We love our stuff. That might be one of the reasons we moved from NYC, there just wasn’t enough room for our stuff. Fortunately in New York we had a loft area and became adept at re-arranging our closets and kitchens to suit the seasons otherwise we would have been living in a room full of wardrobes and dressers. We managed in under 500 square feet and now manage with less than 1000 but for some folks no matter how big their space they will continue to fill every nook and cranny with stuff.
Apparently hoarding is a real disease according to Oprah and the impulse for some people to not only keep everything but collect and “hoard” is uncontrollable.
Look out for these 7 deadly sins that lead to hoarding.
1. Holding onto to old magazines and newspapers – Just get rid of them! You may have bought a daily subscription but if you fall behind that doesn’t mean you always have to catch up, especially when you never do. 99% of magazines should be recycled. Everything is now online anyway so no worry about holding onto back issues.
2. Keeping clothes you don’t wear – We’ve all got a favorite t-shirt or pair of shoes that we hold onto hoping to someday wear again. We’ve ditched it because it doesn’t fit is uncomfortable or out of style. Donate these clothes to people who can use them right now!
3. Storing broken electronics & appliances – Someday you’ll get around to fixing that printer, don’t kid yourself, no you won’t. Recycle or donate used electronic items that you no longer use. With every month that passes it becomes more obsolete for the next person.
4. Storing free swag – Just because you got a free key-chain or mug doesn’t mean it should be stashed in your drawer or kitchen. Again, donate it to your local Goodwill store.
5. Every room becomes storage – If your storage closet or garage is so full that you need to keep the extra TV or refrigerator in the dining room, you may have a hoarding problem. When your storage overflows into the rest of the home and continues to grow – check yourself.
6. Your car becomes a closet – Are you keeping more than just an extra pair of shoes in your trunk? If you need to keep books and camping gear in your backseat because there is no more room in your garage, it’s time to consider a trip to Goodwill.
7. Your daily life is impacted – If there is no where to sit and eat dinner because every chair is piled high with papers and you can’t sleep comfortably because the bed is covered in clothes that have nowhere to go you may need to take a step back and get help.
Bonus 8. You can’t clean – If your floors and countertops are covered in papers and junk that you can’t even vacuum, take that as a major warning sign that something needs to be done.
If you can easily solve the above sins by a thorough cleansing and possibly rental of a storage unit then you should be fine, but if it’s clearly gotten out of hand and your friends and family have already said something to you then reach out and ask them for help. They don’t want to see you living like this.