Everything is Bigger in Texas, Including Metroplex Clutter

Jodi Bart Holzband
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SpareFoot Study Explores DFW Trends in Moving & Storing Things

This summer, 40 million Americans are expected to move or relocate according to the U.S. Census Bureau, undertaking the daunting task of packing boxes, sorting through odds and ends, packing boxes, and deciding what to toss and what to put in storage. According to a new study by Wakefield Research for SpareFoot, more than half of Dallas-Fort. Worth residents describe their home as cluttered – including 58 percent of Millennials – and 63 percent believe moving is the best opportunity to declutter their home.

Oddly enough, there is a day devoted to all those people buried in bubble wrap and boxes – National Moving Day. Occurring annually on the Tuesday after Memorial Day, National Moving Day marks the official start of moving season, and one of the busiest days of the year for moving and storage.

According to the study – called the DFW Storage & Moving Study – 92 percent of DFW residents keep items in their home that they don’t need or use. And a nearly equal amount have kept items out of guilt (91%). Guilt can be a powerful emotion, and has driven residents to keep the following items:

  • Gift received (58%)
  • Family heirloom (48%)
  • Clothing rarely worn (44%)
  • Greeting card (42%)

“Clutter is stressful. Having more stuff than we can handle affects our health, emotions, time and even relationships,” said Dana White, decluttering expert and author of How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind. “It’s impossible to keep a home under control if there’s too much stuff in it. If you’re overwhelmed with clutter, start by getting the easy stuff out (trash, broken things, outgrown clothes and toys), and you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to gain momentum and make real progress.”

To explain why some items are kept in their home that they don’t use or need, Dallas residents cited the following:

  • In case I need them in the future (63%)
  • Sentimental reasons (56%)
  • To sell them (26%)
  • In case I want to give them as gifts (21%)

When it comes to the kids, some parents think their children are less tied to things. According to the study, 91 percent of DFW parents said they could get rid of any of their child’s toys without them noticing, and 37 percent believe they could get away with ridding more than half of the toys.

There are certainly some deep dark secrets locked up in metroplex attics, closets, and storage units. When asked to describe “the most embarrassing item” they have ever stored away, DFW responses proved they are a distinctive bunch:

  • “A unicorn hat”
  • “A singing bass”
  • “A stuffed shoe painted like a fish”
  • “A penis-shaped ice cube maker”
  • “A ‘sex doll’ that I bought to settle a bet”

Beyond storage secrets, many DFW residents have made moves in recent years to find a better economic lifestyle. The top reasons many have moved include: job prospects (44%), cost of living (38%) and crime (15%). Additionally, one in three have considered, or know someone who has considered, moving due to noisy neighbors.

Many in the metroplex are also considering the political environment in potential moves. When asked about the current political candidates, 69 percent in DFW said they would seriously consider moving to another country if one of the candidates become President. Leading the list by a wide margin is Donald Trump (45%), followed by Hillary Clinton (22%). Among Republican respondents, nearly half (45%) said they would move if Hillary became president, the largest percentage in the national study.

About SpareFoot

SpareFoot is the largest marketplace for storage, making it simpler to move and store your stuff. Our website lets you compare the most storage options nationwide and pick the best solution for your needs. With the most up-to-date information on storage available, SpareFoot makes finding and reserving storage the easiest thing to cross off your to-do list.

Methodological Notes:

The SpareFoot Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,003 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18+ and a minimum of 500 adults ages 18+ each in the New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth and Seattle-Tacoma DMAs, between April 6th and April 19th, 2016, using an email invitation and an online survey – for a total of 3,519 respondents. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population ages 18+.

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points in the nationally representative audience, 4.3 percentage points in the New York City DMA audience and 4.4 percentage points in the remainder of the DMA audiences, from the results that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the samples.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on May 27, 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Jodi Bart Holzband

Jodi is a writer and editor at SpareFoot with a particular interest in topics around organization and moving. When not creating content for the world's largest self- and full-service storage marketplace, she enjoys spending time with her husband and young daughter.
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