Tips for the Borderline Hoarder
We get it: it’s hard to get rid of things that have that nostalgia factor or bring back treasured memories. Especially if you’ve lost a loved one, or are especially attached to a certain period in your life. Getting rid of things that have sentimental value is just hard. Add to that a desire to be frugal, to make things last and not to waste, and you have a person who just can’t seem to get rid of anything. We’ve all been there.
Photo Credit: Lucas França
However, there comes a point when saving things goes from simply keeping memories alive to outright hoarding. Real-life hoarding is often symptomatic of trauma or mental health issues, and something that should never be made light of. If you think your reluctance to get rid of anything may be bordering on a problem, there are ways to get yourself back in order, save space and get rid of things you don’t need. It’s just a matter of following a few steps to get back on track.
We’ve listed our ideas below.
Enlist a Friend
Asking a trusted person to assist you in purging items can be a big help. Someone who knows you well enough to know which items are truly important, but who is also unbiased enough to tell you when you’re hanging on to things you genuinely don’t need. They can be the voice of reason, a clear-headed person who will help you sort through your stuff and organize it accordingly.
Sometimes it’s just as simple as having someone who will take your junk to Goodwill for you, so you don’t have to. Just having a person there who is willing to take a few steps on your behalf can make all the difference.
“Sparking Joy” and other Trendy Ideas
We’ve all seen the Netflix show, or at least heard about it. The thing is, Marie Kondo’s philosophy became so popular because there is wisdom in the idea.
When going through your hoarded items, pause with each one and ask yourself the hard question. “Do I really love this item, or am I just clinging to it out of fear/frugality/habit?” If the answer isn’t “Yes, I love this!”, chuck it.
If you want to go a step further, ask yourself, even of the items you LOVE, “Do I use this? Is it of use to me?” If not, consider donating it to someone who will benefit from the item even more than you can.
Even after purging items, you may still find yourself in possession of a lot of stuff. For collectors, those who sell online, or just have a lot of memories to safeguard, using your house to store this stuff is what begins the hoarding mentality. Better to protect these items by keeping them in a private space denoted just for them. Whether that’s a special room in the basement or attic, or Custom Storage Solutions, such as a rented unit or purchased storage building, is up to you.
Delegating a private space to your treasured item will protect them for years to come and keep your living space free of clutter, which will help your mental health and discourage any future hoarding behaviors.
Try these tips and see if perhaps you can’t curb the hoarding before it begins. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with keeping items that mean a lot to you; it’s all about balance and knowing the difference between what’s important and what is junk.