It’s probably something we don’t want to think about—how much clutter do we have at home? Well, earlier this month the Wall Street Journal reported on a new study from the Center on Everyday Lives of Families at the University of California, Los Angeles, that gives us a glimpse into a harsh reality.
Researchers delved into the possessions of 32 middle-class, dual-income families over a multi-year period and it turns out—no surprise, they came across a lot of stuff. The study found that 75 percent of those households’ garages were so crammed that they had no room for a car; the typical garage held 300 to 650 boxes, storage bins and spillover items from the house, the Wall Street Journal reported. And inside the home, the average household had 438 books and magazines, 139 toys and 39 pairs of shoes that were visible (versus not in closets or put away). Another clutter increaser? Now that people can buy items in bulk, they do, leading to more stuff to store.
Have children? Then you have a lot more stuff. The study, part of the new book, “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century,” found that the amount of a family’s possessions increases an estimated 30 percent with each new child during the preschool years alone.
A simple indicator of how much stuff is in a house—besides just looking around—is found attached to the front of the refrigerator. The more items clinging to the refrigerator, the more clutter per square foot in the home, the study found. Makes you want to go home take down some of those receipts, magnets and take-out menus.
I would have read this article earlier, but it was in a big pile of stuff.—Andrea Lillo