More Than Half of Seattleites Describe Their Home As Cluttered

New SpareFoot Study Explores the Emerald City’s Deepest Clutter Secrets

This summer, 40 million Americans are expected to move or relocate according to the U.S. Census Bureau, undertaking the daunting task of 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 Seattleites describe their home as cluttered – including 56 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 Seattle Storage & Moving Study – 93 percent of Seattle residents keep items in their home that they don’t need or use. The top reasons for keeping those items are:

  • In case the items are needed in the future (68%)
  • For sentimental reasons (56%)
  • To sell them (29%)

Guilt can be a powerful emotion, and nine out of ten Seattleites said they have kept an item because they felt guilty getting rid of it. The top items respondents felt most guilty getting rid of include:

  • Gifts (60%)
  • A family heirloom (50%)
  • Clothing they rarely wore (47%)
  • Greeting cards (39%)
  • Drawings or crafts from their child (20%)
  • Their child’s old toys (14%)

“It’s okay to hold onto things, as long as they don’t disrupt your home life or contribute to clutter,” said Stacy Erickson, professional organizer and owner of Seattle-based Home Key Organization. “Try boxing items that you know you won’t need for awhile and putting in a closet, attic, or storage.”

For those looking to clear up space, they can join the 43 percent of Seattleites who store items outside of their home, including at a friend of family member’s house, or in a storage facility. There are certainly some deep dark secrets locked up in Seattle-area homes, storage lockers and attic boxes, including some of the following that respondents described as “the most embarrassing item” they have ever stored away:

  • “A mirrored bra from a Lady Gaga concert”
  • “My childhood hippo collection”
  • “A wedding dress from a previous marriage”
  • “An old-fashioned sanitary napkin belt”
  • “A calendar tracking my sexual encounters”

And while storage secrets are on the minds of some, nearly 70 percent in the Emerald City are considering a move across the border in 2017 if one of the candidates become President. Leading the list by a wide margin is Donald Trump (51%), followed by Hillary Clinton (18%).

To access more study results, read tips on moving, decluttering, and organization, access checklists and insider information for moving to or around Seattle, and more, visit http://www.sparefoot.com/moving.

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, whether it’s traditional self-storage or Full-Service Storage. 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.

Jodi Bart Holzband