I've always admired those people who can fit all of their worldly possessions in a backpack. Or maybe their car. This seems to allow them the freedom to go where they are called to go without a lot of hassle or time spent managing "stuff." Because ultimately, that's what we do with all this stuff isn't it? We buy it so that we can sort it and store it. Then we reorganize it and label it and put it into boxes. Then we realize we don't really need it or we'd rather put something else in its place, so we sell it or throw it away.
So many times I have thought that getting rid of stuff would leave me feeling lighter. More free. And for the most part, this is true. Every time I do a big purge and take several boxes to the consignment store or to Goodwill I do feel like my life is less encumbered. There is less stuff that I'm responsible for managing.
But, there's a balance to the question of "what to keep and what to throw away" that I'm seeking. My quest to make do with less runs parallel to my quest to be more self-sufficient and to consume less. That goal, I have found, does require the acquisition of a certain amount of stuff. Being frugal and planning for the future means taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves in the hope that doing so will prevent you from having to buy something new or spending more money down the road. It's picking up the dresser that you don't currently need from the curb because you know that you're planning on having a baby someday and it would be nice to have a place for the clothes that you know you will eventually get. It's buying five bottles of pancake syrup when it's on sale because you know that you will eventually use it all. It's saving all of your fabric scraps because you know that when you get enough, you can eventually make a quilt.
Being self-sufficient also requires having some things. If I want to cook my meals from scratch instead of purchasing ready-made food, I have to have the tools that allow me to do so. If I want to make clothes or toys or other things for my family, I have to have a certain amount of stuff in order to be able to do that. I'm not sure where the line lies between "too much" and "just enough" stuff. I do know that the folks who can fit everything they own in a backpack end up taking advantage of the stuff that other people (or society as a whole) does have. They really still use as much stuff as the rest of us, they've just outsourced its care and management.
What's worth keeping and what should be sent out the door (or prevented coming in the door in the first place)? I really don't know. It's a balance that I'm constantly weighing.