Marie Kondo decluttering fail: one in five hoard items they no longer need

A huge 20 per cent of us hold on to belongings long after they need them, despite the decluttering trend inspired by Marie Kondo

Books loaded into a car boot
(Image credit: Getty)

Marie Kondo's decluttering techniques have steadily made the headlines in the past couple of years, seemingly heralding a new approach to sorting through our possessions. And yet, it seems that the reality of our daily lives reflects a reluctance to part with items that no longer 'spark joy'. 

A survey of 2,000 adults about the items they tend to keep, and their reasons for doing so has found that we are much more often motivated by inertia rather than sentimental attachment. One in five of the respondents (22 per cent) admitted to 'hoarding' things in their home. 'Sentimental value' was cited as the reason for holding onto old things by only 10 per cent of the respondents, in sharp contrast to the 44 per cent who confessed that they simply 'can't be bothered to sort it out', while 36 per cent believed their things 'could be worth a lot of money one day'. 

Interestingly, however, not many of the items people admitted to hoarding are typically associated with increasing in value as they age. In fact, the overwhelming majority hold onto clothes and shoes (82 and 74 per cent respectively), books and CDs (66 and 64 per cent), and old electronics and cables/phone chargers (58 and 35 per cent respectively). Eight per cent of the respondents even admitted to keeping out-of -date tins of food, the survey by home interiors specialists Hillarys found.

Some people believed that they were sitting on as much as £500/$650 worth, if they decided to sell the things they no longer needed, although 12 per cent were aware of the fact that the things they were holding onto were probably worth nothing at all. 

What things do you tend to hold onto? Do they have sentimental value, or is it that the thought of doing a clear-out fills out with dread? Get in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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