Some stats about stuff

Out of curiosity, I Googled, “How many possessions does the average person have?”

A UCLA study of 32 typical American homes found, in the first home they entered, "more than 2,000 possessions on display in a mere three rooms."


One article cited a professional organizer who said that the average US household has 300,000 things.


I took that 300,000 number and multiplied it by the estimated 126,220,000 households in the US.

The result? There are an estimated 37,866,000,000,000 things in US households.

That is 37 trillion.

Uh… WOW.

Now, this calculation is in no way scientific. I don't have any proof that households actually have 300,000 beyond the word of the professional organizer.

But my calculation is even in the ballpark, then we know that US households have a lot of stuff.

What I couldn’t find is an estimated inventory of the things that truly matter.

I bet it’s a lot lower than 300,000.

I’m going to get to some more practical advice for decluttering and choosing less in upcoming emails.

But start thinking now about which of your 300,000-ish things you could do without.

This post is adapted from a weekday newsletter I wrote in April 2018, Choose Less.