National Declutter Week 2012: News Release


6 March 2012

Time to declutter!

Over 80% of people across the UK have too much clutter at home, according to a poll by People love their “stuff” so much, they don’t want to lose it, even though they’ll never use it. The survey found that emotional attachment and the idea they may be useful one day are people’s top reasons for holding on to things they don’t need. Another common cause of clutter (one-third of respondents) is the hope that their stuff may be valuable.

An unexpected find was that younger people are more motivated by nostalgia about the past than the older generation. Three in five 18 to 29 year olds cling to clutter because it brings back good memories, compared to only two out of five 50 to 69 year olds who hold on to clutter for the same reason.

As for decluttering habits, the survey found that women sort an area of the home more frequently than men, who mostly tackled the job once or twice in the last twelve months.

The main barriers stopping people from having a good clear out is lack of time and feeling they have better things to do, suggesting they struggle to put the task high on their list of priorities. In some cases, clutter can really get out of control and become a bigger issue in people’s lives. For around one in ten people clutter is damaging their relationships with others, affecting their health and sometimes having a negative effect on the amount of money they have.

Rachel Papworth from Green and Tidy, a professional declutterer and organiser, says:  "We live such busy lives, it can be hard to make time for decluttering. If you’re struggling to fit it in, think about how much time you’ll save when you can easily put your hand on whatever you’re looking for. Plus decluttering saves money, protects your mental and physical health, and reduces your environmental impact".

According to the survey, quirky items of clutter getting in the way at home include a train piston, “hundreds” of old train tickets for travelling to see a fiancé, a camel saddle, carpet samples for a would-be rug , an empty Rotastak hamster cage, seven inch white platform boots, “thousands” of LPs and a lifesize cardboard cut out of Justin Bieber. surveyed men and women in the UK to find out attitudes and habits towards clutter as part of their National Declutter Week campaign to launch on 7 March. is calling on all home occupiers to consider unused stuff sitting at home and to make a big decluttering effort in National Declutter Week from 7 to 18 March. has linked up with hospices across the UK to direct donations of saleable items. To view participating hospices, visit

Notes to editors

  • is an information and directory business which helps people find the best storage solution for their personal and business needs. Their website practical and cost-effective advice on storage solutions. Through Get a Quote, customers can access local storage company contacts from a national database.
  •’s survey was conducted face to face and on-line in January and February 2012. It gathered over 500 responses from people in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • Green and Tidy ( helps people who have way too much stuff, to declutter and create homes they love, homes that support them to live the lives they want. Its founder, Rachel Papworth, has developed an innovative approach which means that you can get help and support wherever you are in the world. Through online programmes and telephone/Skype coaching, Rachel trains the chronically cluttered to develop new habits, attitudes and practices that have them declutter and stay decluttered forever.

Fact file: Did you know?

●        Nearly 12,000 people attend hospital each year after tripping at home over toy boxes, construction toys and other toys. And over 400 people attend hospital after tripping over piles of washing. (Source: DTI Home and Leisure Accident Surveillance System)

●        In a house fire, it takes just 2 to 3 breaths of toxic smoke to knock you unconscious – there is no time to climb over piles of junk. (Source:

●        It costs local councils £54 million a year to clear up illegally dumped waste and half of all waste is left on the streets. Nearly two-thirds of cases of fly-tipping involve household rubbish. (Source: Environment Agency

●        Of the 10 million items of furniture thrown away in the UK every year, 3 million could be easily reused and more could be repaired. (Source: Furniture Re-use Network (FRN),

●        Charities raise £120m a year by selling goods donated to charity shops. (Source: Association of Charity Shops

●        Hoarding is to be recognised as a mental health disorder in its own righft. (Source: proposed revisions to the standard classification of mental disordersDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM)’ on

Media enquiries

For more information or to arrange an interview about National Declutter Week, please contact: or 0794 136 9810.