Londoners keep unused household items for over a year (15 months) before getting rid of them – from clothing to tablets and TVs – unnecessarily cluttering up their homes, according to a new British Heart Foundation (BHF) survey.

The survey, released to mark the launch of the BHF’s Declutter Challenge, encouraging those in Greater London to declutter and donate any unwanted quality items, to help raise funds for life saving science.

The survey also revealed that, on average, Londoners have around 8 items of clothes they no longer wear, up to 5 unused electronics or gadgets such as consoles, tablets, or phones, 6 pieces of unworn jewellery, 5 pieces of unused exercise equipment and 5 items of furniture that are unused in their house.1

When asked what reason they had for having unused items in their homes, almost a third (30%) of respondents said they couldn’t be bothered to sort through old items, while almost a quarter (24%) said they were unsure of how to get rid of things. Just under a fifth (17%) said they didn’t have time to visit a charity shop to donate.2

Allison Swaine-Hughes, Retail Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “We are all guilty of putting off the tasks we don’t want to do – like having a good clear out – but donating your decluttered goods to the British Heart Foundation couldn’t be easier. Simply drop your items to your local shop or store, send them straight to us via our free post donation service or arrange a free collection.

“Charity shops are the perfect sustainable solution for decluttering. We help find a new home for your preloved treasures, whether it’s quality clothes you no longer wear, a unique piece of jewellery, a tablet or exercise equipment. So, why not take on the British Heart Foundation’s Declutter Challenge this September and help support those 620,000 people in Greater London living with heart and circulatory diseases.”

The nation’s largest charity retailer says its shops are particularly keen to receive winter wear to sell throughout the coming season as well as clothing, jewellery, toys, books and vinyl, and larger items such a sofas, furniture, homewares, tech and electronic gadgets. Every item sold by the BHF instore or online will be turned into funds for life saving science.

This year the BHF expects to save around 71,000 tonnes of goods from going to waste. It will do this by selling over half a million pieces of living room furniture, including 250,000 sofas, and 14,000 tonnes of preloved clothes. In a year, through the reuse and recycling of donated items the BHF will prevent 135,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions being released into the atmosphere.