Of all my OCD tendencies, I think this is one of the ones most acceptable to my family. My father, the son of a mother who lived through the Great Depression and reused EVERYTHING (even tea bags!), holds on to just about anything that he thinks could possibly be useful one day.
I get it. He is one of the most considerate human beings I have ever known. He would absolutely hate if someone he knew needed something that he had gotten rid of.
And I, much in the same way, have the same tendency to hold on to things.
Some things make sense. Despite the complete shit-show that was postpartum, I’m pretty sure we’re not done having kids yet. So we’ve got old clothes carefully folded into bins in our storage room. This is entirely reasonable.
Some things, on the other hand, are not.
I still have extra school supplies left over from when I stopped teaching four years ago. Why? Because I might suddenly need 84 pencils?
I’ve held on to books I will never read again. I hold on to clothes I don’t really love or that don’t fit well anymore. I tell myself I’m going to list them on eBay someday. (I’m not.)
To make matters even worse, I hate how much trash we generate. I feel guilty about the amount of garbage I am contributing to landfills.
So, instead of throwing things away, like I should, I hold onto them. Because, of course, turning my house into a landfill negates the waste I have generated. (That’s TOTALLY logical. NOT.)
Thankfully, a friend of mine with similar struggles made an excellent point–if it doesn’t go into the landfill now, it will when I die and my family is forced to clean out my house.
So, over the course of lent, I’m going to be getting rid of things. Lots of things. This will likely cause me some anxiety, but it needs to be done. We can’t keep living in a mess.
I’ve got to go, friends. Time to make a dinner that maybe one member of our family will actually eat. (more on that headache another time)
For more information on hoarding, check out IOCDF’s page on it.