Did you know hoarding is like running shoes? I know what you’re thinking, “what does that even mean?” Well, every runner knows that a great pair of shoes can’t last forever, and hoarders have the same attachment to their stuff as runners do to their shoes. But, you have to let go, and here is how to do that.
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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
Hoarding is Like a Pair of Running Shoes?
Did I ever tell you that hoarding is like a pair of running shoes? And you say, “What? A pair of running shoes?” It’s true. Running shoes will take you the distance. And in my personal experience, I’ve run 29 marathons that are 26.2 miles. So that’s a long time to be on the road, and you’ve got to have a really great pair of shoes.
Why I like My Favorite Pair of Shoes
Now this is my favorite pair of shoes, right? The thing I like about this shoe is a whole bunch of stuff. It’s got a breathable toe box, so it wicks out the moisture, so the moisture doesn’t stay in your foot when you sweat, which is awesome. Then it has a durable tread, which grips the road so you get better traction as you run.
I love the back part, which is the heel support because the heel support is like double duty and it forces you to stand up straight. So you can’t supinate or pronate, which, standing on the outside of your feet like we love to do.
Another thing I love about this is the arch. It’s got great arch support and then it also has great shock absorbers. And so when you run and your foot hits the pavement, it kind of absorbs the shock. So it’s kind of like running on air, and it’s comfortable. When you get to the end of the marathon, your whole body Is going to go, oh, and your feet will say, thank you very much, right? Because you had the right pair of shoes.
At Some Point, You Have to Get New Shoes
Now at some point, and I have to share this with you because this is a really sad moment. And it happens to every runner. But the moment comes when you start getting holes in the fabric of your shoe, and your toes start popping through, and then the tread starts to wear off because you’ve run so many miles, and the shock absorbers start going flat, and it doesn’t provide the support that it once did.
And you’re like, “Oh no, but that’s my favorite shoe.” And we want to hang on to it because we have memories of running races in this shoe, and we’ve run races, and we’ve won races in this shoe, right? So we don’t want to let go of the shoes, and we want to hang onto it for dear life.
The Shoe Has Served Its Purpose
But the reality is, this shoe served its purpose, and now it needs to move on its way, right? Because it no longer does the job it was designed to do. It’s not the fact that these are only 30 to 50 bucks for a pair of shoes. They’re very inexpensive shoes. That’s not the point.
The point is, we have sentimental value attached to the shoe, and because they are so comfortable, we want to hang onto them. It is our comfort zone. But the reality is, if you’re going to win and if you’re going to move forward.
If you’re going to do this the right way, you’ve got to have a shoe that has the right arch support, that has the right shock absorbers, that keeps you from pronating and supinating, that lets the feet breathe through the air that’s coming through your toes, and it’s got to have a flexible toe box.
Hoarding is a lot Like Running Shoes
So there are so many things your shoe must-do for you if you’re going to survive and thrive in the game of running. Now, hoarding is a lot like running shoes, because we’ve reached a certain point in our lives where we have stuff.
And this stuff is stuff we inherited from family and friends, so it’s got sentimental value. Because we are creative people, there are things we’re going to do with that stuff, right?
So it’s important to us to hang onto that, and we have this series of beliefs, which is just like the running shoe, that has brought us to a particular moment in time.
Hoarding Can Overwhelm You
So here we are at this moment in time, we’re looking around our house and we’re going, “I don’t get it, because the belief system that I had was supposed to support me, right? And it did for a while, but now I got all this stuff, and I’m overwhelmed. I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how to clean it up. I don’t know what to do with this stuff. I’m earth conscious. I don’t want to throw it into a landfill, so it’s just kind of piling up in my house. And well, what do I do next?”
Well, the reality is, it’s like running shoes. We’re attached to it, so we don’t want to let it go. But the reality is, we have to change our belief system, just like we’ve got to change out the shoe. So it’s not that the shoe didn’t serve its purpose, like the stuff that has brought you to this point in time.
People Collect to Fill a Gap
People collect things because it fills a gap in their life, or it brings them happiness, or they love to shop, or it reminds them of the times that they spent with their children every week that they would go shopping together, or go to flea markets or whatever.
There are reasons people have stuff, and they’re very good reasons, right? The problem is when it starts to drag us down and it starts to affect other areas of our lives. That’s when we have to stop and say, “Ah, this pair of shoes need a little bit of renovation.”
We Have to Change Our Belief System
And so we’re going to have to change the belief system in order to go the next distance, right? So we’re not looking at hoarding as a mental stigma. Lots of people will say, “Well, there’s this mental stigma of it being a mental health issue.” Every decision we make in life regards and connects to our mental health.
Every single decision we make, whether it’s a business decision, a relationship decision, a decision about our personal well-being, a decision about our home, that all goes back to our mental health and the decisions that we make. So it’s not that it’s this big, bad thing that we can’t talk about.
It’s that, let’s go ahead and admit that we have inherited generations of stuff from our parents. The world around us has put everything on clearance racks and discounts so that we would buy.
More Stuff is Everywhere
Everywhere we look, we’re inspired to accumulate more stuff, and then we drive down the road and there’s a brand new shiny storage unit going up, and we look at it and we’re like, “Whoa, that would clear up so many rooms in my house.”
And we get excited about seeing that it’s so close to home, right? We’ve been encouraged to collect the stock, but that’s like the old worn-out pair of shoes. It’s a belief system that no longer supports us.
We’re Going on a Hoarding Journey Right Now
So if you want to go on this journey with us, we’re going as a group. It’s called Hoarding World, and it’s not that hoarding is a bad thing. It’s just that our world is turning into a world of hoarding. And so if you want to participate in this challenge with us, come join us.
We have a brand new Facebook group and a brand new website that we’re putting together to help give you resources to help change the nuances and the belief system that’s the old worn-out pair of shoes, okay?
It doesn’t mean you’re bad or sick or broken or any of those things. What it means is that the belief system you have, the arch support is gone. We just need to get new arch support, and we need to get something that’s going to support the posture of your life as you move forward, okay?
Reclaim Your Life From Hoarding: Practical Strategies for Decluttering Your Home – https://amzn.to/35R1zIU
Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things – https://amzn.to/2SXEeme
Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding – https://amzn.to/364zyxT
Treatment for Hoarding Disorder: Therapist Guide – https://amzn.to/3jdbUqn
Treatment for Hoarding Disorder: Workbook – https://amzn.to/3wUQse7
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