Too Much “Stuff”

woman moving boxes

Too much “stuff?” Excessive shopping and unnecessary accumulation lead to clutter.

My one piece of advice: change your shopping habits. It’s as simple as that to prevent your “stuff” from growing out of control. 

Would you be surprised if I told you there are more shopping malls than high schools in our country? Here are some more sobering, nay frightening, figures on excessive consumption and needless accumulation excerpted from 21 Surprising Statistics Reveal How Much Stuff We Actually Own.

Women will spend more than eight years of their lives shopping (The Daily Mail).

Americans spend more on shoes, jewelry, and watches ($100 billion) than on higher education (Psychology Today).

Each year, the average American family spends $1,700 on clothes (Forbes) and throws away 65 pounds of clothing (Huffington Post).

Americans spend $1.2 trillion annually on nonessential goods—in other words, items they do not need (The Wall Street Journal). Some reports indicate we consume twice as many material goods today as we did 50 years ago. (The Story of Stuff)

There are 300,000 items in the average American home. (LA Times)

The average size of the American home has nearly tripled in size over the past 50 years (NPR). And still, 1 out of every 10 of us rents offsite storage (New York Times Magazine). According to the Self-Storage Association, the United States has upward of 50,000 storage facilities, more than five times the number of Starbucks locations.

Some 25% of people with two-car garages don’t have room to park cars inside them while 32% only have room for one vehicle (U.S. Department of Energy).

The average 10-year-old owns 238 toys but plays with just 12 daily (The Telegraph). While only 3.1% of the world’s children live in America, they own 40% of the toys consumed globally (UCLA study).

In closing, I hope this upstream solution will help you think twice when you go shopping!

With many satisfied clients since 2008, Barbara Graceffa owns and operates Secretary of the Interior in Quincy, MA offering decorating services at reasonable rates. If you want to suggest a blog topic or have a decorating, downsizing/decluttering or home staging project needing professional help or are interested in hosting a workshop or quilt show, please contact her via her website or phone 617.921.6033.

Barbara provides consultation and hands-on assistance with decluttering and downsizing.

By Barbara Graceffa

Barbara Graceffa, CEO of Secretary of the Interior, serves decorating clients; assists with professional organizing, home staging and moving assistance; teaches on these subjects; and delivers quilt lectures and trunk shows.

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