£342million lying down the back of the sofa

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People across the United Kingdom are sitting on more than £342 million worth of small change around their homes, new research has revealed.

A study exploring the hidden value around our homes found the average person has £12.70 in small change lying around - more than a third of a billion pounds across the nation’s 27 million households.

And it might really pay to spruce up the place from time to time -the typical Brit finds £3.27 a year in the sofa alone - more than £39 million across the country.

The study of 2,000 people, commissioned by Yale, found a small fortune in pennies, toys and lost possessions over a lifetime of cleaning.

But while hidden treasures and lost items await, discoveries while doing a tidy up can be strange - respondents were quizzed on the strangest finds while tidying and reported coming across a jar of cat hair, a stuffed animal, and even the neighbour’s live pet snake, while clearing the nooks and crannies.

Losing the remote control is a familiar problem for many but one couple were relieved to finally find theirs while doing a deep clean –it had been missing for over three years.

And a prosthetic leg, stuffed cat and the landlord’s wisdom teeth have also provided shocks, results showed.

Yesterday a spokesperson for Yale said: “The research shows our homes are full of weird and wonderful items and that, clearly, we’re not always sure what we actually have under our roofs.

“From valuable jewellery that’s been lost or misplaced, to the coins in the sofa – people may well find a few hidden treasures when approaching their spring cleaning this year.

“Respondents reported some incredible, puzzling and quirky discoveries while tidying and it shows that knowing what’s in those nooks and crannies is worthwhile.”

One in six has a very valuable item or treasured possession which they’ve completely lost somewhere within their home, while the average person currently has four important things they can’t find at the moment.

But keeping a better track on the stuff we own is probably worthwhile, results found the average Brit estimates the value of all the goods in their home at more than £15,000.

Perhaps that’s why more than a third will be reviewing the security of their home during their spring clean this year

Anyone frantically looking for a lost item should always check the sofa first- statistically the most likely place in the home for a lost item to be tucked away.

While a lucky third of Brits have found a piece of jewellery while cleaning up.

And though the potential rewards of loose money, forgotten valuables and surprising items can present themselves, the urge to spring clean can be also be risky – 47 per cent have done some sort of injury while cleaning or sorting things out in their home.

While Brits are also taking risks when it comes to protecting the range of weird and wonderful items in the home- a third of those polled confess they haven’t thought about their home security in a long time.

While one in four Brits admit they worry more about the security of their home in the summer and milder months as they spend more time away from the house.

The Yale spokesman added: “It’s easy to lose track of items and there are clearly many areas in our homes we don’t often explore or check over. Aside from sorting cupboards and scrubbing floors, the annual spring clean is the perfect opportunity to undertake a quick and simple home security audit, just to ensure that your property is as secure as can be.