Decluttering your home sounds like a great, logical idea—until it becomes clear that decluttering your home means getting rid of some stuff, especially that stuff you’d really like to keep, and making some difficult decisions regarding what actually needs to be saved and what should be tossed. Research shows that clutter can seriously stress you out, but we all still come up with plenty of reasons to hang on to unnecessary possessions.
The top causes of clutter are completely understandable, but that doesn’t mean it’s a free pass to hang on to everything that enters the home. Understanding why you may be hanging on to something is step one in determining if it should stay or go, though. To that end, home improvement platform Porch asked 1,001 individuals about the clutter situations in their homes. Unsurprisingly, the results are a little cluttered.
The survey asks participants how they feel about their organization levels, where their clutter goes, and more, but some of the most interesting results of the survey related to people’s top reasons for keeping extra items. Across 10 categories, the most popular reason for keeping clutter around was “I might need it.” Categories such as photos and knickknacks and other décor are mostly kept because they bring back good memories, according to the survey, but for categories including holiday decorations, books, clothing, documents, and receipts, the majority of people held on to things out of concern that they might need them some day.
On its own, that’s not a terrible thing: It’s important to make sure the items in a home are needed items. But there’s a fine line between keeping necessary items and keeping items that may be needed some day, and identifying that distinction could be the difference between a cluttered home and finally decluttering your home.
Other reasons for keeping clutter around include “It brings back good memories;” “I like looking at it;” “It was expensive;” and “It was from a family member.”
The survey also revealed the top items kept, broken down by generation. Knickknacks or other décor, holiday decorations, clothing, and documents were among the top items kept, though notably, approximately 18 percent of Millennials and Generation Xers are holding on to their DVD collections.
For more findings from the study, see the full results at porch.com.