When there's no hoarder control

Nicola Adam, queen of hoarding

Nicola Adam, queen of hoarding

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You know the one about the old lady found buried under her lifetime’s possessions, quite unable to part with her Best of the Nineties CDs, her childhood soft toys and the beer mats and champagne corks which represent fantastic times she cannot quite remember?

Well, add a few piles of newspapers and that one day, will be me.

I am what can only be described as a hoarder.

Quite a tidy one to be fair and one that does, every so often, have a moment of madness and clear out a cupboard. But a hoarder no less.

I am famed among friends for my sentimental but nevertheless useful (for fancy dress parties) storage of clothes I may fit into once again, one day.

And for my heaving bookshelves that quite rival smaller branches of Waterstones in the volume and breadth of fiction on offer.

Meanwhile, my loft boasts copies of national newspapers from dates of key events in history.

And my study boasts copies of newspaper articles I have written, papers I’ve edited and others I have kept for no apparent reason.

I keep shoeboxes as they may be useful one day, long after the shoes have walked themselves out.

Ancient towels I never use. And those useful Gu jars...

You get the picture.

So in an attempt to shake my habits I am taking advice from Japanese clean up queen – Marie Kondo – with a philosophy on tidying that is simple.

If the item doesn’t bring you joy – get rid of it.

Don’t get a new box to put it in (my favourite trick, I love boxes) but throw it away if it doesn’t speak to your heart. Simple, eh.

In theory this works – why would you keep a top you hate wearing, a book you have never read?

No reason at all unless you have a little voice in you head reminding you might want to read the book and that the top was a gift from your best friend. (Marie calls this gift guilt.)

But it was from a best friend who gives me joy...

Mmm...maybe I’ll buy a nice new box.

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