The baby boomer generation is the population that represents the children of the silent generation (born prior to 1945). They became the parents to generation X (born 1965-1981). The baby boomers have exerted significant influence on the trends seen in modern societies simply because of the ...The baby boomer generation is the population that represents the children of the silent generation (born prior to 1945). They became the parents to generation X (born 1965-1981). The baby boomers have exerted significant influence on the trends seen in modern societies simply because of the pressure of their population mass!
Born between 1946 and 1964 the baby boomers got this name simply because there was a population explosion following the second world war. Their parents (the silent generation born before 1945) were happy that the second world war was now over and there was a renewed sense of optimism that focused on families and creating homes to raise children. The resulting baby boom bulged the demographic profiles of many countries and the cohort of individuals born between 1946 and 1964 began aging together.
So what has this got to do with clutter??
The generation cohorts are influenced by the significant social, political, and economic trends of their formative years and during this time the attitudes, values, and beliefs that influence their way of thinking are formed. In relation to "clutter " the two influences that would exert the most pressure would be the home and the pop culture. Therefore it becomes necessary to understand how each generation has brought these influences to bear on the clutter habits now being seen in contemporary homes.
It all started with the silent generation. They are the parents of the baby boomers and the grandparents to generation X (born 1965- 1981). The silent generation is sometimes called the veteran's demographic because the people in this generation were greatly influenced by the first and second world wars as well as the great depression.
With a strong view of authority influenced by the military model that suggested "duty before self", the silent generation may to this day have difficulty with assertiveness such as saying no.
They grew up with very little variety or choices in consumable goods and were limited to what was available within a short distance of their home. Along with the purchase of goods was the expectation that the purchased item would last as long as it was needed. The silent generation grew up with the belief that if you throw something away you are a bad person because you are wasteful. Therefore throwing things away is never an option.
The mantra of the silent generation would be "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without"
Over a lifetime the persistent pattern of thinking in the parents of the baby boomers led to the accumulation of more and more material goods in their home. Unfortunately their skill at managing those goods did not keep pace with their skill at acquiring them.
So we can see that the homes where the baby boomer generation grew up were characterized by the accumulation of goods. This was a measure of success and reflected the growing economic prosperity of their parents in the post war boom. Additionally more variety of goods and services became available to them and were creatively marketed through the media.
The baby boomer generation was probably the first generation with a realistic expectation to "do better" than their parents! Unfortunately they never learned from their parents how to purge their possessions or even how to be happy without them.
The clutter in the homes of baby boomers and their families is the direct result of the emotional attachment to their stuff and the lack of skill in managing it. The clutter epidemic suggests that there is a legacy from the mid 1900's that is still exerting its influence in the homes of the baby boomers and their children, the Generation X!!
Stopping this epidemic means that the cause must be identified and understood before it can be mitigated. Severing the emotional attachments to material possessions and learning how to purge your possessions without guilt is the place to start!