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Friday, January 14, 2011

My Stuff by Stacy

Three weeks ago right before Christmas, my sister came and “clean sweeped” me.  We sat up in my third floor hoarder’s nest all night and got out every box where I’d been squirreling away my “stuff” for the last ten years.  Now mind you—I’ve already been “clean sweeped” before, but that was at the height of my 20+ years “collecting” phase and we “sweeped” from insane down to only slightly problematic.  Now, it is time to let go of everything else. 

It really wasn’t that hard for me once we started—I’ve been clutter clubbing the last two years and by far the most important thing is that I have stopped bringing things into my home.  The second most important thing I’ve learned is that so many of us are THISCLOSE to being the people on the TV show.  All it takes is one illness or a bad patch in our lives for everything to go from bursting to the seams to falling down on us.

I’ve learned that two things mask my problem.  First, I love plastic Rubbermaid tubs, so all of my stuff goes into the tubs and gives me the false sense that everything is organized.  But instead of ever getting to the “doing”—decorating with the items, making necklaces, etc.—I just end up sorting, resorting, and taking time to house my stuff. 

Second, I’m a “collectoré,” (I added the e with the accent so it would seem fancy).  This means I don’t hold onto things like apple cores and toilet paper rolls.  Instead, I have items with monetary value that are usually super cute and would be valuable to others----adorable grape-shaped crocheted trivets made from old pop bottle caps (except I have 25), framed old calendar prints of cottages and dreamy landscapes (except I have 30), and miles of vintage bead necklaces.

Shannon Cowan who leads our organizing classes said it so that I could finally understand---What do you call someone whose home is filled with gold bullion?  Answer: a hoarder!

So—if you are feeling pressured by your “stuff,” if dealing with your stuff is taking too much of your time, or if you just want your life to run a bit more smoothly, join us at the upcoming organizing classes Thursday, Jan. 13 & 20.  (Enroll at And in the meantime, check out some of our many organizing books, including these titles that address the most complex parts of the issue:

·             Stuff: compulsive hoarding and the meaning of things by Randy Frost (616.85 FRO)

·             Buried in treasures: help for compulsive acquiring, saving, and hoarding
by David Tolin (616.85 TOL)

·             Overcoming compulsive hoarding: why you save & how you can stop
by Fugen Neziroglu (616.85 NEZ)

1 comment:

  1. I am a collectore too, Stacy! But after we moved from having a huge basement to a tiny attic I was forced to start cutting back. Those Rubbermaid tubs are an addiction for some of us. ;)