I am a hoarder. A hoarder of books, of receipts, of leaflets, of carrier bags, of clothes – of everything. But I am trying to stop. I am on the way to being a recovering hoarder. It’s hard because there are things I know I will never use again but don’t want to get rid off. For example the other day I found a little tin full of old cinema tickets. It was a history of all the movies I had ever seen. I hadn’t remembered doing it and hadn’t added to it or looked at it in about 7 years. But I didn’t want to throw it out.
I wish I could tell you that I did. I almost did, but then I put it right back where I found it and suspect that it’ll be another seven years before I look at it again. With books it’s even harder. Doesn’t matter if it was a terrible gift or a bad buy – if it’s a book it’s staying. I have tried to reach a mental middle ground by giving them away as gifts (but for some reason many of the people I give books to don’t think of them as being a good enough gift. I’m giving you knowledge people, knowledge) or to a charity shop. That’s got rid of maybe, two books from my extensive collection.
Then there are the clothes – how do people throw out clothes successfully? I have so many, yet never have anything to wear, constantly buy new things, and throw nothing out. Then I complain about the lack of space in my wardrobe. But I am trying to get better. This Bank Holiday weekend I have said goodbye to so many items of clothing – things I haven’t worn in so long and things I didn’t think I liked when I got them.
But as an almost recovering hoarder (I am almost there, I promise) I started thinking of hints that make the whole process of letting go a lot easier:
- With books buy less and borrow more. Libraries need the issues and if you borrow then you have to give back.
- There has to be an element of harshness to the spring clean. Get rid of that tin of old cinema tickets, just throw it away.
- With clothes keep the items you love or think you will wear again. Bin the rest. Or charity shop the rest.
- Don’t do a spring clean yearly like I do, be better than that. Clean as you go because it makes everything so much easier.
- Don’t do the cleaning with your mum. Your mum will have a vested interest in you getting the ‘crap’ out. Ask a friend over who you trust to give you an honest opinion.