I don’t consider myself to be a hoarder, in fact quite the opposite. When I left my job at Durham I simply closed the lid of my laptop and walked away. Apart from some tidying of my electronic files there was nothing to take. My physical footprint was almost non-existent.
I have had to reassess my position however, as I have been tidying up our garage. I have used this part of the house as a metaphor for the way that we deal with things at work. I have come across many people who filed their documents as if they were storing them in the garage or loft. They simply stuff them in willy nilly and shut the door. Out of sight, out of mind.
It turns out that our garage was not that much better. I need to practice more of what I preach (or could I argue that this is my exception that proves the rule?)
In the main, our garage is not that bad. Everything is generally tidy but there is a plethora of stuff that is either not used or not used. We have shelves of stuff that is conveniently out of the way and drawers full of tools and ironmongery that never sees the light of day. It is the fact that these drawers are falling apart that finally spurred me into action.
I found a box of oil and other fluids for car maintenance which I haven’t used since three cars ago, some hockey sticks from when the girls were in their early teens, a sledge (I don’t think so) and a typewriter (ask your mam what one of those is).
I sorted everything into three piles: stuff I wanted to keep; stuff I wanted to recycle (throw away) and; stuff that I could give away. I then sorted the wanted-to-keep pile into those which I would use often and those I would use less frequently. I put the former into the mended drawers for easy access and the rest into secondary, less accessible storage.
How much rubbish do we keep in our life-garages? It is time to consider what we really need to keep, give away or get rid of. Tidying up is cathartic and good for the soul.
I think I might try the loft next.