Messy Brits haven’t decluttered their homes in more than TWO YEARS, study shows | The Sun

THE average adult hasn’t decluttered their house for two-and-a half years, a study has found.

Research of 2,000 adults revealed 67 per cent confessed they’ve got plenty of clutter but refuse to get rid in case they might need it again one day.

And books, old clothes and random cables and cords are among the most common unused items.

Thoughts of how to tackle it take place an average of three times a week, yet 18 per cent can’t be bothered to take it on.

While 14 per cent don’t have the time to get rid of things.

It also emerged the oldest item people have in their possession without using it is an average of more than five years old.


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But 19 per cent have clung onto something for more than a decade without using it.

The research was commissioned by free-sharing app Olio, which has teamed up with decluttering expert and KonMari master consultant from A Life More Organised, Sue Spencer, who believes bad clutter habits aren’t just putting a strain on our cupboards, it’s potentially putting a strain on wellbeing as well.

She said: “Most of us have heard the phrase ‘tidy home, tidy mind’ before – and there is definitely some truth in this.

“When we’re surrounded by clutter it can have a negative effect on our stress levels, while also increasing the likelihood of becoming anxious, disorganised and irritable.

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“Try not to berate yourself too much though, hanging on to clutter is very common.

“Even if we have no idea what a certain cable’s purpose is or know deep down we’re never going to use that pasta machine again, the thought that one day we might just find a use for those objects means we naturally want to hang onto them.”

It also emerged 29 per cent feel having a clear out makes them feel better, while 30 per cent of those polled, via OnePoll, feel more organised.

But decluttering is not just a case of throwing things in the bin as 21 per cent said their unused items are in perfectly good condition and could easily be used by others.

And 25 per cent said giving away items for free to other people makes them feel good.

Tessa Clarke, co-founder and CEO of Olio, said: “We know that giving things away makes people’s day.

“As a nation, we have so much stuff in our home that spends the majority of its lifetime unused – so why are we still hanging on to all this clutter when it could so easily be shared with someone else?

“A good declutter has so many benefits – it’s good for us, it's good for others in our community and it’s good for the environment too.

“This New Year, we’re urging Brits to combat the clutter and share what they don’t need with others.”

One woman who knows the pitfalls of too much clutter all too well is 40-year-old Sunita Thind, from Derby.

Top 10 clutter items

1.            Books

2.            Old clothes

3.            Old cables and cords

4.            Food containers

5.            General trinkets

6.            Old gadgets

7.            Electronic goods

8.            DIY stuff/tools

9.            Kitchen appliances

10. Old toys

A self-confessed chronic 'clutterer', Sunita recently decided to take action after years’ worth of items had built up throughout her house.

She said: “I have always been terrible at getting rid of things I no longer need.

"Whether it’s clothes I think I’ll one day wear, or books I never get around to reading, I’ve accumulated so many things over the years.

"Recently, I looked at my house and realised so much space was taken up by things I have no real purpose for.

“After suffering from ovarian cancer six years ago, my life became very stressful and it made me realise the importance of having a calm, tidy and organised life at home.

"The clutter really doesn’t help with this so I decided to do something about it.”

Sunita used the Olio app to help with her decluttering plans – listing a range of her unwanted, but perfectly usable, items on the app so that others in her local community could collect them from her for free.

She added: “It’s so tempting to just chuck everything in a bin liner and send it off to the tip, but as I was going through my items, I realised just how many of them are in a perfectly usable condition.

"I listed lots of kitchen utensils which were picked up by a local family who needed it for the Christmas period as they had extra seats around the table.

"So not only am I making sure my own space is nice and tidy, but I’ve also been able to help out my neighbours too. It’s such a good feeling – especially around Christmas time."

Sue Spencer’s top decluttering tips

1.            Before you start, ask yourself why you’re decluttering. Your home should support your lifestyle so think about the things you enjoy doing and aim to declutter your space so you can focus more on those things.

2.            Always start small. Decluttering your whole house can be really overwhelming. I recommend starting with something small like your underwear drawer. It’s not overwhelming, you can enjoy the benefits immediately, and it helps you stay motivated.

3.            Declutter by category rather than by room. Gather all similar items, like all of your mugs or all of your socks – so you can see the volume of exactly what you’ve got and spot any duplication. This helps you make confident decisions about what you want to keep and what you want to let go.

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