I was a hot mess express when it came to hoarding growing up. For most of my childhood my room was in shambles. My mom at one point got so fed up with my habits, she rid my mattress of a frame, took out my desk, and stored all of my clothing totes so there was nowhere and nothing for me to create messes with. Now, some of you may be thinking, “She had to have been little when this happened”. Try sophomore year of high school. Truly people my room was a pigsty, just like the poster my mom put up on my bedroom door said. Why was I so messy? Because I had too many things. I was a hoarder. Even when I was at my most organized, my room was still a mess. I kept way to many things that had no value to me. Why? For several reasons, but with each I found a solution:
I am a sentimental woman. I love looking through old photo albums, kept my cat Tigger’s favorite toy well after he passed away, saved tickets of all the shows and concerts I went the list goes on. However, none of these things have true importance just the importance we place upon them. Let me explain. I love photos and still keep albums, however the photo is not what is important to me; it is the event that took place in my past. Yes photos are a lovely way to remember the day, but taking the time to recall my graduation day, or wedding day is just as effective. The item is a tool we use to help us remember events, places, people etc. The item is not the thing that holds significance to us. Keep the event, person, place and so on the most important part, not the item you use to remember them by.
Someone Else Could Use It:
Do not hold on to things for someone elses use. This is by far the most irritating excuse to hold on to random things. Yes, the gesture is nice and I have certainly receive some items that were especially useful, however, I would have been fine going out and buying the item myself. Things used to sit in my room for months, even years because I lived this mentality. I eventually tried the Marie Kondo method instead: When you are going through things in your home and find items you no longer use that may be of use to someone, ask the people around you “What do you need?” Do not mention what you have to give, because then they may feel they are obligated to take it. You are giving an items that you do not want false purpose for them. If they mention something that you have and they need it, then you may gift the item. This method really helped me from keeping on to thing I may give to someone else in the distant future.
The Just in Case:
Do not get me wrong, there are some items you need to hold on to just in case something may happen, like a tool kits, cleaning supplies, first aid etc. The “Just in Case” items you TRULY do not need to hold on to may include the following:
-Technology that is out of date.
-Random wires that are not in constant use.
-Items that are obsolete but you keep “just in case” you may need it again.
-Clothing that is too tight or too big.
-Clothing that you THINK may come back into style.
-Excessive amounts of ANYTHING because you think to yourself “I may need a back up” (huge culprit of this one with office supplies and clothes).
-Random Decor you may like to use later, but do not like it now.
Most things we THINK we need to hold on to “just in case” we really do not. I like The Minimalist 20/20 rule: If you can buy it for under 20 dollars and find it within 20 minutes of you, it should not be in your home. Now, I am not saying buy a pencil and throw it out after one use. I am saying, we do not need to hold on to 30 pencils just in case we lose the two we already have. Overall, look at what you are keeping in your “just in case” supplies, and determine if you honestly need all that you have.
Creating clutter, holding on to things we do not need, and being stressed about all that we have does not need to be how we live our lives. By simply curating what we own and taking an honest look into what we think we need and what we simply want, we can stop ourselves from hoarding things that truly have no value to us. I hope this post helps you look at your habits and make a conscious effort to free yourselves of these hoarding habits!
Peace, love, and my prayers for you,
The Soaring Magpie
Check Out the following for more information on Marie Kondo and The Minimalists:
“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone”Henry David Thoreau