Ties Between generations and clutter


Every generation has differences when it comes to dealing with clutter. It’s important to understand why we struggle with our stuff so we are aware of what habits we need to change to conquer clutter.

The Silent Generation, born from 1925 – 1945, was a generation that was affected by the first and Second World Wars, as well as the great depression. This generation not only grew up with limited choices, but was also taught that throwing things away was reckless. Therefore, throwing anything away was never really a choice.

Baby Boomers, born from 1946 – 1964, were raised by the silent generation and grew up with their parents relentlessly saying, “Use it up, make it last, wear it out, or do without!”   They were also taught to never say “no” to good deals, which made sense back then since they were far and few between.

Unfortunately, this outlook paved the way for the accumulation of more and more “stuff”.  What was once a blueprint for survival was now a recipe for cluttered homes. Not being taught skills in which to deal with clutter, left this generation without the know-how to purge their possessions.  The connection to their “stuff” is strong and emotional, therefore, making it hard to let go.

Generation X, born from 1961-1981, also mirrored a deep emotional attachment to their stuff just like their parents.  This generation is challenged because they are living in a “disposable world”.  They are constantly striving to keep up with the trends. Therefore, it’s imperative to have the skills to manage their “stuff” or their homes will quickly get out of control.

Generation Y, Born from 1980-2000, aren’t wanting the treasured items that their parents/grandparents want to pass down to them. This generation is embracing minimalism, they don’t want their design tastes affected by their families heirlooms, they have no problems letting go of stuff, but on the other hand are living in a world that’s full of ever changing technology, not enough time to deal with their “stuff”, and with just a click away they can order more “stuff” to instantly gratify them.

Yes the newer generations are able to let go of stuff easier and baby boomers are now letting go to downsize and live their dream but our second hand stores and landfills are overflowing as a result. The positive to this “clutter epidemic” is, our society is becoming aware of the problem and starting to learn how to deal with our new world full of “stuff”. As a society we need to become more conscious on the affects our “stuff” is having on the world, just so we can have every little item we need at our fingertips.

Keeping it Neat Jen

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