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Hoarding.  It’s one of those words that makes each of us shiver.  Maybe you have even wondered if you have hoarding tendencies.  Exactly when does “saving” cross the line into “hoarding?”

"The definition of hoarding is that it interferes with your life or makes part of your house unusable," said Jessie Sholl, author of "Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother's Compulsive Hoarding."

If you're telling yourself, "It's a collection," you're probably wrong. Sholl said collectors take pride in their possessions, keeping them organized and proudly displayed, which immediately identifies those who amass twist ties and pens as hoarders rather than collectors.  And if you think your particular collecting tendencies are unique, you're probably wrong about that, too.

In her recent article, 5 Things You Should Stop Hoarding in 2015, Tammy Kennon lists 5 things we should simply let go of in 2015.  Read more...   

Newspapers and Magazines

Who doesn't have a newspaper or magazine that's more than two months old? Anybody?  Apparently paper is number one on the hoarding hit parade.  The big trap is thinking that you will find time to actually read those magazines.  Not.  If you stockpile magazines, why not share the wealth?  Waiting rooms across your city are great places for your slightly used periodicals.  At the very least put those piles of papers in the recycle bin.


In case you haven’t noticed, bags when left to their own devices, will multiply faster than rabbits.  Keep a handful of bags and recycle the rest.  Remembering to take the reusable bags inside when you’re shopping will stop the flow of bags into your house.

Hotel Shampoo and Conditioner

Those little bottles fall into a major category we use to justify hoarding: It seems wasteful to throw them away.  If you simply can’t leave them behind, donating to shelters is a great way to put them to good use.

Office Supplies

Sticky notes, paper clips, staplers, binders, pens – all useful items.  The real question is just how many do you really need?  If you have more than a year’s supply consider donating the rest to a non-profit. 


Let's guess … your closet is packed, maybe with multiple wardrobes in various sizes?  Cleaning out all of your closets could feel daunting, so how about starting with just one?  When you see how wonderfully organized that first closet is, you have great inspiration to do the next one.  Donating clothes that you haven’t worn in a year could put the garment in the hands of someone who really needs it for that job interview.

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Dean & Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.