Why do we have too much stuff?

Everyone has too much clutter, but probably wants less: that is the premise OfferUp was founded on. Arean and I started OfferUp because, as new parents, we both struggled to find a way to easily and simply pass along the things we no longer needed to others who could get more use out of them.

We didn’t believe we were alone in this problem, and a new report we released today shows that hunch was right. The report, Buried: The State of Stuff and Stress, examines how Americans feel about the things around them and how that affects their financial lives. More than 1,000 people weighed in. Here’s what we found:

  • Nearly half (48 percent) of Americans consider their homes to be at least somewhat cluttered with items they no longer use
  • One in seven Americans have a room in their home they cannot use because it is filled with things they rarely use
  • A majority of Americans (72 percent) believe they would gain more space in their homes by purging unused items, but 41 percent of Americans haven’t decluttered for over a year

While Americans have more things than they want, they often struggle to declutter. Why is that? At OfferUp, we believe it’s because more traditional options for selling or donating things to other people have been too difficult (1 in 8 Americans would prefer to throw things away rather than sell them).

Meanwhile, many Americans are stressed financially. The report shows that the vast majority of Americans (84 percent) have financial concerns and 46 percent struggle to meet their monthly household expenses. At the same time, nearly half of Americans believe they have more than $1,000 in unused items sitting around the house.

The good news is this: times have changed. Finding value in the things that surround us doesn’t have to be difficult, and an increasing number of Americans are finding joy in decluttering.

To read the report and learn more about our findings, click here.