Friday, October 7, 2011

Less stuff, more happiness

A case for less being more is made by Graham Hill in a Ted lecture, Less stuff, more happiness.  He  noted that despite the huge average American home size, there is still a 22 billion dollars in storage industry.  Americans currently have  three times the space they had fifty years ago.  Mr. Hill suggests paradoxically that less is equal to more.  Less stuff, less space = smaller foot print, more ease, less costly and more freedom.

His suggestions yo live with less include the following:

1.  Edit ruthlessly, get rid of the extraneous and think before we buy.
2.  Think small.  Space efficiency.  Consider things that nest and stack. Digitize books and photos.
3.  Utilize multifunctional spaces and house ware.

Mr Hill predicts that editing in going to be the skill of this century.

I must confess a story from when we moved 13 years ago from our old home in Robbinsdale. An elderly neighbor from across the street, Mr. Blake, told me he knew we would be moving.  He had foreseen that our 1,300 square foot  house was "much too large" for our small three person family.  Mr. Blake, one of the original home owners in the neighborhood, lived happily in an 800 square foot home.  Truth be told, we did the trendy American thing, and moved to a slightly newer and larger home.

Interestingly, after super sizing the trend is now slowly evolving to smaller homes. Starting in 2009 the average home size in the United States was 100 square feet smaller (30-year growth spurt ends for average American house size).  The median size fell to 2, 094 square feet.

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