I’m a Hoarder Baby, I Just Want You to Know…
The other day a friend asked me the following question, “Quick, the house is on fire, you can only grab three things, nothing sentimental…” After 5 minutes of thinking (yes I realize I would probably have passed out due to smoke inhalation…), I reluctantly answered, my iPhone, my iPad and my duvet. Wow. Not only did this exercise teach me that I am not at all attached to my belongings- a shocking discovery. But also that I place a higher value on my electronics, than anything else I have purchased over the last 24 years. Hey, at least my duvet would keep me warm right?
The wheels started turning. As a nomad and wanderer I have always hated that I had so much ‘stuff’ weighing me down. Weird trinkets I was convinced I needed as memories, 4 closets worth of clothing that I might decide to wear one day, and old electronics that I haven’t turned on in years. After I realised that I didn’t really care that much for any of it I came to this conclusion. I am slimming down my worldly belongings by half. That’s a huge number and I plan on being successful in my task. Others need more clothing than I do, and my memories are in my head in a knick knack someone once gave me.
There is a song by The Red Hot Chili Peppers entitled Give it Away. This song is one that has always spoken to me, and after reading Anthony Keidis’s autobiography I realized why. The lyrical meaning behind “Give It Away” is centered on the philosophy of selflessness and altruistic behavior. The lyrics were written in homage to an experience Kiedis had with his former girlfriend—punk rock singer Nina Hagen. When Anthony was looking through her closet he came across her favorite jean jacket, he told her how much he liked it. Upon expressing this, Nina immediately told him to keep it. She told him, “If you have a closet full of clothes and you try to keep them all, your life will get very small. But if you have a full closet and someone sees something they like, if you give it to them, the world is a better place.” So think about that…
Here are a few tricks to cleaning out your closet:
Start with one category of clothing at a time (pants, skirts, shoes) and evaluate each item individually and ask yourself:
- Do I still like this and feel good when I wear it?
- Is this item still in relatively good shape (no stains, rips, etc.)?
- Is this item a classic or still in fashion?
- Have you worn it in the past year?
- Does it fit?
Try things on, if it doesn’t make you look incredible; you don’t need it and can do better.
Anything you have decided that you can part with put it in a bag and ask your friends if they want to look through it, then give the rest to charity. You are left with a feeling of lightness and a warm heart- and less stuff to save if your home is on fire. Yay!
I then turned to my other belongings. When I moved to this apartment I had no storage space. So i put things in boxes and threw then under my bed. Well, isn’t that just disgusting? If you don’t have respect for the things you currently own then you do NOT deserve to anything new, its just that simple. What are these items doing under my bed? They definitely aren’t serving any purpose, and if they don’t serve a purpose then you don’t need them. You must respect your things; you’ve spent money on it and it costs money to store it. Take care of your things and not only will you be respecting your stuff, you’ll also be respecting your money.
So again, here are some tips to cleaning out clutter:
Tax returns & Paperwork
· You can toss supporting personal documents after three years and supporting business materials after six. Be sure to shred any items that include your social security, credit card or account numbers, and recycle the ragged results.
· Place family snapshots in acid-free archival albums to make sure they’ll be in happy-to-hand-down condition for generations to come. Remember to make prints of your digital photos so they don’t get lost or forgotten on your hard drive.
Old computers or electronics
· Before donating any piece of electronic equipment, make sure that it’s functional and reusable (of not why do you still have it in the first place?). Check with your local donation organization to see what their requirements might be. If your electronics or computer equipment have simply decided to move on; it’s important to recycle or dispose of them properly.
· Consider giving art books and good-condition hard covers to a local library, school, or college.
Spend 15 minutes once a day tiding. This will ensure that you are not left with one huge mess when your super clean rolls around. Doing your dishes as soon as you are finished eating and sweeping at the end of the day are fast and simple tasks. Clean your apartment at least once a week from top to bottom. It is shocking and just plain disgusting to think about what can happen to your apartment otherwise. Trust me I’ve been there. Then once a month, clean items such a windows, behind the stove or refrigerator and reorganize your furniture for a new flow of energy.
After successfully going through all of my things I have realized how much of a hoarder I really was. And I didn’t have the mental breakdown I thought I would after getting rid of old items I saw as memories. Win!
Give this a try and let me know how it makes you feel or tell me what you did with the items. Ready, Set, Clean!
This entry was posted on January 16, 2012 by EdgyVeg. It was filed under Step Into My Blog and was tagged with cleaning, closet, clothes, clutter, diy, feng shui, give it away, hoarding, music, organizing, red hot chili peppers, redecorating, spring cleaning, stuff.