I saw a rebroadcast tonight on ABC about a show called Hoarders. I’ve never seen the show before, hadn’t really heard of it, but was intrigued by what I saw. I seldom watch tv, as in the network stuff that comes in by digital antenna (we don’t have cable or satellite), so this was new to my sheltered little world.
People had hoarded everything under the sun in their homes, to where there was no place to walk, no place to sit, no area to cook or do dishes, etc. We’re talking trash, diapers, food, clothing, papers, books, you name it. Mountains and mountains of this stuff decaying into compost inside the homes. One home even had 2 decayed cat carcasses INSIDE the house. There were interviews with people who grew up in those homes, and how they were now.
The children of the hoarding parents didn’t live like that. They kept clean and tidy homes. Genetic link? Probably not. Granted the notion was put out that the people hoarding had a genetic problem and “it really wasn’t their fault”. Of course not, we can’t take responsibility for our own actions, now can we?
I will admit that the spot on ABC did get me to thinking. And looking.
A quick sweep around the house and I have come to the drastic notion–we are low level hoarders. Oh no, not the kind where you have to scoop shovel out a path, have mountains of junk piled up the ceiling, boxes of 50 year old magazines piling up type thing. We’re more like papers that are put to the side to read later (but never gets done), things purchased because it was on sale and we might need it, old medicines kept because they may still have some good….10 years expired, keys to places we haven’t lived in or been around in years, etc. Minor stuff, things that can be easily gotten under control. But it is a wake up call that turned on the light for me to see it. It’s more than a clutter thing, it’s letting things go and retraining to not let those things happen again.
It’s also a heart issue. Are we putting more stock into material things than into what the Lord promises in taking care of us? Instead of holding back for the “what ifs”, why not use what we are given, and what we don’t need anymore, pass on to those that do. If it’s garbage, put it out in the garbage. If it’s useful, find it a new home with folks who can use it. If it’s paper, shred it, burn it, do something to get it a new home somewhere besides yours. Do we need to hold on to things as a security blanket? No.
I will admit it. I’m guilty. I’ve shed many things over the years, with moving, downsizing, getting tired of moving tons of junk. But there’s more to do, especially after marrying a man with some hoarding habits that increase as time passes. Sure, we both come from homes that had little, with parents who had basically nothing when they were growing up. But does that mean we have to keep every shred of paper, book, grocery bag, plastic cup, etc that comes into the house? NO!
Would you like to join us as we begin our own trip down Hoarders’ Lane and declutter along side us?
I’ve already started in the past week or so, with giving away all of my hair clip making supplies that I haven’t used much of, as well as bags of fabric scraps I’ve held on to “just in case” I get a chance to use them. I’ve given books to the thrift shop, as well as other items have left our house. I’m guarding against bringing any more back in that can’t be used up immediately.
I imagine this will be the first of many posts on our new adventure….decluttering!