This might be a strange thing for a hoarder to admit, but I like the idea of decluttering.
I can even see the benefits of minimalism. I mean, who doesn’t want to dance around the house without the fear of knocking something over?
So. Why do I collect stuff?
It sparks joy.
Using the KonMari method of decluttering, this means I get to keep everything!
This isn’t a review – I have not read Marie Kondo’s books. I’m certain this is an over-simplified assessment of her philosophy just as I’m a fool to think (even in jest) that everything I have brings me joy.
The ‘does it spark joy?’ mantra doesn’t help me declutter because the question doesn’t address why I hoard.
My hoarding feels misunderstood.
I’m organised. Like really organised. It’s as close as I get to a superpower. I know where everything is. I don’t have a ‘junk’ drawer. I don’t hide things randomly in whatever free space I can find until one day I die under a mound of stuff while trying to access the spare room. Even the stuff hidden in storage is well sorted. I must admit that sometimes my decision to keep something is reinforced by the fact I have space for it. I also vertically fold my clothes. I open a drawer and I can see everything I have. I’ve done this since I’ve had my own home. This is normal, right?
It might be useful. Not just that, but I want it to be useful. I have wrapping paper saved from when I was a child. Fabric off-cuts. Ribbon. I’ve saved white paper scraps for the day I try my hand at paper making. We live in a world where we throw everything away and I don’t want that to be me. I want to be the person who makes good with what they have when possible. I recycle/reuse/repurpose as much as I can, and when I use something I’ve had for ten years, I’m all ‘HA! My hoarding is validated!’ It’s happened like, three times so far. When it happens again, I. Am. So. Ready.
Time. This seems ridiculous, but sometimes rather than hoarding stuff, I hoard the time it took to make and create it. Like university notes and assignments. Those plant specimens I collected with my dad for a university course. Clothes I’ve sewn, A tiny vase I potted in kindergarten. I might have moved on from these moments or things but discarding them feels like throwing away time and calling that time ‘wasted’.
Guilt LOVE. The spirit in which something is given is stronger than the gift itself. Always. Knowing someone put love and thought into a present instantly makes the present precious. I’m hoarding gifts which no-longer spark joy except for the love and thought they contain. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to reconcile that. Love always wins.
Memory. I have a good memory for detail. Sometimes this is a really handy skill but it also makes me emotionally connect with objects. I remember who gave me what and when or I remember that I bought that thing on a really happy day when I was with Mum. You get the gist.
Emotional connections. This sounds a lot like ‘ sentiment’, but that is for things connected to my own family – I actually collect sentiment that isn’t even my own. I’ve found people’s lives on the inside cover of books. I’ve held things that were loved by people 150 years ago. I bought a tapestry from a woman who cried. Not because she couldn’t keep all of her mother’s tapestries but because I cared her mother had made it and I loved it too. It thrills me the way objects move through time. I feel that whole-heartedly.
If you have actually read Marie Kondo’s book/s, I would love to hear your insight.