Wednesday, February 10, 2010


For the hoarders and clutterers among us, this is the best time to start clearing out all the junk in the house. What better way to usher in the lunar new year than to start afresh with some spring-cleaning.

Hoarders have come under the spotlight of late. There's even a TV series called "Hoarders", and a website dedicated to helping hoarders.

It is a fact that most hoarders are older adults. I suppose that makes sense as over the years they have accumulated tons of useless stuff. Some folks hold on to certain items for sentimental reasons. Others refuse to throw out empty boxes, containers, bottles and paper bags in case they come in handy. Hoarders have 1001 reasons why they can't or won't get rid of their garbage. To be fair, what is trash to some people may be treasure to others.

Click here to view the short documentary "Help! I'm a hoarder."

Like many old folks in Malaysia, my mother hoards because she has lived through years of scarcity and rationing during the Japanese Occupation. To her, it's a sin to throw away things. You never know when you might find a use for them, she reasons. She hoards old newspapers, egg trays, biscuit tins, jam jars - virtually anything. While I can understand where she is coming from, I pray her hoarding habit doesn't become an obsessive disorder.

Hoarding not only takes up much-needed space in the home, it is also a health and safety hazard. Hoarders make life a misery for the people they live with. I certainly wouldn't want to be guilty of hoarding in my old age. So I'm making a conscious effort to get rid of any item that has long passed its usefulness or expiry date.

If you don't know what to do with stuff that is still usable, you can contact Seri Sinar Charity Foundation at 03-9021 1888. They will come to your house to pick up whatever you want to donate, including bulky items like furniture. I have used their services.

Or you could sell your used items to Cash Converters in Ampang and Taman SEA, PJ.

Talk about an amazing coincidence!! Just caught an episode of Oprah's show on hoarders this morning, and managed to capture this image off my TV screen.


Paul said...

It's human nature to want to own, possess and hoard things which may or may not be really needed. The other reason may be attributed to the question of sentiment. So out of habit without any consciousness lots of unwanted things get built up!

Lakshmi said...

Hoarding is a worldwide culture and I suppose it's kind of basic instinct to most of us, that maxim of 'always saving for a rainy day' kind of thing. But surprisingly, most cultures also have a pre celebration ritual throwing out the old and bringing in the new. For the Hindus and the Chinese, it is a must before their New Year or Deepavali to consciously remove/discard/give away the old stuff and bring in the new to symbolically start a new beginning. I'm not sure about the other faiths though. Btw, wishing you and all Chinese readers and friends "Gong Xi Fatt Choy"

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Lyda Tavorn said...

I felt kinda guilty about it because I'm one of those who has tons of clutter in my home. Don't know why but, I just don't like taking my things to trash or give them away, most especially my rugs. They are one of my most precious collections and although some of them are old enough to let them go, but I still want to keep them. Aside from that, I'm such a lazy person when it comes to cleaning my nest. That's why I often call to Arlington Heights carpet cleaning stores to restore the beauty of my home.