Monday, February 13, 2012

Hoard Much?

Some people hoard clothes, some toys and many people seem to have a collection of spatulas.

Charmaine has all three, including toys, sex toys. However we are yet to unearth those. Over the last 3 weeks I have been helping my friend Charmaine organise her house and this is no small feat as she has moved from an eight bedroom luxury mansion in Camps Bay to a three bedroom home in Hout Bay. To say she has a lot of stuff is an understatement.

So far we have unearthed 14 boxes of clothes from her tiny garage. It’s all her clothing; furs, suits from Paris, Louis Vuitton shoes, beautiful handbags. The sheer amount of clothing is astonishing and sickening all at the same time.

She has the most stunning collection of furniture that is stored haphazardly all over Cape Town at friend’s houses. Her kitchen is (which we tackled yesterday) pays homage to her time as wife of a very religious Jew. Charmaine has an appliance for your every need. For instance, you know how us mere mortals struggle to dislodge pickles from a pickle jar and just as you’ve speared it, it slides itself back into the jar, well Charmi has a handy little Tupperware contraption that takes care of this.

This is the guide to identifying and helping a hoarder.
Hoarder’s are quite aware of the hoarding abilities and aren’t generally ashamed of this. I know a few hoarders and they display their hoarding techniques quite proudly. In the fashion world it’s somewhat normal to have hundreds of pairs of shoes and cupboards dedicated to designer jeans and dresses, designer being the operative word. There isn’t much to be proud of overflowing cupboards filled with Mr Price and Pep finds.

Lesson 1: See my story on how to organise your closet.
A hoarder generally will make any excuse to keep an item, for instance, “I can’t throw away those jeans, I had my first kiss in them.” To which you must reply “Excuses are like assholes, everyone has one.” (Kidding)

This leads me to the three questions you must ask a Hoarder in order for them to make a decision to throw away the item in question.

1.      Do you wear it/ use it?

2.      Do you wear it / use it regularly?

3.      Why don’t you use it / wear it?

Charmaine has so much clothing that even if she wore a different outfit every day for 365 days in a year she still would not be able to wear all her clothes unless she changed her complete outfit three times a day.
This kind of put it in perspective for her.
Tip: If the item in question is worth something substantial suggest that it be sold or given to someone who would find much joy wearing/ using it. This will alleviate the stress from the Hoarder and will either generate some money for them or calm them by knowing that the item is with someone they know.

In the case of spatulas and other useless kitchen utensils; Hoarders will always have three or more of everything they hoard.

·        If they have three items they may keep one.

·        If they have five they may keep two.

·        If they have more than five you are welcome to call me in for negotiations.

·        All items not used in the last six months must be sold/chucked and or given away.

·        Repeat the ‘excuses’ line as you will hear them incessantly.

Buying in bulk is dangerous to a Hoarder.
Charmaine has five children and has over the years learned to buy in bulk. Her garage is filled with crates of Mr Min, Bleach and Vinegar. In her pantry she has sixteen tins of peeled tomatoes and twenty tins of baked beans.

Three of her five children are grown ups (over the age of 29) and only two of her children live with her. The other day she said she needed a mop bucket. She went to the shop and bought three, because they were so cheap.
This mentality is fucked up to say the least. You have not saved money, you have wasted money on three mop buckets, two of which you will only get around to using in a few years once your initial mop bucket has broken.
I suggest to Charmaine that we move her pantry cupboard to a more visible area so she can see the sheer amount of what she has purchased. So that when she does her shopping she doesn’t over buy on items she already has.
Frankly I have no idea why people buy baked beans anymore. Nobody eats them except siff hairy men at braai’s who have beer breath and people that go camping.

Charmaine has many collectible items, stunning cutlery sets, crystal glasses and art deco mirrors which are worth a great deal of money. If you have items you wish to sell here’s how to go about it.

How to get rid of valuable items;

1.      Gumtree


3.      Boot sales

4.      Garage sales

Tip: Gumtree is great for selling furniture, used cars and clothing. I found a buyer who owns a second hand clothing shop in PE. He is purchasing all of Charmaine’s unwanted clothing. That takes care of 14 boxes of unwanted stuff for a big sum of money.

Like Charmaine, your hoarder friend will begin to see the changes their home and life will take when they start chucking. For Charmi, she is now able to sit in her lounge and watch TV without boxes blocking her view, her appliances and pantry is more accessible and tidy. She says she doesn’t feel as overwhelmed and depressed as before.

We still have a long way to go before her home is manageable for her and her family. Here is a link to Charmaine’s Gumtree ad for just some of the items she has on sale. If you or anyone you know is interested please email me.

Nothing is more valuable than your peace of mind. Chuck it!

NOTE: Oh dear, I just did a little wiki search on Hoarders and Charmaine is really not one of those scary, fat delusional people that sit in their houses with the walls towering with useless crap.

Nevertheless she does have a hell of a lot of stuff.

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