Four in Ten (42%) Canadians De-clutter by Throwing Their Items Out, Potentially Leaving Money on the Table

Those Who Sell Their Items Online Report earning $421, On Average, Last Year

Toronto, ON - One half (48%) of Canadians make an annual habit of spring cleaning (with another 30% doing it almost every year), and as the weather improves and Canadian turn to the task of getting rid unwanted items through spring cleaning, two in ten (18%) Canadians say that they get rid of unwanted items by selling them online, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Kijiji. Those who sell their items online report earning $421, on average, in 2010.

Other ways that many Canadians dispose of their unwanted items include donating them to charity (78%), giving the items to friends or family members (48%), throwing them out with the regular garbage (42%), selling them at a garage sale (25%), putting them by the curb and hope that someone picks them up, or some other method (2%). Four in ten (40%) Canadians recognize that they've thrown something away in the garbage that they could have sold instead, while another three in ten (29%) aren't sure whether they could have sold that item or not.

Among those who have used Kijiji to sell their unwanted items, 15% typically do so on a monthly basis (4% weekly), while four in ten (43%) use Kijiji seasonally. Other Kijiji users use it to sell items at least every couple of months (39%). One half (49%) of Kijiji users consider themselves to be a savvy Kijiji-er.

Thinking about how much clutter they have in their home, two in ten (21%) Canadians admit that they have at least a couple of rooms in their house that are out of control, including 6% who confess that their whole home is definitely cluttered. Fully one half (50%) say their home is moderately cluttered, while just three in ten (29%) say they don't have any clutter in their home. Most (67%) Canadians who have clutter say it's made up of `a little bit of everything', while some Canadians attribute the problem primarily to clothes (9%), work/office supplies (9%), hobby supplies (6%), collectibles (5%), books (4%), and music CDs/albums (1%).

One in ten (12%) Canadians say that clutter around the house (2% frequently/10% often) causes arguments with other family members or friends. While 45% say arguments rarely revolve around clutter, just four in ten (42%) say they've never had an argument with a family member or friend over clutter around the house.

Canadians' spring cleaning effort this year might have a slogan of "reclaim the basement", as nearly half (45%) of Canadians say that they store their unwanted items in the basement. Others though jam it in a closet (38%), in the garage (25%), bedroom (14%), family room/den (6%), in the attic (4%) or in a rented storage unit (3%). Three in ten (28%) store their unwanted items `anywhere there is space'. When picking the room in the house that is in the worst shape, one in three (35%) say their basement is the most cluttered room in the house, followed by the bedroom (25%), office (16%), family room/den (14%), kitchen (6%), attic (3%) or the bathroom (1%).

Canadians might not be able to part with many of their items considering that a majority (56%) say that they are `emotionally attached' to their items (9% very/47% somewhat), which could explain why most Canadians tend to accumulate clutter. Just four in ten (44%) are detached and say that they are `not emotionally attached' (8% not at all/36% somewhat) to their items.

Trying to pinpoint the reasons why they might hold on to items longer than they want to, four in ten (44%) blame the hassle associated with getting rid of unwanted items, while three in ten (27%) say the amount of time it takes to get rid of large, bulky items is a factor. Two in ten (17%) just don't know how to get rid of their items, and 14% say the cost associated with getting rid of their items causes them to hold on to items longer than they want to. One in three (34%) say none of the above are factors.

A majority (54%) of Canadians, though, say that the ability to easily find someone who needs their items would increase the chance of them getting rid of their unwanted items. Others say that having a free and easy way to do it (47%), not having to transport the items (35%), the ability to prevent the item from ending up in a dumpster or landfill (33%), recouping the cost of the items (32%), and having more time to do it (30%) would increase their chances of getting rid of unwanted items.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between April 1 to 4, 2011, on behalf of Kijiji. For this survey, a sample of 1,030 adults from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and political composition to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Sean Simpson
Associate Vice President
Ipsos Reid
[email protected]

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