Home Clutter - Is 2007 Time To Do Something about It?
8th January 2007
Britain is a nation of hoarders. The average person accumulates more than a TON of unwanted stuff - crammed in attics, wardrobes and under beds, according to new research.
People hang on to the strangest things - clothes that don't fit, old school uniforms, bird cages long after the bird has died and footie boots that will never again see a penalty
As a nation it seems we hate to throw anything away. Men are just as bad as women for keeping things - though for different reasons.
Men hold on to old clothes because they just don't like throwing them away - women are more likely to believe they will be able to slim back into them.
People have even been forced OUT of their bedrooms by rubbish they cannot bear to ditch, according to research by the furniture-maker Hammonds.
Ninety five per cent of people polled in their survey - equal to 43 million adults - admitted they had items which they no longer used cluttering up their homes.
A quarter of the population - an astonishing 11 million people - said they had even been forced to stop using a room because of the amount of things being stored there.
Items included bikes, books, boardgames, old Christmas and birthday cards, old football programmes, furniture, sports equipment - in one case even a coffin.
Hammonds is one of Britain's top three makers of fitted furniture. Chairman Richard Hammonds, grandson of the founder, said: "People keep things for a number of reasons, very often items have strong sentimental value.
"But it can be a real problem if it means rooms become cluttered and untidy or cannot be used at all.
"We realised it was a major issue and we now have a range of furniture which includes concealed storage."
In Caithness Ashley Ann Interiors can proivide storage solutions for Kitchens and Bedrooms.
Some of the bulkiest items revealed in the survey of 1,750 people were those left over when a home project was abandoned.
They including chairs and sofas waiting to be re-covered, sewing and knitting projects, blinds and curtains that had never been hung and even an unfinished Doll's House.
More than half of women who held on to clothes they didn't wear admitted it was in the hope that one day they would fit them again. One in six said they believed they would come back into fashion.
The attic was the space most-commonly used to store goods but was closely followed - in 45 per cent of cases - by a bedroom.
People admitted piling up items in wardrobes, under beds and in boxes stacked on top of each other or hidden behind chairs and dressing tables.
Only one person in five claimed they were happy to throw things away though women scored slightly higher than men.
The remaining 80 per cent of people said they were reluctant, sad or even hated to do it.
Top 10 Items We Hate to Throw Away
1. Clothes we don't wear
2. Books we've read
3. Clothes that don't fit
4. Odds and ends
5. Shoes we don't wear
6. Clothes that have gone out of fashion
7. New clothes we've never worn
8. Old mobile phones
9. Sports equipment we no longer use
10. Out-of-date computers
Top 10 Places for Storing Clutter
1. The attic
2. A bedroom
3. Spare room
5. Under stairs
8. Summer house or shed