Guilty of the Filler Things in Life

No, you did not misread the title. I did not intend to write “finer things.” I DID intend to write “filler things” which might be the opposite of finer things.

Something I read over at Teal and Lime blog a few months ago has been bugging me. It was a post about money management and how we actually might have the money for the more expensive things we want if the money weren’t being frittered away bit by bit. Frittered away on fillers. Fillers. That stuck with me.

What is a filler? My definition reflects my values and bias. My definition is, it’s a thing you buy to fill a spot on a shelf. It’s just a thing you buy to add some visual element like a color or a metallic touch. It doesn’t have much meaning to you other than that. It could be a cheap small $5 frame one month, then a small $9 frame the next month, and on and on. Until you have a busy collection of small inexpensive frames. But you could have had one powerful impactful large frame. If the money hadn’t been frittered away on the small stuff.

This post is just something to chew on. It doesn’t come with pictures, because I don’t want to choose a picture that offends somebody by showing what I think is a filler, but maybe you own that filler! And are proud of it. It’s okay – my house is full of fillers I’m proud of. But maybe, just maybe I should think more carefully before bringing more fillers into the house.

Maybe we should all choose things carefully so that we either love them for some other reason than filling a “hole” on a shelf, or they have a story or sentimental value. When you’re exposed to blogs, it’s really easy to start believing you need the fillers. Because a lot of stuff written about and photographed out there is, honestly, filler material.

I’m now thinking rather than just a mindless display of more stuff, what about things that have more meaning to us? What about the process of creating because we get joy from making something?

Some posts that got me thinking about fillers were Jackie from Teal and Lime’s posts about how much you should spend in your home and why she quit DIY. I wouldn’t quit all DIY, but some DIY I’ve intended to do for months and haven’t done yet is maybe a big fat message! As with buying things, the things we make should be aligned with a meaningful purpose that’s personal to us. I forget the majority of what I read online. There’s something to the fact that this point about wasting money, time and energy on fillers stuck in my mind.


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