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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

How many things do you think you own? In 1994, photojournalist and author Peter Menzel wrote a book called Material World: A Global Family Portrait that captures international families with all of their possessions. The collection of photos illustrates the style in which families from all over the world live. Menzel ranked Mali, at the time, as “dirt poor” as the family sits with their handful of pots, pans, sticks, and limited clothing. Comparing them to the American family from California, this family’s belongings are generously spread out in their large grassy backyard. Though the families live in the same year and the same world, these human beings are living completely different lives. What does it say about humanity when a family of four owns significantly more things than a family of 10?

Why do we have so much stuff? As Americans, consumerism rules our lives and influences what we buy and why we make purchasing decisions. The United States is ranked second as the country with the highest spending power. We normalize overconsumption in so many industries including fashion, beauty, home, and other areas in our lives. The incentive that many marketers use is that their product helps with time management which in turn gets us back to work quicker. An example that comes to mind is a chopper that I bought recently that sandwiches a vegetable in between cross hatched blades that evenly cuts the vegetable as opposed to using a knife and cutting board. Is it necessary? No. Does it make my life easier? Mostly, yes. Modern society, especially women, are mesmerized by products that multitask. Who isn’t obsessed with the “Amazon gadgets” TikTok videos? You always find products that you never thought you needed, and with the link right at your fingertips, what’s stopping you from buying it? 

Minimalism in the kitchen has been popular for the past few years. Tiktokers make restock videos of them removing packaging from grocery groceries and into glass jars and clear acrylic shelves. The minimalist aesthetic that is desired so badly includes diy labels and absolutely no logos.


Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions: 1) I clean my fruit and veggies with baking soda or a cleanser from Trader Joes. 2) My friut and veggies usually last about 10 days (or more) with this system. I’ve been maintaining this organization system since March and its been a game changer! 3) I have an old (approx. 8/9 years old) side-by-side Frigidaire refrigerator. These organizers are perfect because they are slim but long and maximize space. 4) The leftovers are stored in the bottom “produce” drawer. 5) I keep track of expiration dates using dissolvable labels. Happy to answer any other questions you have! 💕 #fridgerestock #fridgeorganization #asmr #asmrrestock #costcohaul #fridgeorganizationrestock #lifeontiktok #tiktokpartner #organizingasmr #restockinggroceries #restockingmyfridge #restockingasmr #asmrorganizing #asmrrestocking #fridgeorganizationideas #fridgeorganize #asmrfridgerefill #restockingfridge #asmrrestockandorganizing #restocktok #organizewithme #organizingtok #organizefridge #restockingvideos #restocktiktok #restockday #amazonhome #amazonorganization #amazonfridge #amazonkitchenfavorites Video description: Mom grocery shopping, putting away groceries, cleaning the fridge, washing the fruit, restocking the fridge.

♬ original sound – Micah│DIY│Organization | ASMR

Many claim that watching content that promotes minimalism helps with gripping control in their life. Therapist, Jake Ernst, claims that people “feel at ease when watching someone turn something messy and chaotic to something more structured and controlled.” The more products and organizational gadgets we have, the more we feel that we are stepping in a productive direction. This kind of social media content makes us more aware of things we should be cleaning, organizational setups we could be using and shows us that an Amazon storefront link will help us solve these day to day problems. 

As spring time approaches and spring cleaning content begins, think about your possessions a little more deeply. Do you need all 12 blushes? Could you give one of your four white t-shirts to someone who needs it more than you? Buy more intentionally and take a look at all of your “stuff” — what’s in your Amazon shopping cart may be hidden right in front of you. 

Ariana is a fashion merchandising major and theater minor at Virginia Commonwealth University with interests in costume design and film. She is a member of the editorial team and is enthusiastic about sustainability, fashion, beauty, mental health, and current events. She loves supporting women through HC.