So to save money on moving, I am physically packing everything myself. Being an army brat I never had to worry about that. Why? There was always compensation and movers. Then when I did move out in college I didn’t take any of my furniture so up until now my stuff has been collecting dust in same room for about 10 years now. Due to deployments my mom hasn’t moved and half the time I found myself at her house housesitting. So now she is finally moving and so am I. As excited as I am, I am not excited about sifting through the decades of stuff collected from my youth. My closet and drawers are like a time capsule with things that I have long since forgotten about. The decisions on what to keep and what should be thrown away is something that I do whenever I pick anything up is kind of stressful too. I think to myself though about the TV show Hoarders.
The show Hoarders explores the homes and lives of people that have a mental disorder about keeping things. Most of the people on the show have experienced great trauma from loss and depression in their lives so they slowly begin to fill their void with things, all sorts of things that vary from person to person. After years of this behavior their house becomes filled, stuffed to the brim. One can’t usually distinguish one pile from the other. Some of the rooms become so filled that the house becomes virtually unlivable. No access to the kitchen, bathroom, etc. The people become inventive or negligent about the ways they maneuver in the mountains of their things. Eventually close family members and friends distance themselves away from them which perpetuate the growth of the hoard. The people that appear on this show are beyond a little clutter or spring cleaning. So the show sends out a psychologist to help with the mental aspect of them working to let go of the things they have let pile up and a cleaning crew to physically assist in clearing everything out. For them, every object whether it’s garbage or not is special to them and it is not easy for them to let them go. The objects internally symbolize the loss that they have experience and to feel those emotions for them is hard. The episode usually ends with the crew cleaning up as much as they can. Some of the people turn over a new leaf and are able to function again in a functional household, however some people revert back into hoarding and begin to build the mountains again.
Now I definitely do not have a hoard but watching the show has also taught me about letting things go. There’s no reason to keep everything due to nostalgia. I have the memories, I have the pictures and no one can take my experiences away from me. So while I sift through the memories I know that most of the things that have gotten lost in my childhood room have to go. I look at them fondly as I place them into the bags I intend on giving away to the goodwill or selling them so that someone else that can utilize and enjoy them as I once had. Those chapters are officially over and life goes on.