United Stats of America - Personal Space

Have you seen the show "United Stats of America" on the History Channel? The nerd in me looooves this show! It's hosted by the twin comedians Randy and Jason Sklar. I assure you it is by far the most entertaining way you'll ever see statistics on things everything from the average size of the American people to how you'll die to the inventions that helped us move and populate the entire country.

Last week, they covered how our personal space has changed over the years, starting with the different zones of personal space and then looking into how the size of our homes has grown and how we've taken over even more space with the use of storage units.

You can see the entire episode here.

The storage unit statistics were particularly striking and fascinating - and completely revolved around the need for stuff as a means of having more and more personal space. (Same reasoning why homes have gotten larger as well.) Since I just posted about friends that have broken free from their storage units, I wanted to share a few stats that particularly stood out in case you need a little additional motivation:

  • There are over 51,000 storage units in America, totaling 2.3 BILLION square feet of space. (Enough to physically store every single person that lives here.)
  • Americans spend $22 BILLION on storage per year. Billion. With a "B."
  • We own twice as many things as we did 25 years ago and spend 15% of our income on things we don't need.
  • We stop using 99% of the things we purchase after 6 months. (!!!)
  • 15% of people polled said they stored things they didn't need or want. (?!?!)

Are you storing things you no longer need or want? One of the Sklar brothers called storage units "stuff purgatory." I couldn't agree more. Clutter (and storage units) represent unmade decisions. Don't let your things live in limbo hell. Rip off the band-aid and make some decisions. There's no need to be one of these statistics. You don't have to try and attack it all at once. Take a box or two every weekend until it's done. Take a box every day until it's done. Hell, even just 15 minutes a day will accumulate over time and get you to where you want to be - storage unit free.

What will you do this week? What can you do today?