So, you’ve officially crossed over from keeper to hoarder — and you’re just now making the realization. Congratulations, you can cross the first step of recovery off your list. Next: coming to terms with the fact. Let the cleaning, clearing and cleansing begin. Crowded corners, check. Packed drawers, check. Filled shelves, check. While the piles are high and the closets are overflowing, where there’s a broom and box there’s a way. First things first, create a game plan. Follow these quick tips as a guideline to organize and categorize:
- Turn the Piles into More Piles
Establish a list of criteria to determine which things taking up space in your home stay — and which things go. Depending on personal preference, base the tip and toss theory on age, size, shape, function, emotional attachment — or a combination of these. For future reference, translate this theory to the things taking up space in your car, workspace and/or life.
When trying to control clutter and stop hoarding, questions to ask yourself:
• How long have I had this object?
• How easy is this object to store?
• How often do I use this object?
And for the love of all things stacked and collected, keep it real.
Side note: in most cases you’ve unknowingly doubled up or favor one possession over the other. Know your number ones and need-to-get-bys.
- Reduce and Recycle
Before reducing the number of your belongings by half (you get the point), decide how you’re going to make it a done deal. Beyond recycling the old and the ugly, the best ways to let go are passing them down or giving them away.
- Rinse and Don’t Repeat
While you’re organizing and categorizing, don’t forget to dust off and wipe down all of the re-discovered surfaces. There’s just something about a clean space that makes you want more of it.
Looking ahead, with your fridge, floors and furniture back to their normal state, make a solid effort to change your hoarding habits. If you buy something new, consider giving away something old. Swap compulsively buying bargain items for better made products that will last you longer. Remember, the more you buy, the bigger your carbon footprint.