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True Confessions of a Hoarder (part 1)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I am a hoarder.

To some people I would be a closet hoarder. To others an organized hoarder. Many people don't realize just how much of a hoarder I am. Unless they have had the misfortune, like some of my family, to have helped me move.

What fools most people is that you can drop in to visit me on most days and not be greeted at the front door with junk. Or at least not that you'd notice right away. There is no junk lined pathway that leads only to the tv or computer as seen by many of the "hoarding" shows on the telly. I don't have boxes piled up on other boxes that leave you feeling as though you are in a warehouse. And at any given time you can sit on my many couches and chairs wiithout having to order a forklift. You won't find buried trash or food caked dishes under mountains of clothes. But nonetheless I am a hoarder.

I am a hoarder because I have way too much stuff to put in my house. So I stash it in the attic, the garage, the closets and one of two off site storage units. I am a hoarder because I have no idea where most of my belongings are. I will wear my winter clothes longer than most, because i don't know where i packed away the summer things. I can't just go get things that I need. I "happen" upon them, usually as I am frantically looking for something else.

I don't want to be a hoarder, but breaking the cycle is difficult. I live in the land of plenty and have bought into the hype that anything worth having should be bought in sets of 10. One green, one black, one red...well you get the picture. I listen on the radio or watch on the tv as chipper and gorgeous women talk about sales at local clothing chains. Then rave about how they found deals of a lifetime and have to spread their secret to all their friends. And I think somewhere inside of me I want that carefree existence. I remember nights of wanting to work on a project and not having the supplies I need. And of living in Europe where some things were just not as readily available as going to the all night super store. I remember visits home when I stocked up on certain ribbons and beads and yarn and fabric that I brought back to my house and set off to the side soon to be forgotten and stashed and hoarded.

I never realized that hoarding only leads to more issues. Where to put all the STUFF? How to pay back the debt it causes? What to do with it when you haven't used it in 10 years, but carried it from house to house to house to house...? How do yo make clutter fit into your decor? How do you break the cycle? How do you say no more?

After 20 years in the Army and 5 years of retirement. I'm totally overwhelmed. It is time for me to cut the clutter and take back my life and my home. In the next few series of "true confessions..." I will work through my hoarding issue and hopefully get rid of a few things in the meantime. For me it is time to CUT THE CLUTTER!!!!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Good for you for the confession. Keep us posted on how you are doing!
    3382 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2403740
    Wow, that is a big confession Rhoda. All the very best and keep us posted on how you are going.
    3384 days ago
    I have the same problem. Every time I have ever had to move I would tell myself that I needed to get rid of things and only take what matters. Yet each new place would be stacked with bags and boxes of junk...even calling it that is hard. My biggest vices are books, clothes, souvenirs, and gadgets. I can hardly bring myself to throw any of it away. I even hoard information on my computer! Now that I have a daughter it is even harder because of so many things that have sentimental value. I am finally getting to the point where I can make "toss, donate, sell, keep" piles. The "keep" piles are always too big and the "toss" piles are laughably small. I've found that donating to the local women's shelter helps. This month I was able to finally make some head way and get rid of a lot of stuff, but I still have a storage unit, two closets, my room, and half of a garage worth of stuff that needs to be whittled down.

    It is hard and I am still very much struggling. Acknowledging the problem really is the first step, as cliche as that sounds.
    3384 days ago
  • BUSYMOM911
    It's a shame that, as humans, we have memories. That's why it's hard to get rid of things. When we're away from things, we think that it will be no problem to get rid of things. Then we look at the items and a flood of memories come back. It's bittersweet. I enjoy looking back at my life though those memories, but I too have TOO MUCH STUFF.

    You're only human. So long as you recognize things (and you're neat about it), it's ok. Do what you want. If you distribute the miscellaneous to others, that's good too.

    Just a little bit of progress a day is good too.

    3385 days ago
    I suppose, just like with food, less is more. It's a lifestyle change to be sure. Good Luck!
    3385 days ago
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