November 27, 2014

Smart About Space

Survey reveals majority of people living in Singapore are not space savvy

SINGAPORE, 27 November, 2014 – Leading Asian self-storage company Extra Space has revealed that while more than half of homeowners in Singapore (56{71314a90b216998fb1eeb50d1148e2a97c51e40cbc82003812401b2a8842c8bf}) describe their living space as cramped, 69{71314a90b216998fb1eeb50d1148e2a97c51e40cbc82003812401b2a8842c8bf} actually store items at home that are of limited or no use, such as broken or out dated electrical items*. Furthermore, two thirds (68{71314a90b216998fb1eeb50d1148e2a97c51e40cbc82003812401b2a8842c8bf}) of those questioned admitted to spending up to a day regularly looking for misplaced items.

The survey of over 1,000 people was designed to better understand the space constraints felt by the average household and demystify how space is being used by people living in Singapore.
“In a market where residential unit sizes are shrinking and the cost of property is rising, a staggering 74{71314a90b216998fb1eeb50d1148e2a97c51e40cbc82003812401b2a8842c8bf} of people surveyed admitted to having a ‘junk room’ which stores items that haven’t been used for months or even years. Our findings suggest that people living in Singapore could potentially be harbouring up to the equivalent of a spare room in their homes without knowing it”, commented Kenneth Worsdale, CEO at Extra Space Self Storage Asia.

“The accumulation of belongings for the average family comes at a higher cost than most people think and our ambition is to encourage every family in Singapore to live in a more positive, less cluttered environment. We want to motivate people to declutter their homes and to provide an alternative second home in an outside storage facility for their much loved belongings,” added Mr Worsdale.

A Nostalgic Nation
Old photos, gifts, memorabilia and keepsakes are the most popular items stored at home (63{71314a90b216998fb1eeb50d1148e2a97c51e40cbc82003812401b2a8842c8bf}), while over three quarters of adults (79{71314a90b216998fb1eeb50d1148e2a97c51e40cbc82003812401b2a8842c8bf}) aged 40+ admitted to still holding onto old school assignments. According to the survey, men aged 55 to 65 find it the hardest to let go of their belongings including sporting equipment, photos and broken or old electronics such as TV’s, computers and speaker systems.

Over a third (38{71314a90b216998fb1eeb50d1148e2a97c51e40cbc82003812401b2a8842c8bf}) of people admitted to storing items they haven’t used for over three years. 64{71314a90b216998fb1eeb50d1148e2a97c51e40cbc82003812401b2a8842c8bf} of respondents admitted that they have never attempted to de-clutter their home due to reasons such as having an emotional connection with their items or not knowing where to store them after.


Family Matters
85{71314a90b216998fb1eeb50d1148e2a97c51e40cbc82003812401b2a8842c8bf} of people living in Singapore have confessed that they know clutter at home affects immediate family members. Perhaps surprisingly, men are just as sentimental when it comes to their belongings as their female counterparts – 59{71314a90b216998fb1eeb50d1148e2a97c51e40cbc82003812401b2a8842c8bf} and 66{71314a90b216998fb1eeb50d1148e2a97c51e40cbc82003812401b2a8842c8bf} respectively.

When it comes to the question of who in the home is most affected, there is a clear divide. The older generation (55-65) believe it’s the children in the household (70{71314a90b216998fb1eeb50d1148e2a97c51e40cbc82003812401b2a8842c8bf}) who are most affected, whereas respondents aged 35-44, believe that other than themselves, it is their spouse that suffers most.

Clear Home = Clear Head
88{71314a90b216998fb1eeb50d1148e2a97c51e40cbc82003812401b2a8842c8bf} of respondents admitted to being bothered by clutter at home, with 45{71314a90b216998fb1eeb50d1148e2a97c51e40cbc82003812401b2a8842c8bf} of them even feeling stressed over it. However, just 40{71314a90b216998fb1eeb50d1148e2a97c51e40cbc82003812401b2a8842c8bf} said that they are actually prepared to do anything about it. As such, they regularly end up spending an average of up to a day looking for ‘lost’ items.

The top three locations for storage at home besides the ‘junk / store room’ are – Bedroom (39{71314a90b216998fb1eeb50d1148e2a97c51e40cbc82003812401b2a8842c8bf}), Kitchen (22{71314a90b216998fb1eeb50d1148e2a97c51e40cbc82003812401b2a8842c8bf}) and Balcony (14{71314a90b216998fb1eeb50d1148e2a97c51e40cbc82003812401b2a8842c8bf}).

Top Five Tips to achieve storage harmony and de-clutter your life:
1. Dust test – if it’s dusty, chances are you aren’t really using your belongings as frequently as you think!
2. Know it or throw it – if you can’t name the majority of items stored, chances are you are wasting space.
3. Track it – stick a post-it note on the items you use less frequently in your home and mark each use over three months. Consider self-storage for the items you want to keep but clearly seldom use.
4. #OneADayGiveaway – every day give something away that you no longer use.
5. Picture that – after you’ve cleared a space, capture the moment by taking a photograph to keep yourself motivated to maintain a less cluttered home!

Notes to Editors:
The Extra Space survey was commissioned in October 2014 and polled 1,000 respondents representative of the Singapore population aged 25-65 years old.
* and clothing that is no longer worn as it’s out of fashion or too small