21 Surprising Stats That Show Just How Much Stuff We Own

21 Surprising Stats That Show Just How Much Stuff We Own

21 Surprising Stats That Show Just How Much Stuff We Own

Do you feel like you have too much stuff? You’re not alone. Statistics show that Americans enjoy more material goods today than they have at any time in the past. How much do we own? These surprising statistics tell the story.

More House, More Stuff 

  • The average American home is nearly triple the size of the average home 50 years ago
  • Each home contains around 300,000 items

More Stuff, More Storage

  • One in four people with a two-car garage can’t actually park there because they are using the space for storage. One in three has room for only one vehicle.
  • The commercial real estate industry’s fastest growing segment is not homes, shopping centers or office buildings; it’s offsite storage facilities.
  • The United States is home to 50,000 storage facilities with over 2.3 billion square feet of self-storage space. That’s over seven square feet of space for every man, woman and child in the nation.
  • One in ten families rents an offsite storage unit.

Tons of Toys

  • A study of British children found that while the average child owns 238 toys, he or she plays with only 12 on an average day.
  • American children make up only 3.1 percent of all the children in the world, but they own over 40 percent of the world’s toys.

Cascades of Clothing

  • In 1930, the average American woman owned nine outfits; just over one for each day of the week. Women today own around 30 outfits; enough to wear something different every day of the month.
  • A single family will spend around $1,700 on clothes each year.
  • The average family also throws away 65 pounds of clothing each year.

A Surfeit of Stuff

  • There are more televisions than people in America, and those televisions are turned on for more than eight hours a day.
  • The 12 percent of the global population that lives in Western Europe and North America accounts for a full 60 percent of private consumer spending.
  • Americans spend more each year on jewelry, watches and shoes than on higher education.
  • There are more shopping malls in America than high schools.
  • Nine out of ten teenage girls list shopping as their favorite activity. In the course of their lives women spend more than eight years shopping.
  • Americans consume twice as many material goods today as they did fifty years ago.
  • Only one percent of all material goods purchased are still being used six months later.

The Cost of Clutter

In all this clutter, it seems the only thing we aren’t hoarding is money.

  • Americans spend $1.2 trillion each year on things they don’t need.
  • Nearly half of all Americans have no savings.

The other cost of all this stuff? Time.

  • Research shows we lose about 198,743 items in a lifetime, and will spend 3,680 hours (153 days) searching for misplaced items like sunglasses, keys and important paperwork.

Do you feel like you’re too busy dealing with clutter to really enjoy the things you own? Are you wasting too much time looking for lost items, and spending too much money replacing things you just can’t find? Our home storage solutions can help your home go from sordid to sorted, so you can enjoy your possessions without the mess and stress.


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