Often, hoarders have a real mental block about getting rid of things because we spent money on them. It seems that getting rid of them now is a waste of that original money and that the only way for it to not have been a waste is to keep the item.
The problem is, if we’re not benefiting from the product, it’s not doing us any good to keep it, even if it cost us a lot of cash in the first place.
One way to tackle this is to sell these things, rather than donate or trash them. This video with Donna Smallin Kuper looks at how to declutter for cash and, even though Craigslist isn’t used much here in the UK, there are some great ideas here.
Some very wise and pertinent words from Greg Denning
Ok, it’s overly simplistic and doesn’t take into account the emotional attachments that hoarders have to their belongings BUT if you’re stuck for ideas on where to start with your decluttering efforts, this video from BuzzFeed might just be what you need to push you into action.
Some of this is a bit basic, but it’s good to be reminded…
I found this TED Talk pretty inspirational. If you are in need of a boost to help you let go of your crap, check it out.
It can be useful to visualise how we imagine our homes will look when we have finished dehoarding (notice I’ve stopped saying ‘if we finish…’ – we need some clarity if we’re going to get there!).
We can imagine what our bedroom will look like or how easy it is to move around our kitchen. And we can also imagine how it will feel.
How will it feel to hear a knock on the door and not panic that it might be someone who needs access?
How will it feel to be able to invite friends over without embarrassment?
How will it feel to be able to find what we need, when we need it?
How will it feel to be surrounded by things we’ve actively chosen to keep, rather than every piece of shit and trash and junk we’ve acquired over decades?
Visualising what it will be like, both aesthetically, and emotionally, can be a really helpful motivational tool. Let’s commit to doing it on a regular basis to keep track of where we are up to.
Inspired by this video by Gayle Goddard, I have been thinking a lot about what she said about including ‘time to reset’ at the end of a task. This involves making sure that the last few minutes of the time you’ve allocated to a task are given to tidying up after it.
So, if you’re going to do some arts and crafts for half an hour, the last five minutes should be given over to cleaning up and putting things back where they belong.
To naturally neat people, this is probably just common sense. But for people like me, who gave up trying to have any order in her home for far too long, it feels a bit like a revelation.
Often, it seems pointless (oh hi, overwhelm again!), and yet, if we don’t, things get worse, not better. Progress is not just halted, it’s reversed.