If Renting Is the New Owning, Will I Be Cured of “Stuffocation”?

Not the Typical Birthday Present.

When I turned 40 I got myself a dumpster. Worse, I did it again when I turned 42. Why? Its mere presence in my driveway forced me to literally “clean house” in a short 5 days. Even though I am not much of a shopper, things simply “collect” –  I guess it comes with having a family of 7.

I can officially say that I am “stuffed”..suffering from what trend forecaster James Wallman coined “stuffocation” (‘How we’ve had enough of stuff and why you need experience more than ever.’) Today, technology has caught up with the desire to “shed stuff.” I have watched and embraced the new “renting is the new owning” movement (aka “the sharing economy”) and completely agree that today people would like access to certain items but do not necessarily desire ownership. Whether it’s:

  • Airbnb (rent out your room; no need for a hotel)
  • Lyft (car/ride sharing)
  • Spotify (rent the music you’d like to listen to)
  • Uber (get a car when you need it and no need to take out your wallet!)
  • Chegg (rent your textbooks rather than own them)
  • Rent the Runway (rent your black tie dress)
  • Chicago-based MoxieJeanKids (“upscale resale made easy for busy moms”)
  • Coursera (college courses for free)

 All of this begs the question: Why buy or even own if I do not have to? Better yet, if I already own it, is there an opportunity to derive revenue from it??!

Just look at Patagonia’s new partnership of used gear for sale by Common Threads + eBay members. The Patagonia message is clear “Don’t buy our stuff unless you really need it.”  In addition, perhaps the old way of being “showy” [e.g. I have a fancy watch therefore I am successful and you can see it] to the new way of being “showy” [e.g.here’s my Facebook post: look where I traveled to this year and look what I did!] has solidified the need of experiences over stuff.

This year I turn 50.  Will I finally find a cure to “stuffocation”? Maybe I’ll start looking at everything in my home with new eyes.

Tandem in the garage…can I rent it out? Or will it be more work to manage that?

tandem My dumpster rental and purge used to be:

Give, toss, sell or keep.

My new motto might be:

Give, toss, sell, keep…or rent out and earn?!