If you consider yourself a collector of stuff (even though your roomis might prefer to just call it trash), you’re probably not concerned about the insects or spiders living within, and you’ve even started calling them your spider-bros. But what you do have is – disposophobia! Or in simpler terms, your roomis, friends, and family members call you a hoarder. The thing is, you no longer need to spend your days wondering how to declutter. If you are willing to accept help, we’re here to guide you through it. The thing is, you don’t like being called that. You feel attached to these things (like your ex’s sweater), or maybe you collect them (like egg cartons, waste paper, etc.) to repurpose and make something out of them on DIY weekends.
Let’s talk about hoarding for a second.
If you relate to this, you’ll probably find some consolation in knowing about geniuses who were hardcore hoarders. From Stanley Kubrick’s boxes to Erik Satie’s love for umbrellas shows the love of hoarding and the value it offers to the creative process.
More often than not, you continue to hoard because you enjoy it, and it gives you happiness to add another item to your collection now and then. Stamp and coin collectors are often appreciated, even respected. But if you are a collector of egg cartons or fallen twigs and leaves, you become a compulsive hoarder? Life isn’t fair.
But then one day, you might look at the stuff you hoard and think – ‘Am I EVER going to use that?’ ‘Or is it adding even a little value to my life?’ and thought of decluttering might enter your mind.
One of the facets of compulsive hoarding is that you refuse to declutter and throw the stuff out, but instead, you organize and keep them in neat little labeled boxes, making it even harder to recognize that this might be a problem.
But when that doubt does arise, don’t ignore it. Get rid of some stuff, slowly but steadily, and make space in your home and life for the things you do need.
1. Take baby steps to declutter
When stuff is lying around your house, you can do nothing but take baby steps. So take the metaphorical baby steps to stop being a hoarder. The first of many is: deep clean your apartment and find all the things you like to hoard. Make it fun by inviting your roomis to join in for a hoarder’s treasure hunt! As and when you find the little treasures, think about the objects that add little or no value to you. Think about which items might be compromising your hygiene and health, and say your final goodbyes.
2. Donate your riches
If you’re the kind of hoarder that collects useful items like clothes, shoes, books, stationery, etc. but never use it, consider donating your riches. Many people can make use of the stuff you don’t use. Find organizations that look for donations and get rid of things with zero guilt of throwing stuff away. Once you know they’re going to the right place and might help people in need, de-cluttering and de-hoarding will become much more comfortable.
3. Find your support group
If you’re ready to give up your identity as a hoarder but are too emotionally attached to your treasures, ask a roomi, friend, or family member to help. Show them your collection and tell them to get rid of things that they think are completely useless and have never seen you use. We understand that this can be a bit invasive, but if you’re willing to get help, you will realize that most of the stuff isn’t as important as you thought.
4. What makes you emotionally attached?
If you’re holding onto an object that reminds you of something in your life, think about whether it’s good times you’re remembering or an event that you need to let go of. For instance, if you’re holding on to a grade card or encouraging note from a teacher or a friend, that’s great, and maybe you can put the best one on display and throw the rest out to declutter. On the other hand, if it’s an ex’s t-shirt or airplane tickets from a trip with your ex, you NEED to throw them out. Whether good or bad, that phase of your life is gone. And you need to let go of things that keep you stuck in time.
For more advice and suggestions, join the conversation around hoarding on Reddit.
D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers identify their hoarder traits? And find out how to declutter effectively? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match! Download the app here and hop on the easiest ride home, ever!