Hoarding is a form of prolonged difficulty in discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived future need for them.
I was once a hoarder, even though I would consider myself more of a collector. I kept things even when they were no longer useful to me. I just hold on to them because they represent something to me.
I held on to these items for as long as 10-15 years till the day I find the need for them and most times, but sometimes, the need for them never arose.
Did you know most of the phones I used all my life are securely kept in my closet. Why? You may ask. I don’t know why either. It didn’t matter that these phones could no longer power anymore, I just kept them.
I had Designer perfume bottles, expensive magazines both foreign and local that were filled up more than five big boxes. I carefully kept them as souvenirs, talk about sentimental attachment.
I’m a lover of quality shoes and bags. I’m a freak actually. I find myself even buying shoes I know I cannot walk in because the heels are too high. I will spend huge sums on these shoes only to admire them daily and hope I to learn to walk in them someday. Unfortunately, such days never came.
At one time, I had 89 pairs of shoes and 27 hand bags. But more than 50 of these shoes were never worn beyond my bedroom. My closet at a time was made up of things that I bought over eight years back that I never wore out of the house for once. Although I was still hoping to find use for them, the right time never came.
It is not that I wasn’t giving out stuff to people, far from it. I just found me holding on to the ones I wasn’t wearing, yet buying new things that I knew won’t add any value to my life other than occupy space.
A few years ago, I decided to clean out my closet. While at it, I prayed I don’t find myself still keeping few of the items back. On a lighter note: who knows may be I would own a Vintage store someday.
That was my little hoarding disorder story back in the days. I shared this out to give you insight into what I want to talk about. The truth remains that a lot of us especially the NOT too rich are hoarders. We hoard things that have outlived their usefulness. We keep them because of sentimental attachments even when it is clear that we don’t use these things or need them in our lives.
People hoard all manner of nonsense from condemned buckets to broken pots, rags, cream containers, broken tables, chairs, expensive wine bottles they have never drank, old electronics, fridge, to even rickety cars.
These things add no real value to their lives, but they are stock piled within and outside their rooms or in the compound. Their is no space left, yet they still keep collecting and piling trash thereby giving rooms to all manner of reptiles as well as rodents to take permanent residence in their houses because they have found convenient hide outs. The smell in such houses is always stuffy and choking.
Hoarding is a disorder. It is a disorder that may be present on its own, or as a symptom of another disorder. An excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value is an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It is also a symptom of Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression. These people may consider an item a reminder that will jog their memory, that without it they would forget an important person or event. They experience distress at the thought of getting rid of these items.
Hoarding is not the same as collecting. Collectors have a sense of pride about their possessions and they experience joy in displaying and talking about them. Hoarders usually experience embarrassment about their possessions and feel uncomfortable when others see them. Collectors keep their collections organized, feel satisfaction when adding to it, they budget their time and money. While hoarders have clutter, often at the expense of livable space. They pile up things in ways that are unsafe or affect their dealings with others.
It is one thing to admit you have this disorder, and another thing to do the right thing by letting go of these items. If you find yourself still holding on to old magazines, shoes, newspapers, clothes, papers, plastic bags, boxes, old electronics, photographs, household appliances, expired foods etc for ages, it is time you rid your house of these things. Give your home the fresh air and space it truly deserves.
Your family may have called you out a couple of times on your hoarding behavior. It is not all the stuff you pile that makes you feel better, it is the few things that add value to our lives.
Let go of the poverty mentality of piling things with the excuse that you may find them useful someday. If you believe an item will be valuable in the future, of sentimental value, unique and irreplaceable to you, then create a store for it away from the prying eyes of the public or other family members.
Clean out your house and closet today. Stay healthy.