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Every UK Household Has Over £1,700 Of Unwanted Stuff

A pile of hoarded things in residential storage

If you’re one of the millions of hoarders in the UK, this article is a must-read. You’ll learn about:

  • Where Britons keep their unused belongings
  • What the top 10 most commonly hoarded items are
  • Why people hang on to unused possessions
  • Why it’s a good idea to de-clutter
  • Making money from unwanted items

Recent research by eBay has revealed that householders in the UK are holding onto £48 billion worth of unused possessions. In this article, we look at where they keep these things. What are the top 10 most popular things they hoard, and why don’t they de-clutter? Finally, if you’re guilty of doing the same, we give you some useful tips on how to make money out of these things.



Where do Britons keep their unused belongings?

Unwanted possessions tend to be spread around the house. The value of these belongings in each part of the house is as follows:

  • Loft: £422
  • Garage: £400
  • Shed: £342
  • Spare room: £242
  • Bedroom: £208
  • Kitchen: £170

What are the top 10 most commonly hoarded items?

Of course, every household will contain different things, but there are some possessions which are more likely to be hoarded than others. According to this research, the top 10 most common items are:

A pile of books, the most hoarded possession in British home

  • Books (35%)
  • Board games (32%)
  • DVD players (28%)
  • Old luggage (27%)
  • Vinyl records (28%)
  • Sandwich toaster (24%)
  • Old PC (24%)
  • Old TV (22%)
  • Blender (20%)
  • Food mixer (20%)

Why do people hang on to unused possessions?

Although a third of people polled said that they had an annual clear out when they got rid of unwanted possessions, 1 in 10 said that they only did so when they were packing up the house to move. If people stay put in one house, then of course they don’t have an incentive to spring-clean and de-clutter.

One in ten people said that they only had an annual clear out when they were packing up the house to move.

Another main reason why people hoard stuff is for that ‘just-in-case’ scenario. They don’t want to get rid of something only to need it further down the line and have to shell out money buying it again. Some of the items (such as the food mixers or dumbbells above) might have been purchased to start a new hobby or make a life-style change. This isn’t always as easy as it seems. Some people hold onto the items for when they have the time or energy to make this change.

Many of the unused items might be unwanted gifts. Recipients don’t want to cause offence by getting rid of something that was a present, especially if it was a gift from someone close to them.

Why is it a good idea to de-clutter?

Having an annual spring-clean can help you physically and psychologically. Not only does it make the house look better but it’s also much easier to clean. The removal of all that accumulated dust can help you and your family’s health.

Having an annual spring-clean helps  you physically and psychologically

Another reason is that all those unwanted items could be turned into money-earners if you sell them. But how can you do this easily?

Making money from unwanted belongings

You’d be surprised by how many specialist buying and selling forums there are on the internet – accepting anything from old electronic devices to sets of golf clubs. Many allow you to enter the details of the item into their website, and then will give you an immediate evaluation of its worth. You can then download the freepost address label, and wait for the cash to be put into your account.

Old vinyl records have made a big comeback in recent years, and there are specialist websites to learn their value or sell them. The value of a vinyl record depends on many factors such as its scarcity value, its condition and whether it has any special features such as being a promo copy or non-standard coloured vinyl (maybe with a picture).

Taking advantage of auction sites and social media

Apart from eBay (the most famous), there are many auction sites or free-listings sites on the internet. Other people prefer to use social media sites (such as Facebook marketplace) to sell unwanted belongings. All you need to do is take a photo of the item and include a brief description. People are willing to buy almost anything. When signing up for sites, check their terms and conditions carefully, and follow all safety measures when arranging payment.

A car boot sale at Swansea, UK

Enjoy a day at a car boot sale

It’s estimated that car boot fairs have sales worth £1.75 billion a year in the UK, with each participant making an average of £80-£90. There are plenty of sites that will let you know about car boot sales in your area as well as advice for those hiring a pitch.

Re-gifting is also an option

Re-gifting isn’t for everyone as some people feel uncomfortable about passing on a present as their own idea. However, you could save money that you would have otherwise spent on presents. The golden rule is to remember who the gift was from so you don’t mistakenly give it back to them.



Conclusion – Once you’ve made your money

You probably won’t be able to sell everything. If you still have some stuff left over despite your attempts to sell, think about giving it to a local jumble sale or charity shop. If these items can’t make you money, then at least they can be put to good use helping the less privileged.

About the author

Oliver Stedman

Oliver is a retired teacher who spends his time doing volunteer work as well as sharing valuable lessons on familymoney.co.uk

Oliver takes great pride in his cooking and also likes birdwatching while going for long strolls.

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About The Author

Oliver Stedman

Oliver is a retired teacher who spends his time doing volunteer work as well as sharing valuable lessons on familymoney.co.uk

Oliver takes great pride in his cooking and also likes birdwatching while going for long strolls.

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