House clutter fills 17,000 football pitches in Britain’s homes, Homebase reports


Going from endless lockdowns to tier restrictions and back again means Brits have spent more time at home than ever before. More time indoors has resulted in increased clutter and new research from Homebase reveals the impact this is having on our homes and how we feel about spending time in them.

As our homes have adjusted to serving multiple purposes – offices, gyms and schools – Brits have identified excess clutter and not having enough space as the two main reasons why over a quarter (26%) of us fell out of love with our homes, which is why Homebase is encouraging the nation to declutter this January. Research by the home and garden experts reveals how the average Brit wastes nearly 50sq ft of space to clutter in their home. With 27.6 million households in the UK, across the nation this amounts to over 17,000 football pitches worth of space.

Giving context to this soaring amount of clutter, Homebase reveals the extent to which Brits have been undertaking a new lockdown phenomenon: ‘Boredom Buying’. Almost half of the nation (41%) admit they noticed themselves buying more in the last nine months than ever before, with the main reasons being to cheer themselves up (46%) or out of sheer boredom (35%). Top purchases from boredom buyers are clothes (46%) and electronics (31%), with one in five purchasing items for new hobbies and over a sixth setting themselves up with gym equipment at home.

However, with more shopping comes more clutter, and more of the negative effects this can have on our lives. A quarter of Brits say that when their house is cluttered, they feel like everything is getting on top of them, while 22% admit a messy house puts them in a bad mood and 21% see their stress levels rise as the clutter builds. In a bid to help Britain fall in love with their homes again, and support their wellbeing, Homebase is encouraging Brits to declutter this January.

Nina Findley, director of home at Homebase, said: “As a result of national lockdowns and tier restrictions, each room in the house has had to serve multiple purposes, meaning more mess and clutter which can be extremely frustrating – especially when you have nowhere to put it – so it’s no surprise people are feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

“This January we want to encourage our customers to declutter to support their wellbeing. Whether it’s recycling some of the overflowing wardrobe, putting up shelves or investing in some clever storage solutions, taking the time to organise our busy homes can provide some much-needed stress relief.

“From on-trend crushed velvet boxes for your new home office and stylish sideboards for your living room to the space saving storage for your kitchen and bathroom have been calling out for, decluttering can help you fall back in love with your home.”

The positive news is that Brits are already noticing the increased need for storage to deal with the negative impact of clutter. Comparing search data between September – December 2020 with the same period in 2019, searches for storage products on the Homebase website are up by 18%.

Suzanne Roynon, Interiors Therapist, said: “It is no secret that our décor and how we keep our homes says a lot about who we are, but it can also have a huge impact on how we feel. With an increase in clutter comes an increase in tension and stress, and as a result poor health.

By decluttering the rooms in your home, you’ll help maintain a balance between your work and home lives, professional and personal, and promote good energy so that you can tackle the joys and challenges that 2021 will bring with a clear, stress-free head and a beautifully supportive home.”

For those still in need of a good declutter, a range of hints, tips and storage solutions can be found at

Top 10 items bought through boredom buying

Soft furnishings e.g. cushions22.7%
Hobby supplies22.4%