Study Finds Americans Have Way Too Much Stuff
Fans of HGTV’s popular show House Hunters know that one of the most common things people look for when purchasing a new home is more storage space — bigger closets, bigger garages, bigger basements.
And according to a recent study, it’s no wonder: we’re drowning in our own clutter.
In the new book Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century, researchers from several universities studied 32 families in the Los Angeles area over several years and found the “volume and sheer number of things in our homes is unprecedented.”
In particular, the study found 75 percent of the participants’ garages were so full of stuff that there was no room for a car, and that because few families spend time in their yards, pricey outdoor furniture often goes unused. And that mountain of belongings isn’t just an eyesore — it also has health effects on mothers because it elevates their levels of stress hormones.
Amassing so many things often happens so slowly that we aren’t even aware of it, but the researchers did find one surefire way to know things are out of control: the number of notes, photos and magnets on a refrigerator door. The more there are, the more likely it is that you have a clutter problem elsewhere in the house.