Sunday, 15 January 2012

Storage Paradox


Chinese New Year is around the corner, and by this time many parents (including mine) start to clean up the house, seems as an effort to welcome a great year ahead. My mum, in particular, began to be excited to clean up everywhere around the house. Curtains, grills, storerooms, rooms; and the list goes on and on, endlessly. What interests me is not this, but rather something most of the people wouldn't have pondered upon.

Having lived in a small house in Setapak (KL) for over 12 years, I had accustomed to living at a small cosy house before moving to a slightly larger house at Seri Kembangan (Selangor), when I was graduated from my primary school. Despite my old house in Setapak was small enough with very little room for storage, but the storeroom was always full with old books and documents that my parents used for their Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) exams. 

Now that we have moved to the new house, and they have qualified as Associates (ACIS). But their books are still being kept in the storeroom. Not only that, but the space in the storeroom seems to be getting smaller and smaller (although the size of the storeroom is much larger than that in the old house). Why is this happening? I contemplated over this for a few minutes, and here is what I've observed.



When we have a smaller storeroom, we tend to keep things that we wouldn't really need in future, just for any possible circumstances arose. We will stop accumulating 'rubbish' once our storeroom is full. Now suppose we move to a bigger house with bigger storeroom. What is likely to happen? Would we keep our things just to the capacity of the size of our small storeroom previously? Or rather, would we keep our things up to the full capacity of the big storeroom? 

As you may have surmised, yes we tend to accumulate things up to the full capacity of the big storeroom, rather than keeping things only to the capacity of our previous smaller storeroom. We move to a bigger house with a bigger storeroom, in a hope that we could enjoy life with larger space everywhere the house. You might argue that bigger storeroom is built for the purpose of storing higher amount of things. That's undeniably correct, but I suspect an irrational occurrence to our behaviour should we get accustomed to a larger storeroom. 

When we have a small storeroom, we would keep things only to the limited capacity of our storeroom. We tend to be more attentive of our capacity of storage. But when we move to a larger house with larger storeroom, we start to develop a thought that we have 'unlimited' capacity of storage, hence tend to be oblivious of the things we keep in the storeroom. One perfect example is, my mum turned the back-room to a storeroom when the larger storeroom reached its highest capacity of storage. We wanted a larger storeroom and larger space everywhere the house, but now we transformed the back-room to a storeroom just to accommodate the ever increasing amount of stocks. Isn't it irrational? Think. 

How does it affect our daily life, and most importantly, what could we do to prevent ourselves from falling into such irrational trap? Storage problem is just an example for what I wanted to convey. As human being, we tend to get accustomed to the changes in our lives but struggle to revert it back to the previous state. In other word, many changes made are irreversible. From the above case, we get accustomed to a larger storeroom (and sometimes alter our mind to store more things somewhere else than storeroom), and eventually struggle to clear up things when it's time to move to a smaller house or for whatever reason that might arise. 

So what do we do? Be more mindful of your own ability (or capacity) and not to expect too much when you improve something, to the extent of being unrealistic. Expectation kills (some people say), and often changes our state of mind and also our behaviour. We should always be realistic of our own strengths (at the same time improving our weaknesses), to strive better in everything we do.

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