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Weekly Edition - Published 22 May 2015


Local News Report - Mobile Page


Clear thinking gives North West a space advantage

HOMES in the North West of England are the least cluttered and lose less of their value to junk than anywhere else in the UK, according to new research from Clearabee, the on demand rubbish removal company.

Clearabee's survey, which was conducted by research consultancy Populus, has revealed that; on average; people in the North West have enough old and discarded items in their homes to cover an area of 4.4m2.

Junk takes up space equivalent to 5% of the living area in a modern 3 bedroom house, in the North West. This property space is worth £6,020 on average across the North West.

With just 4.4m2 of junk on average, City homes in Manchester and Liverpool are amongst the UK's least cluttered. Only residents of Oxford, Leeds and Edinburgh hoard less junk per household.

Residents of Manchester and Liverpool enjoy an extra 1.3m2 of clutter free space; sufficient to accommodate an extra desk or dressing table and chair; when compared to people in Hull, who keep 5.8m2 worth of useless or discarded items per household.

Across 3 million dwellings in the North West of England, £18.1 billion worth of property space is currently wasted storing old or useless clothes, video tapes, CDs, gadgets, furniture, exercise equipment and other assorted junk. 5.1 square miles of household space is taken up with junk in North West England, an area slightly smaller than that of Lake Windermere.

National junk portrait

Across the UK, the average home has enough junk to cover 4.8m2 of floor space. This is equivalent to the size of a king sized bed and represents 6% of floor space. With house prices currently at £2,054 a square metre, the value of space wasted storing junk in the average UK home is £9,797. In total, UK residents are wasting £259 billion worth of space storing junk in their homes.

80% of respondents to Clearabee's survey admitted to hoarding junk in their homes. Old clothes, electrical equipment, magazines, video tapes, CDs, toys, packaging, furniture and exercise equipment were the most frequently cited examples of junk. 35% of UK homes store enough junk to fill a small bedroom.

The survey revealed that people store discarded items in a range of nooks and crannies. Attics and wardrobes are the most popular locations, chosen by just under half of households, while one in three people admitted to filling their sheds, garages and under stair cupboards with junk. A quarter of respondents stash things they no longer need under their beds. One in ten people simply leave old items on the floor.

Other junk factors

Not surprisingly given the space they have, owners of 4 and 5 bedroom properties are the worst hoarders - stashing 5.6m2 worth of junk per household. This is double the level of 1 bedroom homes (3.3m2)

► People living with children accumulate the greatest amount of junk (4.9m2). People in house share arrangements have the least clutter (3.7m2)

► Junk tends to increase over time. The highest levels (5.8m2) were held by people living in their homes for between 16 and 20 years. Those with less than a year's residency had just 3.2m2 of junk on average

Rob Linton, operations director at Clearabee, comments:- "80% of people in the North West admit to wasting space in their homes on things they don't use or need. A proportion of these are losing the space of an entire room to junk. We've become savvy at finding ways to store clutter around ourselves, but most of us could get better at getting rid of it.  You don't need to be a master of feng shui to realise that a tidy house is a tidy mind. Junk accumulates over time and steals valuable space in our homes and minds. We know from our work that people feel a great sense of relief when they eventually get rid of it.  One person's junk is potentially another's treasure, so it is always worth seeing whether charity shops, eBay or a freecycling service could find a new home for your unwanted stuff. Firms like Clearabee can help you get rid of junk within a matter of hours and ensure it is recycled and disposed of properly."


In April 2015 Populus asked a UK representative sample of 2,098 people about the type, quantity and location of junk stored in their homes. The results of this research was considered alongside data on property prices and characteristics from:- the Office of National Statistics, the Halifax House Price Per Square Metre Survey and the Royal Institute of British Architects to calculate the value of UK residential space wasted on junk.


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