How to Stop Being a Hoarder

I’m kind of a hoarder. You wouldn’t know it if you came to my house, but it is in my genes. My grandfather was a hoarder. My dad was a hoarder. I just can’t seem to let go of things. This includes physical stuff or information. On the latter, Evernote allows me to keep all kinds of information in one place (there is my Evernote plug for this post).

I am. I am a hoarder. I have begun making some changes in this area of my life. A couple reasons for this are…

1) I don’t use most of the stuff.

2) I can’t find my stuff. (This is when you know you have a problem.)

3) There is something about uncluttered space. It is freeing!

During this process, I have thrown out around fifteen 30 gallon bags of paper going back to college. I have given away books and other stuff I swore I would never let go of. It has been hard and I still have more work to do. It is not a one-time thing, but is growing into part of my lifestyle.

How do you decide what to sell (or get rid of) and what to keep? Here are the three questions I ask about an item or piece of information:

1) Have I used it in the last year?

2) Will I use it in the next year?

3) Is it cost prohibitive to buy a new one.

If you answer no to all 3, let it go. If you say no to the first two, but not the last one, you have a dilemna. Sometimes you may still need to get rid of it or sell it.

Are you a hoarder? Any tips for the rest of us? Share in the comments section.

PS: Don’t tell my wife about this post. Like I said, I still have a problem and there is still plenty to let go of.

Add yours ↓
  1. Bill Anderson

    Good for you Adam. I like your criteria. In the past 12 years we have rid ourselves of something like 2 houses of stuff. Retirement brings you face to face with reality.

    December 16, 2014
    • adamsuter

      Nice. Yeah, it is hard, but worth it.

      January 28, 2015
  2. Lynne

    Proud of you! I have hoarding in my genes, too. while it may seem silly to some, hoarding can be and is an awful illness. I’ve also had success with cleaning out the excess but there’s more to it than an intellectual check list – being intelligent about it takes practice. The emotional and psychological is often too overwhelming for folks.

    December 16, 2014
    • adamsuter

      Thanks Lynne! Yeah, it is super hard and definitely an illness in some cases. I can see that in my family.

      January 28, 2015