By Nathan Lee, TLE Correspondent
New research has found Brits throw away a massive £22,000 worth of items in their lifetime.
A poll of 2,000 adults found that an average 59 non-perishable items are flung out or given away every year despite being in good working order. The lifetime figure includes nearly £3,500 worth of clothes and more than £2,000 worth of electrical goods.
Non-perishable items commonly flung from the house included CDs and DVDs, clothes that no longer appeal and toys that fall out of favour, while garden tools, ornaments, and books are regularly given the boot.
The research, commissioned by www.StoreAnyBox.com, found nearly two thirds admit they can be ruthless when it comes to getting rid of things – with nearly new products, clothes that still fit and even emotional keepsakes all removed to clear space. Old fancy dress costumes, kitchen utensils, old souvenirs, sports gear and gardening equipment were also commonly cited.
The survey also found a quarter of women have thrown out one of their partner’s treasured possessions after moving in together – including old sports memorabilia, scruffy clothing and anything that doesn’t fit the look of the home.
A spokesman for StoreAnyBox.com said: “We are a population outgrowing our living space, especially in cities. Thousands of new builds, homes and flats are being developed but they have no built in cupboards, no loft, no garage – there’s literally no storage space. People want to have an inviting and clean home so are torn when it comes to where they put their things.
“Traditional storage is a hassle and it’s pricey and often it’s only seasonal or smaller items that need to be cleared to make space. For those people who want to declutter at certain times of the year, for students, house movers and businesses our tailored, by the box storage solution works.”
The study found the ruthless throwing away approach doesn’t always pay dividends – with 52 per cent having binned something they later heavily regretted parting ways with. Items that people were most likely to get rid of and later regret were clothing they later wanted to wear to an event, items of sentimental value and even heirlooms they later realised to be valuable.
And thirty per cent disposed of an item only to later have a change of heart once it was too late. A fast-moving four in ten Brits confessed to binning items because they couldn’t be bothered to sell them or give them away.
While 45 per cent said their homes feeling too cluttered leads them to a ruthless throwing out spree. In fact over a third of respondents had thrown out an item after owning it for less than 24 hours, results showed.
The prompt for ruthless throwing away of cherished items comes from a desperate need for more storage space, according to more than a quarter of those surveyed. Mum is the most ruthless member of the family when it comes to throwing things out, but despite the regular binning of items, the average household still manages to give 11 items to charity each year.
The StoreAnyBox.com spokesman added: “People need more storage space and are often forced to throw away items that have sentimental value and this is a real shame. It’s not practical and it’s avoidable. 28 years experience in logistics, facilities and packaging means we can offer people a convenient, well thought out solution to their clutter dilemmas.
“Store away clothes until the right season, protect bikes through the winter, archive paperwork that isn’t needed everyday but you can’t throw away, find a home for your beloved wedding dress… you can reclaim your space and enjoy clutter free living’.”