Monday, July 17, 2017

my mom is a hoarder or the purge

Ages ago (in the time of AOL and floppy discs), I stumbled upon a webpage dedicated to a young Englishman's plight with his mother's hoarding problem. This was also before THE show dedicated to the worst of the hoarding community. So, that webpage was my first exposure to the truth that my mother was a hoarder.

Luckily for me, she is manageable. Her problem is that she buys thrift store trinkets much faster than she (meaning my father) can donate them back to the thrift store. My parent's tiny two bedroom apartment has become more of a museum of needlepoint pillows, brass owls, glass paperweights, and flame-less candles.

The "junk lady" from the movie Labyrinth is an accurate representation of my mother and me.
Photo Courtesy:  capablecivilian.com


Unfortunately, this has given me a complex. I find myself cringing when I have more than two of anything. I find myself questioning the amount of cups I have or if the amount of towels I have are acceptable. There are even digital examples of my need to remove the clutter, where I delete anything I deem unnecessary from social media.

I call it, "the purge". 

Recently, I realized that this might actually be a positive compulsion. That this "complex" is actually...dare I say; a healthy habit. As the old adage goes, "a clean home is a clear mind". 

That is what spring cleaning is all about right?

So I have two systems to accomplish what is "needed" that I will share with you:

Phase I

Ask yourself five simple questions when wondering if you should keep a particular item:

  1. Can I function with out this item?
  2. What is the worst situation that would come of being without this item?
  3. Is it more useful to someone else?
  4. When was the last time I used this item?
  5. Does it cultivate my deepest happiness in some way?

Phase II

This is a quick list of things to remove or organize per room:

Living Room
Before organizing shelves and drawers I throw out or replace:

  1. Kick-knacks that are making a surface unusable
  2. Paper items not limited to; books, magazines, newspapers, letters, manuals, etc.
  3. Games, cds, dvds, or blu-rays
  4. Unused toys (for both pets, kids, or grown-ups)
  5. Unused electronics
  6. Unused pens or lighters
  7. Unused pillows or throws
  8. Old candles or air freshener
  9. Old decor or curtains
  10. Broken, torn or incomplete items

Kitchen
Before organizing shelves and drawers I throw out or replace:

  1. Expired items in the fridge, freezer, or cabinets
  2. Old or near-empty bottles
  3. Unused or extra utensils
  4. Unused containers, jars, or plastic-ware
  5. Unused books or menus
  6. Unused or rusting cookware
  7. Unused cups or mugs
  8. Unused cleaning items or pet items
  9. Unused electronics
  10. Take out or paper items

Bathroom
Before organizing shelves and drawers I throw out or replace:

  1. Old or near-empty bottles
  2. Old makeup or polish
  3. Old brushes
  4. Old candles or air freshener
  5. Old decor or curtains
  6. Old towels or mats
  7. Expired or sample-sized items
  8. Unused electronics

Bedroom
Before organizing shelves and drawers I throw out or replace:
  1. Old candles or air freshener
  2. Old decor, pillows, or curtains
  3. Old towels, sheets, or bedding
  4. Old socks or underwear
  5. Old shirts or pants
  6. Stained items
  7. Clothes that do not fit
  8. Clothes you never wear
  9. Scarves, purses, jewelry, or shoes
  10. Items without pairs like socks or gloves
  11. Hangers
  12. Unused electronics
  13. Broken, torn or incomplete items
Office or Creative Space
Before organizing shelves and drawers I throw out or replace:

  1. Kick-knacks that are making a surface unusable
  2. Paper items not limited to; books, magazines, newspapers, letters, manuals, wrapping paper, folders, business cards etc.
  3. Games, cds, dvds, or blu-rays
  4. Old cords or ink cartridges
  5. Old candles or air freshener
  6. Old decor or curtains
  7. Old photos or documents
  8. Old vouchers or coupons
  9. Old pens, pencils, markers or art supplies
  10. Old or unused fabric or notions
  11. Unused electronics
  12. Broken, torn or incomplete items

Online or Digital

  1. Unsubscribe from email sites
  2. Delete and organize emails
  3. Sort and name folders
  4. Sort and update personal contact or email lists
  5. Sort and delete old documents
  6. Sort and delete old games
  7. Sort and delete old music
  8. Sort and delete old images
  9. Organize images by year or subject
  10. Empty browser and spam folders
  11. Remove any large files like movies or project files

Purse or Personal
  1. Paper items not limited to; business cards, tickets, coupons, napkins, notes, lanyards etc.
  2. Hair items not limited to; bobby pins, rubber bands, etc.
  3. Jewelery
  4. Cosmetic items
  5. Change
  6. Eyewear
  7. Perfume or cologne
  8. Unused items
  9. Broken or incomplete items

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