Hoarder or Collector?

I once heard an awesome quote. “The difference between a hoarder and a collector is curation”. This 100% sums up the case study I am about to present, which is very close to my heart. This is the story of my husband and me.

The Healing Journey

We are all on a healing journey, some of us more than others. I was diagnosed with systemic lupus some 15 years ago, so I began re-evaluating what was important many years ago. I modified life style, people with whom I associated, work and looked at life through different eyes. The work is ongoing and I love the wellness focus in my life.

One of the major changes was around letting go of what no longer served, or bought me joy (as Marie Kondo would now say). This included stuff. I quickly worked out that is not stuff that is important, but experiences which will remain in the mind for years to come.

Hoarders have trouble with letting go
Hoarders have trouble letting go

“I am a Collector, not a Hoarder”

I met my husband 7 years ago and whilst I knew that he had lots of stuff, it did not occur to me that he was a hoarder until I helped move him out of his house. He would say that he thrived on organised chaos, when I had to tiptoe through all of the paperwork on the floor.

We moved in together and essentially had 3, 3 bedroom homes to move into one home. Items would just keep coming into the house and that’s where they stayed. His space downstairs (after I threw him out of the office, as I couldn’t focus due to the clutter) was jam-packed with crap. Paperwork was the worst, followed by electrical cables and tools.

Having a dedicated space for one’s clutter is all well and good, however, our bedroom was directly above the garage. I could literally feel the energy stop in the garage, and could not wait to get out of that house.

On a trip to the country, we happened across our dream home. With tall ceilings, open spaces, plenty of light….and no storage.

The Hoarders Man-Cave

The Man Cave came about as one solution to our storage issues. The deal was that ALL of the boxes downstairs would be opened and culled prior to moving. Do you think this happened? Not a chance. Long story short, was that items that came into the house had to be functional, used within 6 weeks of being in the house and in good working order.

The Man Caves are 40 ft shipping containers, which are currently the most expensive storage option on the planet. Little did I know that there were some items that were not due to go into the container, but into the back laundry area. I had been hoodwinked!!!!

I don’t know how much you know about Feng Shui, but I will let you know that there is a section in your home referred to as the Wealth Sector. Guess where our wealth sector is? Yep, in the cluttered laundry area, with no light. The reason I bring this to your attention is the fact that we have had a never-ending stream of cash leaving this house.

Cluttered dark laundry with poor feng shui
A cluttered space means poor Feng Shui

Konmari, eat your heart out!

More than 12 months later, I have had a gut full of the cluttered laundry and things need to change. The effects of clutter are real. Many people actually have no idea of the damage it can cause.

Last weekend the decluttering began and the laundry area was emptied out. I finally felt like I could breathe! Such a simple thing with such a profound effect. Hubby is stoked too, as he has managed to uncover a whole heap of buried treasures. We have two trailers to go to the dump, some items to go to Vinnie’s and some for sale. The remainder is now in a place where they can be easily found.

When a hoarder declutters a space, it feels amazing
The hoarder declutters the laundry

The Final Result

A clean, light-filled, functional space. This is the only part of the house that did not get renovated, so that is still on the Agenda. In the meantime, I will grow my succulents in this beautiful space. The success of my gardening in this space is in direct relation to the Feng Shui now present. Om Shanti 🙏

After decluttering and restyling
Scroll back up to see what this space looked like
Hoarder no more!
My light filled, tidy space
Before and after decluttering
Functional, everything has a place, easy to find things.

In Conclusion, Hoarder or Collector?

Whilst, this has been a relatively light account of events, hoarding is a really big problem. No amount of cajoling is helpful to a hoarder, as it is a psychological disorder which needs to be treated in a professional manner. My hubby would be regarded as a hoarder, however, he is not as bad as some. I have hope that one day when he sorts his containers out, he will morph into a Collector.

If you or your family need help with decluttering, please get in touch. If you need help with a hoarder, see your GP.

  • Great post. My laundry was a huge hoarding space like you mentioned. Makes sense about the Feng Shui. I am about halfway through clearing it out before it can be renovated.
    I too have come to a point in my life where less is more. I can handle all the clutter in the playroom as that’s the kids space, but I want the rest of the house minimal and clutter free (mostly for ease of cleaning haha). First things first is going through all the boxes of baby clothes and clothes I’ll never wear again that yes, i’ll say it, I’m hoarding. I’m emotionally attached to all that baby stuff! But no more babies so I need to let (most of it) go. It’s easy to let it go when someone else could actually use it though! So maybe I’ll feel better donating a lot of it

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