“I paid good money for that so I can’t get rid of it.” An artist hoarding groups of crafts needs strategies to unclutter.
“I paid good money for that, and now I have a full storage unit and a full house and full attic. It’s value hoarding at its finest.”
“I paid good money for that but my priorities changed even though I’m saving all these crafts. Some of which are now junk and stuff.”
Today on Ask a House Cleaner we look at the swap and sell sites, and eBay. Angela Brown says “It may be time to sell your stuff pushed to the wayside. Arts and crafts hoarding is a real problem and if it’s yours, it may be time to hire a part-time helper to declutter.
Listen: I Paid Good Money For That – Hoarding
Watch: I Paid Good Money For That – Hoarding
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.
Question: I Paid Good Money For That – Hoarding
Today’s question comes from a woman who worries because her entire house is full of arts and crafts. She paid good money for these items and she can’t get rid of them. But she has an inkling in the back of her mind that she might be a hoarder.
So we took a look at her stuff. And what we discovered was, yes, in fact, I think she is a hoarder.
Answer: I Paid Good Money For That – Hoarding
Wrapping Paper Hoarding
So it turns out that the inside of her house looks like a Michael’s store. She has different kinds of wrapping paper for different gifts and things that she is going to give to people. It’s more or less a wrapping paper station. She has a big wall of wrapping paper, ribbons, little gifts cards, bows, little boxes, etc. She has lots and lots of gift wrapping stuff, and she paid good money for that!
Quilting Supplies Hoarding
Now, if it was just for gifts, that’s okay. But it doesn’t stop there. It moves on to quilting. At some point or another, she was going to give every one of her grandkids a homemade quilt.
So she was taking their clothes from when they were small and cutting them up into little squares. She was sewing the squares together. She also had these quilting frames where you stretch the quilt over the side and clamp them down. Then I guess you go underneath and over and you tie the quilt.
It doesn’t end there. There was another part of her house where she had a pottery station. She had spent around $5,000 for a pottery kiln, and about $1,500 for a pottery spinner. (She paid good money for that!) She also had all the supplies such as heat resistant gloves and special glazes. She paid good money for that! To tell the truth, she made exactly two pieces of pottery.
She would go to an exhibit and see someone selling pottery for thousands of dollars. She would then get these harebrained ideas that she was going to become a famous pottery maker. So she was thinking, “I can make thousands of dollars if I make pottery. Then I too will be famous, and I can sell my pottery.”
Her Things Became a Curse, Not a Blessing
The mentality is not twisted. And the arts and crafts creative element is not twisted. But in order to sell a piece of pottery for thousands of dollars, you have to have a lot of experience. Or you have to be an amazing artist or have an amazing marketing background.
So this woman spent thousands of dollars to create exactly two pieces of pottery. She then ended up storing equipment that she will never use again. She does not want to get rid of these materials because she “paid good money for that.” You get my point, these things become a curse, not a blessing.
Her Things Were Just Taking Up Space
As we went through her house she had a variety of different groups of arts and crafts. She had the intention of one day using them to make things.
But the truth of the matter is that as the grandkids got older, she ended up spending time with them. She would babysit them and just spend time with them. And her arts and crafts got pushed to the wayside.
She “Paid Good Money For That”
So now she has an entire house, an attic and a storage unit that are full of arts and crafts. Most likely, she will never use these materials.
I asked her, “What is your goal for these things?”
Her goal was that she wanted help, but she didn’t want to get rid of them because she spent so much money for them. I understand the I paid good money concept. She feels like a prisoner to these things.
The reality was that she had no room in her house for her grandkids to come over. Every nook and cranny was filled with arts and craft things.
The Truth Comes Out
As we spoke further, the truth started coming out. She told me that she hadn’t actually even used her wrapping paper station in the last few years. She’d been giving people gift cards. So now she had this wrapping paper station, she’s not even buying gifts for people to wrap anymore.
Yes, She Was a Hoarder
So what we decided for her was that, yes, in fact, she was a hoarder. And it was good kind of hoarding, it was creative hoarding. But she had all these things she needed to help move on their way.
Does This Sound Familiar?
You might have a lot of things that you paid good money for. But now you’re done with them and it’s time for them to go.
Because it’s a money issue, this is a good opportunity for you to turn around and sell those items. You could place an ad on several websites to sell things. There might be people who would like to buy your things.
Consider Selling Other Ways
You could also list your treasures on eBay. There will be a lot more buyers on eBay than there will be in your neighborhood. You might have to expand your reach just a little bit.
You might be able to sell it to a school as well. Or you might be able to sell it on many of the buy and swap sites that are on Facebook.
Hire Someone to Help
The reason that she is considering selling this stuff is that she does not have time to use them. How then, is she supposed to have the time to sell them all?
She could place an ad asking for help. The ad could say “I am looking for someone to work for me on a part-time basis that will help me sell my treasures.”
You could argue and say, “It costs money to hire someone.”
It does, but if you sell a $5,000 kiln to someone, you will have some money coming back in where you can pay that person.
It might be a small investment up front. But as she sells some things, she will have some more resources.
How Long Will This Take?
My suggestion for her would be to take a year. I’m going to say a year because she has a lot of stuff.
It will take a long time to go through everything, make listings, sell them, and pack them up. There will also need to be someone there if people come to pick the things up from her house.
Have Realistic Time Goals
This lady should not beat herself up if it doesn’t happen in a weekend. She did not accumulate these things in a weekend, so it will take longer to get rid of them.
She might want to pick one room per month. One month she might get rid of the entire wrapping paper station. The next month, she might work on getting rid of her quilting supplies. She will need to decide what she will keep and what she will give away/sell.
True Happiness Does Not Come From Things
Just because you spent a lot of money on something does not mean that it brings you value or that it brings you joy.
As this lady moves through her life, her joy will now come through spending time with her grandkids.
Can I Still Have a Hobby?
Yes of course! You might consider an art and craft such as photography. This hobby, for example, does not have to take a lot of space. You can store your digital pictures on one hard drive. It doesn’t consume your entire house space.
The Rewards of Decluttering
You will go through a lot of memories while decluttering. It will take some time, but in the process, you might get some extra money! You also might have a good time meeting people who take part in these activities.
But as you purge, you clear out your life, and you simplify. It’s going to free up a lot of emotional investment and joy and heartache.
Is it heartbreaking when you decide that you are going to spend thousands of dollars to become a pottery maker, then only make two pieces of pottery? Is that heartbreaking to see that dream washed down the drain? Sure.
But on the other side of the coin, you could sell that equipment to somebody who could use it. You could then go to their art exhibit and you can experience their pottery. Maybe that will bring you joy.
You Will Find Joy
So there is joy in passing along the stuff. But there’s also joy in clearing out the clutter. And we’re going to call the arts and crafts supplies clutter because that lady was not using them. She did pay a lot of money for them, but now it’s time for them to find a new home.
Let’s Do It!
My suggestion to you would be to take a deep breath. Then, plan a year on your calendar that you will go through every room. Get rid of your stuff.
In the instance with the lady with the art and craft supplies, it was all great stuff! This is stuff that will resell. And so, my suggestion to you is reselling your things to somebody who can find a happy home for them.
All righty, so that’s my two cents. And until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.
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Resources For This Episode
Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding: Why You Save and How You Can Stop – http://amzn.to/2hdsXHf
The Hoarder in You: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Uncluttered Life – http://amzn.to/2jEy47X
Zen of Hoarding: 108 offerings for deciding what you own – http://amzn.to/2fwpNP1
Don’t Let Your Stuff Suffocate You! Simplify Your Life & Free Your Space – http://amzn.to/2ws0cRR
If I’m So Smart, Why Can’t I Get Rid of this Clutter?: Tools to Get it Done! – http://amzn.to/2wCauKo
365 Days of DIY Hacks – Home, Parenting, Pets, Gifts, Budget- http://amzn.to/2xhIPC4 Organize
Your Life: Organize Your in 5 Min. Per Day – http://amzn.to/2jFX1Qs
Enough: Finding More by Living with Less – http://amzn.to/2xMJ5KM
The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own – http://amzn.to/2hdtedf
The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life – http://amzn.to/2jHyjPQ
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