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Hoarding and Collecting: Just Say No

Having hoards of items is unsettling to someone like me. If you enjoy being surrounded by “stuff”, this is probably not something you’ll be interested in reading. If you need help breaking out of a hoarding or collecting situation read on! You know that dress in your closet that you haven’t worn in the last two years, but you keep thinking you’ll need it? You won’t. How about those shoes that really hurt your feet? You don’t need them. The book you already read? Donate it. If you miss it, you can check it out at the library. That perfume that doesn’t smell quite right on you. TOSS IT. When your kids are gone, go through the toy boxes. If you find broken toys, puzzles missing pieces, or toys that your kids never play with, TOSS THEM. Do you have clothes people in your household don’t wear? If you do, there are so many people that would be grateful for your gently used clothes. DONATE THEM!

When you have time, go through every nook and cranny in your house with a big black trash bag. Open the linen closet. Have you used everything in your linen closet within the past year? If not, DONATE IT! Go through your food in the kitchen. If you’re like me, you go on little health kicks and buy gross things you will never eat. If you have unopened food that you will not make use of, donate it to your local food pantry. Do you still have VHS tapes, cassette tapes, and CD’s? TOSS THEM. Newspapers, old bills, catalogs, junk mail, GET RID OF ALL OF IT. Think of buying a small filing box for important papers and keep the papers you need. Purchase a fireproof safe and put away social security cards, licenses, passports, etc.. Consider dumping your junk drawers in the trash. You don’t need 400 rubber bands and 25 pens that don’t work. Throw away your Tupperware that is missing lids. Throw out scratched up pots and pans and cookie sheets. Most people have too many cups and glasses. TOSS MOST OF THEM. Old medicine? Pharmacies have safe drop off plans for medicine you no longer need. That tangled mass of cords that you don’t know what they go to? TOSS IT. Ragged holiday decorations, old worn out shoes, socks with no match, underwear with worn out elastic, pilled sweaters, faded black leggings, holey nightgowns, the jeans that haven’t fit in a year, the  shirt that makes you feel unattractive, the stuffed animals that are missing eyeballs, the 900 worn out tea towels in your kitchen, the kids artwork and school papers, birthday cards, old towels, old makeup and toiletries, kitchen utensils, old purses, wallets, belts, TOSS THEM. You get the idea. 

Purging will not only keep you more organized, but life becomes so much less hectic. After re-reading this, I must say.. keep the kids artwork. Go through it once a month and pick out two or three to put away in a keepsake box. Getting rid of things makes cleaning easier, and you won’t buy multiple items because you will have a mental inventory of what you already have. Having what you need and knowing what you have is a great feeling. Stress comes from overload and being overwhelmed. Imagine what an overstocked home does to your health. Having a stuffed animal from your childhood is comforting and normal. Having all of your matchbox cars from your childhood is weird. Your kids don’t want them. They want new stuff. These are just suggestions and there is no judgement here from me, I still have most of the bears my dad gave me as a kid. Try to keep your weird collections to a minimum and do the best you can! Happy Tossing!


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