Most of the items were unused toiletries I'd collected to donate. From there I was lead to venture under the bathroom sink. I found bottles with a capital S, of never-used regular sized hair products including: shampoos, conditioners, hair and holding sprays and more. I pulled everything out into the middle of the floor and bagged it all up. Finally, I did what I planned to do a year ago. I donated the items to a local shelter.
My drawers in the vanity now closed with ease inspired me. So, I moved to the pantry--another garbage bag filled. Then over to the glasses and plastics, again--boxes and bags filled with unused items. I couldn't count the amount of food storage bowls I had with no matching lids or vice-versa. To the trash they went--all except the plastics which made their way to the recyclable bin.
I hadn't come across anything with real sentimental value and I wondered, why was I hanging on to all of this stuff? So, I did some research. I learned that hoarding is a slippery slope. If you stay in one place for long periods of time, hoarding can creep up on you without warning or notice. It's easy to be taken over by stuff.
Hoarding is displayed in many ways and include several levels from mild to severe. Were you aware, that if you place more food on your plate than you know you are capable of eating that, that is a mild form of hoarding? You see, hoarding according to the Mayo Clinic, is the Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value...
Actual value is not only dollar signs, but value to you, what that item means to you and how you benefit. But think about it... You may have an item with extreme sentimental value, but if it is packed away, invisible even, one must ask, how valuable is it?
When you can't find something or don't remember you have it, chances are you've placed on your skis to head down "Slope Hoard". The truth is, although you may posses that thing, if it's not at your finger tips, you're going to buy it rather than sift through an abyss. Therefore, you're not benefiting from the item. Sometimes, you may come across something you loss. You've needed it and if you use it great. Otherwise it should be as good as trashed.
With all of that in mind I gave the bathroom and other areas in my home a second glance. Even after I bagged the initial discovery of toiletries, I still had four additional full trash bags of stuff. I came to the realization that I'd been hoarding for a very long time and that it is time to let it go.
So I shall. Every two weeks I'm committed to letting go of the unneeded, unnecessary or unwanted until my space is cleansed. I hoard, but when you know better, do better.
Here are a few signs that you too may be a hoarder:
1. You have a room, compartment or space that you fail to use effectively.
2. You acquire things and don't have a use for the item and/or a reason to display them or room to maintain that item.
3. A collection has taken over.
4. It's a huge challenge to get rid of unwanted items or items you haven't used in long periods of time.
5. Storing broken items that never get fixed including but not limited to, appliances and furniture.
6. You make an excuse to retain something despite lack of usage, room for storage or functionality.
7. Large piles become smaller piles but you see little or no movement.
8. You're standing in front of a box or bag and whether labeled or not, you don't know what's inside.
This is Toni Staton Harris, Checkin' Up and Checkin' In on Are you a hoarder?