I Refuse to be a Hoarder… and Other Recent Developments

5 Jun

I live in a teeny-tiny apartment with absolutely no storage save one large closet that houses crafting materials, serving dishes, dog food, and my beloved Dyson vacuum cleaner.  One day, I pulled out some of the crafting stuff that I would soon put to use, piling it up neatly in a corner of the living room.  When the boyfriend came home, he looked at me, then at the pile, then back at me.  With a flourish of his hands, he asked, “What’s this?  You’re turning into a hoarder.”

I think I died a little.  Immediately, I looked around and saw that you could still see carpet, there were clearly marked walking paths, white walls could still be seen.  Yeah, okay.  There was a pile of newspapers that needed to be recycled on the kitchen table.  And Molly Dog has a huge basket of toys that she hardly ever plays with, but feels the need to pull them all out and litter the floors with them.  And yes, I am only one person, so why do I need three Crock Pots?  Well, obviously I need them; I LOVE to cook!  And that’s when I found myself standing in the middle of my little apartment asking myself if I really needed all this stuff.

Gretchen Rubin wrote a book called The Happiness Project (the link is to her website; check it out).  It’s a really great read about finding more ways in your daily life to be happy – and who doesn’t need that?  There was one section in which she wrote about this beautiful stationery that she was holding on to for reasons unknown.  She bought it because she loved it, and then never used it because she loved it.  Hmmmmm… sounds like a conundrum to which we all can relate.  I started thinking about all the things I’ve surrounded myself with because I loved them.  The bottles of wine cluttering the top of the refrigerator “for a special occasion.”  The cards that are super adorable that I’ve never sent to anyone.  The extensive collection of serving dishes that get used once, maybe twice a year.  The piles of shoes and clothes that were beginning to take over the bedroom.  The overly cluttered refrigerator doors and cluttered counter tops.

It’s time to purge and purge big.  Letting go of things is so hard!  I mean, I bought things because I liked them and thought they would serve some purpose, but admitting that things don’t make a happy life is rough.  In the past few weeks, I’ve donated about three large garbage bags of clothes and shoes, giving me more room to NOT buy new things… haha.  And last night I cleaned off the refrigerator doors, getting rid of papers I no longer needed, and updating the photos in the magnet frames.  I weeded through the piles of plastic containers, throwing away lidless containers, and neatening up the cabinets.   I also cleaned up Molly Dog’s area, neatly arranging her wide array of vitamins and medications so that everything is in view and ready to go when she needs it.  I threw out three bags of trash last night!

And with all this effort came little reward in terms of visual change. I looked around last night and felt like nothing was different.  Sure, things were more neat and organized, but even with throwing things away, my world still seemed cluttered.  Le sigh.  The fight continues…

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4 Responses to “I Refuse to be a Hoarder… and Other Recent Developments”

  1. alundeberg June 5, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    It’s really hard living in a small place with no storage! We’re constantly having to “purge”, but it feels good afterward. I still have two crockpots, though.

    • stacy1220 June 5, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

      I don’t know how anyone can survive with just one Crock Pot. Seriously. I’m not just limiting my purge to home; it’s infiltrating school as well. I kind of just want to get rid of EVERYTHING and start over from scratch, but clearly that would never work!

      • alundeberg June 5, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

        Oh, I don’t even want to think about my classroom. There’s just so much stuff, and what makes it worse is that you really might use it again someday.

      • stacy1220 June 5, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

        I know! I was looking at my bookcase and all these reference books that I haven’t used. I’m so afraid to get rid of them because of that “what if” factor!

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