So Why Didn't We Throw it Away?

Woohoo, I managed to start my Spring cleaning....slowly but surely it will get done. The latest buzz though is decluttering. I have seen a lot of articles on the internet about decluttering ie how to get rid of things that you don't want.  There's even the Japanese method of decluttering (how different can it be between cultures?) - "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" by Marie Kondo. She asks a very valid question when deciding what to get rid of  though, 

and then there is "Stuffocation" by James Wallman who lives by the motto 

"Memories live longer than things"

When I first started the blog train, "I Didn't Throw it Away", I was quite surprised how a number of bloggers interpreted it to mean "hoarding".  It did get me thinking, "Am I a hoarder?" and so I did some research and asked a few friends. 

So, Am I Hoarding?

I would say hoarding is a behavioural disorder (maybe medical condition?) during which you have, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America "persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value". In fact, there are symptoms associated with hoarding including inability of throwing away things and severe anxiety when throwing things away.  Hoarding does impact your enjoyment of life - as a friend put it "if you have several sewing machines that you use for different reasons, or display for their beauty then that's not hoarding ...... But if you have a compulsion to keep accumulating for the sake of it, it constricts your daily life, is a source of embarrassment and brings you no real joy, I would say that is a problem."

I think over-buying / consumption and at the same time not throwing away also contributes to hoarding as well.

So Why Didn't I Throw It Away?

I think the questions "
Is it still useful?" and "Do I still need it?" help me decide whether to throw something away, but as the blog train began, I realised that it was also the memories that we had with these items that made us keep them. 

Quotes from Gingerbread Mum, Peipeihaohao, Dominique's Desk, LapisWilliam and Fafafoom
(from top L, clockwise)

It is interesting how objects become much more than things we use when we know their stories. They now form part of our memories - our darkest hours and our happiest moments - a reminder of what could have been, and a reminder of how we were or had forgotten.  Someone asked but if an object holds many memories for me but I don't have any use for it, can I throw it away? My response would be not to throw it away, but perhaps pass it on to a person who would show the same (if not more) love and care for it - let that person have the joy of creating their own memories and stories with it.

Missed the blog train? Read the posts here:

1 Dec  Green Issues by Agy  
2 Dec  JoeyCraftWorkz 
3 Dec  Gingerbread Mum
4 Dec  Mum in the Making 
5 Dec  Dominique's Desk 
6 Dec  Prayerfull Mum 
7 Dec  My Lil Bookworm 
8 Dec  Simply Me 
9 Dec  Mum Craft 
10 Dec Mad Psych Mum 
11 Dec Growing with the Tans 
12 Dec Mums the Word 
13 Dec The Kam Family  
14 Dec PeiPei.HaoHao
15 Dec Xavvy-licious  
16 Dec Adopt an Ami 
17 Dec Angel Hearts Crafts 
18 Dec Lapis William  
19 Dec Rhinestic's Knick Knacks 
20 Dec Hello, Mrs Tan

Christmas Break!!

2 Jan  Rude Record 
3 Jan  Refab Diaries  
4 Jan  Creating My Way to Success 
5 Jan  Recycled Fashion  
6 Jan A Vintage Crafty Adventure   
7 Jan Cucicucicoo     
8 Jan Sum of Their Stories    
9 Jan Fafafoom     
10 Jan Vicky Myers Creations
11 Jan Little Did You Know 
12 Jan Mountainsno
13 Jan Penelope Cake Fashion
14 Jan The Little Treasures
15 Jan Swoodson Says
16 Jan Notes to Ginny
17 Jan Purfylle  and  Feather's Flight

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  1. Hi Agy, I loved being part of the blog train and found the other participants objects and stories fascinating. I was lovely to really look at some of the things I have kept and think about them and what it is about them that makes them keepers. " Have nothing in your house you don't know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" - Wise words!

    1. That's a lovely quote, Julia. Thank you for taking part.

  2. What a lovely summary Agy. For some reason I also recently encountered the Marie Kondo book and was struck by the "Does it spark joy" question!

    1. I'm really keen on reading both of the books, and hope to find them in the library!

  3. Hi Agy. I'm new to your blog (found you through Creative Spark party). I think it's great that you're questioning how much stuff you have and why you have it. I'm also amazed that you've researched the different methods of decluttering.

    When it comes to hoarding, the DSM criteria is really not a great picture. There's actually something called the clutter-hoarding scale. Basically, everyone falls somewhere on the scale, I mean, we have have our small collecting issues, right? The scale determines if you should be concerned about your collections or not. Here's a link to it: http://www.commerce.wa.gov/Documents/Hoarding-Scale-2011.pdf

    As for parting with things: baby steps are key. There's no reason to tackles things in a day like on Hoarders. Those are extreme cases that have a time-frame issue and you notice that they always include aftercare psychological counselling, That's because it can be really traumatic to part with things that quickly. Instead, try going through your pile of stuff and finding the things that you don't have an emotional connection to. Start there and see how you feel after that.

    I hope this helps. I'm a professional organizer by trade, so you've hit on one of my passions.

    Good luck! I hope you keep us updated.

    1. Thanks for popping by, Christine, and for sharing the document - so glad you did as I didn't know about the levels of hoarding, and I've never heard of professional organising (first time for everything!).

  4. Great stuff, Agy! I like the idea of passing them down.....cheers to meaningful things we're not throwing away!

  5. This was a really interesting blog train and got us all thinking about the importance of objects in our lives. Thanks for hosting us all, Agy! :) Lisa

  6. Hi Agy,
    I too love setting goals and making resolutions at the beginning of each year. This year one of my goals is to let go of a lot of the things in my home that I no longer use--in short, declutter. Asking the question, "Does it spark joy?" is one of many good criteria for making decluttering decisions, so thank you so much for sharing your healthy, green and helpful thoughts on decluttering with us at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I'm pinning and sharing!

  7. Agy, thank you for initiating this blog train, and I am glad to be part of it!

  8. It's always interesting to see what things people keep and why. x

  9. Hello cute lady! I’m loving it. Pinned and tweeted. Thank you so much for partying with us. I hope to see you tonight at 7 pm. We love to party with you! Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

  10. Excellent question to ask! As we go through things before a move, I need to keep reminding myself of that very "joy" thing.