Hoarding Intervention

I'm not a big TV watcher, but there are a few shows that suck me in if they come across the screen.  One of the worst is Hoarders.  It consumes me.  It's like watching a train wreck and I can't look away.  Usually reality TV makes me very uncomfortable and Hoarders is no exception.  But I also find it very motivational. Some of the common things to "hoard" are scrapbook supplies.  I've seen it over and over again on the shows I've watched.  It's so easy to collect the stuff and then never (or infrequently) get around to using them.  There are just so many wonderful things it's very hard to resist the collecting.  I was guilty of this as well.  Our house on the dairy had the perfect "nook" area to store my stuff... and it grew and grew.  Even with my love of scrapbooks and photography, I just didn't take the time to scrap like I intended.

When we were preparing to move in December of 2010, the thought of packing up all that stuff just to store was overwhelming.  I finally admitted to myself that I wasn't ever going to use it all... and that it was more important to me to have an uncluttered home.  I also gave up the hope I had of ever catching up with my scrapbooks.  I also conceded that if it was that important or enjoyable for me, I would have found the time to scrapbook all along.  And, if I found myself in a position with the time and ambition to scrap again, I really liked the digital options. Then I had to make a decision of what to do with all of  my stuff.

There are many different reason why people hold on to stuff... even to excess.  Some of it is the memories the items represent.  Sometimes it the monetary value (or perceived value) of the stuff... and then it's the hope for use in the future.  Admitting that I probably wasn't going to use it was one thing, but I could not ignore the fact that I had spent a lot of money of this stuff.  Lots and lots of money through the years.  So much so that I don't even want to stop and consider how much.  But that's not a rational reason to hold on to something.  I needed a solution and I called on a friend to help me out.

I have a friend who loves to create cards with rubber stamps.  She's always sharing her wonderful creations on Facebook and I had formed a deep appreciation for her art.  I found her inspirational.  One day when I was looking at my scrapbooking supplies it occurred to me that Tracy could and would use it all.  I gave her a call... asked her if she'd take it and she agreed.  At that point I knew I just needed someone to make decisions for me.  Tracy took the burden of guilt away from me with her kind gesture.  I didn't have to decide what to keep, what to purge and what to donate.  All I had to do was box it up.  I made sure that Tracy understood that I didn't expect her to keep all of the stuff.  It was hers to do with however she saw fit.

I recently rediscovered the grace in Tracy's kindness.  I have a friend who had just discovered her love for scrapbooking and I warned her of the tendency to hoard.  As I was thinking about this I was at complete peace with my decision and so thankful that Tracy was there to assist.  I have to doubt that her intervention was divinely inspired.  I'm so thankful I paid attention and followed the prompting.