Moving and Hoarders

>> 11.09.2011

So... I'm still being really superstitious about the new house. The negotiations have been over for a while, we breezed through the appraisal (it appraised $20k over our contract price), and locked in a historically stellar interest rate (<4%! for 30Y).... but I'm still not quite ready to show pictures until we've signed that big stack of papers at closing (set for NEXT FRIDAY)! Even then, it looks like we won't be in the house until November 29th because we're leasing the property back to the current owner while she makes moving plans. This date has changed three times already- so, who knows! I am seriously excited about sharing our *crosses fingers* new house having more thrifty renovating and decorating posts in the near future (oh, and there will be a lot to talk about), but for now all I've got are my deep thoughts about the A&E Hoarders show... 

I've already admitted to everyone in the blogosphere that I'm half-hoarder and that I have certain addictions, but I've realized more than ever while pre-packing that I have some behaviors that tiptoe right on the edge of being totally crazy! Thankfully, those professional organizers and behavior therapists on Hoarders (which is way better than the TLC version) seem to be speaking directly to me. Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks that I've been using while deciding what to get rid of instead of move into our new house:

1. Buying home organizers will not make you organized. I have boxes with labels, ones with drawers, ones with lids and without... but they're not what makes me an organized person. I make me an organized person by knowing where my things are and by focusing on using organizers to keep the things I need-- not by finding things to keep in the organizers!

2. The memories are not attached to the physical items. Take a picture of the item if you'll to see it to hold on to the memory. Flash drives are so much easier to store!

3. Holding on to the guilt of never using something that you buy will weigh down on you mentally and physically on your house. Just let it go and learn a lesson for the next time. I blame one too many garage sales for this!

4. Ask yourself: How much time would it take to complete your projects? Will you be able to finish them by next week? When will you get around to finishing them? 

5. Remember... having the tools doesn't make you a mechanic, owning the machine doesn't make you a person who bakes bread, and storing books doesn't make you a person who reads. In my case, it turns out I'm not a person who sets the table every night. It turns out that couple napkin sets will do.

6. When in a tough spot, rate your need for the item in question- '1' being trash, '10' being your family, '9' as food, shelter, etc.  This week, I watched a man rate a rusty tool as a '9,' although the therapist eventually got him down to a '4.' Yikes!

Does anyone else feel like they're actually learning something while watching the Hoarders show?

PS I don't recommend the one about animal hoarders!


Two Grad Students and a Pittie November 9, 2011 at 11:53 AM  

Sometimes I think I have the opposite problem, I never keep anything and am constantly clearing out. Our shelves are pretty tidy though!

miniannalee November 9, 2011 at 12:04 PM  

I've only caught part of the show Hoarders. I will have to watch a whole show just to see how they handle it.
I am a lot like you with buying containers to contain my stuff but I have trouble getting rid of craft supplies that I plan on using.

threeacres November 9, 2011 at 12:41 PM  

Those are some great guidelines especially #1! So many home organization bloggers have tons and tons of organization boxes and tools mostly because they are often paid or given free stuff from the manufacturers. We did a massive cleaning last year of the boxes we had filled with "memorable items from our past." We got rid of about half of the stuff taking pictures of the important things. It felt good to get down to one box a piece. As soon as this remodel is complete and our master bedroom and closet is livable I'm going to do another massive purging.

Allison @ House of Hepworths November 9, 2011 at 4:06 PM  

I LOVE this post. You are so honest, and funny, and it's great! Your comment about trying to find things to put in the organizer boxes - priceless. Totally defeats the purpose of organizing, doesn't it?! I'm the same way. I love baskets and drawers, but I never have anything to put in them, so I go around looking for stuff to stash. lol. It's okay to have empty drawers! I've got half a dresser with empty drawers. I like the look of the furniture, I just don't know what to put in it, and that's okay. You don't NEED to fill every box and drawer just because it's empty.

I too love the show Hoarders. It's always a great reality check for me. Every time I watch it I have this urge to go around my house with a big box piling crap in it to donate. That show single-handedly keeps me from being a hoarder myself.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog November 9, 2011 at 4:17 PM  

Thanks, Allison... but you should really think I'm weird. I can't tell you how many times I've thought, "thank goodness I've watched this- this could be me in 20 years!" Like this weekend when I almost kept a bunch of yarn because I *might* knit something with it someday...

Amanda- Hip House Girl November 9, 2011 at 5:19 PM  

The yarn... I have yarn that I "might" use someday too... Stan is working on me but I too have some hoarder-like tendencies.

I am insanely insanely jealous of your interest rate.

Anonymous,  November 12, 2011 at 7:06 PM  

One day I realized that I was buying home organizing" stuff" to organize the home organizing stuff that I'd previously bought . . . it was truly a life-changing experience.

I realized it's not so much that I'm disorganized (which I am), the problem really is I've got way, way, way too much stuff.

I took a deep breath and just started tossing stuff out. Clothes I hadn't worn or that didn't fit, but I was sure I would wear one day; about 35 pair of shoes, tons of kitchen stuff, towels, and sheets. You name it I tossed it. I got huge brown paper lawn and leaf bags from Home Depot and just started filling them. Anything that didn't go to the consignment shop I gave to Good Will so I know the stuff will have a good home. It was so liberating!!!
And, what's really amazing is I don't miss the stuff.
So, now I do that every now and then and it feels great. Energy moves through my house when there isn't a bunch of junk in its' way.

I finally realized we either own stuff or it owns us. The amount of energy we put into mainting the stuff we own can drain us, financially, physically, and emotionally. You can free up huge blocks of energy by getting rid of a bunch of stuff "you're gonna use one day".

I was feeling pretty good about myself, thought I pretty much had clutter under control and then I read a really good book about hoarding called "Buried in Treasure" and learned that I am a paper hoarder.
I was mortified! I didn't even realize there was such a thing. All my books, my research papers, my scraps of wrapping paper, cards I know I'm gonna use one day. It's not special stuff, it's clutter. Who knew???

Kasey November 14, 2011 at 4:08 PM  

That book sounds really interesting!

Also, I never thought of using lawn bags to use for donations- it makes sense because they're so sturdy. I'll have to try that.

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