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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

10 steps to becoming a hoarder

  1. Early in your married life, take organizational tips from your mother-in-law (RIP), such as "pile stuff in laundry baskets to deal with it later."
  2. Start a scrapbooking habit, take zillions of pictures, then fall desperately behind in scrapbooking for, say, 7 years. Put all the unscrapped photos into laundry baskets. Pile scrapbooking tools into a corner nearby.
  3. Move on to stamping and create a smaller, though similar collection of rubber stamps, inks, paper.
  4. Inspect bags your husband is hauling up from the toy room to take to Goodwill. Remove 40% of what he attempted to giveaway. You're saving the toys for the grandchildren (who might be born in 15 years or so).
  5. Don't have the heart to decline anything offered to you by your husband's 92-year-old grandmother, even if you really don't need a battery-operated talking parrot, 3 Clinique giveaway bags or a yellowed U.S. map mounted on plywood. You don't want to hurt the woman's feelings. 
  6. Marry a man who cannot part with anything that has to do with Star Trek or Star Wars.
  7. Ask your children "do you want this?" before you throw anything away. 
  8. Be sentimental enough to want to keep a newborn-size diaper (unused, of course), the hospital wristband your daughter wore when she had her tonsils removed, and the first letter your son wrote to Santa, plus about 17,000 other small pieces of their childhoods.
  9. Maintain enough optimism to truly believe that you will fit into those clothes or they will come back into style someday.
  10. When you finally decide to get rid of stuff, waffle back and forth between giving it away, throwing it away, saving it for someone else you know who might want it, or trying to sell it on Ebay. Put stuff in laundry baskets until you can make up your mind.

7 comments:

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

I can proudly say I am a purger, nope not the eating disorder kind (I can joke about that though having had a mild eating disorder about a decade ago). Now I purge stuff. I help my friends, but only if they ask for it. Now if I could just get my husband to rid himself of a few more things...

I love driving through the goodwill, they're so pleasant. And this weekend, my friend is having a yard sale to help raise funds to adopt a Haitian baby. Gotta help with that, right?

Donate, donate, donate! Of course, there is a stash of both lego and kids' books in the basement. As my son says, "They're for the children I'm never going to have." Sigh.

traci's mixed bag said...

I'm sure those steps will definitely do the trick and I think I have a couple of those steps down. I watch Hoarders once in a while to remind me to get rid of unneeded stuff.

Shauna said...

I'm the complete opposite! I live in a small space with minimal storage and there is no way I am going to save stuff we don't need. As it is, I gave away/donated half of all the baby clothes we have (which was TWO GIANT garbage bags full) and put the rest into storage. I go through my closet at the end of every season and get rid of anything that I didn't wear or that is too stained/holey to wear next year.

A great tip I got from pinterest is to take pictures of your kids' artwork and then have it printed in a photobook, so you can save all those things you love, but it takes up way less space. We'll end up with an artboard hanging in the living room, so the kids can display their artwork, then take pictures of our favorites, and toss the originals when new ones come in.

It's all about maximizing space and minimizing clutter! It's a must if you live in an apartment!

hotmess10 said...

LOL Love it!

I am a purger. Can't stand stuff piling up. Sometimes, I just have to let go (unless of course, it was given to me by my grandmother...RIP).

caralyn said...

It's like you're IN my HEAD! :)

Amy said...

NOT a purger...DO have the newborn diaper still...SO glad that pic isn't your house! I stopped breathing for a second there! Thanks for the smile!

Shelley said...

OH MY GOSH. Before I finished the article and read that that pic wasn't your house, I was already mentally grabbing the car keys, a Diet Coke and a box of trash bags and getting ready to come over there.

Here's something I've learned that has ended up helping me a lot: Don't purge so much that your house is shed of all the personal touches that make it a home instead of a really roomy hotel suite. But DO purge. Purging stuff feels so much better than keeping it because laundry baskets piled around crammed with stuff to "deal with later" will make your chest tight and your anxiety level shoot through the roof.