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Think Little, Live Large

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By Joe Carrel, Buffalo Exchange HQ

Halfway through an episode of Tiny House Hunters I had two realizations: 1) I definitely need to reevaluate my TV viewing habits, and 2) minimal living isn’t simply a twenty-tens fad –– it’s the future.

Let’s take a look around the typical living room of the not-so-distant past. We see… shelves. Lots of shelves. They’re stuffed with DVDs, CDs and books. On the counter a cordless phone stands proudly in its base – right next to the Sunday paper. A peek into the den reveals a desk unit housing a hulking black computer tower and its foot-and-a-half deep monitor. How quaint. It won’t be long before this scene will seem as antiquated as one involving an icebox, phonograph and potbelly stove.

While there’s always a small part of us that feels nostalgic for those tangible reminders of days gone by, there’s also no denying that we wouldn’t trade our modern conveniences for ‘em. Music and movies? Poof! They no longer take up space. Your book collection now is as thin as a Kindle. Ebay helps shed excess knicknackery. Heck, with options like Uber and Zipcar, it’s even becoming feasible to forgo owning an automobile. For the first time in modern history, we’re starting to view having less stuff as good thing.

This extends to clothing as well. Yes, we’ll always need them, but how much do we need? I’m the type of person who only actually wears about two to three weeks’ worth of clothes. Large swathes of my closet get very little love. Luckily, there’s also a modern fix for that: resale. I know that idea doesn’t seem very modern. Reselling is as ancient as commerce, but reselling clothes is actually a pretty new concept.

Back in the day it was assumed that people would only want to let go of clothing if it was in poor condition, ill-fitting or no longer stylish. What couldn’t be fully anticipated back then was our modern desire for variety. If variety is the spice of life, today’s society is habanero. We want our look to change as often as our mood, and we’re not afraid to trade in perfectly good clothing for new-to-us threads that better reflect our style right at this moment.

In the future, I look forward to us needing less and less physical stuff. I may never live in one of those tiny houses I see on TV, but it’s reassuring to know that old adage “less is more” actually holds true.

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