Chicagoans Tell All: The Most Embarrassing Thing I’ve Stored

As part of our recent Chicago Storage & Moving Study, we asked locals what was the most embarrassing thing they’ve ever stored.

The study explores the extent of Chicagoans clutter, evaluating their storage trends and moving habits. The findings reveal that clutter affects many facets of Chicagoans lives, including time management, personal relationships, and health.

Guilt can be a powerful emotion when it comes to holding onto our things. We found that the vast majority of Chicagoans (94%) have kept an item because they felt guilty getting rid of it. However, some of the items that they were embarrassed to have kept are more of a guilty pleasure, it seems!

Warning, some of the items are quite gross. Please note, these were self-reported by our survey respondents. Here were some of the most, ahem, unique responses:

first haircut    kitten in a stocking  First Kiss

  • A sexual “how-to” book
  • All the hair from my child’s first haircut
  • An old sandwich
  • My great aunt’s adult diapers
  • The Japanese manga series “Sailor Moon” on VHS
  • My cat’s Christmas stocking
  • My old toenails
  • An unused maxi pad from junior high
  • A pair of blue jean shorts from the ‘70s
  • An indoor waterfall
  • A picture of my first girlfriend and I kissing
  • A cow costume
  • My favorite actor’s T-shirt
  • Old hair extensions
  • My grade school lunchbox

hair extensions  cow costume   vintage lunchbox

How do you think these compare with some of the weirdest responses from our nationally representative sample:

wife holding cat to cover her body  panties  saber tooth tiger skull

  • Pornography starring my sister that my ex-husband bought without telling me
  • The condom I used on a first date
  • A photo of my half-naked spouse holding a cat to hide her exposed parts
  • Locks of an ex-partner’s hair
  • Nude photographs of an ex-partner
  • An ex-partner’s underwear
  • My gallstones
  • A penis-shaped Halloween costume
  • My used tampons
  • My collection of iPhone boxes
  • A box of old TV Guide issues referencing Star Trek
  • A fake saber-toothed tiger skull
  • Grass from Paul Newman’s yard
  • My dead mother’s wig
  • The label from the first stick of deodorant I ever used
  • My old thong underwear from high school
  • An empty bag of chips given to me by an old crush
  • An old crush’s lip balm
  • Old love letters I sent in elementary school
  • My middle school jock strap
  • A binder filled with photos of my childhood celebrity crushes
  • Platform shoes from my 20s
  • The rubber ducky I played with as a child
  • A positive pregnancy test
  • Disposable underwear

A lock of an ex's hair  love letters  gallstones

What’s the weirdest or most embarrassing thing that you’ve ever stored?

Jodi Bart Holzband