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Rules and Ways to Letting Go of your Hoarding

Updated on August 2, 2013
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Downsizing Your Hoard

I think most of us have collected things over the years that we can't seem to part with for one reason or another. I personally have kept clothes that I loved but could no longer wear because I had gained weight so I had out-grown them so to speak. I would try and convince myself that I would some day fit in to them once again. But the years have passed and my precious clothing hoard still remains untouched and packed away.

Saying Goodbye to my Hoard

I finally had somewhat of a break-through as I started to go through boxes and bags of clothes as well as books that I had stored in our second floor apartment. I was planning to remove my hoard from the apartment and put it in the basement. I was doing this as we had decided to rent the apartment out this fall; so I had to move my hoard or did I? I really wasn't looking forward to removing all the stuff in my hoard down four flights of stairs. The thought of this made my decision to say good-bye to a large part of my hoard that much easier.

Donating Can Help with the Process

As I started to pile the boxes of books and clothes I felt a sense of relief like a great weight being lifted from my shoulders. I knew I had made the right decision in letting go of a large portion of my personal hoard. I had a sense of comfort in knowing many of these items would be donated and given away to those who will be able to make use of them. I felt really good about passing my hoard on and out the door.

Special Treasures

I still have some items that I am keeping such as items that hold a special memory for me or symbolize a certain time or point in my life. I think we all have special treasures that we have no intentions of ever parting with. They don't necessarily have a large monetary value but quite often they represent a certain special time in our lives. Every time we take out these special treasures the memories that they represent come rushing forth bringing us back to a special time and place in our lives that we never want to forget.

Don't End up on the Hoarders Show

This I think is fine as long as you don't get carried away and end up on the "Hoarders" show. If you do end up as a guest on it then you know you have a big problem when it comes to letting go and saying good-bye. People in this stage of hoarding are extreme hoarders; they see treasures in what the average person would see as junk. They get so bad with their hoarding that they basically bury themselves alive amongst their hoards. Houses packed from floors to ceiling looking more like garbage dumps than homes. It blows me away to see people living amongst their hoards of junk; some having had their children removed from the home because the conditions where not healthy for the children. I can't believe that there is people who choose their hoards of junk over having custody of their children. I can honestly say I thank god that my hoarding habits didn't get to that extreme.

Not used in over 10 yrs

If you see yourself as a bit of a hoarder and you would like to change those habits try getting rid of small things that you really don't care about; this is a step in the right direction. Once you get going it will get easier as you get further into the process. If you have things that you have not used in over ten years I would suggest that you think about selling them or donating them.

One Man's Junk is another Man's Treasure

Having a garage sale is a great way to make some money while downsizing your hoard. Another great way to get rid of items is to sell them on-line; I have used this method many times using kijiji.com. With the money you make you can buy yourself something new perhaps a pair of jeans that actually fit. I'm sure there is someone who can make use of items you no longer use. Remember one man's junk is another man's treasure.

Downsizing Hoard

Once you have cleared out or downsized your hoard you will find you have some free space within your home. If you are not careful this space can fill up with a new hoard and you are back to square one. You must teach yourself to go through a kind of screening process asking yourself if you really honestly need the item you are considering taking home. If you are honest with yourself you will make the right decision that best suits you. I know and understand that it is not easy to let go and say good-bye.

Bye to the Old and Hi to the New

Instead think about saying "Hello" to that new pair of jeans that you can buy for yourself with the profits from selling your hoard etc. Whether it is a new pair of jeans or perhaps a book the choice is yours. Get up and say "Bye" to the old and "Hi" to the new!

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    • Pamela-anne profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela-anne 

      5 years ago from Miller Lake

      Thanks Peter for that visual of you in your funky outfit; you gave me a smile as a read your comment. Thanks for your support Peter take care!

    • Peter Geekie profile image

      Peter Geekie 

      5 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear Pamela-Anne,

      Hi again and thanks for another article that will make us stop and take stock of our situation.

      I live in a large rambling house with a lot of rooms, just right for hoarding. We had decided that enough was enough and most of it had to go. I came across a wardrobe of my clothes which had obviously not been touched in decades. I started to protest but then realised that some of these clothes were 40 years old. Within minutes there I was standing in a pair of skin tight white flared trousers, a satin paisley pattern shirt slashed to the waist and a pair of stack heeled Cuban boots !

      That was all the incentive I needed - straight into the black rubbish sacks went the entire wardrobe before my wife could find the camera.

      Kind regards Peter

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Pamela-anne,

      This is a very interesting hub worthwhile reading. My late parents were hoarders all of their lives and by the time they both passed away, the house was so filled with things one could hardly walk around or find an emply table. A lot of people have this problem, and your tips for hoarders are very useful. Voted up and sharing. Also Pinning.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      5 years ago

      You have touched upon a problem that is growing in the United States.We live in a fast paced society that what is good today is old tomorrow.Cell pones are an example.You have one then you get a new one but the old one is still good.So you keep both.Today books are becoming less and less a treasure with the Kindle Fire and the Nook.The e-books take up no space and are easier to carry around.I think the older generation has a tough time more than kids today.We grew up taking care of things so they would last and last forever.Loved your insight and we all could do a little clean out and get rid of things we don't use anymore.In with the new and out the old is a great way to look at it.Thanx rated up and interesting.

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