One things that really derails our time in America is consumerism... buying stuff is a pastime that we have come to perceive as normal. Some even claim it as a hobby. We shop, collect, and then clean like the whole routine is perfectly fine... is it? This week I would love to hear everyone's input on how you might be trying to change patterns of consumerism that might have crept into in your own home.
We have some rules in our home around this subject that sometimes drive my family members crazy. However, I am adamant about adhering to the policy that if something new comes into the home, something old has to leave... and, in the very same week! Otherwise, I find that we procrastinate and it never happens... our extra things go in a closet, pile or basket. We end up with a house full of collected piles of stuff, which I call - House Pollution! We have a whole industry in this country built around this house pollution consumerism- it is called Organizing and Storage(i.e. - Container Store, Storage Locker). This industry could not have not been developed without massive consumerism. And, I am especially cognizant of the situation because of my interior design background. Yes, kids might need toys to play with and, yes, clean up doesn't have to be immediate. But, what is the balance with all of this stuff in our homes? I find that if project or play clean-up is not within a couple of hours in my house, then I become the maid cleaning up after everyone else. I think my family members have the best intentions; however, cleaning up after yourself and restricting your purchases is a pattern behavior discipline and if it is not instilled at a young age... well, you can end up with a house full of piles. Purchasing becomes routine and cleaning/organizing maintenance then becomes a duty... sigh.
I work to keep our house clutter-free and clean enough that a realtor could walk through and show the house and I would not be embarrassed at any time of day. Now, I realize that seems extreme; but, there is something about having order in your house, especially with stuff. It helps to control my family's consumerism, gives a peaceful aura, and makes us more cognizant of our consuming choices. Plus, people like coming to our home to visit and find it ordered and peaceful. I sometimes think that is a joke, because my cleaning lady friends can always find something horribly wrong when they come to visit!... So, how are you all dealing with this consumerism thing in your own homes - any great tidbits out there?