Thursday, December 25, 2014

Why Do We Have So Much Stuff?

--Blogpost written by Bob

As I was downsizing my clothes and shoes this past week, I wondered, how I could have accumulated 15 pairs of excess jeans?  Yes, that's 15 pairs MORE than the ones I regularly wear!  It's not like the technology (of jeans) has changed rapidly and rendered older ones obsolete.

Before we moved into our current house (5 years ago), we lived on my sailboat--at that time it would have been practically impossible to own 15 excess pairs of jeans.  So, those 15 excess pairs of jeans were accumulated within the last 5 years (3 pairs per year).

I've read about our ever-increasing home sizes (as Americans) and the need to fill the bigger rooms and bigger closets. Certainly, moving from living on a sailboat with 220 square feet of indoor living area to our modest 1500 square feet home promoted the tendency to accumulate more stuff but I wouldn't think it would apply to jeans.

The increasing size of American homes between 1983 and 2013.

I am certainly guilty of not getting rid of old stuff but, to a greater degree, I've bought into the recent trends in consumerism, encouraging the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts.  Now I have to transition into a non-consumerism lifestyle as I enter retirement.  I'm looking forward to having MORE experiences and LESS stuff as we prepare to move back to the boat's 220 square feet of indoor living space.

This is a graphical representation of the difference in 
indoor living space between our land-based
home and our sailboat.

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