I recently looked up the entry for "hoarding" on Wikipedia. It led me to the entry on "compulsive hoarding". I must admit I was a little worried at first:
- Junk mail [CHECK]
- Cooking equipment [CHECK]
- Old catalogues and newspapers [CHECK]
- Things that might be useful for making crafts [CHECK]
- Clothes that "might" be worn one day [CHECK]
- Broken things/trash [CHECK]
- "Freebies" or other promotional products picked up [CHECK]"
- Beds that cannot be slept in
- Kitchens that cannot be used for food preparation, refrigerators filled with rotting food, stovetops with combustibles such as junk mail as well as old food piled on top of burners.
- Tables that cannot be used for dining [I'M GUILTY OF THIS SOMETIMES...]
- Chairs or sofas that cannot be used
- Filthy unsanitary bathrooms; piles of human feces collected in areas of the home, sometimes there are animal feces over the floors of the home, giant bags of dirty diapers hoarded for many years.
- Tubs, showers, and sinks filled with items such that they can not be used for washing or bathing. Hoarders would thus possibly forgo bathing.
- Some hoard animals they cannot even marginally care for; often dead pets cannibalized by other pets are found under the heaps.
- Do not allow visitors such as family and friends, or repair and maintenance professionals because the clutter embarrasses them [SOMETIMES I RUN AROUND LIKE A MAD WOMAN TIDYING UP WHEN UNPLANNED VISITORS ARRIVE]
- Keep the shades drawn so no one can see inside [ONLY SO THAT OUR NEIGHBOURS CAN'T SEE US WALKING AROUND HALF NAKED]
- Get into a lot of arguments with family members about the clutter
- Are at risk of fire, falling, infestation or eviction
- Feel depressed or anxious much of the time because of the clutter [THIS IS WHY I'M WRITING THIS POST]"
Living in this manner for 5 weeks, I experienced somewhat of a revelation. These uncluttered surrounds and my well edited wardrobe allowed me to focus my wandering mind. Not once in the past 10 years have I had so many great ideas and felt so positive - I was creative again!
I think that (once again) my surrounds have put me in a state of flux. I could even go as far as to say that I feel very sad and unproductive on a personal level. I wrote about the very same thing here - actually, almost two years ago to the day. Maybe the emergence of obvious clutter is a cyclical occurrence?
A fortnight ago I started to properly de-clutter the house and we've been getting some home projects completed too. So far, I have only de-cluttered the bathroom and my magazine collection, but I feel better already.
I could never become a minimalist, but my pleasant stays at a number of wonderful Airbnbs have definitely encouraged me to at least try to get half way there.