How much stuff can I live without? Most everyone has seen at least the commercials for the television show Hoarders; which we can recognize easily this situation is out of control and we can’t imagine ever living like this. And the show American Pickers an interesting show where two guys who love “picking” travel throughout the USA looking for treasures, stuff they can sell to other collectors, movie sets, or restaurant owners who need specific décor. They also expose the hoarders; although the word is never used they prefer to call the people “collectors” the people are usually so emotionally attached to their stuff they cannot sell the mess even when they need the money to survive or possible avoid their properties being seized by the local authorities. Additionally, there is a show which I like to watch called Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis. Truthfully I like the show because Jeff Lewis is so stinking sarcastic and comical I love watching the show. He also exposes hoarding and recently he was concerned he was in of his head and suggested sarcastically mind you... that the person seek professional help. Another show that I believe shows a different side of hoarding is Extreme Couponing; although I must say I think that for some people this has been a life saver and some of the extreme couponers are very generous and give to charities and help family and friends with donations; but I also see the tendencies of hoarding being uncovered. I guess the bottom line is thin between saving, collecting and hoarding…
I started thinking about what do I have that I wouldn’t want to live without. I am not talking necessities folks, like microwave, ice maker, computer, etc. I know some of you live without those luxuries but not me; okay, I could live without the microwave and I have lived without the ice maker for three years which was a stupid waste of money buying ice all the time and occasionally I have gone without my computer; like on a cruise but if the cost of getting online was cheaper on the cruise I probably wouldn’t have gone without it (LOL). What do I really have that holds emotional value? I started looking around room-by-room. In my dining room I have a couple of knick knacks I want to keep; a statue of a blue jay my mother purchased for my father, a ceramic egg my sister made for my son when he was little, a set of fine china passed down from my husband’s family and piece of artwork my dermatologist gave me after my first melanoma surgery and a small vase my son made for me when he was little (made out of an orange juice bottle, masking tape and brown magic markers). I won’t throw the vase away ever. I will leave it for him to do after I leave this fine world. Ha-ha! Other than those few things in my dining room everything else could go – I have some emotional ties with some other stuff but I could handle getting rid of the material things, emotional ties and all. Not including family photos those do not come into play in this conversation. Next I looked in my husband’s office, yea; I don’t like how the office looks so I can’t be bothered. Okay, kitchen and living room; I have five watercolor pieces of artwork which I love and have had for over eleven years but if I needed the space or the money I would get rid of them. So there’s nothing in here that I couldn’t get rid of. Bedroom, two spare rooms, foyer and closets… nothing I couldn’t get rid of. So I guess for me although I love some of my things I have pretty much a disposable furnished house.
We all know family members that wouldn’t be able to do this or say this. I don’t think they’re hoarders but they have collections or collector pieces or they save stuff from the dumpster because someone might be able to use it. I must be missing the “attachment gene” because if I have something I can sell or give away I do it… thus the disposable house. I say if you’re not willing to sell the collector items to make money then don’t collect because you’re not going to make money if you cannot sell – don’t quote the worth! Instead just admit you have collected for your own enjoyment. There is nothing wrong with having stuff you enjoy – just do not say it’s worth money if you don’t plan on selling it ever. Also, clutter is a problem so many people face. I brawl with paperwork. I despise the amount of mail I have to go through all the time. And now with the advanced level of identity theft you are forced to dispose of all the junk mail by shredding or burning, etc. It pisses me off that junk mail adds to our clutter issues or hoarder instincts. If I had money to blow I would put a stamp on all the junk mail and return it to the sender. Wouldn't that be a fun revolution to start? Hmmmmmm
This is an excerpt from an article written in Home Educator.com
“Pam Young and Peggy Jones, two women known as the Sidetracked Home Executives, explained to me that I-and probably my children and husband-- suffer from a condition known as being either "organizationally-impaired" or "domestically challenged." They believe that disorganization is genetic, and that each family usually gets one "born-organized" child. They feel that "too much clutter" is a problem that at least 60% of families face.”
The point I was trying to make is that for me I am going to work on getting rid of even more stuff. I want a clutter free environment. I want to look into any closet and see what I am looking for instantly. I vow to not purchase anything that is not needed unless I get rid of something. For example I have decided to start using dish rags instead of sponges so I will not purchase any more sponges (lame example). I have long-lived with the policy no new clothes unless old clothes are donated. Please do not wait to donate clothes you don’t wear; even the needy want to feel good about what they’re wearing. I only purchase one new pocket-book a year if needed. I do not have a typical female shoe collection. I don’t buy candles anymore and will not buy any until I am out of what I stock piled from years ago. No more buying projects unless we have a planned day for the project. I have two “projects” sitting in my hall closet and at this point I think I am going to return the junk and live without the intended projects. Good grief!!! I vow not to purchase more books until I finish reading what I have already purchased. I feel a little more de-cluttered already….