Lessons from a former hoarder


Local Voices

Connie Simon

As little piles of stuff start collecting in the corners of the couch, closets, and then the room, I have to stop myself and say, NOT AGAIN!

I find that “being busy” is no excuse for letting things get out of hand. It’s just too easy to “save it for later,” when in fact what I really mean is, “I don’t know what to do with it, and I don’t want to throw it away.” THAT was my former way of thinking that got me in over my head with “stuff.”

What’s that definition of insanity? Doing the same thing, expecting different results. I had to stay on top of it, or it would take over my home and my MIND very quickly. I read book after book, and they all agree: START SMALL. Start with the most ‘visual pile’ that has become a constant reminder of failure.

Once I conquered that one pile, my head was more clear — and so was my couch! I felt so accomplished! That hanging feeling of failure was suddenly turned into a freeing feeling of joy! I DID IT! Every time I walked passed that couch, I would smile a big sigh of relief, and I felt a thirst for conquering more. I was on a mission to eliminate the next pile.

It’s amazing how those piles seemed to ‘talk’ to me:

  • ‘You can’t get rid of me, I’m part of You!’
  • ‘You’re grandma gave you that!’
  • ‘I’m valuable!’
  • ‘You’ll use me someday! You need me! You can’t throw me away!’

I got to the point of PASS IT ON to someone who needs it and will use it. After all, I don’t have junk. I had good stuff. And lots of it! It had to go. The bigger the house, the more stuff to store. NOOO! That’s why I got a smaller purse — I would just fill it up and still not be able to find my keys or my lipstick.

As a former semi-hoarder, I have a heart for those who don’t want to let go. I get it. I really get it! I understand the connection of ‘someday’ or ‘heartstrings.’

What helped me the most was giving it away by STARTING SMALL. One pile. One drawer. One closet. It got easier as I went along because I was able to toss out the unnecessary silly things and concentrate on those three infamous piles: TOSS – GIVE – SELL.

Now, on to the next chapter….

Connie Simon

Local Voices is our version of “Letters to the Editor.” The opinions posted here are those of the writers, and posting them does not indicate endorsement by The Lansing Journal. We welcome input from fellow residents who have thoughtful things to say about topics that are important to our community. Send your submissions to The Lansing Journal with “Voices” in the subject line.




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