Sunday, August 5, 2012

Potential future value

My homeowner's association is renting a dumpster for a week, so it seemed prudent to take advantage of the fact and get rid of some of the extra junk around my place.  I'd already gotten rid of a bunch of stuff when I remodeled my kitchen a few months ago and I had one all to myself, but I still managed a little more than a trunkload of crap.  A lot of it was old shirts that I'd saved around.  These were shirts that I'd never wear again—shirts with big holes, large and impossible-to-remove stains, and so on.  I sorted through a couple boxes of these things, pulled out a couple shirts to throw away, and then put most of them back and was just about ready to leave for the dumpster before I realized what I had done.

I have a bit of a hoarding compulsion.  (Thanks Mom and Dad.)  It's a pretty mild one, and luckily for me, I also have organizational and tidiness compulsions that are much stronger.  But I do tend to keep things around far longer than is necessary because I vastly exaggerate their potential future value, which is the core behavior of a hoarder.  I went through my closet with the express purpose of finding shirts that I was absolutely certain that I'd never wear again, I found them, and then I put them back, because I couldn't bear to part with them, and I managed to trick myself into thinking that I was done with my task.  The logical and organized and tidy parts of me wanted to get rid of those shirts today, but the hoarding instinct in me said that I might need them someday and put them back in the boxes.  Whenever I catch myself doing something instinctively that differs from what I planned it always concerns me somewhat.

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