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Old 01-25-2015, 09:44 AM   #1
CanadaSue
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Post Viewpoint: The hazards of too much stuff

A really interesting article about our fascination with accumulating stuff & possibly why we have a tendency to do so. Love the term that's coined: "Stuffication"

***After the deluge of gifts many people have exchanged at Christmas, January seems a good time for soul-searching over the Western obsession with stuff, writes trend forecaster James Wallman.

We have more stuff than we could ever need - kit we don't use, toys we don't play with, and clothes we don't wear.

Consider the average British woman. According to various surveys, she buys 59 items of clothing each year, she has twice as many things in her wardrobe today as she did in 1980, and she has 22 things in there she has never worn.

I'm not piling all the blame on to the average British woman though. We're all guilty. So many of us have so much stuff today, in fact, that a team of anthropologists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have decided, after one of the most extensive pieces of research into contemporary life ever conducted, that we are living in "the most materially rich society in global history, with light-years more possessions per average family than any preceding society".

In the smallest home in their study, a house of 980 sq ft, there were, in the two bedrooms and living room alone, 2,260 items. And, because of the rules the anthropologists were using to count, that was only the things they could see when they stood still. They didn't count any of the stuff that was tucked into drawers or squeezed into cupboards.

The other homes were just as packed. On average, each family had 39 pairs of shoes, 90 DVDs or videos, 139 toys, 212 CDs and 438 books and magazines. Nine out of 10 had so many things that they kept household stuff in the garage. Three quarters of them had so much stuff in there, there was no room left for cars.

All the case studies were in the US. But is it really that much different in the UK or any other Western country? Do you have lots of stuff? Do you have more than you need or use? Do the kids have too many toys? How many pairs of shoes, DVDs, and books and magazines do you have? Is there room for cars in the garage?...***

More at link:


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30849473
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:02 AM   #2
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I've always tried to keep our 'stuff' down to the minimum. Over the years I've done pretty good considering my husband likes keep things.
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:29 AM   #3
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I found a different way to ease the clutter, add more space. We moved to a farm, with LOTS of empty barns just crying for use. It's amazing how clutter grows when given enough room to thrive!
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:27 PM   #4
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I've always hated clutter, and have a fairly spartan house. Except for books. They breed uncontrollably. Need to thin out some tools though. Since I quit racing, I've got tools I haven't used in 7 years or more. Time to thin the herd.
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:52 PM   #5
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I'm a collector. I always was, and always will be. I like looking at what I collect on the walls, on the secretaries and tiger maple chests. I like paintings, and books, and antiques. Chinese, Japanese, oriental, colonial, English, French, I collect.

My local friend walked into my apartment on Friday, and walked from room to room and said, This is SOOOOO nice. The last time she had been there I had boxes to the ceiling packed when I first moved in. The apartment is no different, but the boxes of stuff ended up at the homeless shelters St Josephs closet and any extra food went to their kitchen. I could have rented some storage space but instead I gave stuff away. Like a leather chesterfield couch.

I'm due for a decluttering of clothes as soon as my back improves a bit more. I accumulate and then divest. It is what I do. Probably because I used to deal in Antiques, books, and as fast as I tired of something I got rid of it and had money for more. Now I spend pennies where before I spent dollars. If I had dollars I would spend dollars. I find it endlessly entertaining if it is beautiful. That goes for plants and flowers.

Yet when I saw the stuff they were selling as antique at the home and garden show in the Tacoma Dome, I couldn't believe someone would buy any of it. Junk to my eye, but not to someone elses eye.

No way could I be a minimalist. I admire Japanese spare lifestyles in architecture, furnishings, screens , gardens. It speaks to me. A psychic once said I was a Japanese in my former existance, I laughed, she was such a fraud. Yet she guessed I had an enormous library.

---------- Post added at 12:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:48 PM ----------

I intend to win the lottery and build a Japanese house and have a Japanese rock garden.
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Old 01-25-2015, 01:12 PM   #6
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Strider had the right idea. Just build another building. Only buys 59 clothing items a year? What an amateur! Luckily my better half likes to shop thrift stores and garage sales or I'd have a third mortgage. LOL.

Do we count plastic totes as one time or multiples?

It's the American way to have too much stuff. Buy today as tomorrow it will cost more.
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Old 01-25-2015, 04:54 PM   #7
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Go out to your driveway and mark a rectangle 10 feet long by 4 feet wide. In this pile everything you need. I mean, really, absolutely NEED. You can only pile things 3 feet deep.

That was the interior of a typical covered wagon. People crossed 1500-2000 miles with these, walking most of the way because inside the wagon you needed stuff, mainly food.
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Old 01-25-2015, 05:01 PM   #8
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Mama, they needed more stuff so they invented trains.
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