full of miscellaneous knickknacks, gewgaws and gimmes that seemed like good ideas to someone at the time but that invariably just end up collecting dust and wasting taxpayer dollars.

The real burden of what we’ve done to ourselves isn’t apparent, though, until we try to make a move in our lives, try something different, like perhaps starting a business.

Then every regulation, law, rule, tax, fee, license and requirement we’ve allowed government to collect comes crashing down on our heads like a 200-pound sofa bed that has to fit through the turn of a staircase.

Before you know it, you’re literally buried under all the stuff that previously made you feel secure.

I find myself envious of monks who when they need to relocate just tie an extra saffron robe on the end of a stick, make a sandwich and go.

We could probably all live without 90 percent of the things we accumulate in our lives, and our government would likewise certainly be better at about 10 percent of its current size.

An election year is the perfect opportunity to do some housecleaning, governmentally speaking.

So for 2016, let’s all resolve to break out the garbage bins and start tossing.

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