According to the International OCD Foundation “Hoarding has been a hidden disorder for many years”.
“Before the early 1990’s, there was little research on hoarding. Since then, however, interest has increased dramatically among research scientists and clinicians. Recent media coverage of hoarding has also increased awareness and interest among sufferers, family members, and human service personnel who often deal with the problem.”
One of the many TV shows is an American documentary series ‘Hoarding: Buried Alive’ that takes the viewer into the personal life of the Hoarder, focusing on how their hoarding has affected them and their family members.
The series explores the psychology behind the compulsion to accumulate and store large quantities of nonessential things.
Each episode tells the stories of hoarders struggling with behaviour that has made every day existence unbearable for both them and their loved ones.
You may not be a hoarder, but what about….CLUTTER?
Of course the Hoarders in this TV series and other similar shows are cases of people suffering a variety of compulsive disorders, for the majority of us, while hoarding is not in this sort of category CLUTTERING can become a major burden in even the most organized home.
In fact catering to this problem are many professional De-Cluttering Services who will come in and help the householder “De-Clutter their home and their life”.
From my personal experience (with our 3 year old girl) from an early age children should be allowed only two or three toy bins and must return toys to them at the end of each day.
When full, the kids must get rid of a toy before they can have another.
There are charity bins everywhere where their toys can be recycled and it’s a great lesson for children to be trained into giving personal items away especially to charity.
This is an excellent way to start training children into not becoming CLUTTER BUGS later in life and at the same time from these simple things your children will be taught about limits, routines, decision-making, responsibility and philanthropy.
Decluttering simply means some positive thinking tell yourself: “YOU CAN DO IT, AND YOU WILL”
How to get started
- Start with a plan and one area at a time to avoid being overwhelmed.
- Many householders use the local Council clean up as an ideal time to Declutter, with a date to work to you can plan in advance what you want to throw out, and it’s often easier to get rid of unwanted items when you see all your neighbours doing the same thing.
- Ask yourself these questions for every item you pick up: Do I use it? Do I like it? Do I need it? If you answer NO – then it’s time to let it GO!
- If you’re struggling to let go of something, put it in a box and store it away. If you haven’t used it or needed it three months later, or you’ve forgotten what’s in the box, then why keep it?
- How much do you really need to be comfortable … some homes have double and triple of everything in the Kitchen and that flows over into every part of their life, creating a minefield when it comes to moving.
- THINK BEFORE YOU BUY! Do you really need that extra set? Remember the mantra “Buy in Haste, Repent in Leisure” – beware of IMPULSE BUYING.How to keep up the momentum
- For every new item you buy, get rid of two old ones.
- Practice being tidy and put things away as you use them, this will help you to evaluate your possessions,
- If you find you are using the same items over and over perhaps you don’t really need those extra ones, ask yourself “When was the last time I used it?”
In 1906, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto created a mathematical formula to describe the unequal distribution of wealth in his country, observing that twenty percent of the people owned eighty percent of the wealth.
This is often called “Pareto’s Principle” it is a very effective tool to help you manage effectively, for example …
Most people use 20 per cent of their items 80 per cent of the time … if you look at your daily habits you will find plenty of examples where this 20/80 (80/20) rule applies.
In fact why not conduct a weekly survey with items you use you may be surprised to find that you are using the same things over and over.
This will help you let go of items that very rarely get used.
If you are planning to sell your home, don’t delay in doing a major audit on your possessions.
Clutter can be a nightmare for the Vendor and deter prospective Purchasers during inspections and may even delay you finding a buyer, people want to come into a clean, neat, well organised home when they are searching for a property.