What is the real value of our possessions? We often talk about people being ‘materialistic’ in a negative way, but in many ways the objects we collect and keep through our lives are an important part of who we are.
We asked people from across the UK about the things they hold dear, and some of the answers may surprise you. What’s clear from the responses is that despite the digitalisation of modern life, we are hoarding more sentimental objects than ever before.
“The objects I’ve chosen, on their own, are very ordinary, but to me, they are truly a part of me and my identity. Having grown up knowing I was fostered, I’ve used my art to explore my past and the idea of what identity is and how it affects everyone.”
Art is important to many of us, at least if the artist is someone dear to us: 46% of respondents saying they’d never throw away artwork from children.
“I am proud to say I broke all the Women’s Road Records Association records during the 1940s and 50s. I have so many cycling memories and friendships from that time.”
Northern Ireland is the region with the strongest attachment to sentimental photographs, with 91% saying they would be more upset about losing them than any other item.
“I can plot my life through the music in my collection. If there was a fire in my home I’d have no idea which records to take and which to leave behind, because
they have so many memories for me.”
Musical memorabilia means a lot to many of us, with one in five Brits (19%) admitting that they keep old concert wristbands and tickets.
“I feel lucky that I have a written record of our story of becoming best friends and falling in love.” Natalie’s favourite items span across 20 years, from when she met her now-husband Liam at school in 1997.
30% of people keep letters from a loved one, with Yorkshire and the Humber being the region most concerned about keeping love letters safe from damage or misplacement.
These two brothers love sport. Their trophies and medals are among their most prized possessions, but most treasured of all is a pair of boxing gloves signed by Heavyweight Champion of the World, Anthony Joshua. The boys have one each – one left and one right, to match their own handedness.
Londoners are more likely to treasure sports mementos than any other region – 15% say they would be most upset to lose football tickets or programmes, versus 7% across the rest of the UK.
“Dancing is a huge part of my life. It makes me feel at one. I will never throw my first ever pair of ballet pumps away, as they mean so much to me and remind me of a time where I was so happy.”
Old baby clothes are an item plenty of people just can’t bear to part with – 23% say they still have some.
Mary-Ann Ochota, anthropologist and broadcaster, has this to say about the nation’s hoarding habits: “We are who we are because of our past and the things in our lives. How we make, use and love them helps tell our story. By looking at possessions, we can explore how we’re connected with other cultures, our own communities, our families and the past. Our possessions (and the stories we tell about them) helps us make sense of our place in the world.”
Despite this, one in four (24%) of us still admit to not taking any steps to protect personal belongings. And while you can’t put a price on everything, the peace of mind appropriate insurance can give you is in itself invaluable.
Although some of your most treasured possessions, such as love letters and photographs, will be irreplaceable and can’t be covered under a home insurance policy, Lloyds Bank Home Insurance can cover many of your personal belongings that do have a monetary value. Remember, you may need additional cover for any high risk item over the value of £3,000. Please see your policy booklet for full details and talk to us to discuss your insurance requirements.
Find out more about how Lloyds Bank Home Insurance can help protect your favourite things.
Statistics taken from Lloyds Bank Home Insurance Favourite Things research June 2017.