As part of our recent Storage & Moving Study, we asked Americans about the most embarrassing things they’ve ever stored.

The study explores the extent of American clutter, evaluating consumer storage trends and moving habits. The findings reveal that clutter affects many facets of Americans’ 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 Americans (91%) have kept an item because they felt guilty getting rid of it. However, 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:

wife holding cat to cover her body  panties  saber tooth tiger skull  dead mother's wig

  • 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

positive pregnancy test  A lock of an ex's hair  love letters  gallstones

Doesn’t this list make you proud to be an American?

Jodi Holzband
  • Seana Turner

    Well, that is quite a list! I knew this would be an interesting post:) Human beings are interesting, aren’t we?

  • Sarah Soboleski

    The collection of iPhone boxes is one that seems pretty useful. Those Apple product boxes are sturdy and great for storage, empty bags of chips not so much!

    • Tara

      You know… I have several iPhone boxes too thinking they were good boxes, but all they have done is sit in a bigger box for years taking up space. What do you actually do with them?

      • Jendola Vieuxtemps

        Hold safety pins, hair clips, office supplies, next years holiday gifts, spring seed starting planters. Reduce, reuse and recycle. They may temporarily take up immediate storage, but it is worth it in some cases to hold on to some things. Hindsight is always 20/20, foresight, not so much. In my experience, advice is often gifted to people to accept, use it for what its worth and either keep it- or pass it along to aid others in their journey. Similar to the boxes. Reduce in use, reuse what you’ve already have- possibly in a different way completely, than its originally intended use, and whenever possible, recycle it.
        I’ve not had opportunity to read all the comments, but wanted to say, the there are programs starving all over the US for simple items such as iPhone boxes, old annoying wires and hangers, toilet paper rolls, etc. Public schools, Camp Invention, other camps, the local hospitals, nursing homes, recreation centers, community outreach programs, government funded programs, etc., are all places more than likely able to make really good use out of what some consider clutter. I wouldn’t just go dumping things off at shelters and whatnot. If you are truly wanting to rid your life of clutter, there is useful and resourceful ways to eliminate some of without necessarily paying a hefty price or taxing mother earth anymore than we absolutely have to. Surely I’m just rambling on in metaphoric monotone in my own mind, but thought I’d throw in that little bit of something I stand for. Might make a little difference.

  • Hilda Rodgers

    Wow! What an “interesting” list! We’re all so different in what means something to us.

  • Vlasta Hillger

    Wow! Fascinating look into humanity’s psyche.

  • Janet Barclay

    Well, this is embarrassing – I actually have some of those things! Nothing really gross, but I do have my wisdom teeth. And maybe it is time to let go of my childhood scrapbooks…

  • midlandboatrvstorage

    Some of the lists are garbage. People like souvenir, some kept unnecessary stuff.