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Monday, January 9, 2012

What Is An Organized Hoarder?!

When you live in the same house for over-thirty-some odd years you accumulate way to many things.

Does that sound familiar? Too be honest it does not take thirty years to accumulate too may things. However, it does take lots of stacking, organizing, and storing to manage it all.

Too be honest I am getting a little tired of my old habits, and I want to spend less time managing, and more time enjoying.

The realization of this leads me to one of my New Years plans. Not a resolution, but an actual plan.

I have three areas that are a constant unorganized mess for me. It seems as if I organize them, and before I know it, they are right back in the same shape they were in before I cleaned them out!!

Since I am such an analytical gal, I thought I needed to spend a little time figuring out what my problem is.
No time needed to figure it out, “I have too much stuff that I don’t need, or use.” It is that simple.

So what do I need to do?  PURGE!!!!! PURGE!!! PURGE!!!

I don’t live in a huge home, it is around 1,800 sq. ft. By today’s standards that is not terribly large. However the builder of my home seemed to have a very practical, good idea of how much storage a family would need.

I have nice sized closets, and a two car garage. So what is my problem? I am not purging enough seasonally, that is the bottom line.

I am pretty organized by nature, and I have organized areas in my clients, and friends homes. I can tell others exactly what they need to do. It is so much harder to do it  for myself.

You know the show the Hoarders? I can not even watch that because it makes me nervous, I just want to jump into the TV screen, start cleaning and purging for those poor people.

Notice how I said, “poor people,” like I am not anything like them. I am not a true hoarder, but to be honest in certain areas I am what you might call an, “organized hoarder!” 

Maybe they should have a show for the people that fall in between a hoarder, and a minimalist. I think they would never run out of material for their show!!

The three areas that are a constant thorn in my side are:

Garage ( the dumping ground.)

Walk-in closet ( or what I refer too as my throw-in closet, these days!)
Staging closet ( this is where I keep all those little pretties that come in, and out of my rooms seasonally.)

When I purge I have four boxes:
Throw away
I Don’t know (I use this box for items that I can not instantly make a decision, then I can go back at the end of the purging process and ponder. I found this helpful to keep my momentum)

In theory this works great! So why does it get cluttered again??

A couple of reasons:

I don’t purge enough! I tend to keep things that I , “might!” use some day.

I think the item has some value and I would just be a silly girl to get rid of anything valuable.

Do you see my problem? Writing this is making me see it loud and clear!

Two phrases are causing me my problem:


I need to redefine these phrases

There are two types of valuable as far as things are concerned:

Money value
Sentimental value

If it is truly valuable financially, and I am not using it, I need to sale it!

If it is sentimental then it needs to be place in a place of honor where it can be stored away from any harm coming to it.

The phrase, “ I might use it someday!” is really a problem for most of us. I have read that if you think this way you should  put it in a box for 6months, and if you have not used it, donate it!!!

So in my next purging process I need to add two more boxes. Here are the boxes I will be using next purge!!

3.Throw away
4.Don’t Know
6.Possibly Valuable

I wrote this post, because I need to be accountable to someone,(YOU!), and hopefully in my own personal analyzing I might give you all a little helpful tip from time to time.

I am going to try this as I clean out my closet. I will let you know if this works for me!! I will keep you posted.

Kathysue is going to try reallllly hard too:

“Enjoy the Process!”


Janell @ House of Fifty said...

fabulous post, love the closet images, I'd take any of them!! The key I'm finding is to train everyone in the house to put things back where they belong, after an area gets organized. Have a great week! Janell

Wendi @ Classic Chic Home said...

What a great post, Kathysue! I'm an organized hoarder, too! I have far too many bins, neatly stacked and labelled, with 'sentimental' and 'might need someday' items.
I don't have a problem with my walk-in closet since I don't really have a lot of clothes. My hubby has more space than I do! My main problem is my storage room in the basement. That's the area that I'm currently working on. For example, I have a large bin full of VHS Disney movies I collected for the kids when they were little... we no longer own a VCR and my youngest is almost 18 years old... see the problem?
I look forward to following you as you enjoy the process of organizing and purging!
Have a lovely day, Kathysue!
~ Wendi ~ xo

The Buzz Blog said...

I'm in the spring cleaning mode thses days, too (perhaps our 50 degree weather has something to do with it!) My rule of thumb is if I haven't touched it in a year, it's time to get rid of it... And that includes some furniture this year! We'll keep your toes to the fire on this one, Kathysue, and can't wait to see you sorted out.

Hamptontoes said...

Love all the closet spaces and organization is something I thrive in...otherwise I feel like I'm spinning me wheels. Can't wait to see you new revamped spaces. Funny enough, the one thing I have had trouble getting rid of us is my kids artwork (at 3 and 5) I have almost everything they have done (hanging on one of five boards)...however, I'm in the process of photographing and then purging. Going to make a book of each of their creations. Happy Monday Kathysue.

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh, then will you come do mine. I have way too much and it is just a mess. I so need to purge. Hugs, Marty

K&B by the Sea said...

Thanks so much for writing this post, Kathysue. I need to do some serious purging in the basement, and I feel so overwhelmed. You've given me some good ideas and inspiration to get the job started AND finished :-)

Libby said...

Kathysue: Well, one of the best ways to purge/organize is to move! We had been in our old house for 25 years.. I am very organized and constantly "purging", but oh, the stuff we gave away and threw out! And then, after paring down and moving here, we got rid of MORE! It is an endless "battle"!!!

Melissa Miller said...

I think I would describe myself as the "anti-hoarder". I'm always donating and organizing. I love it! I can't wait for our upcoming move so I can donate even more. It's definitely a good time for a cleaning since I have changes I want to make.

Good luck with your projects. Show us your before and afters. I enjoy seeing them all!

Lee said...

Agree with Eye for Detail -- moving after a long term stay in a home forces one to purge and we did. But after three years in a new place, we're starting to accumulate again . . . little stuff, decor items that need to be stored between my frenzies of change! I am learning to "edit" in what I do display and use in any given setting but that means I need to store items that didn't make the cut because I will switch things out again.

michele said...

i'm right there with you, kathysue. it always feel soooooo good to let it go. my problem is i often use that as an excuse to buy new stuff. it's just stuff. it's ridiculous.

but it's that time of year when we can get intentional about new habits and fresh starts. so i'm in!

let's purge.


The enchanted home said...

Well I am doing a lot of purging today, as in four huge lawn bags full so far with plenty more to go:) I am wondering what I was thinking keeping all this junk..seriously so much excess of nothing, papers, old mags, design pictures, brochures, many many clothes that dont' fit...felt so good to get rid of all this junk though I am so tired I can barely move:)
Nothing like walking into a fully organized closet or room where everything has a place, I am pretty organized and need a sense of order but do have a hard time getting rid of things especially if I spent a lot on them. Good post and I am sure everyone can on some level relate to this!

Toy Carli said...

I'm an organized Virgo. That's probably all I need to say. I paint and purge in January usually. Inherited my sweet mother's collection of WAY too much. Took 8 years but I have what I like of hers, not exactly what she liked every time. Love all your comments "Kathysue," and enjoy hearing ideas from others. My reward after purging is how much I like my space and that my head feels lighter as well as being rid of it all. Toy Carli

Shari @ My Cottage of Bliss said...

I think most of us struggle with this same thing. I would consider myself an organized (Virgo) semi-hoarder too.

I ditto the above comments about moving. We lived in the same, small (1300 sq. ft) house for 35 years and trust me when I say we had stuff packed in there like sardines! In preparation for a move to a bigger house a year ago, I spent about 4 months going through everything, purging as I packed. I realized I had 2 problem areas; stuff I might need/want someday, but primarily the sentimental stuff was my biggest problem. Among other things, I still had my daughter's crib (she was 28!) and many of her toys, as well as my wedding dress from 1972. I was determined I wasn't moving all that stuff to the new house just to take up space for another 20-30 years so I took a deep breath and got rid of it all. I did keep one of her Cabbage Patch dolls and all the clothes my (now deceased) mom sewed for it, and I cut some lace off my wedding dress and had it incorporated into a beautiful charm bracelet. I can't say I really miss any of the many boxes of stuff I sold, donated or threw away and I actually have some empty closet space and drawers in this new house, which really feels GREAT!! I'm finding the older I get, the less stuff I want and need around me.

NanaDiana said...

KathySue- You have written my blog for me here...lol...I am an organized hoarder with the same tendencies that you have. I do have a pretty big house and all the "secret places" are filled with organized THINGS! I love your 4 section idea. That is my big goal this year- to purge and purge and purge- xo Diana

designchic said...

My resolution for 2012 was better organization and these closets are perfect inspiration. When we moved in our home 15 years ago, I said I would never be able to fill all the closets and cabinets...fast forward and somehow I've managed...purging this year too!!

Linda Hartong said...

Yep, it is that time of year. I just finished the cedar closet which is a huge walk in. We re carpeted the basement so that was a great excuse. I sold a lot on Craig's list, donated to the Salvation Army and threw away. Last year at this time I sold on eBay and Amazon. My dad just passed away and he and my Mom were wonderful about clearing things out. I am so grateful to them. They left me an organized , sparely furnished home to sell. What a gift. I want to do the same for my kids.

Unknown said...

OK I admit it! I'm an organized hoarder! I don't like to toss things because I have a really good history of repurposing things, and I actually DO use things that go into the "I Don't know box". It really is a curse, but over the last 40 years of my adulthood, I've come to appreciate that quality in me. I'll never have the neatest house, and I'm ok with that. I'll get on a kick every once in a while and throw stuff out, but I have to be really certain that I'll never find a use for it. I'm still in reorganization mode since moving my studio home, but I'm being gentle with myself. It will get done....some day!! Love you KS!

Kathysue said...

Linda I really like the point that you made. If I look at it as a gift to my children I will be sure and do a better job. Funny how I will do stuff for the kids, but not so much for myself. Hmmmm? something else to ponder. Back to purging,

Linda in AZ * said...

*** Does anybody out there need "ADOPTING"???? I have T*O*N*S of "STUFF" I MUST rid myself of, sooo many still w/ price tags or worn just once, etc!).

Your posting is timed PERFECTLY Ks, as I've TRIED... COUNTLESS TIMES in the last months... to PURGE, and I start with one blouse & then find myself just "STANDING THRRE, STARING", in a 22' long, verrry wide closet (that I SWORE I could keep NEAT if I HAD it!!!) and I'm simply just "OVERWHELMED"!!! (It reminds me of my parents wanting me to clear my plate, as there were "starving children in the world who would be GLAD to have it"... I got cocky (I was 13... "it happens, remember?), and said something about why didn't they just send it off to THEM, then???? (I got off "restriction" from THIS "boo-pboo" when I was 20! Ha!)...

ANYHOO, I started again TODAY (this a.m.), and HAVE made some headway, but Lordie, it's HARD!!! (I SOOOOO know how you feel about wanting/using it in the future!!!)...

THENNNN I DID stop to think about how many peole can USE these clothes, & the organization that supplies/helps women getting back into the working world after abuse, etc., and it's getting MUUUUUCH easier!!! I LOVE knowing they can have these clothes and start fresh in every way~~~ it's makoing me SO HAPPY TO DO IT NOW!!!

Gotta run~~~ sweaters are NEXT!!!

Big hugs,
Lilnda in AZ *

Linda in AZ * said...

*** OH YES, and we MOVED 26 times in 38 years, and THAT was how I got my closets cleared out!!! Have been here in the new (well, not new anymore!) house for 7 1/2 years already.... and my closet SHOWS it!!! Helllllpppppp!!!! XO, Linda ***

Tricia Rose Rough Linen said...

Do you know the saying, 'three moves are as good as a fire' for getting rid of unwanted stuff KathySue?

I have always called the opposite of a hoarder a 'chucker' - minimalist sounds far better.

debra @ 5th and state said...

great ideas kathysue and great comments. we all have these issues, some of us (me), more than others.
i clearly see what my problem is "i'll use this someday' pile is overtaking all others. will give it a go, must feel good afterwards? will give it a go, that for the tips!

MS Design Maven Marilyn Storey said...

I am a hoarder at heart, Kathysue! What can I say? I love stuff, stuff of every sort! Oh, and clothes and shoes. I have to keep myself in check everyday.

A 'staging closet' of area is vital!

Enjoyed the post!

Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

OK, confession time. I have clothes in 5 closets!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, I did until recently. I ahve now paired it down to 3. Our daughter and SIL are moving in here so I HAD to get rid of stuff. I am still working on it. I am buying drawer organizers, bins etc. and today took a CARLOAD to GW!!! I am an organized hoarder too, I think. Maybe. My problem things are my dishes. I want and NEED a dish room!!!!!!!!!!:):) Thanks for this post, it gave me the impetus to keep going:) XO, Pinky

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Just love your post today. I am definitely going to follow your lead and purge, purge, purge!..My home is approx 4,700 sq ft of living space, but I have a very small closet. So my new rule is for every new item that goes into the closet, two items have to go out!....Just hope that I can stick to it!!

Julie Taylor and Danni Greenwalt said...

That is exactly what I am doing this month. In between everything else I have to do. Cleaning out and getting rid of things in my home. With my daughter getting married I can now move into her room and declare it as my office....YES! I will miss her though.....

La Dolfina said...

You definitely hit a nerve!
I've been cleaning and organizing my house like crazy but at the same time I purge a little and then take the rest to the prop shop which is packed. Hopefully after my first prop shop sale I will feel like I made some real headway!!!!
Great post as usual!

La Vie Quotidienne said...

This is hysterical...I watched a episode of Hoaders last week and it kept me awake all night thinking. "oh my gosh, I have to get rid of stuff! I, like you, have lived in the same house for a long time and I have outbuildings, a basement and a large garage. My discision...everyday, from one of these places, one thing must go! Either in the trash or as a donation. Actually, it has been kind of fun and I really feel like it is helping me downsize.

Lea @ CiCis Corner said...

Oh, my goodness, this is exactly what I am, an Organized Hoarder. I would never have thought of myself as a hoarder because I keep everything so organized. But, you have she'd a whole new light on things. I cannot wait to use this description in my next mini seminar I'm leading on organization. Blessings!

Victoria said...

I feel your pain. I prefer to call myself a collector. OK, sometimes I collect too much. My problem is a bit different. I get on a tear, donate, throw away and have a tag sale for the rest. My neighbor calls my business model for tag sales as "Buy high, sell low." I have to get back in the business of selling on Ebay or Etsy in earnest, rather than essentially giving things away at tag sales. That is my New Years resolution. My neighbors will be unhappy, though.
Good luck and be ruthless.

Tammy@Beatrice Banks said...

This is a great post! I need to send it to my mom b/c she has lived in her house over 30 years and has the same problem. I've moved so much that it has forced me to purge again and again. I always say if people had to pack up for a move they would realize fast what is valuable. Amazing what you can live without. Good luck with your new system!

Linda (Nina's Nest) said...

Oh, Kathysue! I need to do some purging. The problem is all the wonderful decor items I get so cheaply at GW - nice things! - that it's easy to accumulate. However, I need to turn over a new leaf. I enjoyed reading a lot of comments....seems to be a recurring problem! Linda

Annemarie said...

I love this post, Kathysue! I'm the complete opposite over a hoarder as I tend to donate/get rid of everything because I get stressed with any clutter.

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Even the most organized people get behind sometimes.I have a pile that's been sitting on the floor of the guest room closet since November and I consider myself a dedicated purger!

My best advice is to pretend like your moving once a year, into a smaller house!!! Works for me everytime :)

Sending you some purging love!

vignette design said...

Hi Kathysue,
So, here we are again, one year later, still talking about cleaning out the garage and organizing our lives and closets. I didn't do so good! I'm calling in the "big guns!" i.e.: my son's girlfriend who loves to organize and purge. We went through a closet last night of random stuff. Now there is a big mess on the floor! Next stop: my closet. I'm scared she is going to make me throw everything away. Let's see if 2012 is a better year for seriously getting organized and ridding ourselves of excess stuff! xo Delores

Karen said...

It's so hard to get rid of sentimental things, isn't it? I do a seasonal closet cleaning and an annual all-house sort through. The one issue I need to work on is when I buy new things to wear I need to get them altered immediately-I can't tell you how many pairs of pants are in my closet that need to be taken in at the waist or hemmed.

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Oooh...now I am really thinking I need to do some major purging! First, I need to find some time...although, I found time to buy it all! lol Happy week!...hugs...Debbie