Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Rubber Ducky You're The One!

Several years ago, when one of the local stores still had layaway, I decided to get organized. They had a tremendous sale on 18 gallon totes. You know the kind. For storage. Because when you have a lot of stuff, you need to be able to store said Anyway, these totes were something like $3.50 each. I'd never seen them so affordable. The cheapest they'd been to this point was $5 each, so we stocked up. We got some to use right then, and we put a load of them on layaway. I can't remember the exact number we got, but I want to say it was close to 50. They didn't have enough in stock at the store, of course, so we got a raincheck on them, so we'd get the sale price and promptly stuck them on layaway when they came in.

They were great for storing holiday decorations. I didn't have to worry about boxes crumbling and falling apart. They stack so nicely, that I didn't have to worry about an avalanche when I was getting the Christmas decorations every year. They were just...handy. So I used them to pack the baby clothes I was keeping for the girls and for my maternity clothes. You know....just in case. They came in handy for storing all sorts of things. But I think they maybe hid part of my hoarding problem from me. With them being stacked so neatly, I could forget that there were things in the tubs I really didn't need.

Fast forward to yesterday when Frank was here. Not only did he cut down a huge number of trees, but he lugged tubs for me to go through, too. I am so grateful for his help, because I'd never have gotten as much done as I did, if he hadn't been there to do the heavy lifting for me. All told, I was able to go through 5 of the 18 gallon totes and 1 1/2 that are at least 3 times the size and have hinged lids.

I emptied 4 of the smaller tubs and 1 of the larger ones completely. And parts of it were really hard. I went through my maternity clothes, some baby clothes, clothes that used to fit me when I was several pounds lighter than I am now, shoes, and toys. I filled a trash can with stuff I tossed. I filled another bag with shoes to go up on Craigslist. I filled a huge black trash bag with maternity clothes and baby clothes and toddler clothes that will also go up on Craigslist. I would drop them off at a thrift store, but they have a musty smell from being in storage so many years, and I don't have time to wash them. If I put them up on Craigslist, I'll explain that, and if someone still wants then, they'll come and get them.

There were some things I wasn't able to get rid of. At least not now. Maybe never. Remember I said I sorted through 5 tubs, but I only emptied 4. The fifth one holds those things that I'm not ready to part with just yet. The lid doesn't quite close on it, but I couldn't bring myself to put it in 2 tubs. I am hoping everything will all fit, if I repack it, because I just sort of threw it in there as I was sorting. I'm afraid, if I start a second tub that I'll look for things to fill it up. I know I have plenty to fill a second one, and I eventually will. For now, I want to savor the fact that we have empty tubs.

Wonder how long we can keep them that way.


  1. Good for you for getting rid of 4 tubs worth of stuff! Don't think of the one you couldn't part with but the four that you could!

  2. Wow on emptying 4 tubs of stuff!! That is super! You're doing such a great job.
    Right now I'm trying to convince myself that all the stuff in the corner of my bedroom can be stuffed into bags and taken to the thrift store because I haven't looked/needed any of it in weeks or longer. . .*sigh*. Thanks for the inspiration. I can do this!

  3. You are doing so well - I am SO PROUD of you! Even emptying four and keeping the fifth tote is HUGE! (And I know that when you repack that fifth tote, you'll still be in the mindset of dehoarding when you repack it, so it may get emptier. And if not, that's ok - 4 out of 5 totes is 80%. 80%, you've gotten rid of - that is amazing! You are doing FANTASTIC! Even though we've never met, I am so proud of you!)

    We should become Facebook friends.

  4. I will re-itterate what Jennifer said... EIGHTY PERCENT!! That's awesome! Go you!!!!


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