Hoarding...

Jun. 6th, 2017 09:27 am
labelleizzy: (dealing with demons)
[personal profile] labelleizzy
My sister in law suffers from something I still fight against, which is hoarding.

She said, "I sort and organize but the actual removal of stuff... is so hard to get my mind around why I have such attachments."

I said, "I can only speak of myself but I had attachments because I had fear. Fear of forgetting, so I kept all the papers commemorating things I went to, movies and shows and concerts I saw. I kept all the birthday cards, even from my childhood, and people I didn't remember anymore, because at one point, someone made the effort to give me a card, and that was meaningful to me then."

I didn't feel loved. I didn't feel safe or secure. I came to an early conclusion (younger than 10) that "stuff was supposed to make you happy" because that's what they said all the time on TV? And back then I thought they weren't allowed to lie to us on TV.

It took me a long time to realize that what I was and what I wanted, was different than what the TV or my family or stories or magazines wanted me to be and want. And to put aside those messages that weren't ME.

I was well past 30, not gonna lie.

I started by reading more about how other people had gotten organized, had purged their clutter.
Clutter's Last Stand.
The Flylady's mailing list and website.
SARK'S concept of "micromovements" to get started.
Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui.

And I realized that thoughts and feelings and attitudes were clutter too, frequently. (*)

Is it useful? Do I love it?

William Morris, the English designer, said, "have nothing in your home which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

I try to live by that one.

I don't yell at myself or best myself up anymore. My self chastisement is gentle, infrequent, and frequently full of humor. Blaming myself for the past, or for my mistakes, was a toxic cycle that helped NOTHING. Just bogged me down in misery.

I didn't want to be miserable. I started making different choices.

What I wanted was for things to be simpler, and to be happier. So I worked on those things, like I work on a rosebush. If something's dead, you cut it off. If the branches are too crowded, or the flowers are, you make choices to maximize beauty, health, and growth, and you cut away the rest and discard it.

But sometimes the rosebush isn't flourishing, and it doesn't need to be cut back, cut down. Parts of our life can be like that too. There's a lot of times where there's not ENOUGH to bloom. Not enough water, or sunlight, or fertilizer.

Sometimes you can nurse a rosebush back to health, if you can figure out what is wrong.

Sometimes you can't figure it out, and the bush dies. And then you have to discard it and start over.

But honestly? Sometimes you don't even WANT a 🌹 (rose). Sometimes you don't even know that you didn't want a rose, maybe you wanted a 🌷(tulip) or a daisy. Or an oak tree! Or a tomato bush!

But if you started with a rosebush, or your whole family takes care of roses, maybe you didn't know you could choose something different.

I'm just saying. It's YOUR garden. Nobody else's. You spend all your time in it. You spend your LIFE in it.

It should be, it IS, your choice what you cultivate, what you grow, what you discard or compost.

I know nobody gets to choose how they spend 100% of their time. But that doesn't mean you don't have choices.

You do.

Now I'm going to go do some household chores.
Gonna go weed my "garden". :)

(*) Slightly different techniques are required to ditch/purge/prune ugly, dead, or impedimentary thoughts and feelings.

Date: 2017-06-07 11:13 am (UTC)
noelfigart: (Default)
From: [personal profile] noelfigart
For what it is worth, I've done a lot with cleaning and decluttering. And I discovered minimalist isn't quite what makes me happy, but slightly more stuff than that does.

I like clear flat surfaces with A Thing or maybe Two Things on it.

But yeah, decluttering systems that don't take into account personal taste really don't wash.

It is one thing I like about the Konmari system (even though in many ways I think that the poor woman is a loon). The whole Spark Joy thing is great. IF you hold it and it makes you happy, you probably should keep it.

Date: 2017-06-07 01:41 pm (UTC)
yukonsally: (Default)
From: [personal profile] yukonsally
I loved reading this. It's universal.

You've got my full support in this decluttering, both physical and and mental.

Date: 2017-07-05 01:27 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-06-07 06:45 pm (UTC)
tjoel2: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tjoel2
"have nothing in your home which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

I've been reading the Marie Kondo books which have a similar philosophy: If it doesn't bring you pleasure, feed your soul or make you feel amazing, why do you have it?

Date: 2017-07-02 05:06 pm (UTC)
tjoel2: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tjoel2
Exactly! I was always the one who would make due with what I had even though it wasn't perfect. I still do that, as a single mom, I have to. I guess I'm in the middle of both worlds. I will still fix something rather than run out and buy a new one, but I have also donated and tossed a lot of stuff that no longer serves me or makes me feel amazing. I don't need that in my home or in my space.

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