De-Hoarding

I just invented a new word…de-hoarding.  It means the process of clearing your house of accumulated junk.  Especially the kind of junk that will keep you from freely moving through the rooms.

I recently watched several episodes of that new show on hoarding.  These are people who collect “things” and can’t let them go.  Eventually, their house will be stacked almost to the ceilings with only a small path winding around.  There have even been news stories about hoarders who died in their homes and their bodies weren’t found for a week due to the clutter.

So, I’m going to come out of the closet…I’m a hoarder.  Doubt me?  Here is a few pictures.  First, my Trek/office.

Here's where I kept my boxes to mail stuff...mailings I haven't done in years!

 And another room:

This is my over flow "library"  The boxes in the back are more books.

And last, but not least,  my primary library.

Under that pile of medieval costume accessories is a keyboard...that I never learned to play.

And…

Same room, different view!

I know I’m not as bad as some hoarders, but another 10 years and you won’t find my body!  So, my chief New Year’s resolution is to “de-hoard” my house.  This is my public declaration, so you, my homies, can keep me on the straight and narrow.  I’ll keep you apprised of my progress.  Now, using my new word in a sentence.

I vow to de-hoard my house in the year 2011.

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25 thoughts on “De-Hoarding

  1. Jackie,

    Good luck. This is a very laudable task. A million years ago, I read a book called “Clutter Control” that was written by a guy who ran a million dollar cleaning service. He approached controlling clutter as a way to streamline cleaning services. Then he went into things I had never thought about… like the shelf life of medicines, foods and beauty products. One of the lessons that he taught in the book is one of the things that these “Hoarders” show helpers do, and that’s clearing out clutter with three boxes behind you: 1) to store; 2) to donate; 3) trash.

    I believe you can clear out a bunch of this junk. If you’re like me, you have boxes and manuals to devices that you don’t even use any more…

    He also cautioned against allowing magazines and newspapers to stack up because you’re going to read them one day. He said, “cancel the subscriptions and buy one when you have time to read it”. Since then, only three magazines have ever arrived in my mail… it’s made my life easier.

    You’ll do great! I know you will. spw

    • Thanks, Sandee for reminding me about the three boxes. Actually, I’m using the one box, one garbage bag method. Anything I’m not keeping is either thrown away or donated to Goodwill. The thought of having a garage sale wears me out.

      I HAD started saving newspapers during my cataract surgery summer. I had over three months worth stacked up. But one day, I just admitted that I would NEVER catch up, so I just threw them away unread.

      Most of my magazines come as part of my belonging to whatever, so I can’t stop them. What I do is sit down and whatever I can’t read in one day is lost forever when I toss the mag. The only subscription I kept was to Writer’s Digest. And I really loved getting Entertainment Weekly, but I couldn’t keep up with it and it was one expense I could cut.

      • When you’re in the mood for an Entertainment Weekly, it will ALWAYS be in the newsstand at B&N. Pick one up for a treat some time. I didn’t realize the guilt I was giving myself as the periodicals stacked up. It actually stressed me! Now that worry is gone. spw

  2. I’m a homie? I’ve never been a homie before! ;-) I wish you much luck on the de-hoarding. I admit, while not a hoarder, I’m a total clutterbug and ALL I want to do right now is spend an entire day relocating much of it. To a dumpster. :) Good luck and, btw, I’m totally jealous of the nice library-like shelves you have in your primary library.

    • Kimberly, that’s how my hoarding started…as a clutterbug. Every flat surface of my house was stacked with stuff! :-) I’ll probably always be something of a clutterbug, but hopefully, I’ll be able to walk anywhere I want in the house.

  3. Jackie–
    Yes! A fellow hoarder. How brave of you to show the world. Maybe if I do that????
    I will also be dehoarding my house. I told Don we couldn’t move because I didn’t want to go through the junk.

    IF you have a Half-PRice books, some of those can be resold for $$! I go the donation route. Bring out the totes like Sandee mentioned!

    • Not bravery, Meg. Sheer desperation. I figured if I came out of the closet, I couldn’t wimp out. I’m making you all partners in my efforts.

  4. We decluttered the house this last weekend. 2 1/2 bags of Kiddo’s trash and a HUGE pile of donations that I need to organize and document–probably about ten bags worth–and I haven’t even gone through the closets yet!
    Good Luck, Jackie! Make that first step and start small (one drawer)if you are feeling over whelmed.

    • Oh, God, I don’t even want to think about the closets. I have eight!!! Groan! But I have started small. I cleared away most of my refrigerator magnets and one small bookshelf of VHS tapes. I even dusted! Not much, but a start. Thanks for the luck, Margaret.

  5. I applaude you, Jackie! It isn’t easy to get rid of ‘things’ that you once felt you had to have or simply couldn’t do without or just knew that if you got rid of it, you’d need 3 days later. I’m the same way. Especially with stuff in my home office. But take it one piece at a time. Otherwise it’ll become overwhelming, then before you know it, you’re home will be totally de-cluttered. Woot!

    Keep us posted on your progress.

    • Thanks, Linda. I plan on keeping you posted. I need the egoboos I hope to get with each victory. My goal is to post photos of each cleared room. I fear I will totally bore you with my saga though I may move it to my personal blog.

    • Barbara, there is one thing I did do a couple of years ago. I bought a “possible” jar from Walmart. This is a big glass jar about three feet high in which I put all the small items of memory I can’t bear to toss. The advantage to it is that I have to dust only the jar. :-)

  6. Wow. I am surrounded by clutter-acquirers. I thought I was the only one in this bunch. Wow!

    Hope we all get our sh*t organized. We put out three garbage cans today and three big black trash bags. More to come — or is that “go”?

    • Some of my stuff is trash, but the biggest bulk of it is books, video tapes, and knick-knacks from arts and crafts places. I bought them because they were cute…and they are still cute, so it’ll be hard to let go. But I’m determined to be merciless.

  7. And a big thanks to you all for understanding. I have to admit, I was fearful that you all might think of me as a lazy, messy Slut. Nice to know you all understand and are so supportive.

    • Honestly, if I was still in Tulsa, I’d buy a big diet Dr Pepper from QuikTrip and come over and keep you company while you do this. I’m MERCILESS! Just ask my BFF Tammy. If you haven’t used it in 6 mos, you probably will never miss it. If it’s been on a shelf buried and you haven’t seen it in years, you won’t miss it. Get to work! Take pictures and show us the end result. I bet you are happy and more comfortable when it’s all over. spw

      • Oh, great. Lure me into Steve’s to find the Entertainment Weekly and watch me spend more money than I need to on books! Thanks a lot, pal!

  8. Wow, I googled how to dehoard because lately I’ve been feeling completely overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in my apartment. I will be following up on your progress. My place looks a little like yours, not too bad but with with potential to look worse later on. I need to get as motivated as you!

    • Jenny–I’m hoping the key to success is to take each task one at a time. If I look at the entire house, I get tired just looking.

  9. Hi ladysurani,
    I have just found this website and really feel glad to find someone I can relate to, I know it’s a year later, so I hope you’ve managed to sort out your home. I’m just about to start on mine as it too looks like yours and just wondered if you have any tips, particulary on parting with things you’ve got far too much of (ie clothes, shoes, books etc) that you keep thinking you’ll one day wear/use.
    thanking you in advance for any advice.
    Carla

    • Carla–the only advice I can give is don’t look at the entire job. Just pick out one small thing and deal with it. In a year’s time, I’ve dehoarded my “guest” room, kitchen, living room, and most of my library. I’m not through, but I have to admit, it helped to have my DIL and son helping with the heavy stuff that was hard for me to do. Good Luck!

  10. My Mother had a strke over 2years ago, and we (her kids) had to go into her house and try to sort and clean etc…. so they could sell and buy a place on one level, as their’s was 3levels…too hard for her to get around. Anyway, she, like me, is a ‘clutter-bug'(BUT WORSE!), and this is the main reason that motivates me to de-clutter. I can’t imagine leaving my poor daughter the task of getting rid of all my ‘junk’ when I pop my clogs!

    • That’s the way my DIL feels. That’s why she’s so willing to help me now…so she won’t have all my junk to go through when I die. :-)

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