I am probably the opposite of a hoarder. When my kids were little they brought home their artwork and I would say “This is beautiful BUT is it in the top 10%?” If they said yes they knew I would keep it and put it into the ONE plastic tote that each of them was promised to commemorate their childhood. And if not, straight into the garbage it went.
So with that as background, I recently read “The House We Grew Up In” which is a novel about a mother who is a hoarder. As I read the book I became increasingly fascinated with hoarding. I watched several videos to learn more about hoarding and see what the home of a hoarder looked like.
The book and the videos made me worry: what if I am a hoarder? Do I have too much stuff? I would start to read, then look around and decide that an area of my house needed a good decluttering. I confess that during the reading of this book, I threw out 30 bags of clutter. At least.
Aside from the clutter I also looked with a critical eye around my living room. What do others see when they walk in? What I saw was a room that had not been touched in 16 years, really since the day we moved in. It was dated and dusty. So, I did what any obsessive, enterprising woman would do – I hired a decorator! She came in and totally re-evaluated my room, she moved things around and put a pile together of things that no longer “worked.” When I saw this sad little pile of dusty relics I knew she was right, they no longer deserved a place on my wall. She then added just a few items and suddenly I feel like I have a brand new living room.
I don’t know of any other book that has caused me to inspect my environment or myself so critically. I concluded that I probably lean more toward OCD than hoarding. Also that it’s easy to grow comfortable in your environment so giving your space a critical look every once in a while is a good thing. So go ahead and read this book, but beware a surge of cleaning and self inspection just might follow.