Hoarding, Part 1

There has been a topic that I’ve wanted to blog about for a while. Something that has been a major problem for me for many years. Something that I’ve been working to overcome. That topic is hoarding. (The title of this post might have given that away, so I don’t know why I started with such a dramatic overtone.) With the success of television shows like Hoarders and Storage Wars, I’ve only become more interested in writing about this subject. It is my intention to write an entire series on the topic. I feel that I’ve come a long way in my hoarding habits, and I want to share my experiences and hopefully help someone else to overcome their habits, as well.

I don’t know where my obsession with hoarding began. My parents are both hoarders. My dad is one of the worst. He still keeps old newspapers from before I was born. My mom isn’t as bad. Most of the stuff she keeps actually has some value. Based on my experience with my parents and other people, though, I really believe that hoarding is an inherent attribute of the human condition. We like to posses objects. The simple fact that something is ours compels us to keep it. It’s easy to tell someone else to throw something away, but when it comes to our own stuff, we get defensive. It’s hard to throw something out that we own.

Let me elaborate by sharing with you one of the objects that I hoarded. In 1997 I bought a Gravis Gamepad Pro. This is your basic video game controller for the PC. It has (note that I’m talking in present tense) ten buttons and a d-pad. Well, included in the box was a little “joystick” that could be attached to the d-pad so that the gamepad would also function as a joystick. I screwed the joystick into the d-pad one time to try it out. Upon doing so, I quickly realized that the gamepad was much better used as a gamepad. I knew that I was never going to use the joystick gain. Yet, I kept it for over ten years. It wasn’t until two years ago that I threw it out. I probably should throw out the gamepad as well, because I haven’t used it since I played The Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2. A game that came out in 2002, and, at the latest, I played it in 2003.

That’s the thing about hoarding. Most of the stuff that we keep, we know that we are never going to use. Even worse than that, is that most of the stuff we keep is useless. I’ll get more into some of the worthless stuff that I’ve hoarded later in this series. I will say now, though, that throwing that stuff out actually feels good. It’s a burden off your shoulders. That’s why I’m writing about hoarding now. I want to let others know that it is a problem, but it’s a problem that can be overcome.

This post is meant to be a short introduction to my habit of hoarding. I’ll really be getting into some of my personal experiences in later posts. More important than that, I’ll talk about what went through my mind when I finally decided to throw out some of my stuff. It was five years ago when I started throwing things out. It was two years ago when I started getting serious about it. The next time I blog about hoarding (and I will be blogging about my usual topics as well) I’m going to explain exactly why the things you own are worthless, and why keeping something because it might be worth something in the future is a bad idea.