Dealing with clutter in the home: store or sell?

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Our clutter problem

We’re a country of hoarders, whether we’re happy with that or not. According to research done by Oxfam, Britain has an average total of 143 unused items per home. Oxfam’s study found if you piled the unused items from every home on top of one another, they’d stretch 7,641 miles into space. The highest contributor to this clutter our homes are our clothes, followed CDs, books and toys. Another study back in 2014 found that we have an average of £514 worth of unused goods around our homes, per person!

That’s a lot of clutter for a nation of shrinking houses. A study found homes are now an average of 10sqm smaller than those built in 2003.

A study of contemporary life by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), found that we have “the most materially rich society in global history, with light-years more possessions per average family than any preceding society.”

Worryingly, that study also found that people who have clutter in their homes have higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Dealing with clutter

Clutter in a home isn’t just distracting. It’s literally stressing you out. Dealing with it requires a pro-active approach and a ‘this can’t go any further’ attitude.

The first stage is to get rid of things you know you’ll never need again. Items like CD’s and DVDs can be sold online or donated to charity shops.

Clothing, the main contributor to our clutter, is a more sentimental issue. Some clothing you’d be happy to sell online, but you might have clothes you don’t want to get rid of but don’t have any need for. Things like wedding dresses, heavy winter clothing, holiday clothes and more can contribute to clutter – but you feel attached to them or may need them again.

Furniture and larger items are another issue and are far trickier to get rid of. For students, who may buy furniture at University and then move back in with their parents, some items of furniture are a shame to throw away.

So, how do you deal with clothing and larger items? How do you de-clutter and feel happier in your home? Enter self-storage. If you suspect you’ll need something again, perhaps when you’re older, have children or move homes, self-storage is a great way to keep stuff and de-clutter your current living situation.

Should I use self-storage?

The choice is completely up to you – but for people living in apartments who aim to buy a house, or people who have clothing they’d like to keep but won’t need for the foreseeable future, self-storage is a great option.

Selling pros and cons:

Selling can generate profit, but requires time and effort

There’s no way to re-acquire items you sell other than buying them back

Selling often means having to organise a means to actually get the items to buyers – whether that’s carrying them yourself to a shop or posting them when selling online.

Storage pros and cons:

Self-storage incurs a fee, but offers high security and is an affordable way to increase space available to you.

You can decide at any time when you’d like to use your items again.

Storage also means you don’t have to decide which items to get rid of. You can store them and make a decision later in life when your circumstances change.