You Cannot Solve a Problem with the Same Mind that Created It.

I had my first failure in my journey of freeing myself of hoarding,  I fell back into old habits.  I slowly starting buying stuff I didn’t need again.  I gradully started filling the rooms I cleaned again.  I steadily started going back into my old mindset.  But that is okay.  It is okay to fail.  It teaches you what does not work anymore.  It teaches you to think differently, to solve the problem with a new idea.  You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it.  I have to think differently this time.

My first rule was working: “I need more stuff going out than coming in.” When I was faithful to it,  my rooms started getting cleaner by giving away or selling stuff.  The problem is that I started breaking it a month into it.  So in that time my mind did not successful keep the new habit.  I had a moment of weakness.  I went into Hobby Lobby for just one thing.  As soon as I grabbed a shopping cart, I knew I was too weak to stick with a single item.  All the beautiful decorations just seemed to allure me, “I’ll look beautiful on your fireplace!”  “You’ve been so good,  I’ll sparkle in your bathroom!” I quickly fell into the shoppers high and excitedly put items into my cart.  It was euphoric watching the cashier apply 50% off to all my new found treasures!  And then I got home and quickly put the whole bag in the corner of my room.  I squirreled it away like I do with a lot of other treasures I bring home.  You see, I didn’t clear the space out yet but I imagined that when I do clear the area, I’ll put it up.  Like all the other bags I’ve forgotten about.

So how do I solve the problem?  Well, I take a break from Hobby Lobby, Ulta, Sephora and all the other “trigger stores” that make me weak.   At least, I cannot go into these stores by myself for awhile.  I need to use up everything I already have in the house first before I venture to the store.  If I NEED something from Hobby Lobby again, I’ll bring my husband (oy vey)  He’ll quickly remind me that I only need to purchase the ONE item or what is on the list.  I also need to change my mindset from feeling rewarded when I purchase something into feeling proud about not buying it! Or better yet, the reward is that I didn’t spend the money and get to keep it in my bank account.  Perhaps not as exciting as beautiful gray distressed lantern…but a growing bank account number is exhilarating!  I think the reward should be more fulfilling, like a vacation getaway!  Enjoy experiences more than stuff.  I think I just thought of Rule #2!!  Enjoy experiences more than stuff!  It’s time to regroup and continue my journey forward!

 

pink cherry blossom tree

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One small step for me…one giant leap to beat my hoarding

One small step for me…one giant leap to beat my hoarding!  I decided to work on a smaller space so I could get a quick victory and feel great about it!  I have a very small bathroom that is all to myself.  Since I’m the only girl with 3 boys in the house, this is my girly room!  It has all my make-up, glitter, facial creams, etc.  I started on the left side of the sink and started making categories for each item.  I grouped eyeliner with eyeliner, lip gloss with lip gloss and so forth.  By grouping each item I could see how much I actually owned.  I quickly found out that I have 30+ lip glosses, 50+ eye shadows and 5 sets of eyelashes.  And that is just the countertop! I have not tackled the drawers or the make-up kits stored under the sink!  I really don’t have to go to Sephora or Ulta for a LONG time…lord knows I AM ULTA now!  I have so much brand new make-up it’s really insane for one person to own it all.  A lot of it came from my Ipsy subscription which I recently cancelled.  The products were very nice, but honestly I wasn’t using 75% of them.  I mean, how many make-up bags do I really need?!  So I’m going to sell the brand new make-up kits on those Facebook selling groups in hopes to earn some of that money back.  I will be disciplined and put that cash towards some personal debt.  Baby steps in the right direction to beating my hoarding and building wealth!  One thing I noticed was that I hold onto the original boxes to make-up I’m already using.  Sometimes I kept the box because if I didn’t like it, I could return it.  Another reason was to make the item still have that “new purchased feeling.”  I could think of all kinds of reason to keep the box.  But this time was different, I tossed them all out!!! Victory!  I went through each item until I got to a completely cleaned off sink!!! I wiped it down and will return items back to the countertop as soon as I go through every single item in that little bathroom! I am so proud of myself for taking this journey and getting closer to my goal!!

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“Be Open To Everything And Attached To Nothing”

“Be open to everything and attached to nothing.”  I heard this quote from a Wayne Dyer video and it really resonated with my heart.  I am keeping an open mind to new ideas and philosophies.  I have been meditating on a daily basis both morning and night.  I find that the more I clear my head, the more I am encouraged to beat my hoarding habits.  I actually desire a more organized home with clean open spaces.  My hoarded items used to make me feel safe and protected but now they are being more of a nuisance.  I am tired of making excuses of why people cannot come over to my house.  I am tried of feeling anxious if someone surprises me at the door.  I’m tired of feeling ashamed of myself for letting it get so bad.  No more.  I am opened to change my heart.  I am open to discover new ways to heal myself of hoarding.  If God, Jesus, Buddha, the Universe, Wayne Dyer, Oprah: if any of their philosophy heals my soul so I can detach myself of these items, I will be opened to their words.  I will remain open to hear the message and see if it resonates with me.  I will be opened to share my story with the world, even though I am afraid to let my deepest secret out!  For if I can help myself and one other person to become free of their hoarding, then my life’s purpose will be fulfilled.

While in my meditative state, I am beginning to realize who I truly am.  I am artistic, I am loving, I am a mother,  I am grateful,  I am my smile,  I am my breathe, I am my laugh, I am my soul.  I need not collect any of those things in the outside world…they already live inside of me.  I am learning to be attached to nothing: my clutter, my paper piles, my clothes.  Those items are not who I am, they are not my DNA!  I will become detached from those items, I can live a life free of all it!  My anxiety will lesson as I learn to separate my stuff from my heart.  I am so much more than a room filled with plastic, fabric and paper!!!  I am a soul who desires to become the best version of myself and I must continue my journey to make sure that I do.

wood light vacation picnic

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Might as well face it, you’re addicted to stuff

I realize how much of my hoarding is really an addiction.  The “high” I get from accumulating new treasures is just as rewarding as the high from a drug.  The rush of dopamine, serotonin and all the ‘feel good’ chemicals start pumping when I find something awesome at a yard sale.  “This pair of shoes with tags is only $1??!!!”  Sweet! I’ll add it to the other 100 pairs I already own!”  You see, I’m addicted to the high of how dirt cheap I can buy an item for.  I wear a badge of honor when I bought a new Coach purse for only $15 at a yard sale. It’s retail cost was $295 which means I bought it 95% off!! I am frugal, fabulous and fierce baby!! I bragged about my golden purchase to friends and family!!!  I am a shopping hero…no wait, a shopping LEGEND!  That’s how my brain processes my consumer adventures.  I give myself such a confidence boost because I’m so good at buying things so cheap.  But at what cost?  My self worth is based on buying something?  Shouldn’t my self worth be based on how much I love myself and others? My self value should be about my natural talents: my love to create arts & crafts, my passion to meet & interact with people and my desire to serve & help other people.  That is what truly determines my self worth.  Since I  base my self esteem on being a “shopping legend” then I must subconsciously attach my self worth to my stuff.  All that stuff I bought dirt cheap are my personal trophies for success.  So when I go to get rid of that Coach purse, it will feel like I am tossing away my badge of honor.  It will lower my self esteem because I attached so much value to that experience.  I won’t feel fabulous and fierce…I’ll feel sad and anxious.  As I travel farther in my journey, I see how much I attach things to my self worth.  That is why I feel like I’m throwing myself away when I toss a simple item away.  I need to detach myself.  I need to change my self worth into my personal qualities.  I am love.  I am grateful.  I am caring.  I am giving.  I am prosperous.  Those meditating thoughts create the same “feel good” chemicals in my brain.  I carry those self values in my heart.  I needn’t buy them, store them in a box or forget where I put it.  It will always be in my heart, my mind and my soul.  This is key for me to break my hoarding habits because I will no longer look at my stuff as my self worth, I will look at it as a separate entity.

 

nature flowers blue summer

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Decisions, Decisions

As I sort through all the piles of clutter, there is one thing that is slowing me down.  I cannot make quick decisions.  There is a value attached each item:  should I keep it? Should I donate it or sell it?  I might use this random item again, do I take the chance and get rid of it and repurchase it again?  Maybe I should keep it because I don’t want to waste money buying it a second time.  But if I sell it, I can put the money towards my debt!  And maybe I won’t need it again…or better yet I can borrow it!  This is the process my mind goes through while holding a single item.  As you can guess, it’s taking awhile to go through everything.  Sometimes I can make really quick decisions!  Luckily I’m a hoarder who doesn’t keep actual trash and can make a quick decision for that.  But the longer I’ve had the item, the longer and more strenuous the decision process takes.  I need to learn how to make quicker decisions.  My clean up process could go so much faster if I could do this!  I came across a YouTube video that explained the 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins.  It said to make a quick decision within 5 seconds before your brain can register it.  I will try to apply this 5 second rule while sorting through the next clutter pile.  I’m hopeful to see if this helps me and sort through everything at a faster pace!

selective focus photography of purple lavender flower

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The longer I’ve had the item, the harder it is to let go of it.

I set my new #1 rule to stop new items coming into the house.  The only things coming in are food and necessities.  As I start sorting and making decisions on all my treasures I have accumulated, I noticed somethings were easy to let go than others.  I started to wonder why that was.  Why was random object #1 easier to donate than random object #2?  I tend to hold to everything because I gave the item some sort of value.  The value could be functional, sentimental or emotional.  As I was sorting into my “keep”, “donate” and “trash” bins,  there were certain items I could let go of easily.  Some I felt like I was throwing my heart away if I donated it.  But what value scale was I attaching to them?  How did I subconsciously assign more value to this toy rather than the second toy.  I started to realize that the longer I’ve had the item in my possession, the stronger the attachment I had to it.  The toy that my son had for 3 years had a story it.  I can remember them playing with it, how little they were and their little voices pretending to be Marshall from Paw Patrol.  In my mind,  I created that toy to have the same value of my precious memories of my children being toddlers.  And I could never throw away my memories of that.  The newer toys that they just received were much easier to donate.  They did not play with them yet, so the memory was not created and the attachment to it was not formed.  I then realized…the longer I held an item in my possession, the harder it was for me to let go of it.  Even if my children stopped playing Paw Patrol a year ago because they outgrew it,  it was a struggle to donate it.  It is easier for me to donate the newer toys because I did not let the attachment form.  The memories were never created, so there was no emotional value to it.  I realize how important my #1 rule is to my mental struggles now.  If no new things are coming in, then I don’t form an attachment to it.  I didn’t create value to it therefore it is easier for me to let go of it.  This is a breakthrough for me, this is how I can stop my hoarding from growing and start having the neat tidy house I’ve been dreaming about!

petaled flowers with dew drops on close up photography

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