storage tips for hoarders
Simplify Your Spaces

More Storage is NOT the Solution

If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you know I take a different approach to decluttering.

I know true hoarders.  Their parents lived through the Great Depression and saved every little scrap of everything, because they knew of a time when you didn’t have much of anything.  I totally understand that, but it turned out to be a learned behavior for some who then taught that anxiety to their kids in some ways and they became hoarders themselves.  For some it’s a fear that they can’t let something go, because someday they might need it or someone else might need it and they wouldn’t have it to give or lend to them.  It took me years to understand it and until I became a hoarder myself during my Paxil years, I never fully did.

I also know people who became hoarders while on medications (like me).  When you’re emotionally numb the majority of the time, you look for something … anything to make you happy.  For some people on psychotropic medications (anything that has the ability to change brain function and behavior) shopping and going into deep debt becomes a real issue, because they are always looking for an emotion that stuff will never bring … but they don’t know that.  So they buy and buy and buy things they think will make them happy, but it doesn’t work and they just keep digging a deeper hole of stuff.

Once I came out of withdrawal and my brain started functioning normally, I realized that I (along with a lot of other hoarders) had an obsession of sorts with storage.  I was constantly buying plastic storage tubs in all shapes, sizes, and colors.  I talked a lot about organizing and planned to put things “in storage”, when the lack of storage was never the real problem.

In the United States we’re somewhat obsessed with the idea of storage.  Heck we rent little buildings and pay monthly fees just to keep extra stuff.

I can understand needing storage away from your home if you’re moving to a new city and aren’t established yet or even holding on to some furniture for your kids for a few months while they find an apartment.  Those things aren’t the real issue.  The feeling that you have to keep things that you don’t even use, like, or need is the real problem.  No matter how much storage you have it will never be the solution. 

Put it into dollars and it becomes more clear.

Let’s say you have a storage unit that you pay $100 a month for, because you either have too much stuff to store it at your home or you don’t have enough storage at home.  So every year you pay $1,200 to keep your stuff away from your home, because you MIGHT need it at a later date.  In ten years time you’ve paid $12,000 to keep stuff that probably costs you less than a few thousand.  My daughter’s NEW car cost around $12,000.  Does it make more sense to you now? 

It might not be that drastic for you, but if you find yourself standing in the storage aisle of your favorite super store wondering how many plastic tubs you need for all of your shoes, blankets, or wrapping paper collection then it might be time to let things go. 

how to start decluttering when overwhelmed

Are you holding on to things and complaining that lack of storage is the problem when more storage will NEVER be the solution? 

Why do you feel like you have to hold on to things in the first place?  Is it tied to a form of anxiety or fear?  Are you working on overcoming it piece by piece and item by item so you can let things go and live in a more peaceful space?

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