Oversizing and Rightsizing

In a world where we are always “super sizing” our life,  I like to reflect about our stuff.  What is “enough”  in our world of consumption, media saturation, and bigger is better.  Here is a story to add awareness about upsizing and over buying.

A friend recently renovated her kitchen. She moved the old (meaning 4 years old) refrigerator to her office, which is a renovated 1950’s bungalow.  Once at the location, the refrigerator would not fit through the door!  In order to take it in, the doors were removed.  The refrigerator is very out of proportion with the rest of the kitchen.  What does this say about our homes now and then?

My friend said,  “The very moment they were taking off the hinges to the refrigerator door, I thought this is bigger than what the family used here 50 years ago and now I have two refrigerators at my house and a freezer. What’s wrong with this picture?”

 As we think through our choices in homes and lifestyle, are we aware that we have added “more” to everything in our lives? This not only includes appliances! Homes on the average are double the size now as in the 1950’s.  During the last 30 years, the self-storage industry has been the fastest growing sector of the U.S. commercial real estate industry, based upon the number of new companies, new facilities and amount of total square footage added.  Our stuff is outgrowing our oversized homes too.

This year I have chosen to purchase only items when needed, not when wanted.  It is really not hard, but I must be mindful of the choice.  I avoid places that make for easy over consumption or items that are not necessities.  I can already see the difference in my budget. 

So with this cautionary tale, start an awareness of less is more.  Begin your uncluttered journey in saying no to more stuff.   A client recently told me, “I used to think that having more stuff made me a better person.”  Your stuff is not who you are, it really is just stuff.   How will you know when is “enough” for you?

Want more information about our oversized homes?   Read The Ever Expanding Dream House    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5525283

2 replies
  1. Ciji Ware
    Ciji Ware says:

    You might be interested in a book I wrote in 2007 RIGHTSIZING YOUR LIFE: Simplifying Your Surroundings While Keeping What Matters Most (Hachette/Springboard Pres) selected by the Wall Street Journal as “One of the Top 5 Books on Retirement” Basically it is a primer for figuring out what to keep and what to toss so that your living quarters reflect your age, stage, and situation NOW, not in years past. It contains a directory in the back with specific destinations for such items as outdate bifocals, ratty towels, peeling golf trophies, and the usual: old refrigerators, electronic computers, and other hard-to-shed possessions. The book also has suggestions for dealing with an avalanche of personal papers, drawers of photos, and “collections”–whether ceramic frogs or valuable art. Check out http://www.RightizingYourLife.com for ongoing commentary on this important subject for us–and our planet! Cheers, Ciji Ware

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