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The Clutter Crisis

May 2013

When I have occasion to go inside the home of a fellow baby boomer, especially those who have lived in one house for 20-40 years, I am often dumbstruck at how “over-furnished” those homes are.  The collection of “stuff” I see around me leaves me breathless – and uncomfortable. 

I often find out that what I am looking at is not only the person’s own collection of stuff, but also stuff they inherited from a parent – stuff they just can’t seem to dump, giveaway, or recycle. 

We are quick to criticize our parents’ generation for keeping old clutter.  We blame it on their being raised during the depression and forever fearing it would happen again, hence never throwing anything away (why that thinking extended to the five old TVs in the attic, I’ll never know.)  But what is even more peculiar is why our generation is doing the same thing!  And the truly scary aspect is that our parents didn’t have half the time, resources, or access to the junk we can buy. 

Baby boomers have been on a lifetime buying binge and on top of that we are inheriting more “stuff” with every passing parent.  I am astounded by how much stuff people accumulate.  When I see the occasional garage door open in my (or anyone’s) neighborhood and l glance in as I drive by, what I see is piles of that accumulation.  It’s no wonder there are so many cars parked on the street.  Peoples’ garages are already full!