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The average adult hasn’t decluttered their house for two-and-a half years

Lifestyle

The average adult hasn’t decluttered their house for two-and-a half years

The average adult hasn’t decluttered their house for two-and-a half years

Research of a wide selection of UK 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 of the 2000 questioned 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. 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.

Sue Spencer:

“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.

“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.

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
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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