I was recently introduced to the term FOMO (I know, I must have had my head in the sand LOL) and decided that fear of missing out is so close emotionally and in terms of habits to fear of running out (FORO).
Anyone who was raised by a depression era survivor parent knows all about stockpiling to avoid FORO. Excess quantities of food in the pantry and freezer. Saving lots of jars, bags, etc. Buying in quantity especially if the item is on sale or 2 for 1. These habits often got translated and expanded to the next generations and as our homes also expanded in size and/or we started worrying about the likelihood of income loss due to job loss or retirement, we acquired even more.
Instead of acting on the healthier FOMO activities of travel, expanding friendship circles, learning new skills or other ways to avoid the fear of missing out, we may have stocked up on material goods. Even someone like me who hates clutter and tries hard to keep everything organized (its my obsession, sorry) succumbed to stockpiling toiletries, buying the same clothing item in multiples and other things related to FORO.
It was easier not to do when there were 4 of us living in a house half the size of the one now occupied by just 2 of us. As an aside, it is interesting to me that both my sons and DILs live in homes much smaller than ours although they do like their stuff too.
I have been quietly working on breaking the FORO habit. Toothpaste? It is always readily available and really doesn't cost much so 1 in use and one as back up is certainly more than enough. Garbage bags? Put that on the list when the stock gets low (although perhaps I let it get too low this week but recycled grocery bags will fill the gap).
This isn't a storage issue for us but for me it is a mindset issue. I have plenty. More than enough stuff to be honest.
What I need more in my life is not stuff. Rather it is travel, friends, learning and health. A work in progress.