Forty million Americans are set to pack up and move this summer. That’s a lot of stress in one season!
One of the most concerning steps in the moving process is packing—determining what stays, what goes, and what gets stored. More than half of Americans describe their home as “cluttered,” according to a recent SpareFoot survey, making relocating that much more challenging, especially when “letting go” is difficult.
Guilt, the SpareFoot survey found, is associated with keeping items past their prime—91 percent of Americans surveyed hung onto an item because they felt guilty tossing it. Common guilt-inducing items include gifts, family heirlooms, rarely-worn clothing, greeting cards, and drawings and crafts made by children.
“We often don't think about why we keep certain things, but rather just ‘go through the motions,’” explains clinical psychologist Dr. Susan Bartell. “In reality, most people keep things to hold onto the past, and in hope for a better future. We hold onto items that remind us of happier times, past relationships and our childhood, but also things that we think we will need, such as clothing in a smaller size, our kids' toys, and legacy items.”
This keep-everything mindset may cater to our sentimental natures, but it can be a disadvantage in the day-to-day comings and goings of the average household: close to one-third of Americans surveyed by SpareFoot spend two or more hours each week looking for a misplaced item in their cluttered home.
Dr. Bartell’s best advice for relocators?
“If you're looking to declutter or downsize, it's best to take it slow. Getting rid of personal things can be a very emotional process, and something that shouldn't be rushed. If you're in a time crunch, consider a storage unit or temporary storage at a friend's home.”
Published with permission from RISMedia.