Scientists, doctors, and researchers have long suspected that having a messy house can lead to a messy sex life. According to Clearabee, London’s leading, on-demand rubbish removal company, internal research has finally delivered the hard evidence.
In a wide-ranging survey of 2,000 people in London and across the UK, staffers at the rubbish removal firm found that everything from random clutter to clothing on the floor leads to more arguments, less sex, and just an overall feeling of ill will between couples.
An estimated 49% of people surveyed found clutter and mess to be their #1 bedroom turn-off, above anything else. What else irked Clearabee survey participants? Holes in the sheets (43%), a room that’s too cold (41%), a room that’s too warm (39%), and bright lights in the bedroom (38%).
But having less sex is just one of the symptoms of having a cluttered home. The survey found that messes lead to more arguments, with couples counting clutter and disorganization as their top reason for quarreling — just behind money. For the people aged 55+ who participated in the survey, that messy bedroom was the #1 reason for having a row.
And the data even breaks down attitudes based on geographical area. For couples in Plymouth, Manchester, Bristol, Norwich, Liverpool, and Southampton, their partner’s clutter was an even bigger source of turmoil than money. In Cardiff, Glasgow, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Edinburgh, couples had the lowest amount of arguments about junk, messes, and clutter.
So, according to Clearabee, we know what people argue about most. But how often do they argue about that rubbish under the bed or clothes spilling out of the laundry bin?
As it turns out – frequently. Of the surveyed, six in 10 people in relationships said they argued about a messy environment almost once per week, or 51 times a year, on average. Even those who declutter their personal space and home environment at least three times each month argued at this rate.
— Jo Hemmings (@TVpsychologist) January 19, 2018
The sex and rubbish survey by Clearabee is just one bit of research that has established the on-demand rubbish removal company as a leader in fascinating data. Specializing in rubbish removal for businesses as well as homes, Clearabee has also released statistics on the UK’s worst cities for problem rubbish.
According to data in that study, at least 30% of people living in London were negatively impacted by bins overflowing with rubbish. In particular, Leeds, Newcastle and Birmingham residents were more likely to suffer over this problem than other cities, while Sheffield and Nottingham’s residents faced the fewest problems of too much household rubbish.
Surprisingly, overflowing rubbish bins were not the biggest complaint in London, but rather urban foxes. Roughly 14% surveyed said that they found rubbish scattered about by the foxes, while rats and foul odours caused nuisances for 6% and 12% of Londoners, respectively.
All across the UK, 20% of those surveyed faced issues with overflowing rubbish bins, with foul smells being the most common (10%). Age-wise, younger people had more problems with this type of waste, with 29% of those aged 18-34 admitting that overflowing rubbish was a problem. Alternatively, only 22% of people aged 35-54 faced that problem. Of people over 55, only 10% cited rubbish bins as a notable issue.
Another exciting survey by the rubbish removal company laid out just how much Londoners lose – space-wise – by storing junk in areas that can otherwise be used.
In London, a city known for its sky-high rents and housing prices, junk and clutter takes up more than a double bed’s worth of space, on average, in each home. While that 4.4m2 doesn’t necessarily seem like a tremendous amount of space, collectively, across London, that space is worth £57 billion.
To put things in perspective, the Clearabee study states that those metres stuffed with old videotapes, unused exercise equipment, musty clothing and abandoned gadgets would cover more than 5 1/2 square miles. That’s an area larger than Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park – combined!
For a one-bedroom apartment dweller, this stray junk can easily cover 10% of floor space. And more than 1/3rd of London households collect enough junk to fill a small bedroom, let alone cover the floor of one. This amounts to £17,000 in unused real estate, per home.
Across the U.K., junk collection is more of an issue. On average, people collect enough junk to cover 4.8m2 of floor space – roughly 6% of floor space, on average. By storing junk, UK property dwellers are losing an average of almost £10,000. And when you add all that space together, from coast to coast, it’s worth just a shade under £260 billion.
So, where is that junk usually stored? It’s crammed away in attics, shoved into wardrobes, and pushed into sheds, garages, and even cupboards under the stairs. A full quarter of respondents admitted to hiding old junk under the bed, while 10% said they just left it on the floor.
A major catalyst for hoarding junk is children. Survey data shows that people with kids amass the most amount of junk, on average (4.9m2), with those in house-sharing arrangements collecting the least — 3.7m2.
And just like how dust and dirt build up over time, so does junk. Clearabee statistics show that the most junk is hoarded by people who have been living in their homes for between 16 and 20 years. For the people living for less than a year at a residence, storing riffraff was barely an issue, coming in at just 3.7m2 worth of junk, on average.
Clearabee’s founder and managing director, Daniel Long, encourages people to dump their junk whenever possible, especially as a donation to charity shops or freecycling services. He says eBay is also a solid alternative, because while one person may see that old Walkman as bin-bound junk, another might actually pay to make it their own.