It’s a brand new year, the perfect time for a new start. Getting rid of clutter is a wonderful way to leave the past behind and go forwards with a sense of freedom. So tackle those mucky corners and buckling shelves, and be in control.
In the following article we help you recognize whether you’re a hoarder, and why this might be the case. Then we look at approaches to tackling the problem. Make this your time to move on into a more minimalist phase.
ARE YOU A HOARDER?
Most of us keep things we don’t need. This may be because it’s hard to part with items, but may also be down to the fact you just don’t know where to start. The more stuff piles up the more of a challenge it becomes, until all you do is walk away.
As for all that junk – there are so many reasons for keeping it. Souvenirs of happy times, garments that are a size too small but you’ll one day be slim enough to wear, old books, tools and even unidentified objects that you’re afraid to part with because they could be essential. Be realistic! If you haven’t needed something for a year the chances are you won’t need it and even if you do, you can find a substitute. So take that big step and clear the decks.
WHY BE A HOARDER?
Hoarding can be due to laziness, lack of time, or there may be more deep-seated issues. Hoarding is one way to cope with anxiety, feelings of deprivation, loneliness and many other conditions. If you hoard lots of things you may have suffered painful losses, but one thing you know you can count on is a load of possessions. Old vases, stamp collections, boxes of assorted screws and nails – none of these are going to walk down the path and leave you.
If you weren’t loved or understood in the way you needed, familiar things are a comfort. If your childhood was poor or lacking in some way, you may want to plug the gap. There’s so much in life that we can’t control it can be nice to know you can count on your things – but there’s a big price to pay. Old junk doesn’t just take up floor-space – it also takes up space in your mind, stopping you from healing and moving on.
TACKLE THE ISSUE
As time goes by, every week, every month there’s less room in your house. Why put off the day of reckoning any longer – start now!
- It can be daunting to set yourself the task of sorting out your whole house. Start with one corner so you get up momentum
- Be firm with yourself about justifying the habit. Maybe you found a use for that old nail, but what about the hundreds of other scraps you never find use for? And how much would it have mattered if you’d had to go out and buy some nails?
- Your time is also a commodity. You may feel triumphant (and even justified in your hoarding) when you find just the thing you need under your piles. But how long did it take? Probably it would have been quicker to buy it
- Remember that actual ‘things’ aren’t the only material possessions – space to move and breathe, and your health are more important
- You aren’t being thrifty by hoarding. Your time, space and energy are actually being wasted
- Begin by stopping the in-flow. Every time you get something, throw out its equivalent. Put junk mail straight into the recycling. Invest in a Kindle rather than buy books
- Keep up the momentum – one carrier bag per day, one bin-bag per week
- Accept this will be painful, but hang on to the realisation that although it feels as if you’re saying goodbye to old friends, you are not!
- It can help to have the support of a friend who can encourage you to keep your mind clear and enable you to see the funny side
- Where possible, recycle, or give to charity. You will get satisfaction from knowing your things have found a home
- Promise yourself a reward for each large bag you get rid of, such as an outing with mates
HOW WE CAN HELP
In this article we’ve looked at whether you are a hoarder, if so why, and then how to tackle the issues. Coping with hoarding instincts isn’t easy. Sometimes all the strategies don’t seem to work, and you keep finding reasons to hoard. That’s when some help is needed. Our supportive and understanding Readers will help you see things more clearly and set yourself free from the past and all its dross. Put in a call today and be reassured and supported.
PUBLISHED: 30 January 2017