Stuffocation Book Summary - Stuffocation Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Stuffocation summary

James Wallman

Living More with Less

4.3 (95 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

Stuffocation by James Wallman argues that our obsession with material possessions is creating unhappiness and a strain on the planet. He suggests replacing materialism with experiences and living a more minimalistic lifestyle to find true fulfillment.

Table of Contents

    Summary of 7 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 7

    Stuffocation is one of the biggest problems we suffer from today.

    Is your cellar or spare room cluttered with things you never use? Do you have junk-filled drawers that you can’t even open because they’re so jammed? If so, you suffer from stuffocation – and chances are all the things you have no longer make you happy.

    For a long time, happiness was widely considered to be determined by people’s belongings, and how many of them they had. But those days are over; owning more and more stuff no longer holds value for us. The reality is, “more” means having more things to organize and worry about. Materialism has become overwhelming.

    In 1979, four out of five people in the United Kingdom, France and West Germany agreed with the notion that material things make us happy. These days, that same statistic is only about one in two, meaning that about half of the population today has had enough of so much stuff.

    But how did we come to love stuff in the first place? Well, our minds evolved to be conscious of the threat of scarce resources, so gathering things was important. But in today’s abundant world, we don’t need to worry about this at all. We now have to change the way we think.

    There are different reasons for our turning away from materialism. Ask a political scientist or a philosopher, for example, and you’ll get different responses.

    Environmentalists are bucking materialistic values in favor of the environment; political scientists stress that most people care less about basic necessities such as food and shelter than they do about post-materialistic needs such as freedom of speech; and economists emphasize that rising costs and stagnating incomes are making us less materialistic, since we have less money for shopping.

    But no matter who you speak to, there is a growing trend toward a new idea of happiness – that which prioritizes the enjoyment of experiences over possessions.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Stuffocation?

    Key ideas in Stuffocation

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Stuffocation about?

    Stuffocation (2013) explains how having too much stuff not only places an unnecessary burden on us, but is even leading to health issues. Our lives have become oversaturated with things, and a new value is emerging: the importance of experience over material possessions.

    Best quote from Stuffocation

    Happiness is more likely to come from the enjoyment of experiences rather than the accumulation of stuff.

    —James Wallman
    example alt text

    Who should read Stuffocation?

    • Anyone interested in what happens after the age of materialism
    • Anyone feeling overwhelmed by having too much stuff

    About the Author

    Futurist and best-selling author James Wallman has appeared on MSNBC and the BBC, and his opinions have been cited in publications such as Time, The Economist and The New York Times. He also wrote the futurology column in T3 magazine.

    Categories with Stuffocation

    Book summaries like Stuffocation

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    29 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial