Sunday, January 24, 2010

Where Did All This Stuff Come From?

For the last three days all Chris and I did was unpack. I realize we have been unpacking for almost two weeks now, but I attribute this to the fact that I am, indeed, a shopaholic. As I previously mentioned, before I started blogging publicly, I was privately blogging as a therapeutic release. Part of that self-therapy was trying to get myself out from under the clutter I was living in at my parents’ house. As I have also mentioned before, I am convinced I have an acute case of hoarding. Recently I learned that hoarding is a type of OCD and associated with it, many times, is compulsive shopping. Also, it can be genetic. Note: I have not been evaluated by a professional and so this is all self-diagnosis. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I’m hurting anything by acknowledging that I may have a problem. (Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.)

So, as I was saying, my goal at my parents’ house was: Get Out from Under That Clutter. One quick fix was to move into a bigger space. Another was to leave a large amount of items at my parents’ house, where I know it won’t be tossed. But that is really not fixing the problem, it’s masking it. Eventually it will catch up with me again and I don’t think I can afford to move into a bigger place. My parents won’t want my stuff around forever either.

Moving into this nice, new place has made me realize how great it feels when things are clean and organized. I don’t want to clutter it up and feel like I’m being suffocated by my possessions like I did at my parents’ house. Because it’s still January, I feel like I can get away with adding another New Year’s resolution. I will downsize the amount of unnecessary junk I hold onto and make sure not to get buried under clutter. Here are a few steps I have been using while working on it thus far:

• Ask myself, “Why are you keeping that?” and being honest with myself about the real reason
• Commit to cleaning up and clearing out, not getting lazy about it
• When in doubt, throw it out
• Keep the memory, maybe a picture, but toss the item
• I must throw away or donate at least one item a day
• If I’m feeling ambitious, I can throw away or donate a little more but that doesn’t count towards the future
• Reward myself, within reason, by keeping one thing out of the bunch, getting a new treat to replace something, or just taking a long break and watching a girly movie, or blogging
• Don’t let other people clutter my life, for example, don’t worry about getting rid of something because it was a gift

So that’s it for right now. I’m working on getting my life and house a little more uncluttered. And I have to say, I’ve been doing pretty well for me. I’m parting with things that before I would never have. I’m shopping much less (but that’s another blog in the making). Chris’ parents are coming on Sunday. We still have a lot to unpack before they come, but I think it’s good. I work better with a deadline. I’ll let you know how the visit with the future in-laws goes. I’m not too worried, but then again, that’s when bad things happen.


Straitjackets are Slimming said...

This is why I love moving. I can outgrow a space in a couple days. Decluttering is so freeing.

Melanie said...

I am glad that you have formally acknowledged your OCD/Compulsive Shopping/Hoarding addiction.

The first step to recovery is admitting you have an addication.

Let the healing begin!