to live beautifully

The Great Purge: In Defense of the Hoarder

Ok, I know, most of what I am blogging about lately is home organization! But in all honesty, it is so exciting and satisfying to see my home becoming cleaner and more useful than it has ever been.
If you are working through home organization, I strongly recommended showing a close friend or family member, who has seen your home at its most disorganized, what you have done. My husband gives me a simple “that looks good.” My sister in law is all oohs and aahs and excitement for all the hard work! Make sure to show someone who gets excited – it keeps you motivated, I promise!
Today I want to address the old adage of “once I get rid of that I will need it again.”
My grandparents had a clean organized home…until you went in the basement. Especially in my Grandpa’s woodworking room, there was every little thing kept “just in case.” As a grandchild with a wealth of creativity, it was fabulous! Grandpa would smile as I created something of cardboard, wire and old paint. I made collages using magazines from the 1960’s. Yes, my 15 year old self had no concept of the collectibility of a People magazine with Jackie O on the cover. I cut out her eyes for my collage. #ihadnoidea #buthereyesweresopretty

In defence of Grandpa’s wood shop, you could find what you needed in there, and it man-organized.
But my grandparents grew up in the 1930’s. You kept things, because wastefulness was wrong. Money was scarce and you held onto what little you had. Waste not want not, watch your pennies and your nickels take care of themselves, and other quotes of that nature.
But let’s be honest, 6 year old paint, random metal pieces, and 10 rasp files are not all needed in your home. But I get it; I get that fear to get rid of something that you “might need.”
So fellow hoarders, I give you some exceptions, within reason:

Crafting for Kids: Kids need a little inspiration and a small budget. Egg cartons, toilet rolls, juice can lids, bits of ribbon and fabric. Kids love to glue things together and create Olympic medals from juice can lids and weave yarn around popsicle sticks and tin cans. So keep some of these kids craft items, but be reasonable – maybe there is a drawer or a bin somewhere that those items live. Keep it labelled, keep it kid-accessible and don’t allow it to grow to 2 bins, then 3 bins…reassess what is in there every so often as your kids grow and craft time changes.

Sentimental Stuff: Okay, I need you to all be aware – not EVERYTHING is sentimental! The stuffed animal you got from your grade 8 boyfriend is not sentimental, it is clutter. All those t-shirts from Disneyland, concerts, and family reunions. Clutter. Think about items that truly speak to your heart. Think about what you would want to pull out to show your kids or grandkids. Keep that. Keep it organized, keep it under control. Really, this should fit in a regular size filing box. And if the sentimental items allows, display it somewhere that it really gets the love it deserves.

Books: Keep books! I will never fault you for getting rid of books! I do recommend you go through them and get rid of books you didn’t enjoy or non-fiction that wasn’t useful (that diet book from 1985 can probably go).
Donate the books to someone or somewhere that will love the stories!

So give yourself a little bit of elbow room, but rein in your inner hoarder!

In other news, I ordered Chinese food for supper tonight just so I can eat cold chicken chow mein tomorrow. Don’t judge me – it is better cold than it is hot!


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