My parents liked to hoard household supplies. Now don’t get me wrong. They were both very neat and organized - but if they found something on sale, they would purchase a large quantity of it. They both grew up during the Great Depression, and they were very frugal about certain things. Here we are in 2015, and my mother and father have both been gone a number of years - but it was only recently that I finally used up their warehouse supply of toilet paper.
Why this matters is that I noticed something rather striking when I went to use toilet paper that was more recently purchased - it was smaller. Not just a bit smaller - but quite noticeably. So I did a little research on wipes - and found out that the size of toilet paper was established over 100 years ago at 4.5 inches by 4.5 inches when they were first patented in 1891. This size was to represent the average size of an adult’s hand. This remained unchanged, regardless of the band, until quite recently.
Well, we now live in world where corporations are focused on ways to increase their profitability. Recently, most of the major toilet paper manufacturers have started to downsize their products. It may have started with ice cream (try finding a true "half gallon" anymore) and went on to cereal. But now they have taken the knife to the butt wipe. It isn’t unusual to for a roll to be 4.2 or even 3.8 inches square now. What is mildly ironic is that the same brand will announce on the label that their product is newly improved, and has more for the same price. I guess more squares of much smaller paper is somehow more.
How this relates to estate planning: well, when your children tell you that one day you will be gone, and they will be still using the products you purchased years ago - believe it can happen. In my case, I had 8 years of larger sized toilet paper to enjoy!