For many, thinking about a hoarder conjures images of a person sitting in the middle of piles of pizza boxes, shredded shirts and shorts, and just about every mess you can imagine. While most of us imagine the extreme (thanks in part to the popular TV shows), there are everyday signs that can be telling of a tendency to hoard.
Let’s explore each of these signs and ways you can curb them:
1. You have a strong attachment to things.
Attachment may surface in different ways. For example, you may feel guilty about getting rid of an old toy because you don’t want to hurt the toy’s “feelings.” This kind of attachment ends up in piles and piles of stuff in your garage.
Of course, there really are things that have sentimental value to us. The secret to figuring out which are mementos and which need to go is by writing them down and categorizing them. The act of listing each item down will make you more committed to getting rid of the junk and organizing the ‘jewels’. Experts from OnTrack Wall Solutions recommend using different storage systems to keep mementos organized and making your space neat.
2. You want to get stuff—and more stuff, but don’t have a reason for acquiring them.
Psychologists explain that getting more stuff is an emotional experience for those that have hoarding tendencies. They feel good when they buy things. Or, they tend to take free things, like toiletries in the hotel.
When you’re tempted to get more stuff, pause and think for a moment. Ask yourself if you really need it and be honest. Ditch the item if it’s not a necessity. Otherwise, the stuff will just collect in your basement or closet.
3. You can’t use tables or chairs at home anymore, because they’re full of clutter.
Hoarders start out by piling stuff on chairs, tables or pathways. Some also use one specific room in their home to dump all the stuff they have. When these areas at home can’t be used anymore because of too much stuff, you may want to rethink your habits.
These are warning signs of hoarding problem. When the issue grows to compulsive hoarding, self-control or simple organization tips may not work. You may need to consult a psychologist or therapist for it.