National Declutter Week: a brief history

The first ever UK National Declutter Week took place at the end of October last year ‒ dates deliberately chosen to coincide with school half term. In fact it was more than a week: 23‒31 October, spanning two weekends, to give households extra time to get the job done.

National Declutter Week was organised and sponsored by Storage.co.uk, with three main aims in mind:

  • to promote the benefits of decluttering and a clutter-free life (to health and the sense of wellbeing ‒ as well as to property values);
  • to generate income for charities through donations of unwanted possessions to shops;
  • to bring new business to the storage industry (for those things you can’t just get rid of, but don’t want in the house).

Given that this was its first year, National Declutter Week was a remarkable success.

Snowball effect

Storage.co.uk produced an attractive poster, which was sent out to many of the major charities with high street shops, and to numerous newspapers and magazines. Several major charities (such as the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK) helped to spread the word, through their websites and by putting the poster up in their shops ‒ and by offering specialist advice, for instance on donating electrical goods.

Articles about National Declutter Week appeared in the press and their websites, especially at a local level. For example, news, information and links appeared in The North-West Evening Mail, Worcester News, The Star (Sheffield), The Express & Echo (Exeter), The Herald (Plymouth). The All About You website (“for busy women”) ‒ part of the National Magazine Company, which publishes She, Good Housekeeping, Country Living, Prima and HouseBeautiful ‒ also ran an article allaboutyou.com/homes/Declutterer-Declutter-your-home/v1 about professional declutterers, linked to National Declutter Week. The coverage generated a momentum that was picked up by PR businesses, such as PR Fire. http://www.prfire.co.uk/press-release/it-is-national-declutter-week-next-week-the-perfect-excuse-to-free-up-some-space-in-your-life.-31392.html

National Declutter Week and the storage industry

Meanwhile storage companies also took up the cause, mentioning National Declutter Week on their websites, in blogs and in publicity material. Safebox Self Storage, Bishops Move, and Steeles Removals (and storage) were among these. And InnerSpaces Self Storage on the Isle of Wight ran a joint promotion in partnership with the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, neatly combining all three of the primary goals of National Declutter Week.

Storage.co.uk also recorded a marked rise in activity on its website around National Declutter Week, with 10% increase in traffic, and a 20% increase in requests for quotes from storage companies.

National Declutter Week 2012

National Declutter Week was bigger and better than organisers had expected in its first year, for one simple reason. It’s essentially a very good idea. There is an appetite for it. And many people stood to gain: the people who earnt mental and physical space by decluttering, the charities who receive donations, and the storage companies that took in the possessions declutterers simply could not bear to part with.

So now planning is under way for National Declutter Week 2012, which will take place 7-18 March. This year it is hoped that several major charities with high shops will lend their weight to the campaign in an official capacity... Watch this space!

The Self Storage Blog