Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Motivation to Purge

On the weekend I saw the Channel 4 documentary on Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder Richard Wallace and was touched by many elements of his story.

  • How he had some valid points to make about our throw away society
  • His obvious intelligence and wit
  • The journey that he had to go on to recognise his problem with hoarding
  • His grief at losing his parents
  • The friendship that developed between him and Andy Honey the local landscaper
  • The little steps they both took to start clearing away the clutter and garbage
  • When those in the community who weren't snobs got in and started helping and cooking him meals.
In some small way I can relate to Richard. I have a problem with hoarding. I thought if he could clear out 30 + years of clutter I could see my way to tackle my own 8 year old problem. 

Here it is:

I have kept boxes. Many many boxes. We have moved house 6 times in the ten years of our marriage. Every time I buy a new appliance I keep the box so that I can pack that appliance back into it when we move again. Sounds fair enough right?

Not really. It goes beyond that. I have kept lots of boxes from the toys my kids have received over the past 8 years as well. Why? Well mostly because I thought that when it came time to sell them on ebay, folks would appreciate that they are in their original box. Right?

Not really. I have NEVER sold anything on ebay. I probably never will. It is too time consuming. And to be honest I mostly give away our toys to other families when our kids outgrow them. So there's no real reason to hang onto the original boxes any more. So why are they still stacked in our garage looking so very ugly and cluttered? Indecision and guilt I suppose. I find it hard to throw things away if I made a decision to keep them. And the longer I have kept them, the harder it is to turf them. 

So you can see why I can relate to Richard. I saw the pain on his face when things he had collected were uncovered and he was faced with the decision to throw them out.

But I have decided that one good turn deserves another and have set myself a challenge to deal with my hoarding of boxes this week. It is still a work in progress - mostly because our recycling bin is full and won't be emptied until Friday. But I have made a start.

Ok I admit it's a small start. As you can see the bottom right pictures are hardly different at all. But I have plans for that new trailer once my husband registers it. I have also started tackling other hoarding areas - like unopened mail.

And decluttering the problem areas such as:

The Household Command Centre in the kitchen. Sorry I had no SD card in my camera when I took the BEFORE photos but trust me, it was a mess!

My Sewing Room - especially after my frantic Sunday deadline project.

I got a brilliant idea from Jane of Where Jane Creates and bought some small $3 containers to put my scraps into. I feel so liberated by their colour coding. Thanks Jane.
There was a small snippet of sewing today though. The August QCA Bee block for Laura of Quokka Quilts is a unique Piet Mondrian inspired one. It involves only 5 solids and very minimal lines. I think it is going to be a very striking quilt when Laura puts all the blocks together.

Kristy, from Quiet Play, designed a paper pieced block for me on her EQ. But after I drew it all up, I found that I could make the sections without the paper. I liked it so much that I made 2.

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  1. Well done on all that tidying and decluttering! That is really impressive - especially overcoming that want to keep things!

    Your blocks look so fab!

  2. It sounds like you're making progress, well done! And good on you for organising your scraps, tedious but worth it!

  3. I'm trying to work on this as well so I totally understand and thanks for sharing. It does motivate me to continue. I'm so happy when I give away the clothes and toys from my girls. I'm having a problem with home made decorations, not sure what to do with those.

  4. Gosh I keep boxes of random things too. I have a load on top of and in my wardrobe...I'm sure there are some under my bed too. I think I need to have a good clearout. I keep things with the intention of I may need it in the future, knowing full well I probably don't have any use for it.

    I hope your hoarding problem gets better and you manage to throw some stuff rather than keeping it =D


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