Never mind the hoarder next door…

I know it is voyeristic, but I love watching those shows on hoarders. The English do a great line in these TV shows: The Hoarder Next Door, How Clean is Your House, Britain’s Biggest Hoarder, and the US series The Hoarders is sickeningly compelling too.

I always think the same things: “OMG, how could they live like that, with all the junk and rubbish piled up?” And, “Most of that’s just rubbish, why have they kept it?” And variations on that theme: all that dirt!, why don’t they put rubbish in the bin? Etc, etc.

Well, glasshouses, specks in others and motes in mine own eyes and so on….

I had this stand in my bedroom, to hold up the TV.


The TV was an old analogue one. Analogue no longer operates here and the TV is so old there are no plug points to plug in a digital converter. I took the TV to the local council for recycling. (Where it joined hundreds and hundreds of other analogue TVs – hope they are really recycled.)

Anyway, no bones about it, this stand just doesn’t suit my bedroom and is unnecessary. In fact, I might go so far to say that in my house it looks ugly. I haven’t used the drawers in years – well, except to shove things in I didn’t know what to do with.

Now I want the stand out, so time to investigate the contents of the drawers. There were some items of personal significance (like my little poo-bottom teddy you can see in the photo of the stand) but much that was useless.

More lanyards! I think I have decluttered nearly a hundred of these from our home! Dried out craft supplies – who am I kidding, I won’t craft and don’t have time. Old drivers licence (if you look closely you can see a younger me with dark hair). Dried out pens. Dried out liquid paper tape. Old cards. An electronic diary which i never used but Mr Sans bought years before mobiles and iPads thinking it was the bee’s knees. Broken bits and bobs.


Actually, just rubbish.

Why has it been sitting in drawers in my bedroom? Why have I put off throwing these things away?

Partly there is the keeping of things for your “fantasy self”. My fantasy self does craft. So I keep old cards and craft items to make my own Christmas cards.

Partly there is the belief that some things will be of use in the future. That one purple shoe lace? Why yes, I might use it to tie together things. That lanyard? Well it is perfectly good. The ribbon? For when I wrap presents.

Any partly it is nowhere and no sense of organisation elsewhere in the home to house things. As always there are somethings you want to keep. But if the rest of your cupboards and desks in the house are full of clutter then you have no where to put the things you want to keep. So everything just stays where it is. Unsorted. Building up. Junk on junk. Rubbish on rubbish. Dust on dust.

That is why a slow and steady approach to decluttering helps. As you move out a bit here and there, you open space to organise things in their correct place, like with like, in the room with the best fit for the items’ uses.

Need another shot?

See, I had so much actual rubbish. Who am I to ohh and ick at others?

12 thoughts on “Never mind the hoarder next door…

  1. I am moderately minimal compared to family members, but a packrat compared to people whose blogs I read. I hate giving up things that are “perfectly good” and I try to keep in mind – would this sell at a thrift store or a yard sale? Could I actually give it to someone I know? Would I ever, ever need to buy it again? If not, it has no value and I can only hope to recycle. A good example is VHS tapes. Even the bottom-tier flea markets don’t sell them any more.

  2. Oh lordy, yes, my great difficulty is not getting rid of stuff, but needing it all to go to a good home.. hence my hallway and the back of my car are full of things on their way to places that often never quite get there.. I am still determined not to let new things through the door, but it is a struggle!

    • Sometimes I do not care about getting a good home for an item; I’ve just had enough and ip the thing has to go. But remember the wooden toilet seat still in its packaging? I still have it!

  3. I’m guilty of keeping crafting supplies although I don’t do much crafting anymore (or sewing for that matter, but I still have thread and half-finished projects).

    And I’m similar to Dar – I want things to be used even if I can’t use them. So sometimes I hang onto things a little too long because I don’t know who to give the items to or where to recycle them. Sometimes I get sick of waiting and toss the stuff, sometimes it sits drawers for a little while longer. It’s tough!

  4. Amen to all the other commenters .
    I take to and ask around at meetings – is this any use to anyone – often it’s those who bring along their bits and pieces who are the ones who take mine home with them lol.
    I think we all have (and maybe need) a junk drawer – sort of like a holding pen for all those odds and sods we don’t know what/whether/if…….you get the picture!
    I keep saying I have stuff to move on but like those featured ion the tv shows t’s not that bad …….really!

    • Love it, Cathy. I have a picture of a group of women swapping their unwanted bits and bobs but not being able to let go of things unless they go to a good home!

      A colleague at work has told me in very direct words to not bring anymore of my decluttered items to her. She doesn’t want them. Luckily there are others who an take my stuff.

  5. Oh yes. This exactly. Those little craft odds and ends, outdated electronics and LANYARDS…it is amazing how all that stuff builds up in drawers and boxes. I’m trying to do the “PEEP” thing (place for everything, everything in it’s place) so I’ve now got a labelled box for lanyards! It’s not necessarily leaving the house, but at least the chaos is organised!

  6. When you mentioned the random shoelace and ribbon – I thought ‘aha, that’s why I have that mini 9 Ikea drawers – there’s a ‘loose ribbon’ drawer. I seldom source from there (having 3 spools of very neutral ribbon in the ‘wrapping’ box, but at least it’s all contained, and PEEP! Lanyards – I have none. I hate the things, I never EVERY wear one around my neck, so I’m pretty quick to return/reject ones offered to me :p Cheeky I am! I know my parents house is overrun with them, as the school my mother was working at had to wear them.

    The stuff that annoys me most is the ‘no clear home’ stuff. Like, old keys – someone might want them for craft, I just don’t know the someone. Some plastic containers (from weird stuff) but they could have a use, and I’m not sure they are recyclable. Just annoying stuff that I don’t want to burden an op shop with, no one on Freecycle wants and (as you’d know) I’m loathed to contribute to my landfill tally. SIGH?GROAN!

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