The ‘Center on Everyday Lives of Families’, University of California, Los Angeles has ‘found’ that ‘accumulating bigger piles of stuff may in fact decrease happiness and increase stress.’ [See link below to an article in the Times]. The conclusion is made on the basis of a year long anthropological study of 32 American middle class homes.
This reminds me of a comment made by a Japanese visitor to India some years ago. Seeing tents of garbage generously piled up on roadsides, he remarked: ‘You people have the luxury of space. If we allowed this to happen in Japan, the garbage would occupy all the land and people would be pushed into the sea!’
The wantonly consumerist spirit that afflicts so many is probably due to the luxury of space, luxury of time and the luxury of an income that can afford a pampered lifestyle.
It is not too difficult to curb this habit and make for cleaner, more spacious, less-stressful homes: any new article [whether crockery or clothing, toys or slippers] can come into the house only if an equivalent article from the house can be discarded first or given away. This would make space for the new entrant, and keep the tendency to pile up within limits.