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Surprising Clutter Statistics

Do you feel like clutter runs your household? Most of us know we own too much stuff. Offices are filled with too much paperwork, drawers don’t close, basements are packed, and closets are filled from top to bottom. Decluttering is important for a lot of reasons, not just because of the effect it has on our mental well-being but because it also has a significant impact on our wallets and our relationships.

If you’ve ever needed a reason to declutter, or you’re not sure that clutter is really that big of an issue, then these clutter statistics are definitely worth a read. Being informed can help us make better choices going forward.


What Is Clutter?

The word clutter is a collection of items that people accumulate in their homes and don't necessarily use, but hold on to anyway.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, chances are you have some degree of clutter in your home:

  • Do you own anything that you never use or no longer need, like clothes that don't fit anymore or old electronic devices?

  • Do you have a "junk drawer" of things you think you'll need, but don't ever use?

  • Do you find yourself buying new items to replace the ones you've lost in your house?

  • Do you lack access to certain spaces in your home (i.e., you can't open the door to your basement or park in your garage)?

  • Are you afraid to have houseguests over because of the messy state of your home?

Clutter can even be digital—maybe you never get around to clearing out your email inbox or organizing the documents on your laptop. Just looking at the number of files you have on your computer might overwhelm you.

In other words, anything you own, possess, or do that does not add value to your life on a regular basis is clutter!


Household Clutter Statistics

Have you heard the average household can house up to 300,000 items accordingly to the LA Times?

Shocking right? So it should not surprise you when I tell you that clutter is the biggest pet peeve of homeowners: A study found that 27 percent of participants ranked clutter as the most annoying mess to have in a home.

I am going to share some pretty eye-opening home-organizing statistics that I bet you will find hard to believe!

  • 80 percent of the clutter in our homes is a result of disorganization, not lack of space.

  • We only wear 25 percent of the clothes in our closets. The rest of our clothes just hang there.

  • The average American throws away about 81 pounds of clothing every year.

  • Getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40 percent of the housework in the average home, according to the National Soap and Detergent Association.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy reports that one-quarter of people with two-car garages have so much stuff in there that they can’t park a car.

  • 3.1% of the world’s children live in America, but they own 40% of the toys consumed.

  • 50% of homeowners rate their garage as the most disorganized room in the house, yet the most frequently used by family members

I suggest following these couple of steps to help prevent household clutter.

  1. Don’t Buy Unnecessarily: Try not to purchase items just because something is on sale, or if you can’t find something, and if you’re not sure you need it. Strive for the “less is more” and “quality over quantity" approach when you are contemplating bringing another item into your home.

  2. Schedule Decluttering Maintenance: You can try this daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even seasonally but the most important part is to set a schedule + stick to it. Keep in mind, when you declutter + organize on a set schedule you do it even if it doesn’t look like it needs it. The more disciplined you are with following through on your clutter maintenance schedule the better you’ll feel about your clutter-free home.


The Cost Of Clutter

Clutter is a burden, a productivity killer, and has a negative impact on your finances, health and well-being, relationships, and overall quality of your life. The high cost of clutter can be found in ways that are quite obvious and others that you may be completely overlooking. Once you realize the real cost of clutter in your life and how negatively it affects you and your family, you’ll be more determined to get rid of all the clutter. Check out these staggering statistics that I hope will motivate you to grab a bag and get to work on decluttering your home.

  • 1 in 11 American households rents a self-storage space and spends over $1,000 a year in rent.

  • Harris Interactive found that 23% of adults report they pay bills late and incur late fees because they can’t find them.

  • Nearly 25% of us are late to school or work at least twice a week as a result of searching for lost items.

  • The average American gets 49,060 pieces of mail in a lifetime, one-third of it is junk mail.

  • Americans spend 2.5 days a year looking for lost items.

  • 25% of adults say they pay bills late because they lose them.

  • The average family spends $1,800 per year on clothing.

  • People are more productive, less irritable, and less distracted in a clutter-free space.

  • People who sleep in cluttered rooms are more likely to have sleeping problems.

  • A cluttered home can cause you from having family and friends over which could result in feelings of loneliness.

  • Arguing about clutter with the people you live with, creates unnecessary tension within the household.

Know the TRUE cost of clutter – and not just the monetary cost. The next time you go out and buy some more “stuff", ask yourself whether you have the time, energy, space, and money to get it – and whether it will make you feel good after the purchase. If you answer “No” to any of these then chances are you shouldn’t make the purchase and you should move on.


In Closing

Now that you are aware of the actual cost of clutter in your life, what are you waiting for? Get ready to say goodbye to your excess clutter and hello to an organized and meaningful home.


Want more tips on home organizing?

You can follow A Meaningful Space on Instagram and Facebook for more photos and ideas for home organizing tips, before and afters, and other organizing fun. If you are struggling with routines, time management, or clutter in your home, reach out to me at to see how I can help you!

Thanks for following along on our journey as we declutter and organize!



& The A Meaningful Space Team



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