Rosie Stoff
April 25, 2014 2:00 pm

We are all hoarders on some level. Fortunately, most of us not to the extent that lands us on TV or living in filth! You know you do it. I do it too! Keep something in the HOPES or certainty that one day you’ll need/use whatever that thing is. Maybe your friend from middle school left something at your house…you haven’t spoken to them since your early teens, but maybe one day you’ll run into them and they will want it back. Probably not, but you like to be prepared. Maybe the things you are keeping are full of memories – that doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t therapeutic to donate. Here are some things that might be time to purge from your precious collections before you become a full blown hoarder!

1. Beanie Babies

I know, I thought they would be worth a fortune one day too. With the couple hundred I have in plastic crates in storage…I still hope their value might hit what we all hoped it would years ago! Beanie Babies – the ultimate ’90s craze collectible. Remember how cute they were!? With their little red, heart shaped, Ty tags? They had birthdays and names. College dropout, H. Ty Warner, now worth 2.6 billion dollars, sure knew how to rip off parents and make himself a fortune. You collected them as a child and now refuse to let them go, for the simple reason that maybe someday you can get something out of them! Probably not, I hate to break it to you. There are thousands of us out there that have become plush toy hoarders. Yes, you could donate them to a shelter or children’s hospital. But you don’t, and now you feel greedy and guilty. Donate them today and live guilt-free!

2. Shoes

This may be quite sad, but sometimes, at night, as if I’m sleepwalking…but fully awake, I get out of bed and wander into my closet, slide open the door, and just stare at my shoes in wonder and awe. As if they were my children and I was watching them sleep in their cribs. I love them so much! Yes, I have way too many pairs, who doesn’t?! You and I like to be prepared, it is a collection that we defend with our lives, but the fact is, you might be a shoe whore…I mean hoarder. There are people in the world without shoes. Probably even living in your city, yet you keep ALL of yours, for possibly decades, in denial that you’ll never wear again or they don’t fit. But I wore this pair when I had my first kiss! Or this pair on my 16th birthday! Or these to my high school graduation! Take a picture and get donating. Too bad I can’t follow my own advice on this one. I am a shoe hoarder and I admit it. I will one day be a cat lady, but I’m allergic to cats…so a shoe lady. They shall have names and personalities given to them, and strewn around the house. It’s sad, but I’ve grown to believe this might be my fate.

3. Movie/Concert Tickets

You open a box, and there they are. Fluttering papers of memories. They are movie and concert ticket stubs. Ever hear the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words?” How about taking a picture of the pieces of paper that bring back memories, rather than letting them sit in a box and whither away into dust. Grab that iPhone, snap a pic, and chuck the scrap stubs. Awww, this movie was my first date! This concert was soooo awesome! Snap it and chuck ‘em.

4. Old Books

Maybe they are old paperbacks with your notes from school written in them or passages highlighted, maybe they are old favorites that have been read so many times the binding is in tatters and when you open it, pages go fluttering to the ground. Yes, as an avid reader and book worm, I love cracking open the binding of a book for the first time and flipping through all the crisp white pages, but with recent technology and my less then optimal eyesight and refusal to wear glasses, I have very much resorted to using my iPad for reading. As I noticed my shelves and shelves of books collecting dust of both old favorites and those that I didn’t like and would never pick up again, I couldn’t help but think, “what a waste!” It was difficult parting with them, but I put them all in a box and have plans to donate them to a shelter or goodwill…they are still in the trunk of my car. What if one day I have some sort of existential crisis and NEED a hard copy of The Great Gatsby or feel the NEED to perform Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Nights Dream out of a hard copy book alone in my room. What if, what if, what if.

5. Other ’90s Nostalgia

I know we all miss and love to reminisce about the orange Nickelodeon VHS tapes, inflatable furniture, Lisa Frank anything, Spice Girls CDs, slap bracelets, jelly shoes, and your old notebooks full of games of MASH from the back of the school bus. These things don’t have the magic they did in our childhoods, and your collection might be crossing the fine line into hoarding rather than collecting. You don’t have a VHS player anymore, your inflatable chair is deflated and collecting dust, Lisa Frank colors and patterns give you a migraine, Spice Girls are on Spotify, and your MASH games are illegible. Keep the slap bracelets, those are always fun, and the jelly shoes…I am forecasting a comeback.

Image courtesy of Decoist

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