The Silent Generation
The silent generation are the parents of the baby boomers and
grandparents to Generation X. A clutter profile of the parental units of the baby boomer generation reveals the emotional influences
of war, including the great depression, and the post war boom.
During their life experience in the war years,
authority figures encouraged preservation and repurposing of goods. If you could do this well you were considered to be a good citizen.
Their strong view of respect for authority and the value of "duty before self" influences the parents
of the baby boomer generation to think about the future potential of items and
how it might be useful to others once they no longer have a use for it.
The silent generation grew up with very little variety or choices of consumable goods and they were often
limited to what was available within walking distance of their home. Catalogue shopping was the
only way to purchase items that were not available locally and of course the internet was unknown.
Several persistent beliefs may prompt this generation to hang onto things that are no longer useful in their own life.
Clutter control is more difficult when the following beliefs are present:
Major influences on organized living include:
- the great depression
- post war boom
- I paid good money for that so it is valuable and I should hang onto it
- I might never get the chance to get another one
- Being wasteful is bad and if I throw something away I am a bad person.
- I might need this at some other time
- It might be worth something
- Somebody could use this
Mantra of the Silent Generation
"Make it last....
Wear it out....
Make it do....
Or do without."
Unfortunately the beliefs of the baby boomer parents meant that they did not teach their children about clutter control and how to
purge their possessions. This accounts for the large amount of clutter in the homes of the baby boomer generation!
Based on their age, experience, and expectations here is a possible
clutter profile for this demographic group:
- expired toiletries
- expired medications
- medications stored in containers with labels that are no longer legible
- outdated technology - cameras, radios, televisions
- electrical appliances that no longer work
- bills, receipts, tax returns
- linens that have not been used for decades
- family ephemera such as pictures, documents, and family papers though unlikely to be archived properly
The silent generation may view their home as a monument to their pursuits and hobbies and like to have items on display because of emotional attachments.
These emotional attachments to collected objects make it difficult to for them get rid of clutter.
by Beverly OMalley