Matt Marshall

3 Posts with Tag stuff (All tags)

28 May 2018, 00:00

A List of Stuff I Own (May 2018)

I recently decided to do an inventory of all my things that I have in my flat. This list is meant to represent a snapshot of how things look when I'm at home on an average evening / day. I'm sure I've left stuff out. The goal is to post something like this every so often and reflect on the things I have.

This list is organised by location, and then sublocation. It's designed to help me make sense of where my clutter lives. I've left out wall decorations, house plants, and clothes; as I want to make a separate post about clothes and the others are carefully curated anyway.

A quick Ctrl+F of the source code for this post reveals I have 282 items. I want to be clear I don't think there is a magic number of items I'm trying to achieve, but this is a lot more than I expected. And I haven't even considered clothes.


Walls + Floor

  • hiking / day-wear boots
  • 'deck' shoes
  • training shoes
  • black washcloth
  • tenugui handtowel
  • black handtowel
  • 5x reusable carrier bags, assorted capacities
  • 2x black bandanas


  • rope
  • bergen backpack
  • canvas satchel
  • travel compact clothes bag
  • laundry basket
  • day bag

Door hanger

  • thermal jacket
  • shemagh / keffiyeh: western-style (brown)
  • shemagh / keffiyeh: saudi style (red + white, dyed black)
  • shemagh / keffiyeh: palestine style (black + white, tassled)
  • polish
  • black hoodie


  • dremel + bits
  • drill bits
  • sinew thread
  • leather awl
  • thick needle assortment
  • respirator
  • respirator
  • safety goggles
  • plant seeds
  • drill bit set
  • plant food
  • mess tins
  • large camping knife
  • corded drill
  • pyrography set
  • scrap leather (used as protection when carving)
  • stock leatger (10mm and 4mm thicknesses)
  • assorted sandpaper sheets
  • measuring jug
  • steel ruler
  • files x3
  • assorted plastic ring sizers
  • blowtorch head
  • IKEA furniture keys
  • coping saw
  • hacksaw
  • fancy dipping pen
  • yarn + naalbinding needle
  • tin camping mug
  • talc powder
  • waterproof poncho
  • store brand disinfectant
  • butane gas
  • silicon waterproofing spray
  • surface cleaner
Large tin used for storage
  • 13x assorted pieces of bone (cleaned, stock for carving)
  • vanilla fragrance Oil
  • mango fragrance oil
  • apple fragance oil
  • 100ml amber bottle with dropper
  • 3x 50ml amber bottle
  • 3x ingots of beeswax (~2g each)
  • screwdriver w/ wooden handle
  • 35 ml measuring cup
  • 2x steel hipflask fillers (for pouring oil)
  • 2x pencils
  • 2x rolls of electrical tape
  • ram's horn (cleaned)
  • lump of calcite (carving stock)
  • rough carved bone jewelry (mjolnir necklace)
  • hex key

Really useful box

  • leather cord
  • black paracord
  • electronic screwdriver set
  • craft knife
  • wood chisels x 5
  • binder clips x6
  • steel ring sizer
  • essential oil: lemon
  • essential oil: eucalyptus
  • essential oil: cedarwood
  • essential oil: bergamot
  • essential oil: wintergreen
  • essential oil: peppermint
  • essential oil: petitgrain
  • essential oil: lime
  • essential oil: tea tree
  • essential oil: birch
  • essential oil: orange

TV stand

  • laptop
  • laptop stand
  • ps4
  • hard drive
  • television
  • surge protector
  • V's blanket
  • Black blanket
  • floor cushion
  • floor cushion

Chest of Drawers

  • Bin

Drawer 0

  • clothes

Drawer 1

  • Current clothes
  • Bike pump

  • Suncream

  • Moisturiser
  • Dusters
  • Titanium Beard comb
  • steel beard comb
  • cartridge razor suspended in oil
  • Beard oil
Day Box
  • Runes
  • custom notebook
  • pocket notebook
  • Front door keys
  • Wallet
  • Opinel pocket knife
  • Glasses with case
  • mirror
  • boat keys
  • back door + marina keys
  • ditty bag (empty)
  • pencil case with pen, pencil, ruler
  • butane lighter
  • mystery key
  • compass + V's hair
  • beard beards x3
  • thread
  • box
Beard Box
  • Oil
  • Oil
  • Oil
  • Oil
  • Oil
  • Oil
  • Oil
  • Oil

Drawer 2

B's drawer. Wilderness

Drawer 3

  • Ps3
  • mini USB cable (for ps3 controller)
  • micro USB cable (for ps4 controller)

  • Bracers thick

  • bracers thin
  • black tie
  • red washcloth
  • red hand towel
  • jumper/sweater
  • swimming trunks
  • formal trousers
  • Grey hoodie
  • purple hand towel
  • white tee
  • black jogging trousers
  • Ps4 Crash trilogy
  • Ps4 Fallout 4
  • Ps4 Skyrim
  • Ps4 Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Ps4 Borderlands Handsome Collection
  • Ps4 Lego Star Wars Ep 7

  • Ps3 God of War Collection

  • Ps3 Metal Gear HD collection
  • Ps3 MGS4
  • Ps3 MGS5 Ground Zeroes
  • Ps3 MGS5 Phantom Pain
  • Ps3 Assassin' Creed 2
  • Ps3 Assassin' Creed 3
  • Ps3 Assassin' Creed 4

  • Ps2 Soul Reaver 2

  • Ps2 MGS 2
Grooming Kit
  • beard trimmer
  • clippers
  • cleaning brush for clippers
  • clippers mains charger
  • beard trimmer mains charger
  • badger brush
  • dove soap
  • hair scissors
  • cartridge razor base
  • toenail clippers

Bedside Table

  • lamp
  • decorative statues
  • steel water bottle
  • Phone
  • nail clippers
  • tweezers

Drawer 0

  • ocarina
  • backup drive
  • spare earbud ends
  • hard drive + USB keys
  • medicine box
  • studio headphones
  • TV remote
  • ps4 controller
  • ps3 controller
  • kindle
  • USB cables w/ ditty bags
  • documents w/ wallet
  • Gopro w/ pouch
  • Sewing pins
  • backup phone
  • portable battery
  • measuring tape
  • spare usb charger
  • vapour rub
  • spare bike keys
  • black sewing thread
  • NA plug converter
  • EU plug converter
  • EU plug for USB charger
  • passport
  • sewing kit in tin
  • Barclaycard
  • Newcastle library card
  • Anthony Nolan card
  • ehic card
  • HSBC main account card
  • ucu membership card
  • CPB membership card
  • organ donor card

Drawer 1

  • bike lock
  • sex toys
  • lubricant
  • condoms
  • bike rear light

Under Bed

  • Steel bowl
  • USB mains charger
  • USB C cable
  • Micro USB csble


  • Convict Conditioning (CC)
  • CC 2
  • CC 3
  • C-Mass
  • naked warrior
  • complete calisthenics
  • competent crew skills
  • sailing essentials
  • yachtmaster scheme
  • scrapbook

Day Bag

  • Cutlery
  • Lip balm
  • USB cables
  • Audio recorder
  • Spare keyring rings
  • Hi-vis jacket (for cycling)
  • Hi-vis arm band (for cycling)
  • Lunch Box
  • Water bottle
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers


  • Dove soap
  • Black handtowel
  • Toothbrush + case
  • Toothpaste


  • decorative drinking horn
  • whiskey glass
  • pewter stein
  • ramikens x4
  • Chinese bowls x2
  • Chinese soup spoon x2
  • Chinese condiment bowl x2
  • mandolin
  • lunchbox
  • plastic food storage x10
  • bamboo reusable cloths x5
  • slow cooker
  • hand blender
  • food defrosting plate
  • sushi hangiri
  • sushi nigiri press
  • spider
  • bamboo rolling mat
  • silicon rolling mat
  • engraved spatula "sushi"
  • engraved wooden sushi board

Sitting Room

  • Camping chair
  • ab wheel
  • "Henchgripz" horizontal bar
  • resistance bands x4 (assorted strength)
  • wooden board game set
  • hnefatafl board
  • battleships set
  • carved walking stick
  • solstice tree (stored)
  • solstice tree decorations (stored)

stuff minimalism clutter list items

19 Oct 2016, 08:05

Thinking about 'Stuff'

I've been thinking about stuff and my relationship with it. It mostly kicked off when I read Rhiaro's post about nomadism, but if I reflect a bit then I think it's been brewing for a while.

Unlike Rhiaro, I am not a nomad. I like visiting new places, and I love the romanticised concept of 'travelling' but there's always been a financial and a class barrier to me engaging on that type of physical journey (for the most part). She would disagree, but I tend to think that overly-romanticised travel is pretty classist. My experiences have always, therefore, lent themselves to building up a 'home base'. A sanctuary (sounds pretentious but emotionally I think that's probably most accurate) into which I can retreat during anabolic periods of my life.

This obviously lends itself to having more stuff. I moved to my flat Sep 2011 and brought with me three books, a new desk lamp, my clothes (which all fit into a single chest of drawers), my desktop computer, my laptop, a desk and chair. A year later, my desktop was deceased and I had a new laptop. I also brought in my bookcase with all its books. As my experiences grew I needed to acquire more and more things to deal with them; formal date? New shirt (cheap). Winter? Coat. The room in my flat certainly isn't the smallest room I've ever had but it's gotten to feel a bit more cramped as time has progressed.

My point is that, although I totally love the idea of minimalism and I extoll any philosophy which encourages us to stop buying stuff we don't need or truly want; stuff like challenging yourself to own less than 100 things is going to lend itself to spending more in-the-moment as you prepare for less eventualities. Unless your minimalism is incredibly functional, it's a middle-class minimalism for those who can afford in very literal terms to be flexible with their situation. Maybe I'm just misunderstanding minimalism, but it seems to me that if plan a day out and don't bring a pack with a water bottle and some food then you're saying you can afford to spend that in-the-moment without much thought to your financial situation. Maybe it's not a lot of money for you to drop £10 on lunch that day, but that £10 for some people could be put to better use. I am definitely guilty of this.

Aside from deriding the middle-class form of minimalism, I do appreciate the aesthetic of less clutter. I do, however, have to juxtapose this for my love of personal effects and boxes of ephemera both aesthetically and emotionally. I love when you walk into someone's house and they have stuff that they've clearly had and cared for; for years! I love that just by being owned by a person, a mass-produced item can take on a personality and characteristics from its mundane place in the lives of people. People have experiences and histories, which can usually be captured by the items they associate with them. Treasure chests of memories are a trope for a reason.

On that note, my colleague and comrade @tripsandflips and I had a discussion about this the other day and she made an interesting point which got me thinking about that. Books aren't books if they're not being read. The more I think about it, the more I agree with this sentiment. As much as I love stuff's history, I think I have trouble letting go. Some of the books on my bookshelf haven't been touched in years. Some of them are very special to me, but as I think about them I begin to realise that it's the story that they contain that is special. I might release them from their shelfy prison to let them be books again. I've come up with a solution to help them on their journey as well -- instead of using the first page to claim ownershop of a book ie "This book belongs to XYZ", I'm going to try and start off logging the tome's personal history. I'll write "This book has been enjoyed by Matt Marshall" and encourage others to leave their mark. I think that'll be a good practice to try and start.

My final point of tension is that I've begun my journey into crafting and trying to produce things for myself an others. This in itself lends to having multiple tools and stores of materials around. I used to get around my desire to craft by telling myself "Programming is your craft. Go build cool digital stuff!". I can no longer do that, though. I need to smell the beard oil and feel the bone dust caught in my pores.

I'm not sure where this ramble through my thoughts on stuff has lead. If I was truly honest with myself, I'd say it's probably a precursor to my taking a census of everything I own that isn't stored food. So... expect lists I suppose?

diary stuff reflection minimalism classism

30 Oct 2016, 08:16

Marked for Release (or Letting Go)

Earlier this month I wrote about how I felt about stuff. I was sort of building myself up to perform a census of all of my things and then decimate them. I've done some similar things before, on individual drawers or shelves; so felt I could force myself to do it on my life as a whole.

Well, as it turns out; producing long lists of my possessions is quite boring and I gave up before I'd even really started. Preferring instead to focus on a few problem areas and deal with them independently, before taking the census sometime around the New Year after I return from Madrid. I also did some quiet reflection on the matter of stuff, and when I went wild camping in Scotland last week, I was confronted with how fundamentally useful having decent quality stuff is. I've had some mess tins for around 7 years now, and they come in useful every time I camp (around once or twice a year atm). My current conclusion is that having stuff around me isn't necessarily bad. I've discussed how I'm a sucker for ephemera, and my issues about minimalism. I think the caveat is that the stuff needs to be a reflection of who I am in that moment of time, and have a life either through history or current use. If it's useless, or an ornament without specific sentimental value to me, it's going.


I started yesterday with my bookcase. I have plans for this. As I get into various crafts and acquire materials and tools for them, I'm struggling to find places to let these things live in my room. Offloading some to vertical shelves in another room of the house will be a good start. It also lets me trim down my book collection to what matters the most.

First on the chopping block were my Church of Satan books that I acquired in 1st year of Uni, before I realised how fundamentally broken the CoS is. I still identify as a Satanist, but a very different sort. I used to idolise LaVey as a wizened philosopher who saw through the veil of moralism blinding the world. No longer. I actually smiled as I retrieved his "biography" from my shelf. Now widely acknowledged to contain fabrications. Same for my copies of The Devil's Notebook and Satan Speaks!. I enjoyed the pithy tomes at the time, but they're gone now. Also on that same chopping block was The Satanic Scriptures by Peter Gilmore. I'd grown sick of this for a while, as it attempted to apologise for Satanism's connection with Fascism. Basically justifying it through "aesthetics" and "water seeking its own level". Social Darwinist shite. Anyway they're gone. I have some (poorly formatted) .mobi versions that I can turn to if I need quotes. I also chucked The Satanic Rituals, although kept my copy of The Satanic Bible. TSB will be going to my colleague Nataly as she wishes to understand Satanism and it's a good place to start. I might scribble some critiques in there. Anyway, I'm currently reformatting the .epub version for use on my Kindle so it's doesn't look like a piece of shit and I always have a copy.

In the same fell swoop I also liberated some of my misc books. Some of them were the ones that V had left with me. I'd read through them, and felt justified letting them go and be books to someone else. Iain Bank's Raw Spirit also went.

As I write this I'm going through a census process for my Calibre library. I have digital versions of varying qualities for much of the fiction on my bookshelves. This, I feel, is the important part. Fiction books are wonderful and special and I will always love them and cherish them, but so can others. A story is no longer bound by physical medium when it can be shared digitally, but there's a barrier to access stuff like Kindles and then finding DRM-free books. I think I need to liberate some of the stories that I've not touched in over 10 years from my shelf, and let them be books for someone else.

This morning I've already confirmed that I have fairly well-formatted digital versions of two of my favourite series The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson), and The Culture by Iain M. Banks. Both of these series share some important characteristics for me:

  1. I read them at two very formative points in my teens. Different, but each impactful. I remember running home to read each of them in turn.
  2. As a series, they each take up the most room, and the second most room, on my shelves respectively (Wheel takes the most).
  3. Some of the volumes in each series haven't been touched by me for 7 or 10 years respectively.
  4. The latest volumes in each series were bought to complete the set, with an empty promise that it would prompt me to read the series again. I have well-formatted digital versions of these too.

So the revelation that they're going to be released today is bittersweet. I hope that someone, somewhere, enjoys them as much as I did. In a beautiful turn of symbolism, though, the physical space that they left will be occupied by books by feminist, or socialist (or both!) authors that I desperately need to catch up on. A wise, young, Romanian woman once told me as she kissed her goodbyes in the airport "Matt, if you ever go home with someone and they don't have books; don't fuck them". I then read that if one was to apply this rule then it should also extend to the types and authors of books; no women authors? No dice. While I am not in search for new partners (my current one would take issue), I think this rule should definitely apply to my bookshelf. I've never excluded women from my bookshelf, but I need to make a more conscious effort to put them there. Time to grow.

stuff books cleaning charity feminism authors memory