Confessions of a Hoarder.
Updated: Apr 8, 2020
Seeing as I have already revealed many (many) things about myself. There is no harm in sharing more is there? We’re all friends here, right?
I am a hoarder. I want to keep everything ‘just in case’. Ugh. why.am.i.like.this. As you already know, I even keep mini plastic spoons to keep the theatrical memories alive. I have also kept all of the gig tickets I have ever been to. I don’t know why, but for some reason, memories alone are not enough for me. Also, I’m a decent gal and I don’t spend an entire gig with my phone in the air capturing my blurry thumb or the back of the head of another punter. So when I return from an event, the ticket stub is the only reminder I have.
I so wish that the extent of my problem was a few hundred gig tickets, but alas, it is not.
My room is small. It is also made smaller by stuff EVERYWHERE. My wardrobe is full of clothes, handbags and Christmas presents that I collect throughout the year. [Family reading: keep out]. The top of my wardrobe is full of hats, speakers and lots of dust. Under my bed is full of uni work from over four years that I haven’t looked at since. My desk is also full of uni work that I will probably never look at again. My head is also full because I cannot breathe in a room this cluttered. To be fair to myself, I am not messy. I can find any item I want but my small but rather lovely room is packed to the rafters and enough is enough.
Today is the day: Operation Clear Out.
This is a joint effort (thank you mother) as I need someone ruthless to push me into actually clearing out. We start with the wardrobe. This is okay. I agree to sell several dresses. They are dresses that past Emily loved but that do not serve me now. Again, throwing them out feels like discarding friends. But I need to get past that odd mentality. I even donated THE dress. It’s the one dress that everyone has. It doesn’t fit now but it will one day ‘when I lose the weight’. No. no. no. I am no longer living my life anticipating happiness and fulfilment. I am no longer wishing myself to be smaller. I am also no longer waiting to wear nice clothes or waiting ‘for best’, whatever that means. The infamous dress is going to someone who will wear it and in its place will hang a dress that brings me happiness now, and not in some fictional future in which I have a different body shape.
But, I digress. The wardrobe is now looking clear. It is ordered into shirts, summer dresses, long dresses, denim jackets and a single coat. Bliss. One day I will have a deliciously organised capsule wardrobe but, for now, this will be wonderful. We now tackle the large chest of drawers that are oh so full. The first draw is beanie hats, bobble hats and berets. I love and wear each one so I keep them. The next draw I am able to clear entirely. For some reason, I had about ten pairs of leggings that were full of holes. It may seem bizarre to keep them, but they were from Fatface and expensive so my brain told me to keep them for safekeeping. They go. Now onto my very extensive t-shirt collection. Much like the gig tickets, if possible I like to collect the t-shirts of the bands I go and see. [Disclaimer: I have a very large collection of David Bowie t-shirts but I never got to see him live (sobbing)].
I clear out tee’s that I haven’t worn in a long time and the tee’s that do not fit me. The old Emily would have looked at this as a failure. But not now. These items are supposed to serve me and not the other way around. So when that time comes, it is the right time to let them go. I am now the proud owner of a band t-shirt drawer and my jumpers and scarves have their own drawers too. The point of this exercise is not to ‘get rid’ of all my possessions. Instead, what we are trying to do is curate my things so that I will use them more and not need to buy new.
The final task was to clear out my university work and paper (journals etc.). I was able to sort out my many notebooks and journals with relative ease but I felt real disgust at myself for buying so many journals over the years and needlessly killing so many trees. My mindset is changing though, and I need to be kinder to myself as I go through this process. From birth, my brain has been wired to want things, and at the age of 25, I am trying my hardest to rewire it. Then it was on to my uni work. This was really challenging for me. I think it was because I had to admit that my time in university was over. Academia had been part of my life for so long that I think I had forgotten how to exist without it. But I am ready for a new start and I must make room for it. And I did. I feel lighter now, ready to take on a new challenge.
My room is complete. And I feel like I’ve made big changes. Although I have a long way to go, my head is clear and I don’t want more ‘things’ taking up space in my room and my mind. This task has taught me that loving certain items is not necessarily a bad thing. If those items are carefully chosen and are used well and often then they are performing the job they were created for. In this modern world, we have lost sight of that. It’s time for a change and I have certainly had enough already with keeping things for the sake of it!
“As consumers, we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy.”