Stuff, things, objects and memories. We as humans have a habit of collecting items and storing them within our homes like bees and honey to hives. I find that I’m constantly collecting products that I want rather than need. There are 300,000 items in the average American home, that’s a whole lot of stuff we could probably live without. Statistics show that 300,000 items is still not enough for us humans and yet we continue to collect unnecessary products. 1 out of every 10 Americans rent offsite storage which has now become one of the fastest, growing segment of commercial real estate over the last four decades. Upward of 50,000 storage facilities are available in the USA. That’s five times the number of Starbucks available!
By getting rid of the 300,000 items we don't ‘need’ it frees up room in your house for items that really matter. For example, by having a smaller apartment it allows electricity and gas bills to be less costly due to smaller kitchen appliances and less money is spent on rent unlike huge houses we don't actually need. 25% of people have a two car garage but don't actually have the room to park their second car at 32%. Why do we need all this stuff? All it does is take up space, time, add stress and in particular cost you more money. 65% of home owners state that their anxiety or stress peaked when entering a home if it was unorganized or had clutter. It seems that the items taking over our homes are causing us grey hair and wrinkles, yet you still think you can’t give up that snow globe you got from Perth four years ago. I will say it again, your ‘stuff’ is causing you wrinkles and unwanted stress!
Wait, it gets worse. We feel the need to spend on average $1,700 on clothes annually only to throw out 30kgs of it shortly after. Imagine if you through out those old clothes that you just don't need right now, think of all the wardrobe space you’ll have! Now imagine saving that $1,700 annually to put towards a holiday or experience that you have been wanting to take for years. Why is it that the 21st Century has turned us into object hoarding monsters that cannot let go of old items or junk (like your children’s lost teeth), I know gross right? I make it a mission every three months to ensure my room is cleaned out of items I don't need, I go through my wardrobe and collect clothes that I don’t wear and sell them on or donate them. This saves me from hoarding clothes I don't need or use and relieves me of constantly washing them for no good reason.
On a recent Facebook post this week, Graham Hill discusses less stuff, is more happiness both environmentally and mentally. As discussed above, 65% of home owners express that their anxiety or stress peaks when entering the home if it was unorganized or had clutter. Hill lives by three main rules; firstly, edit ruthlessly and get rid of everything you don't need, don't use or have a function anymore. Secondly, small is the new sexy so ensure that everything you own fits neatly in the space you have, if it doesn't fit or create too much clutter then maybe it’s time for that item to go. When making purchases on items or products ask yourself, will this item make an impact on my life, will it last and will it fit in the space I have? Finally, make it multifunctional, can you store all your kitchenware in one draw freeing up others to store canned goods, paper towels or cleaning supplies? By really sitting down and alleviating your home you will find items you forgot you had, get rid of items you can’t believe you still have and free space that you never thought you could have.
Hill moved into a small apartment, got rid of the old items he didn't need and in the process saved a ton of money. We enjoy staying in shoe box size hotel room as a getaway or camping with nothing but a tent but to actually live and store our belongings in a small space is unimaginable. Let’s re-evaluate the facts, there are 300,000 items in the average American home, that’s a whole lot of stuff we could probably live without. 1 out of every 10 Americans rent offsite storage, that’s more than 50,000 storage facilities that are currently available in the USA. We feel the need to spend an average of $1,700 on clothes annually only to throw out 30kgs every year adding to the enormous mound of stuff within your house. 25% of people have a two car garage but don't actually have the room to park their second car at 32% as they use that space to store the 300,000 items we have lying around the home. Finally, 65% of home owners state that their anxiety or stress peaked when entering the home if it was unorganized or had clutter and we wonder why we have grey hair or wrinkles at the age of 30. Enough is enough, I don't know about you but I’m going home today and cleaning out my space to ensure I am making my place more CO2 efficient, organized and clutter free to save me from unwanted stress and save me money on unwanted storage lockers, unused appliances and items that require constant maintenance.