I so want to live in a zen-like, vast-inspired abode with few possessions; but each time I read an article on clutter clearing, and start the process, I get to engrossed in what I'm meant to be throwing out: for example, I have shelves and shelves of books and old magazines, stashed away for future reference, despite the fact I've not looked at most of them in 5-10 years. I'll think 'oh I'll just get rid of these books' and before I know it I'm engrossed in reading them and deciding I can't possible throw them out. It's he same with most things. But the hardest of all is emotional items. I can't even being myself to delete old texts! Once, my phone only had he capacity to hold ten messages at a time so I was edited by default, now, with iPhone technology, each message adds to the one previously so, if I want to, I can read back over and over – in the case of some friends, an entire year of correspondence. I've still got messages from old flames which, if no longer on my phone, are still stored on a word document somewhere.
What am I afraid of? Losing those memories? It's not like re-reading he messages will bring back the relationship: if anything, they just make me re-live it all then feel bad all over again! So why Do I keep them?
I think I inherited the hoarding gene from my gran. But she had reason to hold onto things; it was a ;make do and mend; culture then. Now, we don need so much stuff. Perhaps I hold on to it all out of fear of the future. Of not trusting that the future will bring me equally good, if not better, things and relationships, so instead I cling to the past. My gran always said I was sentimental, which I don't think is bad necessarily, but when it comes to having a good clear out it can be a hindrance as I'll hold on to any item she gave me as it has special value to me. But that doesn't explain my hoarding tendency for things with no emotional link, such as old pay slips from my first job at a cinema? Yup still got those somewhere. In fact, I'm like the guy in the 'man drawer' sketch Michael McIntyre does, keeping hold of old remotes for DVD players I no longer own, old phones that are out of date, manuals for toasters that broke years ago, receipts for car repairs of cars I no longer have. What is all his stuff doing? And the worst is beauty products. Shelves and shelves of stuff I can't bring myself to give away in case I run out of it one day, which will never happen working where I do.
Old Vogue mags from 1999 (ooh better keep those in case they're worth a bob or two one day). Old phones from seven years ago? Better keep those in case mine one breaks and I need a replacement (or three). Old text books from college? They're still in my parents' loft in case I need to know about media law from the early 90s, which will have no doubt changed by now anyway.
Certain times of the month are better for clearing out though, namely when you are premenstrual or actually on your period, or so I've been told. Sometimes at work I can't stand it when my desk is messy, and just start cleaning and clearing tot he point of obsession. Suppose I'll just have to time my home clear-outs to those particular days too, when you're meant to be more ruthless!