Posted on December 9, 2008. Filed under: Games, Health, HowTo, Spirituality |

I’ve got the paper thing pretty well handled now. My storage cubes didn’t quite work out as planned, but I read once in Real Simple magazine that there are very few, if any papers and documents which cannot be recreated these days. So, I’ve kept tax returns (seven years worth) financial statements (mainly to help me prepare those tax returns) my will, passport, deed to my house, and birth certificate. I used to have a huge file of “personal papers”. I’ve limited those to writings and drawings which are particularly meaningful. Then, there is a box which has items labeled “nostalgia”. It’s OK to keep this, and take it out and look at it every year (or five or ten).


Where I’m still hoarding, though, is with “stuff” (other than papers). I have quite a few 3 1/2″ floppy disks. (I know, I know) They don’t have anything meaningful on them. I have even found several places I can recycle them, including one which will donate any recycling income to charities. I keep thinking I might “need” them though—who am I kidding? Oh, yeah. Me.

I have my fantasy office, and my real office. In my fantasy office, I have just the supplies I need, neatly arranged in a cabinet, on neatly labeled shelves. I have just enough bookcases, with books beautifully arranged by category. I have my lovely lounge chair, and footrest, and reading lamp, and of course this beastly (said with affection) computer.

My “real” office has books piled on the floor. CDs piled in the bookcase (old games and business software I don’t use now). There are shopping bags, craft materials, notebooks and binders I will never…{wait; wait, they might come in handy}…use, in the cabinet. I have old scrapbooks and photo albums. I have sheet music I don’t even like! I have two soft-sided briefcases with holes in them, along with an assortment of other bags and cases. I have stationery I will not use, because, quite honestly, I rarely send personal correspondence any more; I almost always use email.

And then there’s my closet. I admit it, I hoard clothes! I don’t buy new ones very often because I don’t like to go shopping, but I hold onto the old ones way too long; particularly if I especially like the color. I’m not all that good at picking out colors that look good on me and that I also enjoy looking at. So, when one of these wondrous perfect-color garments wears out, I’m very reluctant to let it go. If the shirt has a hole in it, I can wear it to paint! or do gardening! If it’s even more decrepit, I can turn it into a rag! (You should see my rag bag—I could never do enough housecleaning to use them all!) I have shoes I might wear someday. I have shoes I should be embarrassed to wear any day.

One of the things that helped me out with all the papers I used to have was the knowledge they could be recycled. I am lucky enough to have curbside recycling in my neighborhood, and I’ve contributed greatly to their efforts. Those clothes I am willing to let go of, as well as some items that could actually be used by someone go to charity thrift shops, so that’s all right. It’s those other items; those thoroughly worn out items I have trouble with. They will go into a landfill! Maybe I can squeeze some more use out of them, somehow!

Of course, they are taking up space in my house, now. Is that better than in a landfill? Well, it’s worse for my daily life and peace of mind. And I come, now, finally, to the point of my post. There is a spiritual principal (not religious, but spiritual) which states that physical clutter promotes mental clutter. There’s another principal that states that letting go of items (or thoughts) which no longer serve one makes space for the new to come in.

Also, and what I find intriguing in our consumer-driven society, is that often, as far as personal prosperity and quality of life is concerned, less is more. It’s better to have a nearly-empty room, attractively decorated in a way that makes one feel calm and peaceful, than a room crammed with expensive items which clutter our minds and hearts. Contrary to common sense or popular wisdom, in times of economic stress, it’s actually better, emotionally and physically to get rid of all those extra possessions which really posses us. Living more simply can free our space so we can concentrate on what really matters in our lives. I’m not saying we should live starkly, like monks (if we’re not in fact monks). For those possessions we do want to keep, because they enhance the quality of our lives, we should buy the best quality we can afford. Making lists of the things we actually use most often, or look at and love, can tell us what’s important.


So, as I go forward in this holiday time, and also in a time of economic uncertainty (but aren’t they all?) it feels very appropriate to be letting go of more and more, benefiting others and making way for the new.


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13 Responses to “Hoarding?”

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Love the cartoon , Muse. Great post too! Stuff. The clothes…me too! Some things I know I will never wear and keep just in case. In case of what? It might come back in style one day…
I have given away so much stuff and still have bunches of it!
Our problem. When we bought our house four siblings had lived there before us. (Elderly family members) They never threw anything out and I mean anything! I had cupboards of medication and ointments that were ancient. Bank books from back when you had to write in them with a pen. Furniture, all things belonging to them. No one took anything. And then we brought in our stuff.
My husband did not want to let go of anything. I know a lot of it was antique and had sentimental value. But really, do we need 10 dressers? 4 tea sets? I swear there must have been at least 50 wine glasses! The list goes on. I have managed, over the years to get him to part with about half the ‘stuff’ but am still working on more. (I do not enjoy dusting)
Add to that my Christmas stuff, beading stuff and his music gear and studio stuff.
We need help!
I have 4 rooms de-cluttered and simple. The rest…I need to purge.

And you are so right! I feel so good when everything is organized and simple. Not to mention easy to clean! My spirits are up.

When things get cluttered, I really do get in a rut.

I have an imaginary office/computer room too. It looks great! Yours sounds fantastic!

You said:
“I have shoes I might wear someday. I have shoes I should be embarrassed to wear any day.”
Still chuckling over that…:)

We are quite lucky that the Canadian Diabetes Association will come to your house and pick up donations if you call them. (Hope you don’t mind that I linked it. You can delete it if you want)

Take Care

i started moving some of my stuff from the old bedroom to the new one and have gotten rid of two bagfuls of stuff. i really should clear up more! i don’t clear up often but when i do i like the space left… for more new things. 😳 and i like to go through the stuff when i clean up. i enjoy delving into nostalgia, perhaps a bit too much because i don’t let go of the past easily. i can throw the things away but i will still remember the memory behind it…

I come from a whole family of hoarders. We’ve been clearing out some old junk recently – to the charity shops with it!

I come from a family of hoarders as well. If there’s a slight chance that something could be used or needed later on down the road, it’s kept 😐 I still have lots of things that I haven’t layed eyes on in years. It could all just disappear and I’d never know it. Clothes in the closet as well that I’ll most likely never wear again. Perhaps one day, when I want to get hit w/ that feeling of nostalgia (which I dislike), I’ll try to sort through some of it and get rid of alot of old stuff.

I remember seeing a programme on TV…one of those home makeovers where they give tips on removing clutter. I tried… but somehow, end up keeping a lot of stuff with me. Though, now, I have nothing! Left everything in the place I used to call home…waiting and hoping somethings are returned. Have a lot of clothes, son’s toys. May be it is a way to teach me not to get attached to things!? Don’t know! Oops…there I go again. Sorry. I will stop.

Please tell me my reply the other day went to spam because it had a link.
It was long one…

Well, I am pretty good at getting rid of old stuff go as I have moved out so many times that clearing out become mandatory…But, souvenirs from which there is a sentimental attachment to it,I am unable to get rid of them like some of my mom and dad’s ones…Last week, I went thru an old bag of jewels that I did wear no more and I gave some pieces away to friends..In this bag, I found a ring given to me by my first boyfriend when I was 14 years old and decided to wear it again..

Thanks, BD. It is pretty close to my what my actual desk looks like, too. Oh my goodness. You had the siblings’ things AND your own? Whew, I really have no excuse, then (not that I did) πŸ˜‰ —my house was empty when I moved in! Sounds like you had some lovely old things, and it really is hard to choose, isn’t it? I had inherited a beautiful gold-inlaid set of fine china from my favorite aunt. After moving two large boxes of it for the third time, and realizing I would never use it—as gorgeous as it is, it would look just so out-of-place and weird with my Southwest/Asian/eclectic decor—I decided to sell it to a consignment store which was looking for just such pieces. I kept one small, chipped condiment dish they didn’t want (because it was chipped) and I have it on top of a dresser, chipped side to the wall. πŸ˜‰ It still feels like the right thing to do, but it nearly broke my heart at the time. 😦 I’m glad you enjoyed my shoe comments! They are true, but at least I can laugh at myself about some of this! πŸ™‚

It’s a great opportunity to clear out when we’re moving, sulz! And, making room for the new is part of the process! It’s just important, I think, to choose our new purchases wisely. The nostalgia is hard for me, too. I read a suggestion that if there are things that remind us of someone we love, and we know we aren’t going to use them, to take pictures and put them in a photo album. Then, the photo will still enhance the memory, which is all we have in the end, anyway. We’d be adding another “object”—photo album, to our clutter, but it would take up less room than a dresser, a chair, and a large set of dishes! πŸ™‚

Good for you, B0bby! The charity chops are wonderful for that, and allow us to recycle and benefit others. We can find treasures there ourselves, save money, and benefit the charities. Good all ’round! πŸ™‚

Well, that’s just the thing, Shane! If we haven’t looked at something in months, and we wouldn’t even notice if it were missing, why do we hold on to these things? There’s a sort of nesting instinct in human nature I think, but really, old clothes we know we won’t wear again, when other people could wear them, or at least use them for rags, LOL? I’m glad to know I’m not alone! πŸ˜€

I love to watch those television clean-up shows, Apar. The trouble is, they have a large crew to help make decisions and do the actual work. I keep looking out my front window, but the “team” doesn’t come to work here. πŸ˜‰ I know you had to leave a lot behind. That’s one way to realize what’s important, even for sad reasons. 😦 I do hope it works out that you get back what you value; your son’s things especially.

That’s exactly what happened, BD! I’m still getting used to the new WordPress dashboard, and didn’t know where the Spam was. It used to be right in my face! πŸ˜‰ So, I have rescued you from the Spam pile, and appreciate your comment. The link is fine; I think it’s a great resource you have shared. Thank you!

I really liked your comment, CV. Perhaps I should move three more times so I will clear out—but, I like where I live! πŸ˜‰ I don’t think there is anything wrong with keeping sentimental things, as long as they are meaningful and don’t get in the way. It’s wonderful that you could share some of your jewelry with friends! It can make both you and them happy. I was touched by the story of your ring from your first boyfriend. Awww! πŸ™‚

Yes 4 siblings! 2 widowed and moved back into the family home and 2 who never married. 3 had passed on by then. We were able to give much of it to family and some friends. The rest I donated. Some of the older clothes and things went to our local theater. I went to one of the plays and saw them wearing them! That was neat.

But we still have things to purge. We’ll get there. πŸ™‚

How fun to see “the siblings'” clothing in a play! That’s a great idea. Now, repeat after me… “Purging is good for the Soul” πŸ˜€

Repeating after you:

Purging is good for the soul…. πŸ˜‰

[…] I have this clutter on my credit card statement. I still have some clutter in my office. My blog friend Shane has helped me out with my computer clutter, and blog friend Joan with my home […]

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