According to new research from London removals and storage firm Kiwi Movers, 1 in 4 Britons pack unwanted clutter they’ll never use when moving house and over half still have unpacking to do by month 10 (304 days) of being in a new place.
Over a quarter of people who’ve moved house in the last year have a ‘mystery box’ of unwanted clutter than remained unopened for their entire duration of their stay in their last property,
The research also found that it takes most Britons the best part of a year to fully unpack and settle in after moving home,
A survey of more than 1,000 people who’ve moved home in the last five years revealed over half of people (51%)** hadn’t finished unpacking their belongings by month ten of living in their new home – equating to an average of 304 days – with those aged between 30-35 most likely to take the task somewhat slowly. Waiting to decorate was the most common reason given for the delay in feeling settled in.
75% of those who hadn’t fully unpacked by month ten or later said they found having belongings still in boxes stressful, while half of those said the boxes had started to cause arguments.
18 percent of movers said it took them between 12 and 18 months to get things fully organised, while a small minority of seven percent said they still had things in boxes after two years of living somewhere.
At the other end of the spectrum, a super organised and motivated three percent claimed to have fully unpacked within a day of moving in, while seven percent said they’d got the job done within a week.
The biggest cause for failing to unpack was the need to decorate, with almost half (44%) of respondents saying they’d planned to unpack once they’d completed decorating tasks.
A third (31%) said the delay in unpacking was due to having insufficient storage, while 12% said they couldn’t agree with their significant other on where to put things.
13% blamed themselves, with 7% saying they were too busy to fully unpack and 6% admitting to being too lazy to finish the job.
Men living on their own are the most likely to have full boxes lying around, with 79% saying they still had unpacking to do by month ten in their new pad. Single women were far less likely to let their belongings gather dust, with just 21% with unpacking to do by month ten. Single women were also most likely to get the job done inside week one, with 20% claiming to have successfully found a home for all of their belongings.
Regan McMillan, director of Kiwi Movers believes a lot of movers are making their lives unnecessarily hard by packing items they don’t actually need.
“If a quarter of people are saying they’ve got boxes they never unpacked since their last move, you’ve got to wonder if they really need what’s inside. We recommend having a thorough de-clutter prior to moving house so you don’t end up paying to move, then storing or living among items they don’t actually need. In most cases, if you haven’t used it in the last six months, you can most likely do without it.”
Items most likely to remain packed
Non essential kitchen equipment (Sandwich toasters, juicers etc)
Personal paperwork and documents (passport, bank statements, insurance documents)
Items most likely to be unpacked first
Cups and plates
Laptops, tablets and chargers
Reasons for not unpacking
• Need to decorate first – 44%
• Need to get more storage – 31%
• Can’t agree on where to put things – 12%
• Too busy – 7%
• Can’t be bothered – 6%