Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Anti-Hoarder

That's me!

Ever watch the show Hoarders? Scary stuff right? I kind of have a weird love affair with that show. I watch it and it makes me feel nauseous. Not because of the goo, grime, feces and moldy rotten food but because of the clutter.

I can remember being younger and my mother making a big deal about cleaning this room or that room. I don't remember our house ever being untidy or cluttered. But I do remember being annoyed by my mom's incessant need to have everything in it's place.

I get it now. And I think my kids are probably as equally annoyed as I was.

But for me it goes further. Clutter stresses me out. It stresses me out to the point that I feel anxious and sick thinking about it (or worse yet seeing it) So when I start feeling overwhelmed by clutter I start to purge. I sell, throw out, donate and freecycle everything that hasn't been used in the last month (which sometimes causes a problem when something has been used in the past 3-4 months and will be used again but I've gone and gotten rid of it.

Let's have a little for instance. Right now I have two 20" televisions and a VCR in the basement. They are working fine. They are just not needed right now. It's not to say they won't be needed...Mary's TV is getting old and could crap out any day. Eventually Connor will get older and realize his sisters have TV's in their room and he doesn't have one in his. The one in our bedroom could crap out. The joke of it is, for all the tv's we have, only the one in the two living rooms get watched. So I feel this strong need to get rid of them but I know the minute I do...I'll regret it.
I have a crawl space that is overflowing with toys. Most of which we use on a rotating basis but honestly, how many toys can one person use? I have a strong urge to get it all out and have a garage sale.
I have clothes....piles and piles and piles of clothes. Not mine, but for Connor. A friend graciously gave me all her son's size 4, 5 and 6 clothes and don't get me wrong, I am most grateful! I won't have to buy clothes for him for 3 years! But it feels like clutter.

And yet, if you were to come into my house, you would not think it to be a cluttered place. It's not crowded or overdone. I don't have a lot of 'trinkety' type stuff about. Most of what is out is useful or of some sentiment. But it all feels like clutter to me.

I've learned something about myself though. I became this way during the year from hell. It was my way of controlling my life, the only way I could.I decluttered my house in order to gain control of the clutter in my mind and heart.

So, knowing this begs the question - if I am feeling like this right now, what is it I'm feeling internally cluttered about? I think my anxiety about not having heard back about the job yet is the big one. They called my references last Thursday. Either call and offer me the job or call and tell me I don't have the job so that I can plan my future.

I think I'll go check what my collector dolls would fetch on ebay.


  1. OMG I feel the same way! I hate clutter and mess! Cleaning and organizing is my way of making myself feel better too about things I can't control. Whenever I am stressed about something, not sleeping well or just feel overwhelmed I clean and declutter too! I guess it's better than heading for the liquor cabinet or reaching for a pack of smokes ;-)

  2. LOL, yeah I suppose it is better than the booze or smokes...though a nice cold beer makes the decluttering that much more fun! heehee