Fighting the Hoarder within

{Sometimes hoarding pays…like when you unearth your very first Madonna concert tee from 1987 and get to wear it to a show in 2012. Awesome. Not so much when you realize you’ve held on to a comemorative pom pom from the 1995 Rose Bowl. Go Ducks. Also, I’ve got a few tea cups and pots to part with if anyone is in the market.} 

Those of you who have been with me for a while know that I struggle with the hoarder’s gene. Sadly, the apple does not fall far from the tree as I have entertained countless discussions with Emerson over the tragic plight of her giant plastic baby toys. Shit I courageously donated and now I have to answer to a 4 year-old on the where abouts of her rightful stock in Fisher-Price. She does not yet understand how hard it is for me to purge the dress she wore for her 18-month mall photos. Or the burp clothes I cried into during too many dark, post-partum nights. I’m a saver of stuff and now, so is she. The cycle of madness has to stop.

To be fair, I will always have a memory box for her (my) most treasured items. Sentimental artwork, one or five baby outfits, maybe a couple blankets (I lost count at 12 last weekend). But from here on out I’m approaching every pile, box or bag of stuff with a 1/2 must go attitude. Sometimes I’m clearing all of it and sometimes just a quarter but the goal is always half. These seems manageable.

Just this past weekend I drove 7 boxes and bags of clothing to the Goodwill. My closet looks pretty good but there are four more closets awaiting a similar purge. Not to mention my garage, otherwise known as my hoarder’s den. It’s a scary place. There are fabric bins that will be emptied, ancient files to be shredded and Christmas decorations that have not been appreciated in decades. It’s all changing. I’ve committed to doing one project every single day. On work nights it may just be cleaning out a junk drawer and weekends will be reserved for some serious fun like shredding a decade’s worth of taxes.

And just to keep myself honest, I’ve got some help with the Huffington Post Fearless Living Bootcamp. Have you guys heard of this? You can join in anytime. You just need a private little notepad to track your progress and you can go at your own pace. It’s really helping to inspire some positive changes in my life. Here’s the first video if you want to check it out.

I’m going to try and keep it very real up in here and share some of the toughest parts of the process. So far, dumping old shoes I never wear and worn out socks has been sort of “low hanging fruit” style but there will be some challenges coming up as I tackle Emerson’s closet and my sewing and art supplies.  I’m curious to know if there is anything scary you want to try in the near or far off future? Maybe we can help each other get through it and live fearlessly?

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  • Danielle (elleinadspir)

    Good for you Stella. I know how hard this is for you. To me purging closets gives order to chaos. I love it. I do it anytime I have a bad day! My files however, go untouched for years. I need to organize those soon for sure.

  • Mirali Shukla

    I really like your blog ! I love reading your posts and I too know how hard this can be <3
    I'd really appreciate it if you visited my blog :))