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Do the math

October 15, 2012

How did it all happen? Where did all this stuff come from?

I’ve heard some people mention they weren’t entirely sure how all that stuff got into their possession in the first place. How did they end up with so many things and so much unnecessary stuff?!?

Let’s do some easy math.

Let’s imagine you are 20 years old and just starting out in your life. (Maybe you actually are my imaginary example) You get your very first place of your own (yay!), and set it up to your liking. You procure kitchen items so you can feed yourself, bedding, towels for the bathroom, a couch, maybe a coffee table for the living area, plus some of the things you already own and collected as a child if you still have them. Beyond the basic necessities which I imagine were your first priority, you either took a break from buying, or you kept going.

If you bring just one new thing (furniture, clothing, books, a lamp, jewellery etc. etc…anything that stays in your environment) into your home once a week for the next 20 years (52×20) you end up with one thousand and forty things.

Yep, that’s 1,040 items you now own and are responsible for.

That sounds crazy right?

OK, so if most of you reading this don’t think you would ever bring home approximately 4 things a month without getting rid of 4 things, let’s make it a bit more simplistic. Let’s choose 2 things a month. Let’s roughly half the number, and take 2 weeks away to make it 50 weeks. So now you are bringing home and keeping only 25 things a year. The number still sounds small. By the time you are 40 years old, you will still have added 500 permanent items either big or small to your living space, parking space, or storage space depending on the size of where you live. Did you manage to convince your folks to store it in their basement or garage for you because your space is too small? Good for you, now you have other people dealing with your stuff.

Did you move from that tiny new place within those twenty years? You probably did, but let me guess.. you live in a bigger space now, so your stuff is just spread around  more so it doesn’t look as full. Good thinking on your part. Just keep getting a bigger and bigger pad to fill with all your stuff. Until you can’t afford the cost of keeping all that square footage, or you die and your kids/friends/government trustee has to move all your crap for you.

2 things a month=500 items over 20 years

4 things a month= 1,000 items over 20 years

6 things a month=1,500 items over 20 years

8 things a month=2,000 items over 20 years

10 things a month is an unsettling 2,500 items over 20 years and gives me a headache just thinking about it. Are you on a collection course to over a thousand things in the next 20 years? Does the person with the most stuff when they die really win like the saying goes?

Or is that just called organized hoarding?

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