Antihoarding: When "decluttering" becomes a compulsion

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Antihoarding: I got it big time, I hate when shit piles up, it drives me crazy!

I really really really need to declutter and get rid of some collectables and old hobbies I am not into anymore. I’d like to get at least some of their value back… It is just tiring to photograph and put stuff on ebay and then have it not sell…

When I had a whole house it wasn’t so bad. Stuff it into a small apt - now I look like I have a problem…


this blog could do with some decluttering. ahem.


For a few hours today my kitchen and [dining room|office|library] was amazingly tidy and clean, because I moved everything out that could be moved so I could brush and mop the floors and counters. IT looked really good. Clean and open floor, two walls and a corner with no “stuff” along them at all.

But I spend a solid plurality of my time at home in these two functional rooms. If they were totally bare and empty what good would they be?

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With compulsive decluttering at one end, balanced rational behaviour in the middle, and hoarding at the other end, if I had to choose I’d choose the middle.

If I had a choice of which end of the spectrum though, ruling out the middle, decluttering every time. Both compulsions make people miserable, but hoarding is likely worse for those around you. I’m dealing with two elderly hoarders in my life now and wow, it’s fucked up.

They’re both still rational, functioning people, but they rarely if ever throw anything away and they can afford to pile things high. They have a warehouse to fill and they’re working on it. Houses, land with old cars, vans, machinery and actual junk & garbage.

It’ll take years to clean up after them & while I still care for them I do absolutely resent it. They know it too, but can’t or won’t change.


I read a news story last year about a woman who “decluttered” so much she had no furniture at all. Her teenaged daughter had to sleep on the floor for years, because one day her mom just got rid of her bed.

I’ve always been annoyed by the decluttering evangelists-- it’s so obvious that in their lives they never have to worry that they won’t be able to just buy a new one of whatever it is. Yes, I do have a lot of tools I use once a year or so. But I can’t afford to buy them all and discard them all every year. That’s a pretty wasteful way to “live simply.”


During the summer, I actually cleaned the garage enough that I now have room for the car. It seems weird parking inside.


When I’ve just finished cleaning and dusting a room, I take a mental picture of it… then with a resigned sigh I move all the crap and nick-knacks back into their places.

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True. No point having visually clean place when things are inaccessible and/or at forgotten locations.

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