Tuesday, May 15, 2007

How little do we really need?

Reading http://confessionsofahoarder.blogspot.com/2007/04/off-topic-guest-post-over-at-happy-jet.html got me thinking.

Every Thanksgiving my extended family rents a large house at the beach. There are usually about 16 people there, of which I contribute 5. For those 5, we only bring 2 suitcases, 2 backpacks, and carseats. There are only a few toys, unlike the hundreds of overflowing toys at home.

There are clearly some things missing, like clothes for the other weather, but still, we do very well with very little.

One important factor is the help we get. For example, with other adults around, we have time to keep up on laundry, washing every day, so we only need 3 days worth of clothes.

It's something we think about often when working on decluttering and pondering how much we really need for our happiness.

-Jay on a Pocket PC phone


Ian Adams said...

For my trip to Amsterdam, lasting 6 days, I had one carry-on bag and no checked luggage. I seemed to get along just fine with that. :)

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hi Jay...
It is amazing how little even a family of five really needs to get by. I've noticed that my kids have been utilizing mainly our most open-ended toys only. They have had a lot of "free" time to just play creatively together this past year, and they use blankets, kitchen things, playsilks, furniture, blocks, lego, a few craft supplies/paper and boxes. They don't expect quite so much direction when bored because of this, and so even though I'm alone during the weekdays, I get things done, which translates to needing less. Pretty neat. My only real issue with having too much stuff is that I don't know how to scale back on specialty items that take up space unused for large chunks of time but are useful; the camping gear we only use a few times a year (but thoroughly enjoy), reference type books, specialty clothing. Overall it's not too bad and as a family, we managed fine with around 1000sf (with a storage closet and then garage...which wasn't exactly a *need* anyway) for four years. I admit that I like having the extra 500 or so square feet, but it's definetely not a necessity.

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