Tuesday, April 23, 2013


The other day I was flipping channels and ended up watching a bit of the show Hoarders on A&E. You know the show- the one where people have ungodly amounts of garbage (sometimes literally) in their homes. In this episode, it was so bad the woman had to sleep on a pillow...in her kitchen. I get that these people have some serious issues, but I cannot fathom how one can let things get to this state.

This may be due to the fact I have the exact opposite problem. I get rid of everything. Accumulation of junk drives me crazy and I cannot stand clutter of any kind. If I am done using it...out of my house it goes.

Most people perform the annual task of cleaning out their closets. I do this monthly. It bothers me when yesterday's newspaper is still sitting on the table. And...don't get me started about dishes in the sink or an unmade bed. I have even been known to organize junk drawers. One day, I organized my husband's side of the closet...arranging his clothes by type and color (no, this did not last).

Okay, so I admit to being a bit OCD, but it is a good distraction when I am supposed to working on other things. Plus, when I have let things go, it never works out well. Yesterday, I left a pile of "Thank You" cards out on the stairs (I was planning to mail them when I had a chance). Upon arriving home from work, I discovered Teddy (our Westie) had eaten half of the cards. They were all over the house! Lesson learned.

This urge to declutter continues at work. When I first started teaching, I kept everything. I just assumed this is what one did. As soon as we started using projectors rather than overheads (wow, I just totally aged myself), all of this went into the recycle. Now, I have everything neatly organized on my computer. My desk is always clean and the counter space is clear of paper- everything neatly in baskets.

What is wrong with being an anti-hoarder you might ask? Well, occasionally, I toss (or donate) something I wished I had not. For example, my entire National Board Portfolio? Missing. Mistakenly, I assumed I had backed it up on my thumb drive. When the information was deleted from my computer, I lost the entire thing. Sometimes, I will look for an article of clothing and realize it is now at the Goodwill.

Overall though, no major issues have arisen due to my habit. Unlike on  Hoarders, none of my family or friends have nominated me to have my habit examined by psychologists on national television. Nor have I been at risk of being evicted from my residence. Instead I just get irritated when junk piles up.

However, with a baby on the way, I know that I will need to let my guard down a bit. There may be days when dishes do sit out longer than I would like. Toys might not be put away and there may even be days when clothes are on the floor. While this is not as severe as what one might see on Hoarders, it is something I will have to be okay with. 

And I am sure a new baby will be a distraction from the mess. I might not notice it (well, at least not as much). However, if you ever come over to my house and have to clear a path to navigate from room to room- feel free to stage an intervention (see picture below).

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