Simple Living – The Stats

Living With Less: America's Quest for Simplicity
Image source: www.masters-in-human-resources.org

The editors at Masters In Human Resources Degree Guide decided to research the topic of:

Living With Less: America’s Quest for Simplicity

– step one: We spend years working to pay the mortgage, buy nicer cars, more gadgets, trendier clothes. Leaving us with piles and piles of stuff.
– Step two: Cleaning out, moving, or just trying to free up some space. We realize not only that these previous purchases haven’t brought us meaning, but that they’ve actually distracted us from what is most meaningful.

How it happens:

Housing

– We have three times as much space per person in our homes (compared to 1950).[1]

– Avg. house size:  – 1950:983 sq. ft. 
– 2011:2480 sq. ft.

– Family members per house:  – 1950:3.37 people 
– 2011: 2.6 
This leaves – 1950: 292 sq. ft. per person  
– 2011: 954 sq. ft. per person

The average U.S. resident has as much individual space in their house as an ENTIRE 1950’s family would have shared.

Shopping

– We spend A LOT of time filling that space with stuff.

– With the average American spending 43.2 minutes per day shopping.[2]

– That’s 261 hours a year, or the equivalent of 6 and a half work weeks.

– American women top this stat with an astounding 399 hours and 46 minutes spent shopping per year.[3]

– That’s 8 and 1/2 years of shopping if you live to be 63.

Maintenance

– Which takes up more time maintaining ALL THAT STUFF.

– With 21.5 hours weekly taken up by unpaid household maintenance, including[4]

– 11.1 hours spent on maintaining things around the house.

– [this number includes cleaning, laundry, sewing, household management, lawn and garden care, maintenance and repair, and purchasing of goods and services.]

– With this number almost TRIPLING from ages 24-65, as we get more stuff  – 24 maintenance time: 6.7 hours a week  – 65 maintenance time: 18 hours per week

Which leaves us absolutely LIVING FOR STUFF

– Work+Shopping+Maintenance time spent  – 40 hours+5.04 hours+21.5 hours= 66.54 hours/week  – Or 9.5 hours per day

SOURCES

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/opinion/sunday/living-with-less-a-lot-less.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0  – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/25/time-spent-shopping-falls_n_1624328.html  – http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/average-women-spend-399-hours-shopping-year-survey-finds-article-1.116819  – http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2009/07/art3full.pdf  – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Paradox_of_Choice:_Why_More_Is_Less  – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita

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