I think we can all agree that getting rid of unwanted possessions is easier said than done.
Sure, it’s easy enough to say we’ll throw out clothes that we haven’t worn for more than five years, or belongings that have been shoved in a drawer for so long we’ve nearly forgotten about them – but getting rid of them is a completely different matter.
Because a) it’s so much effort to actually sift through our stuff and decide which things can stay and which need to go, and b) there’s always a part of us which thinks, ‘you know what, I might use that again sometime’, before throwing it straight back where it came from.
At least we’re not alone though, because it turns out Brits are hoarding a staggering £81.6 billion worth of unwanted possessions – and the research found a large percentage of the nation is unaware they’re sitting on a potential goldmine.
More than a third of those who took part in the study admitted they never get rid of old items (same) and so end up accumulating thousands of pounds worth of goods.
The study of 2,000 Brits was commissioned by the online lender MYJAR and estimated the average adult has unwanted stored goods worth £1,600.
Not only that, but three in 10 even went as far to describe themselves as a ‘hoarder’, with many clearing their loft or garage out as little as once a year. And one in 10 admitted they’ve never had a proper purge of old possessions.
A spokesman for MYJAR said:
We believe this research highlights a problem with overspending. People feel the pressure to buy things they don’t really need. There’s a general lack of financial education too, so a lot of money is spent unnecessarily.
On average, people have unused goods at home that they could sell on, but of course the best way to keep your finances in check is not to spend unnecessarily in the first place.
The survey also revealed up to half of hoarders keep hold of their old stuff because they think that it will come in useful one day, with one fifth admitting they’re no good at getting rid of things.
The same number of respondents admitted they are hiding away unwanted items in the hope they might eventually be worth something. And one in five said they don’t sell on their pre-loved possessions because they aren’t aware of how much they are worth.
In fact, more than one in 10 have binned an item or given something away to later find out it was worth more than they were expecting and was valued at £484 on average.
Nearly half of those polled via OnePoll regret their purchase history, with six in 10 saying they never use the things they bought. More than half wished they hadn’t bought something because it was an impulse buy, and more than a fifth admitted they have regretted their decision because it simply cost too much.
A spokesman for MYJAR added:
It’s important that we carefully consider what we are buying and why we need it rather than spending on impulse, and also that we might be able to sell unwanted goods rather than hoard them.
But at the same time, we all like to keep those items that are sentimental to us, so we shouldn’t feel the need to throw it all away.
Well, looks like I’m selling all my old things this week. A billion pounds, anyone?
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).