Eliminate space hoarding items from home

Published 3:51 pm Wednesday, April 21, 2010

With the variety of television programs needed to fill cable stations’ time slots, television shows have made us aware of situations, disorders and challenges we never knew existed.

The show Hoarders has people talking like never before on what it’s like to have trouble letting go of things that serve no purpose.

There is probably a little bit of a “hoarder” in every one of us. After all, haven’t we all kept an old sofa that is perfect for when our eighth-grader goes away to school and a dozen plastic butter tubs to use for leftovers? The line is crossed when the stuff consumes our ability to function daily. While there are extremes, let’s look at what is taking up space in most of our homes.

-Large toys: Plastic kitchens, train tables and jeeps take up valuable space, especially when we hang on to these items after the children have outgrown them. Watch that you don’t associate price and size with usefulness. Try purging every six months since motor skills develop quickly.

-Old furniture: Weigh the pros and cons of keeping household items, like the dishes for when someone moves out, furniture for apartments or curtains still in good condition, for future use. Be honest. Is the space they take up worth the money you save by keeping used items? Keep in mind styles are updated and ‘worn and tattered’ remains ‘worn and tattered.’

-Exercise equipment: While exercise is a good idea, you may find the equipment serves a better purpose as a clothes rack than a weight reducer. If your exercise routine is still in shape, great! If not, could the space be used for a more practical purpose?

-Kitchen items: With limited cabinet space, avoid appliances with only one purpose. If you have no room to store 16 rolls of paper towels, then its better to purchase only one or two.

-Empty boxes: If you are saving the original box to repack an item when you move, consider when you plan to move. If not immediately, then you need to weigh packing convenience versus space available.

The majority of us have cluttered our homes with large space hoarders. But with a focused eye, we can now ask the hard question, “Do I need, value or love this, or could I get another one if I need it?” By removing the large pieces, you will find life more spacious.