Did you know that Americans have approximately 3 times the amount of space we had 50 years ago? Therefore, you'd think we'd have sufficient room for all of our possessions. On the contrary, the personal storage business is now a growing industry. We've got triple the space, but we've become such enthusiastic consumers that we require even more. This phenomenon has resulted in significant credit card debt, enormous environmental footprints, and perhaps not coincidentally, our happiness levels have failed to increase over the same half century.
I'm here to suggest an alternative - that having less, might actually be a preferable decision. Many of us have experienced, at some stage, the pleasure of possessing less. I propose that less stuff and less space can not only help you economize, but also simplify your life. I recently started an innovative project to discover some creative solutions that offered me everything I required. By purchasing an apartment that was 40 square meters instead of 60, I admittedly saved $200,000. Smaller space leads to reduce utility bills, and also a smaller carbon footprint. Because it's designed around an edited collection of possessions, limited to my favorite stuff, I'm really excited to live there.
How can we live more basically? Firstly, we must ruthlessly cut the unnecessary objects out of our lives. To stem consumption, we should think before we buy, and ask ourselves," will it truly make me happier?" Obviously, we should possess some great stuff, but we want belongings that we're going to love for years. Secondly, we require space efficiency. We want appliances that are designed for use most of the time, not for occasional use. Why own a six-burner stove when you rarely use even three burners? Finally, we need multifunctional spaces and housewares.
I combined a movable wall with transforming furniture to get more out of my limited space. Consider my coffee table. It increases in size to accommodate ten. My office is tucked away, easily hidden. My bed simply pops out the wall. For guests, I can relocate the movable wall and utilize the foldable guest beds I installed.
I'm not saying we should all live in tinier apartments, but consider the benefits of an edited life. When you return home and walk through your front door, take a moment to ask yourselves," could I do with a little life editing? Will that give me more freedom and more time?"
16. What has prevented Americans happiness levels from increasing?
17. What things should we possess according to the speaker?
18. What do we learn about the items in the speaker's home?