Thursday, January 5, 2012

Collecting or Hoarding?

I have found the greatest motivator to cleaning house and getting rid of accumulated junk.  I just watch a marathon of "Hoarding Buried Alive" and I'm ready to empty every closet and drawer in my house.  Sometimes I can't even finish an episode before I'm up and throwing stuff away.  I realize the cases depicted on television are extreme  but I can also see how as we age and become physically challenged things can pile up.   Every time I open a closet it is the stuff that is hidden in the back of some pile that really makes me question why I've kept it in the first place.  Is it the old out of sight out of mind mentality?  

What's really had me thinking lately is how new physical limitations change what we do.  I've come to realize that getting out the familiar Christmas decorations has become harder and harder.  I'm not physically able to do it anymore.  So, do I sell all my decorations in a yard sale or do I keep them stacked up in boxes for my kids to deal with some day?

When Ron and I got married we had to combine households.  Fortunately, he had a huge estate sale and had already eliminated the need to find places for furniture etc.  But the things we did try to merge filled up every empty nook and cranny in the house.  I realize after 8 months of marriage that we do not need 50 towels....we aren't that dirty.  So it's time to clear out the linen closet.

The next big project is to get the family photos under control.  I didn't have that many photos but Ron came with 4 huge Rubber maid tubs of pictures.  Most of the people in the photos he has no idea who they are.  But he has a sentimental attachment because they belonged to his parents.  His daughter will probably have no attachment to them because she doesn't know who they are either.  So that's a project that still needs to be tackled.

Ron is a collector.  He sold the majority of his collections in the estate sale but he has that collector mentality.  If there is a series of things he has to have them all.  He has collected everything from Santa's around the world to Nascar model cars and coins.  Me.....I collect nothing but dust.  As a single mom I didn't have the extra income to collect anything.  We worked under the rule of  "If it doesn't feed you, clothe you or provide shelter, you don't need it."

So, I'm still trying to simplify my life.  Decluttering is part of my intention so I don't end up an episode of Hoarding..........


MerCyn said...

The solution came when we moved - most stuff did not fit into our much smaller new digs. The only problem is that things are beginning to accumulate again. I feel like I will never get out from under all the stuff!

Betty said...

I can't watch Horders. It makes me hyperventilate! But, then, I'm a "tosser" about everything but paper. I keep every itty-bitty note to myself and others, but I don't do as well with receipts. I'm really hopeless about finding things.

Arkansas Patti said...

Good luck with that and kudos. Your next of kin will love you for the effort.

paisely said...

Aunt Dani, i think it becomes more difficult when you have lived in the same house FOREVER.

I came to a point years ago, that if i dont use it, love it, or need, it must go away. I have a basket in the bottom of my closet. When i identify something that doesnt fit into these categories, it goes into the basket to be donated (tax write off is much easier than a garage sale). I dont become overwhelmed with a huge task. I dont buy new hangers, so if i buy a new shirt, an old one must go.

oklhdan said...

paisley....sweet niece. I like your basket idea and I'm going to implement it this weekend. I'll probably fill it up the first day.