do you have trouble throwing things away?

@umart13 (841)
Ireland
July 14, 2008 2:17pm CST
The official name for such people is obsessive compulsive. In Germany they are known as "Messies". It's something that a lot of us suffer from - the need to hoard stuff, which we will never read or use again. Once you recognize it in yourself, you are halfway to solving the problem. I was a paper gatherer for years - mostly stuff to do with finances and stockmarkets. Are you one of there people who can throw nothing away? What do you do to get over this problem?
2 people like this
6 responses
@caver1 (1765)
• United States
14 Jul 08
Yes, I understand what you are saying, but what if I need it a year from now, or five years from now. All kidding aside, I do find it hard to part with some things, even though I never use them. Unfortunately my husband seems to have the same problem, so our garage is a mess. I will get fed up at times and decide to clean and organize. Most recently this was my closet. True, it still has alot of stuff that is not being used, but at least I can now walk into my walk-in closet without stepping on stuff.
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@umart13 (841)
• Ireland
14 Jul 08
Hi caver1. Even your joking comment had a ring of truth to it. I collected Annual Financial Statements of Companies. My old bedroom at the parents in Ireland was full of them; their garden shed was full; my flat in Germany was full; and the office I worked in was full of them. Then came the piles of financial newspapers I had not yet read and then the tons of research reports all sorted on shelves full of lever-arch files. It was when I read an article in "The Readers Digest" a Few Years ago that I saw that I had problems: a) I COULD'T LET GO!; and b) IF I HAD NOT READ THE NEWSPAPER COMPLETELY I FELT I HAD FAILED. This was obsessive compulsive. But recognizing it was half the problem solved. Interesting that you wrote that your garage was a mess.In fact my stuff was well organized - like a library, but there was just too much. I developed a couple of strategies to LET GO! a) Goodbye to Financial reports older than 3 years; and b) you don't have to read the whole paper - just one useful article from each paper was to be considered a success. Anyway this strategy worked and now worthless info on companies, which I never would have had the chance to read, has been replaced by books, which I sell as a hobby. I wish all of us the very best in keeping our lives free of clutter. It's an unending fight :-) Take care! UMart
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@yogeshdhusa (2212)
• India
16 Jul 08
Hey umart, My mom has the habit of keeping things and i understood this in my childhood. the thing which is one month old and not been used from last one month, i throw them. Even in fegshui or vastu shastra, it has been told to throw old thing. It Brings growth and freshness to life. Oh yes even i feel the same after i clean the house and throwing old things. enjoy:)
@umart13 (841)
• Ireland
17 Jul 08
Hi yogeshdhusa, I wonder what type of stuff your mother kept. I presume she kept useful stuff, e.g. reusable clothing materials, buttons and pins. I am amazed that you can throw things out, which are older than one month old. Respect!,as we say in Germany. Thanks for your comment on feg or feng shui, as you call it. I did not know the other expression which you used, i.e. "vastu shastra". Interesting! Whether you believe in it our not, I think humans do feel better and healthier when they clean out. All the best UMart
• India
17 Jul 08
hey even i have my old thing kept, but i throw the things which are not required. and i think fengshui and vastu shastra have the same vission but run on diffrent principals. that this thing should be kept in this place and this coour should be used on this wall and so on.. but i have not changed any thing except throwing the old thing.. and my mom hates me for this.
@rampancy (67)
• United States
14 Jul 08
I admit that sometimes I do have to force myself to get rid of things. I feel an attachment to many of my possessions since I either received them as gifts or paid for them with my own money. If it is an article of clothing I can't wear or don't want to wear anymore, I will find a friend who can or donate it to the Goodwill. Other things are harder for me to give up.
@umart13 (841)
• Ireland
14 Jul 08
Hi rampancy! We have something in common there :-) I also find it easier to part with clothes, when I know that somebody in the family or someone else is going to wear my old jacket or whatever. As for the other things, I have been a hoarder of toys and books and much worthless financial information for years. I have been selling books on Amazon.com for a year now and one positive side-effect has been that I have, for the first time in my life, sold some of my study books. Similar to what you said about the clothes - It is much better when you know that the books are going to somebody who wants them, you get compensated in return abd you create space. I still feel attached to my toys, so they will be staying :-) All the best. UMart
• Ireland
15 Jul 08
Aye, I used to have that problem, but as soon I took this journey across Oz, living in a van for a year it solved the problem. As being a traveller, one cannot carry things with you, and these lovely items end up being given to people who need it more than I. It is great to let go of possesions and see the happiness you spread while doing it.
@icon_001 (586)
• India
15 Jul 08
Well; luckily I do not suffer from such a severe thing . I do tend to store somethings for years .Yet;I dispose them off If they have been there for far too long . However;My Father does keeps way too old things. I think;sometimes it is because people have struggled to get some or the other things(s) in life and they want to keep a memory of those things even 40-45 years later!!
@umart13 (841)
• Ireland
15 Jul 08
Morning Icon. Good for you and I hope you can keep it that way. In some sense this compulsive collection is a big like an illness of the mind. Anyway you can't take it all with you, so you have to let go at some stage. As for the older generations, I agree with you - this is totally different. My grandfather collected newspapers because then you could sell the paper. Recycling is really nothing new!!! There were also scrap merchants and even a guy who drove around collecting feed for his pigs. All grandparents used to keep spare parts for everything, especially bicycles. Even the sheds were made from recycled glass windows and wood. They kept things for sentimental reasons too, but I would say that things were scarcer in the past and that many things were kept for practical reasons. All the best from Germany. UMart
@jephone (118)
• Canada
14 Jul 08
Yes, absolutely I have this problem, but at the same time, I don't know how to handle these stuffs. I hate to have so many things that I am not actually using them. The best way to come over it is stopping buying the stuffs if they are not necessary. I know a lot of people have the hobbie buying thing. Before you buy something, think about it if it is necessary, can it be replaced by your stuffs.
@umart13 (841)
• Ireland
14 Jul 08
Hello jephone. Your solution is perhaps the best of all - Do not buy the stuff in the first place, if you think you don't need it! With me it is mostly paper. I have had to identify the stuff I have not read in over a year. I had to throw out annual financial statements which were over 3 years old, instead of keeping all 10 years as I used to. Another recent improvement in my life has been Amazon.com. For years I never threw out my school our university books. I had them all from aged 4 up until now. Recently I have been selling my University books online. This is great, because I get money, the books are not wasted and I create space. Perfect! Best of luck! UMart
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jul 08
Yes, I have trouble throwing things away. A lot of items have sentimental value for me, but I'm also worried that as soon as I toss something I'll want it, or miss it. Occasionally, though, I'll get into spring cleaning mode and get rid of as much as I possibly can. Last month I donated five- count 'em, FIVE- garbage bags' worth of old, usable clothes to the Salvation Army, that I had kept just in case I needed 'em.
@umart13 (841)
• Ireland
14 Jul 08
Hello Stagewhisper. Now tell me this! What was the feeling like after you filled the five garbage bags and they were taken away. Which was greater - the sense of loss, or the uplifting sense of relief. I bet it was the latter, because I started doing it myself over the last two years. I remember parting with Accountancy Study Material from 1984 to 1988. I don't think I used the notes in 18 years, but they were always there "IN CASE" I ever needed to refer to them. The day I let go of those files was great. Suddenly I began to understand a bit of what this Feng Shui stuff was about. But I like the fact that your clutter went to aid a good cause. Besides I think it's easier to part from something, when you know where it is going and that it's going to be used again. If something has sentimental value then it may stay, but I collected tons of financial related paper. There is nothing sentimental at all there. Anyway my eyes were opened by a Readers' Digest article and since then I have slain the obsessive compulsive monster, but he needs to be watched as he often comes back to haunt you. All the best from Germany. UMart
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