How many t-shirts do you own? How many toys are in your children’s playroom? What would be your guess as to the amount of cooking tools that are shoved into every nook and cranny of your kitchen? Let’s take this a step further and ask how many items in total live in your house? If you say less than a few hundred thousand items, then you are in the minimalist minority.
A recent study shows that the average American household holds 300,000 items. Assuming that an average household holds four person that would mean that every person in your home owns 75,000 things. That number makes it sound like everyone is a hoarder! Yet, in a way, we show many hoarder-like qualities. The purpose of this series is to encourage you to live less like a consumer and more like a minimalist.
Take Julie, for example. Julie has one room in her home that she only enters once a year. It is a large, unfinished room in her basement. This is her school storage room. After the school year she gathers every single workbook, textbook, and paper from her children’s grade year and stores them in huge bins. This room’s sole purpose is to store papers that haven’t been used for decades. Julie admits that, honestly, they probably won’t be looked at in any great detail in the future. The room is unorganized and if one of her children were to want to take a walk down memory lane their journey would last for maybe thirty minutes. Then for the next several years they wouldn’t touch the papers again. From a practical perspective, why in the world does she not rid herself of the baggage and use her basement again?
Think about how many times you must do laundry. Is it bi-monthly? Weekly? Bi-weekly? How large are your loads? Sharon does 8 loads of laundry a week for her 4-person home. It takes her hours every week to do something that requires a machine to do most of the heavy lifting! But when one owns hundreds of pairs of clothing, that is the sacrifice that must be made.
84% of Americans report that their households are disorderly and unclean and 55% of these people say that a huge part of their stress stems from an unorganized household. It makes sense when you own enough items to fit in a palace!
Why do we live like this? We always feel so stressed, yet the majority of our are 100% in our control. The point of this minimalist series is to give you control over your household. It is to share all of the best tips and tricks to de-clutter, to organize, to shop effectively, to increase your bank account, and, most importantly, to say no to “things” and yes to people.