69% of Singapore homeowners are hoarders

69% of Singapore homeowners are hoarders

What with storage solutions from interior design companies and furniture brands like Ikea, you may think that Singaporeans are equipped with the available knowledge to be space savvy.

This is hardly the case.

Self storage company, Extra Space, conducted a survey of over 1,000 people and found that 69 per cent of respondents admit to storing unnecessary and unused items at home.

More than half of homeowners in Singapore describe their living space as cramped, said the report.

In fact, 74 per cent of those surveyed were found to have a 'junk room' where they store items that have not been touched for up to years. CEO of Extra Space Storage Asia observed, "Our findings suggest that people living in Singapore could potentially be harbouring up to the equivalent of a spare room in their homes without knowing it."

So what goes into the pile?

The poll found that Singaporeans can be a sentimental lot, with 63 per cent of respondents citing old photos, gifts, memorabilia, and keepsakes as the most popular hoarded items.

Interestingly, as much as schoolwork is the bane of every student's life, 79 per cent of adults over the age of 40 admit to still holding onto old school assignments. Men aged 55 to 65 also have difficulty bidding farewell to sporting equipment, photos and broken or old electronics.

Among the respondents, 64 per cent have never attempted to de-clutter their home, citing sentimental reasons as well as a lack of storage ideas as top reasons to leave their homes in their current states.

A cluttered home does not bode well for the family

The survey said that 85 per cent of people living in Singapore have confessed that they are aware that clutter at home affects immediate family members.

From the poll, women account for 66 per cent of hoarders while men account for 59 per cent.

Clutter can be harmful to relationships as 70 per cent of people between the ages of 55 and 65 believe that the children are hit the most while those between the ages of 34 and 44 believe that their spouses suffer the most.

De-clutter for clarity

88 per cent of respondents may be bothered by clutter at home and even 45 per cent feel stressed over it, yet only a meagre 40 per cent of the lot are committed to de-clutter their spaces, the survey reported. As such, they regularly end up spending an average of up to a day looking for 'lost' items.

Tips to get started on de-cluttering

1. If items are dusty, you know it's time to either start using them more often or dump them.

2. If you can't identify the items in your storage spaces, they are probably unimportant and not worth cluttering up your home.

3. Label items that you use less frequently and mark each use over three months. Consider self-storage for the items you want to keep but clearly seldom use.

4. Set up a garage sale to donate items that you hardly use, to charity.

debwong@sph.com.sg

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