Your household stuff might be out to get your happiness

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  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    March 17, 2013 6:38 a.m.

    About 15 years ago, there was a book and documentary entitled, "Affluenza," which had the premise that Americans were conditioned by commercial interests to "keep up with the Joneses" by buying into ultra-materialism -- and it was literally ruining their lives. To buy that nifty boat, one had to work longer and longer hours to keep up on the payments... but the boat often sat unused in storage because people didn't have time to use it. And when they did use the boat, the time to maintain and clean it took away from their time with family, friends, God, and other things that were more important.

    Interestingly, the Des News had a provocative story (which I clipped and have kept all these years) about that time suggesting that Utah's tight-knit, ward-based culture actually encouraged "keeping up with the Joneses" because people knew their neighbors well and could compare their possessions and lifestyles with their fellow church members and neighbors. The assertion was that this was driving Utahns into bankruptcy in their quest to buy bigger homes and such (at the time, Utah had the highest bankruptcy rate in the U.S.).

    Bottom line: STUFF = STRESS

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    March 16, 2013 9:07 a.m.

    Keep it simple, is it rely necessary

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2013 3:27 p.m.

    "In the 1990s, Graham Hill could be foun­­d in a giant house with the latest electronics, cars and appliances. Today his 420-square-foot studio apartment is populated with six dress shirts, 10 bowls for food and no CDs or DVDs."


    Hmmm. Looks to me like this guy has simply swung from one extreme to the other.

    Though I tend toward the "Less is more" philosophy, I know plenty of people who are happy as can be with their garage full of ATVs, boats, jet-skis, etc.

    As long as they pay for them legally and manage their lives without infringing on others, I say, "Do whatever floats your boat!" And that includes the literal ones, if you like.

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2013 7:49 a.m.

    If you need help decluttering, google Flylady. She will change your life!

  • luv2organize Gainesville, VA
    March 13, 2013 6:20 p.m.

    When my MIL showed me Pinterest I got dizzy and a little overwhelmed. I told her it isn't for me. There is just so much stuff everywhere - physically and on the internet. I used to like reading about how to get organized and then I found the answer - get rid of your stuff. You don't need cute baskets and labels - you need to get rid of things to find order. This ah ha moment changed my thinking forever!