I am an occasional hoarder

From an objective point of view, I dislike clutter. Simplicity is attractive and sometimes I imagine how much easier life would be if only I adhered to ‘simplicity’ not only in thoughts but also in action. Though I’ve lived out of a traveler’s backpack for months at a time, once I’m reunited with all my STUFF, it’s virtually impossible to tear them away again! The same goes for my laptop, phone, room, possessions in general, social media connections… pretty much everything in my life ever.

Only a tiiiiny percentage of downloaded apps on my phone, ipad, and programs on my computer are used. And YET every few weeks, the urge to browse top free downloads creeps in and instead of 5 photo editing apps, I’ll have 8, 9… and another to take panoramas because panoramas are just so amazing. I have next to no self control when those dormant hoarding instincts kick in. Though I undoubtedly regret the next-day clutter hangover, they’ve never been enough to force a change of habit.

I suspect the enabler of these hoarding episodes are resets in clutter. For example, I’ve moved once a year for the past five years. Four of the five moves required reducing all my earthly possessions to a 20 kilo suitcase, an incredibly heavy carry-on bag, laptop bag, purse, and as much as I could wear. Getting through metal detectors while wearing a large portion of my jewelry collection required significant preparation. It would have been much easier to just be more selective while packing. Logically, I know this… but things can’t easily be replaced and it’ll be more expensive to get it again and IlovethatwintersweatertoomuchevenifI’mgoingtoHongKong! So on, so forth. Getting a new electronic device provides only temporarily clutter relief… until my hoarder self takes over and I sync dropbox.

The goal now (in addition to building healthy habits like eating breakfast and going to sleep before 3am) is to simplify life. There must be plenty of tips and hints and step-by-step guides out there….

  • Step 1: Gather all possessions
  • Step 2: Get rid of possessions you do not want/need and can part with without regrets
  • Step 3: Get rid of at least one thing. You can do it! …No?
  • Step 4: S.O.L.

… but what would work for me? What are the motivations and underlying goals? Is my life not really cluttered at all, but seems like it because everything is so disorganized? Do I need more smart-storage and external hard drives? Maybe what I’m really doing is creating a project for my future incredibly old self to relive youth by sorting through a mountain of stuff and digital memories…

Conclusion: I need to dream more about living a simple life.
(…And this may never work. Crap.)


In titling this post, I actually went through quite a few definitions.

define: glutton (Noun)
An excessively greedy eater.
A person who is excessively fond of or always eager for something: “a glutton for adventure”.

define: greedy (Adjective)
Having or showing an intense and selfish desire for something, esp. wealth or power.
Having an excessive desire or appetite for food.

define: avarice (Noun)
Extreme greed for wealth or material gain.

define: horder (Noun) <- Winner
a person who accumulates things and hides them away for future use.