I’ve never actually watched the TLC show “Hoarders”, but I know enough to recognize that it is pretty bad. I’ve seen snippets of the show and the commercials which show homes that are filled to the extreme with both good, clean junk and really gross garbage. The people seem to be so sad too, either aging or poor, or both. I’ve heard descriptions that it is much worse than I can imagine, so I know I never want to watch it. Or be on it, which is why I have to stop this.
When we lived downtown, we had a small place with nowhere to hide anything. It was a loft, so there were no interior walls. We had one little tiny storage area and everything else was in the open. We barely kept anything, and purged frequently. If we weren’t using it, it was gone. Then we moved to the burbs. Our house more than doubled in size and all of a sudden we had walls and closets and places to hide things! There were more rooms than we knew what to do with or had furniture to fill. Gradually we started filling those rooms. First with furniture, then with “stuff”. We had a baby, then another. Two lils come with a lot more stuff.
I became an expert at finding previously enjoyed things for the lils. We re-purposed all kinds of stuff, including the boxes from our washer and dryer, held because I knew that they would make the perfect houses for our lil peeps. My girlfriends and I all shared clothes, toys, cloth diapers, anything baby related. I had it all organized and perfectly stowed away. But then it all multiplied, and I stopped finding new homes and purposes for the stuff that we were no longer using.
Having two busy children has meant that I have demands on my time now that mean I can’t stay on top of this mountain of stuff that I want to find new homes for. I know that there are people who want to use our no longer suitable furniture, appliances, clothing. Maybe even people who read and want my books! I have mountains of baby gear that I keep meaning to find homes for, and follow through on the giving when I do find homes for. And don’t get me started on the piles of packaging that I have set aside so that I can break it down to be properly recycled, used as a craft, or moved into the playroom. Sadly, I want to do all this, but don’t have the time, or the energy at the end of the day. So it just got piled around the house.
A couple of weeks ago I looked around and realized that this was starting to look a lot like the foundations of a hoarder’s house. While I still very much want to freecycle or repurpose as much of this as I can, I panicked a little and did a mini purge of the most obvious crap. I then started sorting through things and moving all the stuff that I don’t want to keep to the spare bedroom. I work at it a little each day, and the entire house is starting to look better. Well, everything except the spare room, that it. It looks REALLY full.
I hope that I can keep up and finally get some of the stuff moving out to new homes. If not, I guess I can take solace in the fact that I seem to be on the path toward the house that is packed with the useful, non-smelly stuff. Thankfully we get the garbage, compost and green bin out each week!