Most of us sense it deep down, even when we struggle to articulate it: the constant presence of too many things in our homes and lives.
We see it after we’re searching for that one shirt in a pile of too many, when we are able to’t discover a place for the brand new gifts we receive, or after we spend what looks as if endlessly consistently cleansing, sorting, and re-arranging.
Our garages aren’t any longer spaces for our cars but storage areas for boxes stuffed with stuff we never use. Drawers develop into increasingly difficult to shut, closets are stuffed to the brim, and sometimes, our belongings control us fairly than us controlling them.
It’s helpful to take a step back from our current lifestyle and realize, while it’s common to us, in comparison with human history it’s entirely unique.
And by that I mean, consider this: Never in human history have human beings owned as much stuff as we do today!
We’re in uncharted territory, leading lives of unprecedented abundance. Even worse, not only is that this level of possession-ownership entirely unique, it’s a burden to us.
Consider these 15 startling stats to grasp just how unparalleled our journey into materialism has develop into.
1. The average American home has quadrupled in size over the past 100 years—from 700 square feet within the Nineteen Twenties to 2,700 square feet in 2015. (source)
2. Still, greater than a 3rd of Americans rent self storage—spending $38 billion every yr. (source)
3. The average American shopper buys 60% more clothing items than they did 15 years ago but keeps them for half as long. The average garment could also be worn as few as ten times before disposal. (source)
5. Yet, American households spend, on average, almost $1,500 on clothing every yr. (source)
6. No wonder the common American throws away about 81 kilos of clothing every yr! (source)
7. American bank card debt now exceeds $1 trillion for the primary time—twice as much bank card debt as just 10 years ago. (source)
8. Americans make one impulse purchase every two days, spending as much as $5400 annually ($324,000 over their lifetime). (source)
9. Americans spend over $8 billion every yr on unwanted gifts. (source)
10. The average American household now owns 25 connected devices. (source)
11. The average person in Great Britain owns 80 books which they haven’t read. (source)
12. Each yr, 119 billion kilos of food is wasted within the United States. That equates to 130 billion meals and greater than $408 billion in food thrown away every year. Shockingly, nearly 40% of all food in America is wasted. (source)
13. Even though we stock our kitchens with food we don’t eat, Americans now spend more on dining out than on groceries. (source)
14. 80% of the items we own are never used. (source)
15. Americans spend $18,000 per yr, per person, on nonessentials. (source)
The numbers are clear and paint an image of just how much we’ve amassed. It’s surprising, really, when you concentrate on how different our lives are from all other previous generations before us.
But here’s the excellent news: we don’t must keep living this manner. There’s a less complicated, more freeing path ahead. Owning less and making more room for what truly matters.
So, why not start today? Begin with one drawer, one shelf, or one closet. Consider this your invitation to a lighter, more intentional life. And step one? Maybe it’s so simple as a visit to your local donation center.