How To Deal With The Hoarder In All Of Us.

Buzzy Life Survival Guide
Lesson 2: Lightening The Load
How To Deal With The Hoarder In All Of Us.

Who among us has not glimpsed an episode of Clean House, Hoarders, Hoarders Buried Alive or any of their clones? We have looked on in horror and congratulated ourselves that our lives are not anywhere near as congested. Sure we don’t have to walk sideways through towering piles of god-knows-what or climb over mounds of stuff just to get to the bathroom but are we even close to being free of life sucking clutter? For 90 percent of us the honest answer should be no, we are far from unencumbered.

So many of us are weighed down by outdated textbooks, hampered by clothes that were passé a decade ago, burdened by junk mail and paperwork that is past date and useless. There are basements, attics, garages and sheds all over the country brimming with the effluvia that we won’t part with because we tell ourselves it might someday be useful. Newsflash, if you haven’t used it in some fashion within the last 2 years you probably never will.

In addition to the psychic toll of clutter there are real physical issues that affect us as well major fiscal burdens in these hard economic times. To get a handle on this I want you to consider a few facts published by the Self Storage Association of America.:

funny shirts“There is more than 2.35 billion square feet of self storage in the U.S., or a land area equivalent to three times Manhattan Island under roof. It took the self storage industry more than 25 years to build its first billion square feet of space; it added the second billion square feet in just 8 years (1998-2005)

The self storage industry has been the fastest growing segment of the commercial real estate industry over the last 30 years.”

So what can be done? Do I have to get rid of those chairs I got from mom that have been in the family for at least a generation? Does my beloved Teddy Bear have to be kicked to the curb? How about my old love letters (yes, from before the time of emails and texting)? Or those silly thing-a-ma-bobs I saved from my vacation at the beach when I was 15? It is a matter of priorities. How many Teddy Bears do you need to remind you of your childhood? Instead of a trunk load or closet full of old toys maybe two or three physical reminders of earlier days will be just as effective. Can’t part with paperwork because you think something vital might be lurking next to that old receipt for something you no longer own? Try spending serious time sorting. Keep, discard, keep, discard. What in the world is a Chinese take-out menu from a neighborhood I no longer live in doing next to my brother’s Air Force discharge papers? That special something you were saving to give to a special someone? Give it to them now, not after you die. If they want it fine and dandy, if they don’t want it and have the courage to say no thank you, then give it to charity. As for papers of importance may I suggest that scanning them and saving to flash drives, clouds and other electronic storage means never having to worry about fire, flood or theft? You will have them as long as you want them. Handwritten sentimental letters be they from cousin Pearl or a lost loved one need not be tossed or digitized. They are unlikely to take up more than the space of one draw or its equivalent in a stylized scented box. You have every right to hold on to some things but don’t drown in them.

An important thing to keep in mind is that this is an ongoing process. Messy, encumbering clutter will build up all over again unless you stop it before it gains a toehold in your home. Don’t let the junk mail make it inside your place, decide what you want when you open your mailbox and discard the rest immediately.

When you come across a great sale be it for shoes, linens or tools, ask yourself if you need it, if you want it, or are you buying it just because it is a good sale. If you buy the item/s make sure you get rid of something that takes up about the same amount of space. No chucking out your spouse, offspring or pets to make up for it. That would be a no-no. When people gift you stuff you don’t want, do not feel guilty about getting rid of it. I once held on to a broken hair dryer of the old fashioned bubble head covering sort just because my father had gifted me with it. When I chucked it I didn’t lose the memory of him giving it to me. This hanging on to gifts due either to guilt or fear that the giver will find out we no longer have it, is irrational and it is time to free ourselves.

The net result of clearing things out is an immensely liberating feeling. It gives you room for so much more of the important things in life like gatherings with friends and family, time for all sorts of recreation and constructive “me” breaks. You deserve the best, not paying to stockpile the remains of the day.

©by June K. Williams
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June Williams
June, also known affectionately as Buzzy Lady #2, has been with the company since it began. She was born in Manhattan, raised in the Bronx (the first 12 years in the heart of the south Bronx) and spent most of her adult life living in Westchester County N.Y.

Always a Science Fiction fan and dabbler in writing she had thought herself too practical to pursue a career in the field. Before coming to Buzzy she spent over 30 years in the travel industry, then one day decided it was time to spread her wings and plunge into publishing. Everyone she knew thought she had gone slightly daft but as this was not the first time they had expressed that opinion she took the red pill anyway and now spends all of her time putting together projects that make each day a pleasure.
How To Deal With The Hoarder In All Of Us. -  Lightening The Load
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How To Deal With The Hoarder In All Of Us. - Lightening The Load
How To Deal With The Hoarder In All Of Us. - Lightening The Load. Who among us has not glimpsed an episode of Clean House, Hoarders, Hoarders Buried Alive or any of their clones?