I generally don't get many comments on my blog, but if I did, I bet half of them would be some version of "tl;dr".
A friend recently wrote a post about running out of room in his house after having kids. I can relate. I didn't need to have kids to run out of room. I'm not a hoarder but I've known for a long time that I have hoarding tendencies and it wouldn't take much to push me over the edge. Actually, I think having kids saved me. They have so much of their own crap there's not as much room for mine.
I pretend part of the reason I am a pack rat is because my mom is the exact opposite. All the things she keeps for sentimental purposes (my biggest hang up) can probably fit in one or two bins in her basement. I once caught her donating some of my unused toys to the Salvation Army. She told me to pick one to keep (this seems a lot less mean now that I have a preschooler with a fleeting attention span and more toys than he knows what to do with). It was agony choosing between two. Totally traumatized me. If I'd spoken up, I'd have gotten both and probably wouldn't even remember it all these years later. Ah, how we create our own misery.
In reality, I was probably just born with the pack rat gene and my self psychoanalysis is nothing more than shit my brain came up with so I didn't have to take the blame for being able to fill an entire house with papers, toys, clothes, old broken costume jewelry, pens that no longer write, rocks, dried flowers...I think you get the point.
I have a tendency (maybe some would find it endearing? someone? anyone?) to develop a sentimental attachment to just about anything that comes through my line of vision. Everything jogs memories. It could be a picture, a scrap of paper with a note jotted on it, a ticket stub, an old key...and yes, clothes. My clothing bins are combination of favorite things I hope to fit into after I lose the rest of the baby weight/post wedding weight/senior 15 and some I just loved that much even knowing I would never wear them again. Did anyone catch what I said there? Yes, I have clothes from college (and maybe one or two things still from high school -- sick, isn't it?).
In the last couple years, I've started to understand my mom's hatred of clutter and I've donated so much to Goodwill that it was worth deducting on our taxes. Last summer we had a garage sale with a modest profit. And for those items that serve no other function than jogging memories, I've started taking pictures of them before parting with them.
I've also discovered the app Artkive. I haven't tried it yet but I'm intrigued. It saves images of all your kids' art so you can not have 65 bins of watercolors and collages in your basement. You can then get books, prints, etc. of the artwork later and the images are saved in the app to browse through.
It's a step in the right direction. I'm especially proud of the picture idea. When these kids actually let me get through everything, I can't imagine how much space I'll be able to reclaim. I'm also thinking of investing in a document scanner to get rid of all the paper taking up space in the house. Anyone have any experience with those?