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    Nov 28, 2014

    Let it go? S'poreans would rather hoard

    DO YOU gripe about cramped living spaces, but still keep clothes that have not been worn in years or school notes from decades ago?

    More than half (56 per cent) of people polled in a recent survey said their homes are cramped, but four in 10 admitted to holding on to things they rarely or no longer use.

    Old photos, gifts, keepsake items and memorabilia were the most hoarded items, kept by 64 per cent of respondents.

    Nearly half of those polled said they still keep clothes which they no longer wear, because they are out of fashion or are too small.

    About four in 10 said they felt "stressed" over clutter at home.

    The survey, commissioned by self-storage company Extra Space, polled 1,000 people aged between 25 and 65, representative of the population here.

    They lived in different housing types, ranging from one-room Housing Board flats to condominiums and landed property.

    Extra Space, which released the survey findings yesterday, said it wanted to understand the space constraints in a typical household.

    About two-thirds of respondents said they store items at home which they had not used for more than three years. Nearly half said they had never decluttered their homes.

    A closer look at the survey findings by age and gender threw up some interesting statistics.

    Most (79 per cent) of the respondents aged 40 and above still keep their school assignments.

    Project administrator Linda Leaw said she still keeps a thesis paper which she did more than 15 years ago.

    "I want to remember the work I did," said the 44-year-old. "I feel very proud that I had a good grade for these projects."

    However, she said she does not feel her home is cramped and makes the effort to keep her schoolwork and other items such as presents and letters in cabinets or boxes.

    Men are just as sentimental - 59 per cent, compared with 66 per cent of the women polled, said they keep nostalgic items such as old photos and gifts.

    Men aged 55 to 65 find it hardest to let go of their belongings - such as sports equipment, photos and broken electronic gear.

    Ang Chee Yam, who owns a construction company, stores photos, souvenirs bought overseas and school materials which may still be relevant to his job.

    The 60-year-old, who lives in a terrace house, declutters his house two to three times a year, clearing away old clothes and magazines. He said: "If you like to keep a lot of stuff, no matter how big your house is, you'll still feel that it is cramped."