Many of us love collecting different things be it coins, stamps or teddy bears and often hold onto precious keepsakes such as sentimental clothing or memorable gifts. While there's nothing wrong with placing much-loved items into a storage unit from the likes of Ready Steady Store, there is a difference between clutching onto things that are genuinely special and literally refusing to throw anything away.
As Channel 4's The Hoarder Next Door showed, the compulsion to hang onto this and that can lead to a very messy, disorganized home, so are you a secret hoarder or do you just have too many treasurers? Here are four pointers that indicate you might be clinging onto too much:
You can't see the floor of your spare room
Sure, the rest of your house might look spic-and span but if your spare room is laden with â€˜stuff' deliberately kept out of sight from friends and relatives, you might have a problem. After all, exactly what is it that's covering your floor and making it look like a small part of your home has been hit by a bomb? While most people consider it fine to keep things such as photographs, diaries and letters you might want to start sorting through anything that's simply not that useful or memorable.
You find it hard to throw things away
If you hate the thought of throwing anything away and always find a use for other people’s junk, you could also be a secret hoarder. While it's good to be economical and to recycle things that might end up in the trash, knowing when to stop is the key. Sometimes, items are so old that they just need to be remade into something new or find a home in the waste paper bin. If you can't bring yourself to dump your belongings, perhaps ask a friend to help you out and guide you in the right direction.
You own things that have never been used
Think you're a hoarder? Well, fear not as you're not alone. Believe it or not, the average Brit clings onto Â£514 worth of unused goods that simply lie dormant gathering dust. Sound familiar? Then perhaps you should think about clearing out that garden shed, cupboard or garage and holding a car boot sale. With unusual hauls in the UK being valued at around Â£32.7 billion you might just be surprised what other people will pay for your unused belonging. That is, of course, if you can bear to see it go.
You stuff things into any space possible
According to a recent infographic there are around 186 items of clutter in every home including two mystery remote controls, three discarded mobile phones, four different take away menus, one outdated games console, five pairs of random keys and 13 old birthday cards. While many adults take to stuffing things into draws, cupboards and wardrobes an average of 36 times a year, warning signs might flash if you do this at least 36 times a month, week or even a day. A thorough clean up can be good for the mind and soul, so it's worth trying to keep things fresh and organized.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with buying and holding onto things that take your fancy or putting objects to good use, but if you've got tons of old films or Now That's What I Call Music CDs in your garage that you'll never play again, perhaps selling them could be the option? You might be surprised at how quickly you adapt to living in a clutter-free home.