A History of Stuff

The Lean Years

Almost 100 years ago, the world suffered through the Great Depression. From 1929 through 1939, jobs were lost, stock markets collapsed, and belts were tightened everywhere. Money was tight for everyone and lifestyles were adjusted to compensate for the tough times. Clothes were mended versus replaced; likewise for broken equipment and appliances. Store bought goods became a luxury most couldn’t afford; instead people turned to homemade items, like bagged lunches, home canned goods, handmade knitwear, and more.

“Never spend your money before you have earned it.”
~Thomas Jefferson

Of course the start of World War II changed that. As the war machine kicked in, industries recovered and the world got back to the state of living. With the job market improved, people began to spend money again, and history was forgotten. And our obsession with spending money hasn’t quit.

Years of Abundance

Today people have closets stuffed full, if not whole rooms dictated to clothing. Wardrobes change by the season and people purge in order to make room for more. Advice columns make recommendations on how best to thin out articles from closets; not worn, doesn’t fit, in a poor state of repair—toss it! There is never the caveat that you could just make do with what you have, repair it if need be, or repurpose something into a brand new item, like how our grandparent’s generation was forced to.

Waste not, want not — why not reuse something instead!

The same thing goes for much of the rest of the stuff that fills our homes. There is a mentality to just go out and buy whatever you need. We live in a throwaway society where once an item has lost its initial purpose it is just tossed to the curb, despite ever-growing landfills. Whatever happened to the notion of ‘waste not, want not?’ It seems that sage advice has been tossed out with the rubbish. Despite the lessons learned in our not-so-distant , we are now drowning in junk.

What to do with Your Stuff

Load of Rubbish keenly understands that concept. Every day we get phone calls from people wanting to purge their junk. But the difference lies in the fact that most phone calls we get are from someone wanting to make a difference in the way they dispose of their excess. Load of Rubbish is a big proponent of recycling, repurposing, and reusing items we collect. We like to think that is why our customers contact us—to reduce the amount of waste in the world, even while they are reducing the clutter in their own lives.

So if you find yourself with excess stuff in your home, Load of Rubbish is more than happy to help you with our junk removal services. But perhaps as a society we could slow down our appetite for stuff and remember some of the history lessons learned from our forebearers. Make do with what you have, as happiness doesn’t necessarily come from a constant stream of spending.

canning jars

These canning jars would have been staples in Depression-era homes trying to stretch a budget. Now they are bound for a local thrift store where someone new might put them to use again. It’s our way to reduce waste.