Look up a definition of consumerism, and you’ll find it refers not only to a preoccupation with consumer goods and their acquisition, but also to the notion that increased spending on consumer goods benefits the economy.
Well, I see the results of mega consumerism daily through my work, and it ain’t pretty.
Sure, consumerism is good for the economy: It feeds my de-cluttering and organizing business, since people call me when they have too much stuff and feel overwhelmed by managing the abundance of it all.
The charities we work with are grateful for the weekly truckloads of new or barely used clothes, toys, furniture, books, art supplies, smart and large appliances, decor items and linen.
We also get a big thank you from the rubbish removal and shredding companies with whom we work. My former handyman has had his work blossom into a successful closet and shelving business. And curbside garbage pickers have a field day when we are working on a home.
How much do we all really want? How much do we need? The quest to buy seems endless.
Personally, I’d hate to admit we’re addicted to consuming.
But many folks equate personal success with possessions.
Much of what we purchase becomes obsolete or unnecessary. This creates many undesirable outcomes such as financial stress, space restrictions, lack of time to deal with returns, and not knowing how to disburse items of value that are no longer needed. And let’s not forget the landfilling and other environmental issues that result.
Wouldn’t it be great to buy only what we actually needed and used? Enjoy what you have, and share it with others.
Off I go to rescue another home from quantity overload. Until next time, happy organizing!
Brenda Borenstein is your professional organizing guru. Look for her column every second Thursday. For more tips and ideas, visit www.organizedzone.com. Brenda has organized hundreds of homes and says, “There is nothing I haven’t seen and nothing that can’t be overcome.”