Well, it might come in handy…

Recently, inspired by the imminent arrival of autumn/winter, we decided to decorate and re-carpet the upstairs of our house. The scheduling wasn’t perfect as it coincided with the arrival of the new pup and a visit from my mum. But we thought that preparing and emptying the rooms wouldn’t take too long and that having work done upstairs wouldn’t be as disruptive as having work done downstairs. Right? Wrong. I couldn’t believe how much stuff we had accumulated in our upstairs rooms.

The main bedroom wasn’t too bad, as the decorators and carpet fitters were happy to work around the king-size bed and heavy pine wardrobes. Still, I had to empty the wardrobes to enable them to be moved, and wow, was I shocked at how many clothes we have, well, at how many I have, but let’s not split hairs 🙂 I used the “if you haven’t worn it for a year it must go” principle, and was able to fill a few bags for the local charity shop.

The remaining two bedrooms were much trickier. Both rooms double as our studies which meant there were computers to move and box up, printers, books (even I was surprised how many boxes it took to pack those away), folders, files, music systems, and on and on. It took forever. But what was eye-opening about the process was the discovery that we are both ridiculous hoarders. Not just of books and paperwork, but assorted paraphernalia such as rubber bands (how many of those are you ever going to need?), pieces of ribbon (far too small to ever be of use), bits of material (where in heck did all those come from?), the list went on. But the most shocking of all was that I discovered I’d stored nearly a whole drawer full of plastic carrier bags. So many that I surely must be the main contender for the title of Plastic Carrier Bag Hoarding Queen 🙂

Needless to say we survived, and are now decorated and re-carpeted amidst cries of “never again”. All the upstairs rooms are now streamlined and paraphernalia-free (well, almost). I have vowed to curb my hoarding way and so has AJ, but how long that will last is anyone’s guess.

How about you? Are you a hoarder?


24 responses to “Well, it might come in handy…

  1. ME TOO! How do we manage to stash so much stuff away? Having the luxury of moving slowly over a period of months is giving me time to sort and get rid of. Like you the surprise is that it wasn’t only Jack that stashed stuff. We did tend to go for different ‘stuff’. He liked paper. Me I’m content to have it digital. As I’m going I’m vowing the same thing, curb my hoarding. I have a friend that says when they purchase a new shirt or pants or ? they come home and get rid of one they have. I’m trying that approach.

    • I love the idea of disposing of one old thing when purchasing something new, Lavada That would certainly help the hoarding problem 🙂 It’s good that you have time to sort through everything as you move.

  2. I SO know what you mean about hoarding. How is it that I can plan to sort through a jam-packed closet, yet get rid of less than 10% of what’s in there? When did we start to NEED all this stuff. 🙂 lol a bunch. I feel both your pain and your relief. A fun post today, Tricia.

    • I agree, Laurie. When did we start to need all this stuff? The problem is I can so easily convince myself that I really will want to wear/use that item when I’m sorting through 🙂

  3. I tend to hang on to way too many things. However, I have found that the times that we have moved, I have been totally ruthless in pitching things out. Perhaps I need to pretend that we’re going to move again. That way, I’ll do a huge clean out!

  4. I admit to having been a die-hard ‘keeper’…who married an out-right pack rat! Stuff? You wanna see stuff? Well,I am making a clean(er) breast of it.I have disposed of a great deal and am slashing,(for me), a lot.The problem seems to be that as soon as I get rid of something,someone close to me,(including me), will need it.I mean,I can have something for 15 years,not use it but within 2 weeks-3 months of it finally leaving my sight,it’s needed. The point where I yelled “uncle” came when,after about the third time in a row,I had to make-shift something because I could not find the item I needed, one that once again I knew darned-well I had, behind all the other ‘stuff’.It drove me completely nuts.I told The Husband;”Look, we have 500 things and we can only use 200 because we can’t find the other 300, what’s the sense in having them?If we get rid of them, even if we end up needing them, what is the difference? We can’t use them anyway”.
    We lost some of our storage space, that has helped. I have to admit,it is still an on-going battle….mostly with myself!

    • I’m sitting here laughing and shaking my head in agreement with you Tonette. I’m at the same point of not being able to find it. Maybe that’s why as I clean out stuff I’m finding multiples of the same things. 🙂

    • LOL! I so agree, Tonette. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve thrown something away only to find I could use it shortly afterward. Or be absolutely positive I’ve kept something just in case, but when I actually need it, it’s nowhere to be found. It’s nice to know I’m not alone 🙂

  5. My husband is of the “don’t throw that away, it’ll come in handy one day – I might need it” school. You wouldn’t believe the junk he keeps. This came very much to light yesterday when he needed to clear the loft ready for new insulation. It was cardboard city complete with old electric fires, a commode I never even knew we had, old kettles, box of car magazines, broken chairs, old carpets and stuff I didn’t dare ask what it was. In fact, with all that up there the loft was surely well insulated as it was. Disappointingly we found no old masterpieces or family heirlooms, so you won’t be seeing me on Antiques Roadshow just yet.

    • Kit, for a moment I thought my husband was a bigamist…but he isn’t into car magazines…(unless in his ‘other life with another wife’…?)LOL!
      Mine has told people that he keeps the house for my sake; that if anything happened to me,he’d get a small place for himself. I found out and said,”OK, what are you going to do with all this junk? You’ll have to get rid of it; you won’t pay for a storage place you’ll never go to anyway.”
      When I recently lost it ,demanded we cut back and he balked ,I said,”Make me happy; pretend that I’m dead!”

    • Hilarious, Kit! Your loft was probably insulated already! 🙂 I dare not venture into our loft. I’m sure horrors await up there. There would be numerous bits of spare carpet stored over the years, not to mention the old TVs and computers which, of course, we could never actually throw away 🙂

  6. WOW! I admire you for that burst of energy and cleaning out. I need to do the same but have a sad lack of motivation. We’ve been talking about new carpet but when I look at what I’d have to move, I think nah, let’s live with the old a bit longer. LOL!

  7. I need someone to come and clean out my house for me. Are there people who do that? The fantasy: they stride into my home, sit me down on a chair and say, “Stay! Bad girl!” Crack a whip or two. Then they go through my attic, and my closets, and under my bed, flinging things left and right into bags, out the door, and into the yard. They may even hit my backyard fence. I tell you, I’d pay big bucks for someone like that to come and visit me. I’d call it fifty shades of junk.

  8. Describes here, because it seems to be seductive and we can’t stop, but it is harmful and destructive emotionally and physically!

  9. Valerie J. Patterson

    Oh wow! Tricia, it sounds like you got rid of a lot of “stuff”! I’ve been meaning to clean out the closets of clothes no longer worn. Every spring I insist I will do this but then something comes up and I never get it done. Once every couple of years, we pack up things we’re not using and put them in the barn. If–after a year–we have not gone to the barn to retrieve it, it gets tossed. Only way to keep order and control! 😛

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