Hoard Memories, Not Things4:19 AM
We are a family of hoarders! Oh yes, we are. But before you get any ideas about some behavioral disorder that pushes people to acquire things in excessive quantities, ours is more of the unwillingness to part with the things we have. Admittedly though, both kinds of hoarding result to space impairment in the home-front, thus the need to address the behavior.
The Difficulty of Letting Go
The problem with hoarders like us is that we rarely see the distinction between what needs to be kept and what we can let go. We have three main reasons for keeping things: sentimental value, practicality, and innate frugality. It doesn't matter whether we are talking about an expensive item or a piece of paper. If it falls into any of our three categories, then it stays in the house.
We thought it was very heartless to give away gifts given to us or things that mattered at some point in our family. We thought it is always wise to keep old things just in case. We thought it is wasteful to throw things that can be reused. What we failed to consider however is the resulting accumulation through the years.
Before we realized what was happening, we were literally drowning in our accumulated humble earthly possessions. There was clutter everywhere. That was when we started giving away things and selling them in garage sales. We finally came to our senses that things we have not used for years are better off being used by someone else who actually need them. Still, a lot remained.
It turned out that the major reason that is causing all this hoarding is sentimentalism. Emotions usually manage to get the better of us so when we sort things, 80% remained because everything just seemed to have significance for our family. Every time we sorted our things, there was almost always something that would tug at our hearts not to let go. We know this simply wouldn't do.
Hoard Memories, Not Things
In an impromptu family meeting, we decided to think of ways to lessen our clutter in a way that is acceptable to all of us. These are what we decided on:
1. Segregate the things that absolutely needs to remain with us and those that can be disposed.
2. Determine among the things for disposal which have to be thrown out, donated, or sold.
3. Take photos of things to be disposed that have sentimental value so memories remain.
4. Make use of the photos taken in our blog posts to ensure perpetuity.
5. Decide on how newly acquired items are to be treated as soon as possible so as to prevent unmanageable accumulations again.
From hoarders of things, we are steadily on our way to becoming hoarders of memories, our memories. The feeling is a lot lighter, not to mention our house which has regained much space.
That said, starting this New Year, let us try to be hoarders of memories rather than material things. Have a clutter-free year ahead.