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Smallest space my belongings could fit (unbroken):

Displaying poll results.
Less than 1 cubic meter
  521 votes / 2%
Less than 5 cubic meters
  3982 votes / 21%
Less than 50 cubic meters
  7033 votes / 37%
Less than 500 cubic meters
  2573 votes / 13%
Less than 5000 cubic meters
  778 votes / 4%
My empire cannot be bound by such restrictions.
  4031 votes / 21%
18918 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Smallest space my belongings could fit (unbroken):

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  • by mrxak (727974) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @09:11AM (#38415652)

    My guess is anybody with any furniture is going to vote for the under 50 option.

    • by Hermanas (1665329)

      My furniture came with the apartment I'm renting - it doesn't belong to me.

      • Same here. I mean I have my computer desk and... and... hmm, nothing else really.
        Oh yeah, a washing machine which I haven't used anymore because the apartment has one already.
        So way less than 5 cubic meters.

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      Hell, anyone who owns a car probably can't pick the "under 5 m^3" option, unless it's a really small car.

      • I imagine if you're living in a small apartment that comes furnished in an area where you can either rent a car, use public transit or take a bike, it's not that hard to get under a cubic meter. Even a motorbike could get you under the m^3.

        On the other hand, if you own a house, it's probably over 100m^3. And if it comes with a lot of land, it's not too hard to get over 500m^3 since you technically own a portion of land above and below the ground. Depending on how much, it could come out to a lot.

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          Well, owning a house with trees tends to blow out the cubic metres quite a lot, although the rainbow lorikeets [] that raid those fruit trees would likely dispute ownership of them and, the fights over ownership between them when the figs, apricots, plums, pomegranates and loquats reach low levels, further diffuses who owns what.

      • by Zugok (17194)

        What are you talking about? My is 3.8L. That's less than a cubic metre.

      • Oops, forgot about my car. Maybe because my brother just drove off in it . . .
      • That was my thought as well. I was going to click "under 50" when I realized my car would put me over.
    • Re:Furniture (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Psychofreak (17440) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @01:55PM (#38417640) Journal

      If you own land, even a little, you have over 5000 cubic meters, unless your deed specifically denies mineral rights, then you need about 1/4 acre to have your "empire" not fit in 5000 cubic meters.


      • by arth1 (260657)

        And here I was wondering how to fit the oak trees, pine trees and various other vegetation.

        But, even not counting land, vehicles, people and animals, I don't think I could fit all the stuff in 50 m^3. At least not if padded well enough to survive transportation. Last time I moved, I needed a semi and dozens of trips with an SUV and the amassment hasn't stopped since then.

      • by PIBM (588930)

        Here, you own as deep as you dug. In my case, that would amount to around 822 000 cubic meters, not counting any of the trees or house.. I guess there's not enough resolution on the poll =)

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      My guess is anybody with any furniture is going to vote for the under 50 option.

      Where did this start - Steve Jobs? He had like almost zero possessions, lived like a monk - spare and spotless rooms. For a billionaire he could have had buckets of toys, but keeping his living simple was his style - no more than he needed.

      Me, on the other hand, I'd make a rotten communist - my needs for Stuff are almost extreme. Been doing some house cleaning and amazed how much stuff I had in storage - much of which is gone now, but still more to go.

  • by fph il quozientatore (971015) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @09:17AM (#38415678) Homepage
    see title...
    • by tenco (773732) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @10:57AM (#38416264)

      Depends on storage media. (Now, this wasn't really too hard to figure out, wasn't it?)

      But as i can see that you're completely lost here and don't have the faintest idea how to do this simple arithmetic task for yourself - i will tell you how it would work with SDXC memory cards as an example.

      1 SDXC memory card has a volume of 32mm x 24mm x 2.1 mm = 32e-3m x 24e-3m x 2.1e-3m = 1.6128e-6 m^3
      So, in 1 cubic meter (m^3) fit 1m^3/(1.6128e-6m^3/1card) = 6.2e5 card(s)
      SDXC cards come in various capacities: 64GB to 2048GB
      So 1 cubic meter would hold from
      6.2e5card x 64GB/1card =~ 3.97e7GB
      up to
      6.25e5card x 2048GB/1card =~ 1.27e9GB

      What can we learn from this result?
      Since it spans 2 orders of magnitude, measuring a spacial volume with this unit of measurement isn't advisable.

    • by TheSpoom (715771)

      I'm sorry, I just can't understand unless it's quoted in Libraries of Congress.

  • I'm really quite surprised by the number of people choosing 'less than 50'. Remember, 50 cubic meters is 3.6 x 3.6 x 3.6m. Think how much of this a double bed or table takes up. Remember how much boot/trunk space you needed last time you moved.
    • by Zarhan (415465)

      Yes, but it's not a 50m^3 cube. All my stuff fitted quite nicely in my previous 50m^2 apartment, so 7x7x1m cube is perfectly adequate - not much stuff higher than 1m apart from bookshelf :).

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      As you say, 50m^3 is 3.6 m on a side. In English units, a room 13' on each side, stacked to its 12' ceiling with stuff. Considering that most furniture is less than 1m high, that's 4 rooms packed so full of furniture you can't walk. I'd expect the contents of an average 3 BR house to pack pretty well into 50 m^3. And boot/trunk space is completely irrelevant at that scale.
    • by cbhacking (979169) <been_out_cruising-slashdot@y a h o> on Sunday December 18, 2011 @10:43AM (#38416160) Homepage Journal

      My car is around 20 cubic meters, and that's if I leave it empty for some reason. If I can use the internal space and strap stuff to the hood, it's probably about 12 for itself. It's by far my biggest posession. My mattress plus frame is less than 2/3 of a cubic meter. My beanbag chair is about 1.5. My desk is probably also 1.5, and that's again assuming I'm not using its internal space. My various computers (laptops and a gaming console) probably fit into one cubic meter. My books fit into about the same space, maybe a bit more. My clothes take up perhaps as much as two, when you factor in things like ski boots (a full laundry hamper is about 1/4 of a cubic meter). Other outdoor gear (camping/skiing/diving) is probably another cubic meter. Random boxes of "stuff" (kitchen things, games, toiletries, non-computer electronics, physical documents, and so forth) add up to possibly 5 m3, and that's being generous.

      All together, I might hit 30 m3. Moving took three car-loads, and I've acquired a little bit of stuff since then, but not terribly much. I live in an apartment, and have relatively little furniture. I'm not a university student anymore (and could probably afford to live a lot better than I do) but this is comfortable and I don't really need more. I suspect there's quite a few people who live similarly here, although until the options were laid out in front of me I couldn't have given you a number of fthe top of my head.

    • by tenco (773732)

      The room all of my posessions right now fit in has a floor space of 22 m^2. Since i live in a flat share, there's more of course - in the living room, kitchen and bathroom. But that's not my property.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      The moving van that moved us last time was not that big. About 2.2x2.5x6m for a total of 33 m3. About the size of a 20' shipping container. Such containers are used as complete offices for 2-3 people, or even as simple home.

      It is hard to imagine people that need more than 50 m3 to store all their belongings, that would be a huge amount of furniture. This is almost as much as a 40' shipping container: they are about 67 m3. They're really big, and fit really a lot of stuff.

      To come back to your example: a doub

      • by mellon (7048)

        Ah, but you can stuff the voids with books, clothing and other small items, so it's not so bad. They are also useful for protecting fragile items if you line them up back to back.

    • Motorbike, tools, clothes, computer, bedding, kitchenware, a computer desk, two nice chairs, and a couple boxes of random gadgets, books/etc.

      That's all I own. I think I can fit all that in a 3.6x3.6x3.6 cube.

      The office desk/chairs are my only furniture. All the places I've lived in included furniture, and since it only costs about $10/week I don't plan to take out any personal loans to buy my own stuff (at least not in the foreseeable future).

    • by AK Marc (707885) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @09:57PM (#38420678)
      I packed my mother when she moved once. She got a medium size station wagon (large for a Japanese import, but nowhere near the size of a Caprice wagon or such). I spent hours playing furniture Tetris, getting two tables, 4 chairs, a bookcase, and all her belongings into a car. I knew it would be that bad that I bought her a full-sized spare and tied it to the roof, as it was a 5000 mile move, and getting to the spare in the back would have been impossible without taking hours taking stuff out. But no beds went with her. Still, either it fit in the car or she left it behind. Everything she owned fit in a Subaru Legacy wagon.

      It took her 4 hours of trying to unpack before she called me up begging for help. I told her that the "keystone" chair had to be removed first, and to do so required moving both front seats all the way forward and tilted. Without that chair out, none of the other furniture could be removed. I wish I had taken pictures.
    • by Millennium (2451)

      50 cubic meters could also be expressed as a room a little more than 16 feet on a side and a little more than 6.5 feet high. That's actually quite a lot of space, especially if you pack it all in well. I'd guess that most Americans could probably fit everything except their cars into such a room, and some might even be able to squeeze the car into there.

  • some perspective (Score:5, Informative)

    by MikeyO (99577) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @09:29AM (#38415736) Homepage

    A huge SUV would have a cargo capacity of about 4 cubic meters. The largest truck that uhaul rents [] is about 45 cubic meters. A tractor trailer holds about 110 cubic meters.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Yep, I'm actually surprised at the distribution here. 5 cubic meters is basically the furniture/no furniture limit, for a small apartment they consider 10-15m^3 normal. Even if you include a car, assuming you will stuff the car full of goods on the inside and put clothes and other soft light stuff on top it wouldn't add that horribly much. I would think a lot more people would fit within 50m^3, it's pretty huge when solidly packed. When I last moved I all the "hard" things were in packing crates of about 0.

      • by heypete (60671)

        When I last moved I all the "hard" things were in packing crates of about 0.08 m^3 and I used around 15 or so, that's 1.2 m^3

        That's about where my wife and I are at. We moved from the US to Switzerland for graduate school, so our possessions were basically clothes, computers, and dishes/silverware/kitchen stuff. Most electrical appliances aren't compatible, so we didn't bring them (note: many things were wedding gifts, so we left them with family back in the US). We ended up moving essentially the same amount of stuff you did. The personal possessions I actually care about can basically fit in the back of a car.

        Our apartment in B

    • Re:some perspective (Score:4, Interesting)

      by dargaud (518470) <(slashdot2) (at) (> on Sunday December 18, 2011 @02:03PM (#38417718) Homepage
      I moved 19 times in the last 20 years. For over a decade everything I owned could fit into my (small) car. Then I got a wife and a more stable job and at the last move the 16 cubic meter rental truck didn't quite fit. That was a big jump.
    • by JustinOpinion (1246824) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @02:22PM (#38417826)
      It also depends what you mean by "belongings", though. Some people will interpret it to be all the "stuff" they own (clothes, computers, furniture, etc.). But my car is also a "belonging" and if I include it in the calculation, it accounts for a large fraction by volume. (Of course, if I'm allowed to store other stuff inside the car for the purposes of computing total volume, that changes things... That can be done without breaking anything, but somehow seems like it's violating the premise of the question, which is asking how much space all of your stuff normally takes up.)

      Also, for those people who own houses, or plots of land, that would substantially increase the size of their belongings.

      Point being that when interpreting the spread of answers, you have to account for the variation in how people interpret the question. (Note that I'm not complaining about "lack of options" or "lack of precision" in a Slashdot poll. Actually, one of the things I like about Slashdot polls is the analysis that goes on in the comments about how fundamentally unclear the question is. Slashdotters are probably more pedantic and detail-oriented than most people, but it's still a useful exercise... reminding us to be weary of the results of surveys, for instance, since how the question is worded, and interpreted by respondents, can massively affect the distribution of answers, and thus the analysis of the data.)
      • by oneiros27 (46144)

        I'm all for packing things inside each other ... but I'm not sure if real property counts. I mean, I "own" a house ... but if there's a mortgage, can I really own it? (my car, on the other hand, is paid for.)

        As for the land itself .. does that really have a volume, and would I consider it to be "belongings"? I'd have to take the more 'you can't own the land' view of things, and say that no, the land part shouldn't count ... I'm going to have to go no with the house itself due to the mortgage, but I'm not

        • by Pharmboy (216950)

          I mean, I "own" a house ... but if there's a mortgage, can I really own it?

          Yes. The bank just has a lien against it. If they decide to call your loan and make you pay it in full, you can still write them a check or get someone else to finance the balance. They can't just take it because they feel like it, like a landlord can (with proper notice).

          That said, I wouldn't call the house "stuff". I would call it the place you put your stuff. Even a car is hard to call stuff, at least by how an American defi

    • When I worked at U-Haul people would frequently rent a 26' truck and also a 6'x12' enclosed trailer (6'x6'x12') and would make multiple trips to and from a storage unit.
  • a lot of dirt! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MikeyO (99577) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @09:44AM (#38415814) Homepage

    So if I own the land my house sits on, how much dirt and rock should I figure if the surface area is 1000 square meters? :P

    • It depends if you own mineral and water right for the land. Or, in some places, you might have or not have rights to rain water.

      So this poll works fine for:

      • Teenagers and Students - The size or your bedroom / dorm room / apartment. Any vehicles you own can probably be stuffed in.
      • Younger Single folks and Married folks (no house or kids) - The size of your rental object.

      Where it doesn't work:

      • Folks who own property or have kids on my lawn - Fuck knows.
    • Re:a lot of dirt! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by evanbd (210358) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @02:50PM (#38418014)
      I suggest you start digging, and see how deep you get before the authorities complain. That should provide an approximate answer.
  • I can get all my stuff (except the car) into my house. I own my house so it counts as a possession (no mortgage). So the question becomes: how many cubic metres is my house - and how many metres deep should I consider my "possession" of garden earth to be?
    • by petes_PoV (912422)
      Oh yeah, and then there are the trees in the garden ...

      Suddenly 5,000 m is looking too small
      there was a "cubed" symbol in the line above - where'd it go?

    • by danomac (1032160)

      Well, go as high as you can without violating the airspace above you - that would vary by jurisdiction.

      After a metre or so down you'll likely hit gas lines/water lines/sewer lines that aren't yours, so you could count that metre or so.

      • by mellon (7048)

        Unlikely. The parts of those you don't own typically are out in the street, which you also don't own. If they're running under your house, they're probably running *into* your house, and you definitely own them—nobody else is going to repair them for you if they fail. However, this isn't what people generally mean when they talk about "belongings." By your standard, just my house would be over 600 cubic meters, including the insulation.

        • Depends on your local laws and building practices at the time your property was built (though sometimes the ownership of things like shared services can be changed retroactively by legal changes*). Afaict it is not that unusual to have services that serve other people running across your property and even with things that serve you the demarcation point (the place where the supplier's equipment ends and your's begins) may be inside your property.

          Still for the most part you are right especially with modern d

  • bah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Blymie (231220) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @10:41AM (#38416146)

    As I expected, there is at least one comment about how "Not everyone is obsessed with amassing property."

    That comment was, of course, made in response to someone talking about how large their bed is. Yes, owning a bed is now considered "amassing property" by some nutjobs.

    Regardless, my whole point is different than that. Property size can correlate directly to where you live.

    As an example, merely by living in a colder climate -- one requires an entire array of winter gear that someone without ice, snow, and -40C temperatures does. This expands to more than merely coats, boots, and portable heaters. It also includes things such as snowblowers or snow shovels, skis and snow shoes (instead of just a bicycle for summer exercise).

    I can think of many tools I own, merely because of the climate I live in. Tools such as booster cables, battery booster packs, extension cords with lights (to show that they are working, when you plug them into your block heater for your car).

    This sort of logic expands to what type of dwelling you live in. If you live in a house, instead of an apartment -- well then, you're going to likely want some form of lawn mowing device. Rakes, shovels, work gloves. Soon, the list expands, a variety of tools to repair your dwelling -- unless you want to throw money at contractors merely to paint your house and the like.

    My point? Well, clearly the comment I mocked at the starting of this post was thrown by someone that doesn't comprehend these things.. and likely there are others as silly as well.

    Don't even get me started on what is required if you own a farm. Or your own business. Such things are your "belongings" as well, but to be inane enough to pull the "greed" card -- well, small minded indeed.

    • by mellon (7048)

      I think the notion that people are obsessed with amassing property is wrong, as you say, but there is a kernel of truth in it: most people have a lot of stuff they never use. I certainly do. When our house is complete enough to move into, I'm really looking forward to sorting through it and getting rid of at least half. But like you, we will still have a snowblower and skis. I have three bicycles; I'm thinking of getting rid of one of them, but the other one, even though I only use it rarely, is a f

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Zadaz (950521)

      Or one could say that living in such climates where one has to amass these extra belongings is irresponsible. You have to consume (in the environmental sense) much more simply to stay alive than someone who lives in a more mild climate.

      The same is true for rural living vs city living. I have an apartment in San Francisco and a farm in Iowa. My SF belongings are probably 1/10th my IA belongings (land aside) yet I live much better in SF than IA. I have one set of clothes in SF where I have three in IA (Winte

      • by u38cg (607297)
        I see no reason at all. It is well knon that food magically appears in supermarkets and does not need to be grown. In the unlikely event it does, there is plenty of room in these "cities" of which you speak, I imagine?
  • According to U-Haul's specs, their 26-foot truck has about 45 cubic meters of internal space: []. They say it's sufficient to move the belongings of a 4-bedroom home. I suspect a lot of people answering this survey had trouble visualizing what 50 cubic meters looks like, maybe this will help.

    • by godrik (1287354)

      Actually I voted 500 because I think that truck would be just too small. two cars plus furnitures that can not be "unmounted" easily. I am afraid that won't fit...

    • by baegucb (18706)

      We moved from a 3 bedroom apartment to a 3 bedroom house about 5-6 years ago. We used the largest U-Haul and had 1 pickup and about 3-4 small SUV trips to get everything moved. Our basement is completely furnished, so I figure our belongings have doubled. I chose less than 500, since the that seemed more what I thought the poll was asking (not including cars and house).

  • by Darth_brooks (180756) <clipper377@g m a i> on Sunday December 18, 2011 @12:20PM (#38416916) Homepage

    I have kids, sooooo.....last option.

  • Am I the only one who finds the polite "(unbroken)" in the title hilarious?
  • by Gavin Scott (15916) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @12:27PM (#38416978)

    Everything that's outside is also inside, so it's all mine! mine! Muahahahaha!

    And you can get your own made by Cliff Stoll (author of The Cuckoo's Egg) too... []


  • by NetDanzr (619387) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @04:01PM (#38418612)
    I recently moved across the Atlantic. So it was in my best interest to compress all my belongings to the smallest possible space. I ended up just under 5 cubic meters, at around 10% of water density (500 kg).
  • You know those exoplanets they've been discovering? Well, I'm claiming ownership of all the moons orbiting all those planets.

    Even I don't know how much I own!!
  • ...of science fiction first editions [], so I choose less than 500. In fact, I bought my house so I'd have a place to store my library. What good is having a first edition of 1984 or Childhood's End unless you can take it down from the shelf to show off to your friends?

  • We own our house, and it sits on an acre and a half of land - I guess we're screwed, unless we can vary the z dimension of this theoretical storage space as needed. I'd be happy to exclude the blackberry vines out back...

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @06:32PM (#38419530)

    What is with this metric crap? This is an American site, use American measurements, dammit! For the record, my belongings fill approximately 120 hogsheads.

    • by freddej (122902)

      Believe it or not, but slashdot is actually reachable all over the world thanks to this Internet-thingie!

    • This is Slashdot! These measurements should be in easily identifiable equivalents such as library's of congress or football fields.

  • How big is CowboyNeal's mother's basement?
  • Let's see. Counting all my possessions, gotta fit a minivan, mid-size car, a 1,500 sq ft house and 200 sq ft workshop into the volume. Even if you throw out the house and cars, It still took several trips with a large truck last time I moved, given all the furniture. As for the personal stuff I care about... could probably fit it the trunk of my car.
  • One of my possessions is a 2.3 hectare lot with, amongst others, a 53 metre tall tree on it. If I needed it to fit in a conventionally shaped box, that would be 12,200 m3.

  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Monday December 19, 2011 @03:42AM (#38422140) Journal

    The vast, vast majority of rental properties in Australia come with no furniture. So at 18 if you move out, you need to purchase a wash machine, fridge, bed, cupboards, basic kitchen appliances, cleaning goods, television, towels - everything.

    The only thing provided for you as legally required is
    Cooking device - generally oven / stovetop / hotplates
    Hot water unit
    Heating of some kind
    Curtains / carpet

    You have to put everything else in there, it's expensive, you wind up either owning a lot of cheap shit furniture you replace when you have more money / better taste and it also ties you down significantly more, moving is a nightmare.
    You're "free" I guess to choose your items of course, so if you like a nice 65" plasma and a big, high quality bed but it's certainly restrictive.
    I wouldn't say it's the only reason but it's certainly a contributing factor in me not travelling the world all carefree. I have an entire "home" to pack up and put somewhere or lose tens of thousands of dollars worth of stuff. - it's a bad excuse for me just being lazy / too scared to travel - but damn I wish I could easily store the stuff cheaply. Also it really sucks for tourists visiting Australia on work Visas, they need to purchase beds / fridges / desks and so on - unless they go into share houses.

    Anyhow - long story short, I only live in a fairly small 1 bedroom apartment and at a rough guess, I would say I own at least 15 cubic metres of stuff :/ Would love to own significantly less but it's not easy.

    • That's something I found really odd when I first moved to the US from Spain. In Spain, apartments are generally fully furnished, and only bedding and personal items need to be brought over. It makes it much easier to change places if you want to be light. On the other hand, most people own or aim to own their place (this might be changing due to the size of the housing bubble that's still deflating way too slow to make things affordable), so in general college students are the bulk of the market, which expl

  • What if my stuff owns me? I don't own much, I'm just a servant to my things.

  • Replaceable "shit": several cubic metres.
    The irreplaceable: an 8GB microSD card.

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