I can say that, even though I have some hoarding tendencies.
Who remembers that ad with the Russian grandmother who said, "Clean, yes! Dirt, no!"? I remember it, and I love it....because I truly love order and beauty and a place for everything and everything in its place.
And here's the schizophrenic part: I love books. I love things. I attach memories to items and I keep them because they belonged to someone I loved and lost. I like order, but I like things too much.
So, I am purging and weeding out stuff and cleaning and getting rid of stuff. I think it will take months to get rid of enough stuff that I can breathe a sigh of relief. Right now, it's just painful.
It's painful to think that I kept that second coffeemaker just in case.
It's painful to think that I bought all of those books over many years, some of which were never used.
It's painful to think that I ignored the problem far too long.
So, I confess: I am a hoarder.
We have clear surfaces. We can sit at the table and eat a meal. We can sit in the living room and in the family room. My kitchen counters are clean. My fridge gets cleaned out at least twice a month. So I am not the kind of hoarder that ends up like this:
The Kind of Hoarder I Am
I keep stuff I don't love. I am the kind of hoarder that keeps some paintings (numbered watercolours) that belonged to my parents, who both died 15 years ago. I don't even like these paintings. I keep them because somehow, throwing them out or selling them or giving them away means I'll lose a connection with my parents.
I keep stuff, just in case. I am the kind of hoarder who keeps stuff, just in case. This morning I stepped on something and bent over to pick it up. It was a knob from our old dryer, the one that's outside waiting to be taken to the dump. I automatically started to put the knob onto a shelf in the laundry room, just in case I might need it some day. Thankfully, I stopped myself and tossed it into the trash bin.
I keep stuff I might use some day. I have binders and books and school papers and diaries and notes from sermons and maps and stuff I'll never use. Time to face reality. I will never, ever use this stuff.
I am getting rid of them.
It's not going to be easy, but I have decided to keep only ONE of everything, unless it's a set that makes sense. I have decided to evaluate (is it useful? is it beautiful? do I love it?) every item and get rid of everything that is not useful or beautiful or loved.