OCD and Hoarding

If you suffer from OCD and suffer from compulsive hoarding, you will know exactly what I am speaking of.

The obsessive thoughts of not having what you will need one day, “what ifs” and other scary thoughts fill your mind, to the point of paralyzation..

You find yourself keeping everything, just in case, you might need it again. The truth is that this behavior is very compulsive, time consuming, costly and very un-attractive to say the least. If you are ready for a change, here are some ideas to get you there.

Recognize that being a pack rat stems from a fear of not being able to provide adequately for yourself &/or family in the future. We hold onto things because they ‘may come in handy someday’. Let go of that fear.

Recognize that being a packrat is not budget-friendly. How many times have you bought multiples of the same item because you couldn’t find something you bought earlier in the year? It does you no good to squirrel things dozens of things away if you can’t find them when you need them.

Spend a few minutes every day paring down your belongings. If you don’t love it, toss it! Better yet, donate it to someone who could really use it. Stop piling up things for a yard sale you know you’re never going to host. Get rid of it!

Put a weekly entry on your calendar for a trip to a thrift shop donation center. If you block out time on each Wednesday on your way to work, or on the way to your Bridge Club meeting, you can get things out of your house on a weekly basis.

Read and immediately recycle your newspapers, magazines, mail, and notices that come home in the kids’ backpacks. Never keep more than two issues of any publication around. You can keep the current issue and the last issue. If you have not read these by the time the next issue comes, you are never going to read them, so recycle them now.

Get into the habit of only handling paperwork once. If it needs to be filed, do so. If it needs to be signed and returned, do so. Keep your calendar near your ‘checking’ station so you can write down important dates and then toss the paper clutter!

Get into the routine of circling the house once before bedtime to put away or throw away everything which is out of place.

Embrace the idea of ‘A place for everything and everything in its place’. When your things are organized, you can find them more easily and are less likely to purchase duplicates. If you don’t have a good place for something, you should evaluate whether you really love and need the object, or whether someone less fortunate would be better off owning it.

Share with neighbors. Do you really need a cappuccino maker for that once a month special coffee you like to make? Maybe you can borrow what you need when you need it and then let her do the same.