If Marie Kondo has taught us anything, it's that we only should be holding on to items in our home that bring us joy. While that sounds good in theory, it rarely actually applies in real life. Most people have clutter in their homes, whether it's because they're nostalgic or simply because over time things just seem to accumulate and they can't bring themselves to throw it out. Not everyone has the time to go through their house on a regular basis and purge old or unused items, so they simply tend to gather.
Home improvement site Porch recently surveyed just over 1000 people to find out why they hang on to clutter, and the responses are relatable, to say the least. While most people haven't reached hoarder level of clutter in their home, it's safe to say that most people have more than they need hanging around, but why? According to Porch, the number 1 reason people have for hanging on to their clutter is that they think they may just need it in the future. Holiday decorations, clothes, receipts, documents and yes Marie Kondo, books, were just some of the items people said they held on to in case they needed it in the future. Nostalgia also ranked high on the reason why people kept clutter around, especially when it came to pictures. Over 55% of people surveyed said they held on to old pictures simply because they bring back good memories.
Other reasons that were a factor in why people hold on to clutter was because the item brought them joy, because the item was expensive which made it hard to part with (this is especially applied to electronics), and because it was given to them by a family member. Often guilt kicks in if something was passed down from a family member even if the item is of no use, making it that much harder to throw out or donate.
While many people hold on to things simply because they think they may need it in the future — or fit into it in the case of clothing — Porch found that people also often hang on to things that came from past relationships. Of those surveyed, approximately 28% of men and 21% of women said they had held on to items from a previous relationship, with photos and jewelry being the most common items people have trouble parting with.
If you've always felt that you simply had too much stuff but didn't know where to start, this survey shows that you're not alone. While the task of finally cleaning out that attic or spare room may be daunting, studies show that the act of cleaning can actually help reduce your stress. You can read more about why people hang on to things and what generation is more likely to get a head start on their spring cleaning in Porch's full report, here.