I don’t think it would take a master’s degree in anthropology to recognize that we have become a country overwhelmed with our stuff-thus, the need for organizing tools everywhere in our homes, workplace-our very lives. But a team of anthropologist and archeologists did just that creating a study to evaluate/examine the average family in their “natural habitat.” Their findings left them feeling “disheartened” at the situation our families have gotten themselves into. In a book that was published (I would love to read it, but haven’t yet) with photos, there were no spiffy rooms like one would see in Architectural Digest. And forget Real Simple-most American families are living in spaces packed with stuff. Which is why January is a bonus for retailers eager to entice us to “organize” all that stuff.
The study suggested that 3 out 4 garages are too full to hold cars-so, what is filling up that space? Most often it was the bazillion count paper plate package that would surely save us in the long run, but we had to buy a shelf to organize it in the garage. HUH? I must confess to buying storage units to organize when I have made bulk purchases at Costco/Sam’s. How can that bargain/bulk buying be a bad thing. The study felt that the added stress of rotating, keeping track and generally working around the 20 cans of diced tomatoes just wasn’t worth it. While the quote from Ben Franklin is encouraging, often I am tempted to buy organizers (especially for paperwork, kitchen and arts/crafts) and wind up just moving it around instead of really culling the stash and limiting what I would need to organize.
Another startling discovery was the tendency to start the trend early. Our country has 3.1 percent of the world’s kids. Yet, we own 40 % of the world’s toys. Just imagine how much time, energy and organization it takes to keep track of the 300 piece kitchen set little Suzi got for Christmas. Sentimental Moms then hang onto the toys that are symbolic of her children’s lives. More storage needed.
Please don’t for a second consider this a lecture or a chastisement about how we each live our lives. Just consider the next time you are passing an aisle of “organizers” what it is you are organizing. Maybe you don’t need the organizer – you need less stuff. When I pull into the Office Max parking lot, I find myself asking if I really, really need to stop; because I know once I enter those hallowed aisles, I will be sorely tempted to buy a new filing system, more stick ’em notes, etc.
How ’bout you? Are you in the trenches trying to keep order in your homes? I no longer have children’s school papers coming into the home [note big smile of relief].
What was the last “organizer” you bought? Mine was an insert for my tote/purse-wanted to keep my bulging purse organized, don’t you know? I don’t want to be this type of Wonder Woman: