Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Swedish Students Show You All Their Stuff

Except if you live in the smallest of homes, most our stuff gets dispersed and concealed by space. We don’t get the full scope of how much stuff we have until it’s all together in a small area, e.g. in a moving truck. Rather than waiting for a move, Swedish photographer Sannah Kvist decided to snap some shots of students with all of their worldly possessions.

The 2009 photo essay is called “All I Own.” Like the photo essays “Child’s Play” or “Family Stuff” we looked at a while back, each subject has his or her own priorities, reflected in their various possessions. Some are bibliophiles, others musicians, others photographers. All in all, none of the piles strikes us as that big.

Because all the subjects were born in the 80s and are students, it might be easy to distance ourselves from their modest collections of stuff. But upon further examination, their piles are collections of practical, mostly essential items, giving a testament to how little most of us really need to live.

via Inhabitat

  • Carol Setters

    Let’s not forget everything they have piled in their parents’ basements, garages, and attics. We stored boxes and boxes belonging to my kids for years as they claimed they didn’t have room or that they were sure they would be moving at the end of their lease, so would we please just hang on to their stuff. My son was 32 before he finally took ownership of his large tin canister of Legos after we announced we were going to throw them out. My daughter’s high school prom dress stayed in my closet for 6 years before I could get her to take it.

    • David Friedlander

      fair point. i moved to nyc 13 years ago. i’d planned on getting a place then sending all of my housewares to nyc, which was nicely packaged up to be sent. ten years later, all of that stuff was collecting dust in my folks’ basement. that said, if you’d eliminated all of that stuff in storage, i would have been no worse off.

    • Michelle

      But that assumes that Sweden has the same values of material possessions as that of the US, of which it doesn’t.

  • DianaBGKY

    Anyone see Shailene Woodley, the actress, on a talk show last night, maybe Conan? She said she got rid of everything and now what she owns fits into a carry-on suitcase. She’s young, 22, but if that’s true, it’s impressive.

  • DianaBGKY
  • Megan Neal

    Another book that will really put possessions into perspective is called “Material World: a Global Family Portrait.” Published in 1995, it’s a photo essay about people from 30 countries around the world, photographed with all their material possessions. From the book blurb: “Vividly portraying the look and feel of the human condition everywhere on Earth, this internationally acclaimed bestseller puts a human face on the issues of population, environment, social justice, and consumption as it illuminates the crucial question facing our species today: Can all six billion of us have all the things we want?”

  • Babs

    Only one young man has his clothes and shoes arranged in the setting…I find it hard to believe that all these people only have the clothes on their backs. Most have their bedding, a few pieces of furniture, books, hobbies, and possibly things they use for work.

  • clarkbennett

    I had far less stuff when I was a student. In fairness the University I went to provided all the furniture for the dorm room and the student lounge had a tv.