Hoarding disorders can be life threatening to the individual(s) that believe they cannot let go of items because they have a perceived notion of value, either monetary or sentimental value.
I see small hoards in my own home and I truly understand why they are there, but I have a hard time getting these hoards cleaned up. Early in our marriage, we had substantial problems and we moved a lot and with the moves, many things had to be left behind or let go because we didn’t have the means to transport them. We had started over more than once with nothing but the clothes on our backs, Once you have a place to store things, it becomes very easy to hold onto items that you necessarily wouldn’t hold onto otherwise, but you don’t let it go to the trash bin, because you might need it down the road. In our minds, if we had already spent money on such items, why trash them and then have to spend more money on them again.
I open the door to what was supposed to be the fourth bedroom but never was. It became the storage room because this old home has no closets. It was neatly stacked and organized when we moved in 6 years ago. Now it is a chaotic mess, the door opens, but not all the way. If we don’t know where to place something but do not have the desire to discard it, it’s taken to the “storage” room. The storage room is a disaster. I need to be able to clean it out. In order to do that, I would need several days with no one else in the house because I am sick of the mess. I would estimate that there are probably only a handful of items that actually need to be in there. Consisting of the Christmas tree, lights and decorations, and photos that need to be scanned into the computer for digital imaging.
My hoard items are shoes and clothing that I need to donate to a charity and tote bags. I have outgrown the shoes and clothing or they are items I no longer wear. I know it is not just my family members that struggle with letting go.
The biggest concern is we live in a large old farmhouse with no closets and everything is everywhere. I am at the age where less is best. Having a chronic illness, I do not have the time or inclination to spend days cleaning and rearranging items.
Watching the show Hoarding: Buried Alive on A&E Network, I think to myself well we are nowhere near being hoarders, but it all has to start somewhere. So, I am writing this to put myself on notice that we have to start working on the items in this house and we have much to rid ourselves of.
John 10:10New Living Translation (NLT)
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
Just as the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, this hoarding problem, although it may be small, steals time and joy from our lives. You can look at it, you can box it up and you can even put it behind a door in a room, but you know it’s still there.
In the Bible, the Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians to be content with what we have.
Philippians 4:11New Living Translation (NLT)
11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.
I have Jesus. He is enough. All these other material possessions are just stuff. They have no importance or they shouldn’t have importance in my life. I have Jesus. What more could a girl ask for?
So, my question to all of you is there something that you are holding on to that is more important than Jesus? Sometimes, it takes sitting down and taking an inventory of your life to realize that all the material possessions are just that. Possessions.
Every time I think about being content in the Lord, I am reminded of what Jesus said when he gave the Sermon on the Mount of Olives:
Matthew 6:24New Living Translation (NLT)
24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.
There are many reasons for hoarding. Everyone’s reason is different. I know why we, as family, hoard. Too many poor choices early in our lives, losses that not only signaled losing possessions but unwelcome changes that changed the dynamics of our family.
If you or someone you know has a hoarding disorder, please know there is help out there. Please visit this National Cleanup website for organizations in your area.
May you know how much Jesus loves You!
Blessings to all!