Stress and Stuff

We're worried about money yet have way too much stuff, new report says

We're worried about money yet have way too much stuff, new report says

Austin Photo Set: News_roby brown_cash for clutter_jan 2013
More than half of Houstonians in a new survey think their house is too cluttered.

It's no secret that life is stressful nowadays, but now there's a way to quantify it. A new report, Buried: The State of Stress and Stuff, polled more than 1,000 Americans across the nation as well as residents in 10 major cities, including Houston and Dallas, and discovered we're a nation that struggles to balance financial insecurities with a desire for fewer possessions but not much will to get rid of the things we have.

The study, commissioned by OfferUp, a mobile marketplace for local buyers and sellers in the United States, found that 84 percent of Americans report having financial concerns, nearly half (46 percent) find it difficult to meet their household expenses on time each month, and another 50 percent have more than $1,000 in credit card debt. 

Even so, nearly half (48 percent) consider their homes to be at least somewhat cluttered with items they no longer use. One in seven Americans have a room in their home they cannot use because it is filled with things they don't need. A majority of Americans (72 percent) believe they would gain more space in their homes by purging unused items, but 41 percent of Americans haven't decluttered for over a year.

In Houston, more than a third of those surveyed (36 percent) feel less financially secure than their friends and 28 percent said they’ve “avoided or skipped hospital visits” to help minimize household expenses.

Among the top financial worries in Houston:

  • 51 percent are concerned about not having enough emergency savings
  • 34 percent are worried about not being able to retire when they want to (compared to 32 percent nationally)
  • 19 percent are concerned about not meeting their housing payments

More than half (52 percent) consider their home to be “somewhat” or “very” cluttered. Twenty-nine percents of respondents in Houston haven’t decluttered their home in over a year; while for 7 percent, it’s been 5+ years. Another 4 percent said they’d never decluttered.

Forty-six percent of Dallas residents say they feel less financially secure than their friends, leading the nation in this category.

Top one-off financial concerns in Dallas:

  • 43 percent - medical expenses
  • 25 percent - holiday/birthday gifts for children or family
  • 15 percent - leisure vacation

And they're just about as messy as Houstonians, with 51 percent who think their homes are “somewhat” or “very” cluttered. Twenty-nine percent of people in Dallas haven’t decluttered their home in over a year; and for 7 percent of people, it’s been 5+ years. Another 7 percent said they’d never decluttered.