How much of your house is filled with clutter?

Clutter fills a room or more in one in five homes in Britain, new research by older people’s charity Royal Voluntary Service – formerly known as the WRVS – has revealed, with 43 per cent of those aged 65 and over describing their homes as having a lot of clutter.

On the back of the research, released to coincide with the launch of Royal Voluntary Service’s Good Neighbours Yard Sale event running throughout October, the charity is calling on Britons to de-clutter their homes and raise vital funds to help older people live independently.

Even though 36 per cent say they always try to keep unused or unwanted items to a minimum, and 13 per cent believe they are quite ruthless about what they keep, 92 per cent confess to clutter with a third admitting they have a lot of items they no longer want or need.

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Queen of clean Aggie MacKenzie, who is supporting the Yard Sale project: “As our families grow we seem to collect more and more things that were once useful but no longer seem to get used.

“Clearing clutter can seem like a daunting task but by tackling small areas at a time it can have a really cathartic effect on the mind! I am urging people across the country to clear out all of the items you no longer use for this fantastic cause.

“Not only will the Yard Sale help clear some space in our homes, it will also raise vital funds for older people.”

The research, conducted by ICM, also reveals that men are far less ruthless than women. Nearly one in 5 men (19 per cent) have a clear out less than every three years compared to just 10 per cent of women.

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Despite almost half (44 per cent) of those surveyed saying they find it difficult to part with their belongings, 33 per cent admit they don’t have enough storage space because of the amount of unwanted items they possess.

Unwanted items can prove to be a problem for people aged 75 and over, with 34 per cent saying their house is full of clutter and one in ten agreeing they feel overwhelmed by the number of items in their house that they no longer want or need.

The survey also reveals:

One in 20 people aged 65 and over have tripped as a result of having too much clutter

Thirty four per cent of those surveyed only have clear outs when they absolutely have to

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Forty two per cent are deterred from selling their unwanted and unused items because they believe it’s too much hassle

Holding your own Yard Sale couldn’t be easier. For a fundraising pack with advice and tips on how to make your sale a success, visit or call 0845 600 5885.

Royal Voluntary Service supports over 100,000 older people each month to stay independent in their own homes for longer with tailor made solutions.

Through its army of 40,000 volunteers, the charity runs services such as Good Neighbours (companionship), Meals-on-Wheels and Books-on-Wheels that alleviate loneliness and help older people.

Royal Voluntary Service also provides practical support for older people who have been in hospital through its On Ward Befriending and Home from Hospital services.