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How the clutter bug took over our homes - research shows our rising hoarding instinct


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How the clutter bug took over our homes - research shows our rising hoarding instinct



By Paul Sims

Last updated at 9:02 AM on 15th February 2010




If you've been convinced we live in a throwaway society - think again.

Research has found that a rising hoarding instinct among Britons means our homes are now packed to the rafters with clutter.

Almost half the typical house is filled with items such as old electrical devices and toys that we simply refuse to get rid of, according to a study.



Almost half the typical house is filled with items such as toys we refuse to bin


The amount of rarely used items owned by an average Briton has doubled in the past three decades to fill 3,370 cubic feet.

That mountain of junk takes up an area of a typical home worth more than £70,000.

Researchers claim the consumerism of the early 80s and 90s is the reason behind the rise.

'There is so much clutter in the majority of homes that people now find it hard to find things,' their study found.

Britons' possessions are also soaring in value, with the typical property containing more than £2,500 worth of electrical goods compared with £851 in 1979.



How it stacks up: Householders are hoarding more than ever before


The average value of home contents now sits at more than £18,500 - more than double what it was three decades ago.

The most cluttered room in the house is the main bedroom, followed by spare bedrooms with those aged between 35 and 44 hoarding the most.

As much as 45 per cent of their homes are occupied by clutter - with clothes and shoes taking up the most space.

But in a major shift of attitude, more than 90 per cent of homeowners now say they are more likely to opt for quality over quantity, according to the report commissioned by Lloyds TSB Insurance said. Two in three of 1,800 respondents to the survey said they regretted buying cheap items that did not last.

The study also found a growing demand for items that don't take up so much space.

Homeowners said they would be prepared to pay a 20 per cent premium for goods such as a flat screen TV and laptops to maximise their living area. Of those who took part in the survey 61 per cent said they did not have enough storage while 58 per cent said they would like 'a greater sense' of space at home.

David Stoddard, customer service director at Lloyds TSB Insurance, said: 'It's fascinating to see how our homes have changed so dramatically in just 30 years and what this tells us about overall changes in culture and society.'

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