As many of us know but do not admit, we are hoarders in one fashion or another. I am sure that it is human nature to store things for later use but I am not so sure that it is necessary, after all things dry rot and fall apart.
So how do we break this...... this addiction?
I can only share what has worked for me for the past seven years and it was not an overnight "minimal household."
Number one : When the impulse comes to go shopping, I walk into my closet and I clean it. Sometimes trying on all my clothes, what does not fit I put in ... anything I have, a box, or a grocery bag to a trash bag. Usually when I am finished I am to tired to go shopping or the realization comes that I already have plenty and I can use that money elsewhere.
Since I am a book lover I tend to want to read the new best sellers or the newest release from my favorite author. Instead of heading off to Books a Million I stop by the local library, If the book I am interesting in is checked out I simply as the person at the desk to put it on reserve for me. Then I check out this huge room of nothing but books! I am always sure to find one I want to read. This is free so no clutter coming in to hoard up. Plus I have learned that for the most part I won`t read most books more than once. Now I have that money to spend elsewhere.
Number Two : The yard sale - thrift store - its cheap and I love other peoples stuff that is still in such good shape kind of person.
I am sure that I inherited my mothers strong genes for the love of antiques, but I did not inherit any money to buy them. My mother used to buy and resell antiques. She also resold or traded all the nice clothing we grew out of so fast, So I am no stranger to having yard sales or going to yard sales.
Thrift store shopping use to be a past time, I would go and look around for hours, sometimes buying and something seeing nothing I wanted.
Then one day it hit me, I have enough stuff to furnish several houses! So I made a goal for myself, I "needed" a new T.V. (the old one was getting a darker and darker picture and all the new were the flat screens) I decided I would pay for this new T.V. by selling everything I did not need at my own yard sales.
I made my signs and I had yard sale number one and I made pretty good but not enough for a t.v. so a couple weeks later I had another one but with the new knowledge of what people were buying in the area I lived at the time.
Within six weeks and three yard sales I had my new T.V. and I had gotten rid of so much stuff I was not even using!
Number Three : Have a dinner party!
That is right, you sit down and pick out people to come to your house for a dinner party. If for one second you had a dread come over you about what the house looks like, with all the clutter, then its time for you to get your place in shape so that all these people will leave and only have good words to speak over you about how you are not a slave to your stuff and how wonderful your living space is.
Number Four : Blame it on the children.
I know I have used this excuse before," Look over this mess, you know how messy kids are."
I hate to break this news but its not the kids fault, its yours!
Children tend to mimic there parents. When a child watches their mother take care of her things, so will the child.
When I used to babysit I would let the kids be kids, dump the toy box and play. But when it was getting time for them to be picked up I would also ask them to clean up their toy mess, sometimes they would ask for help and I would but not once did I ever allow them to leave the mess for me.
Once I was tested by this strong willed little boy, I warned him with " Anything in the floor when you leave will be put into the trash." He left that day with a very messy play room. I simply put all that was on the floor into a clean trash bag and put it outside by the trash can. The next day he came and began to play but was missing " those" toys so he asked " what happened to so and so?" I told him they were left in the floor so they are in the trash can. He ran outside and seen them, came back inside and asked " Can I have them back? I promise to pick them up!" I gave him the okay and he never left those toys in the floor anymore.
Number Five : Just Say No!
Don`t be anyones dump! For years I had people say, here I got something for you, and for the most part it was what they were going to toss in the trash but was to much or to big to put in the trash can. I always seen a crack or a chip and was told " ahh, just tape that or use a magic marker will take care of this."
I remember once this one lady gave me a computer, I did not know anything about computers but had always wanted one so I took it home and ordered internet, dial up back them was all that was available, and come to find out it did not even have a modem! I was stuck with a piece of junk to haul off and I had wasted money getting internet.
Just say no to others junk, if they are pushing it on you just ask yourself, if its that wonderful why dont they keep it?
Not wanting to hurt a few old peoples feelings I took stuff I did not want and I dropped it off on the way home at a donation box.
Number Six : Watch a marathon of " Hoarders buried alive"
I must say this show is an eye opener. Who knew that people hoarded in so many different ways.
As for me I was not qualified to be on the show, but I was getting closer and closer by the day as being one of the "new things" hoarders. I kept the house clean, I just did not know how to organize my things so I would not buy a new one because I could not find the one I had.
If you need help with hoarding don`t hesitate to call and ask the show for help. Now only will they help you clean it up but also help you deal with why you hoard in the first place.
As for me and my home I will abide by these tips and live clutter free.
1 - Calm those impulse shopping trips
2 - Don`t shop yard sales/ Thrift stores
3- Invite people over.
4- Don`t blame the children
5- Don`t take peoples trash
6- Get motivated with a marathon of hoarders the show
By Andria Perry
Photo`s by Andria Perry