Mementos, souvenirs, theater tickets, parking tickets, gum wrappers… I have a habit of hanging on to literally everything that passes through my hands. It’s a terrible tendency. Some call it nostalgic. I call it a hop, skip and a dead cat away from hoarding. It’s not that I have a hard time parting with, let’s be honest, junk, but more so that I seem to live in a state of “rush.” So when I don’t have time to make a proper decision about an item, I set it aside until I have a moment to consider it further. Well if you’ve ever met me, then you know that time will never come- so this indecision can lead to a terrifying build up of crap. Which is why sometimes, theres nothing more fulfilling than cleaning house.
For instance if you haven’t looked in a bag for the last 2 months, you may open it to make sure there’s nothing vitally important in there (i.e. your inhaler or college diploma) and if none of the contents qualify, TOSS IT.
Beware the trap of “Good Catholic” logic.
“But people in Africa would kill for this half-used tube of hand cream.”
Would they? Really? That seems awfully presumptuous. And disproportionately violent in regards to the actual value of said hand cream. Let’s maintain some shred of reality here. At some point, letting something sit unused for that long is just as wasteful as throwing it away. Especially considering you will probably continue to buy more hand cream, regardless of how much you already have. “Good Catholic” logic can be detrimental to a hoarder on the brink.
Same goes for clothes. Give yourself two categories
1. Worn in the last 6 months or 2. Baptism Gown.
If it falls under neither of these categories, donate it. (Wedding Dress, see: Baptism Gown)
Another trick I use is this: how much pleasure has said item brought you in the recent past? For instance, if the only time you think about that old belt is when you’re screaming in agony from stepping on it for the umpteenth time, TOSS IT. If it were really important, it would have a more logical place for storage than under your foot.
If you think about it, spring cleaning or cleaning house, is one of the few activities in your life where you get to make all the calls. No one else will mind if you throw away that nasty old poncho. And even if they do, they can’t say shit about it. Unless the poncho was really theirs, not yours, in which case- you owe them a new poncho and should apologize for calling it nasty. But as long as they are in fact, your belongings… Be ruthless. Be unfeeling.
This is your personal North Korea.
Kim Jong Un-clutter your life and make no excuses for it. Rule with an iron fist. Because this is not a democracy, it’s a bedroom. and until that pile of magazines, old underwear and and broken hair elastics starts paying some goddamn taxes, what you say goes.