Are you a secret clothes hoarder?

New research has delved into UK shopping habits, revealing our secret (or not so secret) hoarding tendencies...

As I write this piece it feels more like an admission of guilt... 'hello my name is Tamara and I'm a shopaholic'. You see, when you have a shopping habit like mine, you'll know it inevitably means we end up buying things we don't need, have space for and worse don't even wear (guilty on all charges!).

New research* by Wilko has revealed women are notoriously bad when it comes to hoarding clothes, with 68 per cent of the women quizzed being self-confessed hoarders.

Related: Bedroom storage ideas that are smart, ingenious and versatile

'It’s remarkable how many clothes are bought but never worn,' said Jenny Graham, storage buyer at Wilko, 'leading to jam packed wardrobes, drawers that won’t close and disgruntled partners!'

room with wardrobe and white flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Claire Richardson)

The survey of 2,000 adults, both men and women, found a staggering 46 per cent say they’ve splashed out on shoes they’ve never even worn. Shockingly over a third, 37 per cent,  have clothes hanging in their wardrobes that still have the price tags on – most likely, from impulse shopping sprees and sales purchases.

One in four women admitted to hiding new purchases from partners to avoid the confrontation about their purchases.

Almost half of those surveyed claim they have at least 100 items of clothing at home, with one in 10 saying it’s more likely over 250! Those asked admitted to owning 18 pairs of shoes, on average, even though 80 per cent confessed to wearing just three or four pairs on a regular basis – that's a crazy amount of wasted space right?

In stark relation, only a quarter of men (24 per cent), say they have more than 100 items of clothing, and they have half as many shoes as women – eight or nine pairs on average. Men were also found to be less proactive when it comes to clearing out clothes they no longer wear. More than a third of women, 37 per cent, have a proper clear out every six months, compared with just 22 per cent of men.

room with shoe rack and flower vase on it

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Claire Richardson)

Jenny advises, 'Having regular clear outs and selling items or giving them to charitable causes is a great way to downsize. Once you’ve got rid of anything you no longer need and identified what you want to keep, clever storage systems make it easy to see and access your favourite belongings and maximise space.'

Wilko’s top 5 storage hacks:

1. Use organisers

Use drawer organisers for make-up, jewellery and other small items to keep your dressing table clutter-free.

Buy now: Cosmetic Perspex Desktop Storage Drawers, £6, Wilko

2. Put a label on it

Label storage boxes and drawers with chalkboard sticky back plastic to be able to find what you need in a hurry.

Buy now: Chalkboard Self Adhesive Film, £6, Wilko

3. Stack them up

Use stackable storage boxes at the bottom of the wardrobe for shoes and accessories.

Buy now: Modular Storage Underbed Box, £5, Wilko

4. Hang it up

Get elevating! Use sticky hooks on the inside of cupboard doors to hang hairdryers and straighteners, to free up surface and floor space.

Buy now: Self Adhesive Hooks, £2, Wilko

5.Vacuum pack

Get up to four times more stuff in your storage space by using vacuum bags to store away winter clothes and bedding. Just one Wilko vacuum bag is big enough to hold a single duvet and pillow!

Buy now: Vacuum Sealed Storage Bags, £8 for 2, Wilko

fancy laced up storage boxes

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Claire Richardson)

Related: How to make a set of fabric-covered storage boxes

Wilko is supporting Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean from February 2018.

*Research from 2,000 adults by OnePoll, carried out in January 2018


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.