Not quite a hoarder yet

HoarderA week into my challenge to get rid of my clutter and I’m not doing too bad. I’ve reached about 50 items including a large table, magazines, clothes and various items best described as junk. Actually counting out the objects gives me a sense of achievement and I mark the number up on the calendar so I can keep a proper track.

I’m still feeling slightly disheartened by the mountains of stuff I still have left. It took me two hours to clear up this morning and move everything out of the wrong room into the right one. It does look better, but strangely bare. I’m just not used to seeing so much white space.

At least I feel I no longer at risk of becoming a hoarder. One of my guilty pleasures is watching programmes such as ‘The Hoarder Next Door’ and ‘Hoarders’. It’s fun to compare the UK version with the American. In the UK we have professional declutterers, but in the USA they have really fancy job titles. It sounds like these people must have studied at University for years, to become so accomplished with their dustpan and brushes.

I am a big fan of Stelios, the psychologist in the ‘The Hoarder Next Door’. So much so, that I can forgive him for turning up in the untidiest, dirtiest houses wearing his best suit. He is always so patient and understanding towards the hoarders he treats. When one woman brought out her dead rabbit from the deep freezer and began to hug and talk to it, Stelios didn’t bat an eyelid.

The hoarders, (who most people would dismiss as lazy and untidy) are encouraged to share their often tragic stories of loss and neglect. Many, have quite literally, put up a barrier between themselves and their painful memories. By confronting and dealing with their buried emotions, the hoarders are finally able to let go of their possessions.

When I watch these programmes, I am reassured that I am a world away from being a hoarder. However I can’t help wondering if the reason I have kept hold of so many childhood ornaments and books might be due to something more than just ‘being messy’. Maybe there is a little bit of a hoarder in all of us.

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