Tidying Up

Time Magazine (March 23 Issue, pp. 44-50) featured, “The Joy of Less”, an article that goes right to the heart of modern consumer society’s dilemma–STUFF. This is relevant for me as I begin to rid myself of a storage unit, which I rented to make the move into a tiny house.

Can we claim to have downsized with full storage units? I don’t think so. The Time Magazine article listed some astounding statistics:

  • Self-storage is a $24 billion business with the size of self-storage space big enough for every American to stand inside;
  • Children in America comprise only 3.1% of the world’s children but they own 40% of toys purchased in the world;
  • While the article chronicles the rise of consumerism, starting with the Montgomery Ward Catalog, its been in only the last 30 years that non-necessities became half of our house-hold expenditures.

While visiting Tucson, I began to appreciate again how most of the population is learning to let nature do the decorating. From cacti sculptures to living fences of ocotillo that burst into bloom this time of year, Tucsonans open their windows to a sprawling mesquite tree or a stuccoed wall with colorful tiles. No need for much indoor art.

So, I will be looking to empty my storage unit over the next 6 months (reducing my bills by $80 a month), to learning how to make my little house spacious (an oxymoron). See the links to the right on this blog for terrific sources of ideas for downsizing while improving the quality of our lives.



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