Afraid to throw things away?

Posted by: jilly

Afraid to throw things away? - 01/03/13 06:58 AM

The older I get, the more weird I become about throwing anything away. I torture myself to see if something can be reused, repurposed, sold, composted or recycled. I try to dismantle things that have bits of paper or plastic on them and recycle what i can, and get super put out about anything that I can't dispose of in a green way.

It's at the point where I have heaps of stuff piled up everywhere because I am too overwhelmed to actually do anything. I get frozen into the inability to make an executive decision.

For example, I get a lot of boxes through amazon. I could burn them in my fire pit, but i have trouble actually leaving the RV to ever make a fire pit (due to anxiety). I could bring them to the recycling, but i talk myself out of it because these are very nice boxes someone could use. I tell myself I can give them away on Craigslist or freecycle, but that involves communication with strangers (anxiety again). And I won't do a 'leave it on the curb for pickup thing' because my street isn't set up in a way that I could do that. I used to break them down and use them for mulching, but I really don't care about my ugly yard anymore.

So instead, I have boxes everywhere. Piles of them that blow over in the yard and pile up in the rooms. I look at them all and despair, and then still MORE come in all the time.

And this is just boxes. I probably have dozens of categories of things that I can't make a move to get rid of. I feel guilt and exhaustion and shame about such things, but still I can't bring myself to decide how to handle anything.

From reading around the internet, I have a sense that this kind of odd behavior isn't as uncommon as it seems. I know it is a form of hoarding.

I wish I could figure out what to do about these things. When I talk to my case manager, more important things always come up, so this keeps getting shoved to the backburner and the piles get higher.

Sorry about the depressing topic. But maybe someone else won't feel so alone out there, reading this.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Afraid to throw things away? - 01/03/13 02:36 PM

Dear Jilly -

I think especially in our current rough economic climate that it's natural to hold onto things and want to use them. It can feel wasteful to throw things away. Especially something really nice like boxes. We use boxes all the time and definitely there have been times where we've recycled a box and then the very next day we've needed a box exactly that size. So there is logic here.

I think the key is to take it one step at a time. Focus on just one project. So let's say the boxes project. I think many people are deluged with boxes. You can go into a Sam's Club and get free boxes. The Post Office gives away free boxes. Even if a given person isn't being deluged with boxes from Amazon, their best friend is. So I don't think there's a box shortage right now. If anything I think there's a box glut.

And if there IS a box glut, it means they need material to make all these boxes with. There is probably a lack of box recycle raw material.

So therefore by recycling YOUR boxes, you are saving trees. You are helping to mitigate this box mania, and proving the raw materials they need to make those boxes with as much recycleable material as possible.

So do your part! Help feed enough box recycling stuff into the system so that as many boxes as possible can be made out of recycled material! smile
Posted by: jilly

Re: Afraid to throw things away? - 02/09/13 09:14 PM

LOL, a box glut. Yeah. I did bring my boxes down to the recycling bin. Something had to happen.

Right now, I am getting my boxes sent to me in FL, where my MIL is very happy to keep the boxes for re-use. So that helps.

It feels nice to be taking a break from my hoarding worries this month, in general. I'm doing well with getting my reviewing done, and some editing, and seeing a lot of interesting natural places in Florida.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Afraid to throw things away? - 02/13/13 05:11 AM

Dear Jilly -

That is great that you are getting a change of scenery, and soaking in the beauty of nature!