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?!

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WHAT is KNAAC?! It is NOT Greek to Me.

My daughter took four years of Ancient Greek in high school. We often had a phrase around our house if we had no idea of the answer to a question, we would chuckle and say “I don’t know, it’s Greek to me!” Today, one can no longer pull the “it’s Greek-to-me” card.

If you are not aware of a MOOC you need to be. Same with SEO, SEM, “Big Data”, Social media tools Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and lastly but most importantly: coding. A recent WSJ article by Kirk McDonald entitled “Sorry College Grad, I Probably Won’t Hire You” encourages college grads to take ownership  of their continued knowledge base. I couldn’t agree with him more! “Teach yourself just enough of the grammar and the computer logic of computer languages to be able to see the big picture.”

I am obsessed with “staying current”. Always have been. And now, with the speed of technology the race is getting faster and faster. So what to do?

Do. That’s the answer. Do.

Learnbydoing

Make a pact with yourself. Do NOT let technology be something to watch from the sidelines. TRY. Engage. Learn. Make a pact with yourself. I am. This summer I hope to learn some coding from Codecademy. Or maybe I’ll take another Coursera class. Free online. If I am a really good mom (or bad?) I will require the same of my five children, regardless of age. WHY? Because today it’s no longer college; it’s knowledge. It’s what you know, not where you go. Knowledge is your currency.

Knowledge As A Currency = KNAAC.

Don’t let it be Greek to you.