TED Conversations

Anca Tiurean


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How have you re-edited your life/space?

I invite you to contribute with ideas as to how be practical in reducing the "stuff" we own and to how we can fill the void they leave with something that money can't buy.


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  • Oct 23 2011: Has anyone figured out how to make decisions on editing items such as pictures and/or things passed along through inheritance. For example, my uncle died recently and he collected and saved items from my great-grandmother who had kept items from I don't know how long before her. I have them sitting in a box in my basement and gave away some items as gifts. I know the rest of my family doesn't really want to hold on to them but I maybe don't either. I feel the emotional weight of carrying the person associated with the item. I guess what someone said above about letting go of the object doesn't mean you have let go of the person/feeling/memory, but sometimes my memory is terrible. My mother died when I was born and I have no possessions from her nor memories shared. I think it is difficult to separate meaning from things when there is so much symbolism and stories our items represent. Anyway, also struggle with getting rid of clothes due to body size fluctuations- I don't want to buy all new items as that seems more wasteful but it certainly weighs me down to keep it all (pun unintended.)
    • Oct 25 2011: One thing that helped me let go of things left to me was reminding myself that my loved ones wouldn't have wanted me to feel burdened. They would want me to remember them as they were as people, not as a lamp or a piece of furniture. Sometimes it is hard to let things go, but if it makes you feel bad to keep it, then you just have to let it go. Giving useful things to other people who want them helps a bit. Other tips I've heard are to take pictures of the items before getting rid of them. You could even make a little scrapbook showcasing the items. One tip I've heard for getting control of lots of pictures is to choose only a few per person per special event. (For example, a maximum of three pictures of your child's first birthday, three more of his second birthday, etc.) This may be difficult for some people to do, but it's an idea. If you are artistic (or have a friend who is), you can make a collage of the best pictures and put them in a large picture frame under glass to hang on the wall. The rest of the pictures can go to family--or in the dustbin.

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