Hoarder or Collector? Is it time to declutter?

Have you ever watched the television series, Hoarders?

The show highlights some of the most extreme cases of compulsive hoarding in homes. Piles of refuse, belongings, collections, and clothing often fill these homes to the ceiling.

Of course, these show the extreme cases of hoarding and most of us don’t even come close.

However, here are some interesting facts about our homes.

*There are 300,000 items in the average American home (LA Times).
*1 out of every 10 Americans rent offsite storage—the fastest-growing segment of the commercial real estate industry over the past four decades. (New York Times Magazine).
*British research found that the average 10-year-old owns 238 toys but plays with just 12 daily (The Telegraph).
*25% of people with two-car garages don’t have room to park cars inside them and 32% only have room for one vehicle. (U.S. Department of Energy).

While you or I may not be hoarders, chances are good that we own too many belongings that fill up our homes. And while filling up those spaces in our homes, zap our energy.

Sentimental belongings or idols?

In fact, having too many belongings (especially if you consider them your pride and joy) may have taken over as an idol in your heart.

Do a heart check.

Where does it stand on certain collections or belongings in your home?

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life — is not from the Father but is from the world.” 1 John 2:15-16

Are you loving the things of the world?

These belongings that fill the crooks and crevices of our home, clutter our minds and crowd our thoughts; which leads to the next point…

Why Keep It?

If this clutter sucks your thoughts, energy, and time, why keep it around?

Many people become overwhelmed at the thought of purging, so nothing is ever is done, which causes those collections to gather dust as they sit in the same space for years.

Because so many people like collecting, it becomes a part of who we are and we feel as if we cannot ever bear to part with our stuff-so we hang onto it.

In fact, Americans collect the widest variety of stuff in the world such as purses, cars, toys, glassware, clothing, shoes, books, magazines, and coins.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with having collections if they bring us joy. If we enjoy looking at them, using them, and they don’t interfere with our daily living; chances are good we have it under control. But there is a fine line between collecting and hoarding.

Are you a Hoarder?

Ask yourself these questions to see if your stuff is a collection or hoard:

*Do you spend money on a storage unit because your stuff has outgrown your home?

*Do you have a two-car garage, but cannot park inside?

*Have your belongings become an idol?

*Does your collection hamper your lifestyle by taking up too much space in your home causing you to be stressed?

*Do you spend more money than you should on storage units?

*Do you have time to care for what you own?

If you answered yes to any of these, it is probably time to reevaluate your stuff.

Maybe it is time to declutter and par down on some belongings?

This does not have to be done in one day or even one month. It can be done by devoting 30 minutes a weekend to decluttering and donating. This can be done while deep cleaning a room or even putting laundry away.

When you come across an object, such as a book, shirt, or glass collectible-ask if yourself “when was the last time that I used this?

Do I really need this?”If you don’t love it or use it, donate it. If it is broken, trash it.

Purge, sell, donate, or trash.

Enjoy newfound space and even more simple living. And enjoy having no more clutter which leads to takes up your precious space, zapping your energy, becomes an idol, and leads to chaos.


Stephanie, Training Keepers of the Home

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