5 Stunning Statistics About Our (American’s) Stuff
- Wasted Time: Over the course of our lifetime, we will spend a total of 153 days searching for misplaced items – up to nine items every day -or 198,743 in a lifetime. Phones, keys, sunglasses and paperwork top the list (The Daily Mail). Blame it on clutter? Perhaps we have too much clutter in too many different places. Cutting down on the clutter will cut down on time wasted looking for things. Have a place for everything and put everything in its place. You will thank yourself for it.
- Storage: 1 out of every 10 Americans rent offsite storage-the fastest growing segment of the commercial real estate industry over the past four decades. (New York Times Magazine). If you have read our previous newsletters, then you know how we feel about storage. Our favorite organizer, Andrew Mellon, says that storage is nothing but deferred decisions. So…don’t kick the can down the road…it costs money. Address those things in storage and free up your money and your time. Extra bonus: you eliminate one place you have to search if you are missing something!
- Toys: Over 3% of the world’s children live in America, but they own 40% of the toys consumed globally (UCLA). We work with many families who feel their children have too many toys. Research validates their feelings by showing that too many toys do not make children happy. Once you’re able to sort through what is broken, has missing pieces or is no longer age appropriate, try rotating just a few toys at a time. Enlist your kids – see what they might be willing to donate to another child. And think about birthday and Christmas purchases; if less is added, managing the remainder is easier!
- Clothing: The average American throws away 65 pounds of clothing per year (Huffington Post). That’s a lot of clothing. The amount of clothing now in landfills is posing a danger to our environment. Plus, fewer countries are taking old clothes for textile recycling. Put usable clothing in different bags from “rags,” and donate both to The Salvation Army or another organization.
- Garages: 25% of people with two-car garages don’t have room to park cars inside them and 32% only have room for one vehicle. (PR Newswire Association) Sometimes there are good reasons for this: new cars may not fit well; it may be easier to load/unload a car outside; someone (perhaps a spouse?) has a hobby you don’t want in the house. However, if your garage is just a black hole for old clothes, toys, gadgets or even appliances, it is time to do something. Are there places inside the home or a shed outside which would be a more appropriate place for certain items? Should you buy shelving to take advantage of vertical space? Do you have headroom to make an ‘attic’ in your garage? Giving your cars their home back will put a smile on your face, guaranteed.