How much of a hoarder are you? Are you one of those people who keeps stuff “just in case” you might need it, or do you prefer to have the space and get rid of anything and everything you don’t need at the earliest opportunity? I didn’t think I was much of a hoarder, but with a house move on the horizon, I’ve been steadily sorting things out to sell, recycle or throw out. As I sort through everything, I’m a bit surprised at how much stuff has followed me around from house to house.
There’s a grappling hook, a guitar and amplifier not to mention a vintage harmonica and a whole load of table decorations used on our wedding day, but kept neatly stored in boxes ever since. Tucked away in a little used cupboard, I also found a pair of boots that once belonged to the singer and former Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel (…it’s a long story).
The story goes that these boots were one of a batch, handmade for Gabriel by a cobbler in Singapore. They have steel-tipped heels so make a very distinctive noise as you walk.
On one occasion, when I lived in Yorkshire, I wore them while walking Barnsley town centre. Barnsley is not the sort of place you can wear steel-heeled rock star boots and not stand out. To this day I can still hear kids laughing and making fun of me as I walked past, clicking down the street as if I were wearing a pair of pencil-thin, four inch tall stilettos.
Getting back to the matter in hand, I have vowed to get rid of as much of this stuff as possible before the house move. I’ve gone full-on Marie Kondo and been ruthlessly rehousing stuff. If I’ve kept hold of something just because it looks nice, but I’ve never used it, it’s going.
I am staggered at how much stuff I have managed to get rid of already. There’s still much more to get rid of before we move, but I am packaging items up and shipping them off to new homes almost every single day. Yes, my days as a hoarder are numbered.
Ironically, I am also having to go on a bit of a buying spree for some DIY items, particularly garden tools. When we moved into this house, a new build with a low-maintenance garden, I got rid of my hedge trimmers, petrol lawnmower and strimmer. I instead purchased an electric lawnmower (one that turned out to be completely rubbish/ Yeah that was a real investment).
The irony? It looks like we’re moving to a slightly older house with a bigger garden that has trees and hedges. I am having to buy replacement items to maintain the garden in the new house! I’ve also learned a lesson about buying cheap stuff. I feel the need to spend decent money on good quality tools. Then again, what I am selling is going some way to pay for the replacement garden tools so it’s sort-of working out.
The new house will also require more maintenance and I am going to have to do more DIY. I do sometimes find myself browsing online, looking at metal tool cupboards, log splitting tools, nail guns, Celotex insulation and other random items. I have to stop myself from buying things. I know I will need many of these things, but the time is not right to buy them. If I buy them now, they’ll move with us and then I’ll just be paying to move them from property to property which makes no financial sense.
I have to concede that I come from a family who hoards. Having lived with hoarders, I thought I’d gone the other way and didn’t keep anything unless I really needed it, but this impending house move shows I was wrong. I have discovered something about myself, an element of my character that I have vowed to change. Yes, I must be less of a hoarder and more Marie Kondo.
That said, I am keeping Peter Gabriel’s boots. They’re irreplaceable. Oh, yes, and the grappling hook. I have to keep the grappling hook simply because it’s cool to own a grappling hook. The guitar? You can have that. Let me know if it interests you.