What you gon' do with all that junk? UK households are hoarding a £259bn 'junk mountain'

Posted 22 May 2015 by Stephen Maunder

The average UK home has enough junk to cover 4.8m² of floor space, according to new research by Clearabee. This is equivalent to the size of a king size bed and represents 6% of the floor space in a modern three-bedroom house. 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.

With respondents spending an average of £334 a month on rental or mortgage payments, calculations show that UK residents pay £495 million a month for the space they use to store junk in their homes.

One in three UK households (35%) admitted to hoarding enough junk to fill an area of 8m² - the size of a small bedroom - or greater. Almost a fifth (16%) had enough junk to fill a single garage.

Types and location of junk in UK homes

80% of respondents admitted to hoarding junk in their homes, with old clothes, electrical equipment, magazines, video tapes, CDs, toys, packaging, furniture and exercise equipment high on the list.

Attics and wardrobes are the most popular locations for storing junk, chosen by just under half of households, while one in three admitted to using their sheds and garages. A quarter of respondents stash things they no longer need under their beds, while one in ten people simply leave old items on the floor.

Junk nation: wasted space across the UK

Hull is the nation’s junk capital. The average home here contains enough useless or discarded items to cover 5.8m² of floor space, around 7% of the living area in a modern three-bedroom house. Edinburgh’s homes are the tidiest in the UK, with just 3.9m² of junk per household.

Residents of the North East of England hoard the greatest quantity of junk - averaging 5.7m² of floor space per household. Half (49%) of households in the North East contain enough useless and discarded items to fill a small bedroom. 

Other junk factors

Unsurprisingly given the space they have, owners of four- and five-bedroom properties are the worst hoarders - stashing 5.6m² worth of junk per household. This is double the level of one-bedroom homes (3.3m²)

People living with children accumulate the greatest amount of junk (4.9m²), while those in house-share arrangements have the least clutter (3.7m²)

How much junk are you hoarding? Let us know by tweeting us @What_House

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