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a young teen woman with her luggage and belongings moving home SBI 300985514 - Business Express
A young teen woman with her luggage and belongings moving home

Storage experts reveal why we just can’t bear to throw some things out

Research shows 70% of people admit to keeping hold of belongings they don’t need

Old photos, clothes and books all listed among things Brits find hardest to part ways with

Storage experts at Space Station share expert advice to free up more space in the home

More than 70% of people admit to filling up space in their home with belongings they no longer need, according to new research.

The findings, from self-storage experts, Space Station, reveal the items in UK homes people find hardest to part ways with, covering everything from wedding dresses to old Christmas cards.

According to Space Station’s research, the belongings people find it most difficult to part ways with during a clear out are:

  1. Family photos – 51.2%
  2. Books – 37.5%
  3. Clothes – 36.6%
  4. Child’s early drawings/school reports/homework – 35.5%
  5. Holiday mementos – 27.6%
  6. Greetings cards – 26.4%
  7. DVDs – 26.3%
  8. Jewellery – 22.1%
  9. Tech devices that no longer work – 21.2%
  10. Old kid’s toys – 19.8%

Surprisingly, wedding dresses from existing marriages failed to make it into the top 10, as just 19.7% of people said they would find it hard to get rid of theirs, with more people stating they’d find it harder to get rid of old tech and DVDs.

It seems as though it’s the younger generations amassing various belongings around the home. Those aged 18-24 were found to be most likely to agree that they keep hold of old belongings that they can’t bear to get rid of, while those aged 65+ were least likely.

Space Station has partnered with resilience coach and author, Natalie Read, to offer advice to those facing a home clear out but finding it hard to manage.

  1. Is it serving you? 

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We can become attached to objects that no longer have any use or purpose, so it can often help to question whether this object offers you any benefit.

Natalie says: “The attachment can be as a result of habit- doing what you’ve always done and not questioning whether or not this serves you financially, emotionally or energetically. You may even be unaware that you are doing it in the same way that you become used to a dog smell around the house or become familiar with your own untidiness.”

  1. Consciously clear out 

Some belongings hold emotional memories for us, whether happy or sad. Natalie advises that under these attachments may be a fear of letting go, so approach with consciousness: “The more you can make the process conscious, the more you can evaluate whether making changes could bring healthier and happier benefits to your life. Awareness gives you choice. Ask yourself, how does holding onto this object serve you? What does letting go of it bring up for you? What benefits would you have from reducing your clutter? If you made a decision, what would that be helping you to overcome? This will help you to be clearer about what you want from your life and take steps to move towards it.”

  1. Think to the future

When approaching any large project around the home, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Add to this any emotional attachments you may have with certain belongings and the task becomes all the more difficult. Natalie advises considering how you’ll feel after creating more space in the home: “If you decide to let go of the object, it can be helpful to focus on how you will feel after getting rid of your clutter rather than staying in the indecision. Remind yourself of all the benefits of feeling more relaxed, spacious and the achievement you will feel in having tackled this. Break down the task into manageable sized actions so you can start taking steps today.”

Vlatka Lake, Marketing Manager at Space Station, commented: “We all amass various belongings throughout our lives – they tell our stories and offer us a look back into the past in some instances. However, eventually these belongings can become more of a hinderance if we start to need more space around the home.

“There will always be certain things we can’t bear to part with; a drawing from a child, or our favourite outfit for example. This is often where self-storage can play such an important role. Putting items into storage means you can free up that valuable space around the home, but you know that your belongings are always available to you whenever you want to see them again.

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