If you’re not sure whether decluttering is worth it, and you need a bit of motivation and proof that you need to get started on tackling it – then these clutter statistics may just help!
I love knowing some data around anything I do (it’s the Mathematician in me #mathsdegree) – and the data around clutter and organising is totally eye opening, to say the least!
In fact, researchers are learning more and more important information about clutter and it’s negative effects – from how much time is wasted on lost items (looking for them, re-buying them etc…), and how much money is wasted on items unused (storage costs as well), to the damage to relationships (stress from clutter can wreak havoc) – plus a whole myriad of other stuff.
If you’ve ever needed a reason to declutter, or you’re not sure that clutter is really that big of an issue, then these clutter statistics are definitely worth a read, and I hope they help clarify that, yes, it really can be!
Statistics From The 2022 Clutter Survey
In the summer of 2022, I surveyed over 1000 lovely readers all about the difficult subject of clutter in their homes. The results were really interesting, and I hope you get a lot out of them, just like I did!
Clutter Survey Demographics
1058 people were surveyed, and the breakdown of demographics was:
LOCATION: UK (30.67%), US and Canada (52.62%), AUS and NZ (5.44%), Rest Of Europe (5.44%), Other (5.85%)
AGE: Under 25 (0.92%), 26-39 (14.49%), 40-49 (23.54%), 50-59 (29.09%), 60+ (31.96%)
Clutter Survey Questions, Answers And Statistics
#1 – IS A CLUTTER FREE HOME IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Answers Given – Yes (94.42%), No (1.89%), Don’t Know (3.69%)
#2 – DO YOU FEEL YOU’VE GOT AN ISSUE WITH CLUTTER?
Answers Given – Yes (69.3%), No (15.59%), Not Sure (15.11%)
#3 – HOW CLUTTERED IS YOUR HOME RIGHT NOW?
Answers Given – Not Cluttered At All (1.33%), A Little Day To Day Clutter (21.18%), Far Too Much (38.46%), It’s Starting To Build Up (39.03%)
#4 – DO YOU FEEL YOU’VE GOT TOO MUCH STUFF?
Answers Given – Yes (81.22%), No (8.57%), Not Sure (10.22%)
#5 – WHO CREATES THE MOST CLUTTER IN YOUR HOME?
Answers Given – Me (38.97%), Partner / Spouse (12.16%), Kids (8.87%), Everyone Equally (40%)
#6 – DO YOU DECLUTTER REGULARLY?
Answers Given – Yes, Weekly (8.9%), Yes, A Couple Of Times A Year (11.96%), Yes But Only When Needed (42.54%), No (36.61%)
#7 – HOW OFTEN A WEEK DO YOU SPEND DECLUTTERING?
Answers Given – Less Than 1 Hour (40.23%), 1-2 Hours (40.23%), 2-4 Hours (9.2%), More Than 4 Hours (10.34%)
#8 – Do You Feel Better After Decluttering?
Answers Given – Yes (99.19%), No (0.81%)
#9 – WHAT’S STOPPING YOU Decluttering?
Answers Given – I Don’t Need To (0.28%), I Don’t Want To (0.28%), I Don’t Know How To (24.72%), Not Enough Time (33.99%), Other (40.73%)
#10 – WHAT TYPE OF CLUTTER DO YOU HAVE THE MOST OF IN YOUR HOME?
Answers Given – Paper (35.84%), Clothes (14.42%), Toys (6.29%), Home Accessories (12.28%), Busy Decor In The Form Of Pattern And Colour (1.22%), Other (29.95%)
#11 – DO YOU ARGUE ABOUT CLUTTER WITH OTHERS IN YOUR HOME?
Answers Given – Yes With My Partner / Spouse (34.44%), Yes With My Kids (12.82%), No (52.74%)
Clutter Statistics From Other Surveys And Research
It’s not just the OrganiseMyHouse.com survey I wanted to include in this article, because there are quite a few interesting and eye opening statistics about clutter that are definitely worth looking at as well.
Let’s get started, shall we?
The average person today (1999) receives more information on a daily basis, than the average person received in a lifetime in 1900 – Unknown
Whether it be paperwork, the internet, school, work etc… – we are bombarded every second with things to read and action – there really IS no let up.
So it makes sense to get as much of it under control as possible.
Ways to do this include having a great paperwork system for your incoming papers in your home (school, work, social, legal etc…), unsubscribing from eMails you don’t need, getting taken off the postal junk mail lists, and limiting internet time for social stuff.
Getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40 percent of housework in the average home.
This is a statistic from the National Soap and Detergent Association.
I’m in! – and it makes total sense, because without as much stuff – you wouldn’t have to clean it, maintain it etc…. – I feel relaxed just thinking about it…
women who perceive their homes to be cluttered tend to have unhealthy patterns of cortisol levels.
A statistic about clutter from the 2009 UCLA Study from CELF about the fact that women’s stress levels are directly proportional to the amount of stuff in their homes.
Whether you realise it or not, when you look around your home, your subconscious will be listing all the things you need to get done.
That pile of washing to put away, the box to unpack, the shopping to find a place for – it all adds to our stress levels, and that can be so damaging day in and day out…
Stress triggered by clutter may also trigger coping and avoidance strategies, like eating junk food, oversleeping or binge-watching Netflix.
Interesting stuff from a 2016 Cornell University Study.
Really interesting. I know that I feel less happy when there is clutter around me – and I can easily see that triggering coping mechanisms in people.
Up to 60% of the rubbish that ends up in the dustbin could be recycled
An eye opening statistic from Recycling Guide.
Each person produces 4.6lb of trash per day in the United States
Another good one from Recycling guide!
23 percent of adults say they pay bills late (and incur fees) because they lose them.
This statistic from Harris Interactive is interesting – who knew lost bills cost us so much?
The average Briton clings on to £514 worth of unused goods that simply lie dormant, gathering dust
WOW! – All that money, just sitting there in the form of stuff… This statistic from BHF.org says it all…
Around 50% Of Homeowners Said They Wouldn’t Invite Their Friends To Their Home Because Of Clutter
Would you? It can be hard to feel comfortable about your home when you feel it’s messy and cluttered. This stat from a Rubbermaid survey is very relatable.
61% of households in the UK argue about clutter at least once a month with over a third arguing every single week
In a survey of over 4000 Brits in 2017 from Lovespace – this statistic they found does stop you in your tracks.
Life is hard enough without adding clutter into the mix….
The same survey had the following stat:
81% that said that a tidy up improved their mood, and women were also more likely to have their spirits lifted by a tidy house than men
40% of Australians Say They Feel Guilty, Depressed, Or Anxious About Their Home Clutter
This stat from the Australian Institutes Study is specific to Australians, but I’m pretty sure it will be true for most of the world…
The UK uses 37.6 million sq.ft of storage space, which is the equivalent of a staggering 268,500 removal vans
How much are we needing to store of that, really? House Beautifuls Clutter stat makes you think!
Storage unit rentals are BIG business. But unless there’s a really really REALLY good reason to have one – I’d advise against it.
We tend to fill the space we have available – and if we allow ourselves space away from the house – it’s likely to be filled and forgotten about.
Then you’ll be paying for storing stuff you don’t actually need…
The only time I would say that storage unit rental is worthwhile – is if you’re moving house. If you need to stage your home and declutter it of items that you will definitely need in your new home, then go for it!
The average U.S. household has 300,000 things
Scary to think we have that much, right?! The LA Times found this out, and it makes you really think about how much you want to own.
No wonder a lot of homes have a clutter problem. This number blows my mind with the amount of excess clutter we all must have, without even realising most of it exists.
Not to mention all those misplaced items hiding behind other stuff…
Being Disorganized And Having Lots Of Clutter Costs Families An Average Of 10-15% Of Their Income
Great statistic from NAPO – they have some brilliant ones in this list, don’t they!
U.S. children make up 3.7% of children on the planet but have 47% of all toys and children’s books
Another LA Times Statistic to make you think…
British research found that the average 10-year-old owns 238 toys but plays with just 12 daily
The Telegraph is to thank for this next statistic:
This is one of the most eye opening clutter stats of the collection, in my opinion.
Have you ever tried the toy rotation technique?
Kids get overwhelmed with too much stuff in their environment too – so why not try taking most of the toys away and just leaving a selection for the kids to play with?.
It makes it easier for them to see what they have, and to choose what they want to play with. They don’t miss what they can’t see, and you can rotate other toys in every week or two to make things fresh.
80% Of The Clutter In Your Home Is A Result Of Disorganisation, Not Lack Of Space
I totally agree with this statistic from the American Cleaning Institute.
Over the course of our lifetime, we will spend a total of 10 mins every day looking for an average of 9 lost items. This equates to 3,680 hours or 153 days searching!
Who wants to spend this amount of time wasting it? The Daily Mail is the author of this statistic.
A huge negative effect of clutter is the time it wastes every day. Those lost keys / sunglasses / clothes etc… need to be sorted out once and for all.
On average we spend one year of our lives looking for lost items. That’s over 8,700 hours looking for lost or misplaced things!
NAPO – the National Association Of Professional Organizers US – found this stat out. Interesting, right?
There you have it – all the clutter statistics you could ever need!
Stats from both my own clutter survey, and others from around the web.
I’m sure that reading them all has put things into perspective, and given a new angle to your stuff.
Read These Next:
And lastly, if you’ve been inspired to start decluttering your own home and life as a result – then why not get started now with this simple list of 101 things to declutter.