Time Magazine ran a fabulous article on March 23, 2015 in their Society/Home section on Americans, clutter, storage, and our obsessive acquisition (ok, those are my words, not Time's) of stuff.
"There are many economic and cultural factors that lead us to buy, but there are fundamental evolutionary drivers for why we acquire but then can't let it go. Call it our Inner Squirrel."
In other words, we have a need for self-preservation, and part of satisfying that need is acquisition of resources. Our challenge, however, is that the amount of resources easily accessible to us has increased over the decades. That promotes this dangerous mindset:
If having one is good, having 6 must be better.
But is it? No, and alternately, Yes! Sometimes multiples are good - if they are being used. There are things that we are fortunate to have in quantities - and they make our lives easier and more efficient. I know a woman who loves crock-pots. She adores them. She has them in every size and style - sometimes two or three of each. But this isn't her clutter. She also loves to entertain family at her cabin for long weekends - and her closet full of crock-pots lets her feed the hungry masses easily for every meal of the day - while still enjoying time with family.
There is a flip side, though, to the having. Sometimes we just have too much of a good thing.
- Can we find them when we need them?
- Are they in our way?
- Do they truly make our lives more efficient?
- Do they give us more work (i.e. cleaning around them all the time)?
- Are they really a wise investment of money?
Squirrels save nuts and seeds to sustain them physically thru long winters when food is scarce. Can they find all their hide-aways during the winter or are some left untouched? That's a piece of science I don't know the answer to, but I do know I've seen a lot of squirrels searching frantically (haven't we all been there, too?). I do know, however, that humans save things for emotional reasons that have nothing to do with our survival, and that many, many times our hideaways are forgotten!
So ask yourself one final question with our poll - and let's see if we're all a little nutty for too much stuff!