Humans don’t like change. It takes adjustment. We like being as comfortable as possible and that means no change to most of us. I’m human. I don’t like having to make big changes. Somehow I can trick my mind to accepting change when I consider just “20% change.” I don’t know why, but that 20% just seems acceptable.
I’d always heard to keep about 20% empty space on shelves because it allows items to be featured instead of being swallowed up. My shelves used to be more organized, but the clutter had crept in. So I started decluttering the shelves, getting rid of 20% of the stuff. It looks so much better! I hate cleaning and organizing, as I’ve mentioned here before. But decluttering just 20% is tolerable. In fact, it got me started on spring cleaning. That’s a major miracle for me. My shelves are not gorgeous with 20% space showing. But they looks very nice and I get a much calmer feeling looking at it now. I’ve heard that a messy house give your stress, but who knew just organizing one area would give such a lift? . Very cool. I started thinking about other 20% rules of thumb.
|This looks more like 50% empty space.|
There’s the preferred way to buy a house with 20% down. That way you don’t end up underwater on your loan so easily. Banks prefer it, and I’ve heard that many borrowers do too. Even when their lender allows them to make a smaller down payment (coming back these days) they choose to make a more substantial down payment. That’s a sea change coming after the mortgage crisis.
How about saving 20% of your gross income? Not many people do that, but it could make a huge difference in your financial security. How you invest that 20% is up to you, and you should choose carefully. If this is too difficult for you right now, pick a per centage you can live with and raise it when you are able. The important thing is to start saving and to increase your savings level as soon as you can. Paying down debt is so important, but you must have emergency savings no matter what. Click on the label “emergency fund” below this post for more ideas on that. It’s vital to your financial survival.
I’m thinking that taking out 20% of your lawn would cut back your lawn mowing time by that much. Put in decorative stone and paving stones if you don’t want landscaping plants. Make a patio area, picnic area, basketball area, extra parking area, zeriscaping area, whatever. It will take some work now, but you’ll be glad every time you mow the lawn!
We recently saw a film about the harm meat does to your body. We love meat! But . . . we can easily give up meat 20% of the time. We love stir fry and can easily cut back the amount of meat in it by 20%. As we adjust to the change we might eliminate a higher per centage of meat. Many kinds of healthy eating can be worked into your diet with this approach. And when we adjust to the new level we can move a little more in the right direction.
Are there other areas where 20% would help you make changes? Humans don’t like change, and we’re all human!