20 Things That Are Secretly Turning You Into An Insane Hoarder

You didn’t used to live in a swamp of your own belongings, but over the months since your last big cleaning, things have just started to accumulate. Laundry hasn’t made it past the couch. Dishes haven’t made their way back to the sink after you let the dog lick them clean. You haven’t found anything you’ve intended to find in weeks but it’s been somewhat livable because you find so much other stuff instead.
It’s time to admit that you’ve slowly become a hoarder. You so don’t think you’re that kind of person, yet you’re living like that person. Here are 20 things around your place that you might want to look at in order to get your life back.
You're the Worst
You’re the Worst

1. Clothes

This is probably your main problem. There’s a reason why all truly fashion-y people own like, fifteen things total and they’re all black except for like, two super chic statement pieces. God, I miss shopping. But most of us are not super fashion-y and we’re sentimental and think we’re going places we’re not. We own sequins and a million t-shirts, hoodies and leggings. Of course most of us only wear 20% of our closet 80% of the time or whatever, but we all have clothes spilling out of drawers, on the floor, in folded piles on the floor, a stuffed closet. I should set up my eBay store again. This is just a diary entry now, by the way.

2. Lighters and matches

It’s probably all of our inner cavemen that make us hold on to every single lighter and match we’ve ever come across, but I filled two gallon-sized Ziplock bags full of fire starting stuff the last time I really cleaned my place. They’re fucking EVERYWHERE. It’s Failure Adult Easter.

3. Half-burnt candles

This is the cross to bear of every single woman and stoner in the world. You start a candle, someone brings one over as a gift, you light that one and abandon the old one, you get back to the old one until you buy a new one but you don’t like that one that much so you only light it once in awhile, like in the downstairs bathroom.

4. Knick-knacks

I have a goddamn Buddy Jesus on display in my apartment despite the fact that it’s been many, many years since I felt any sort of connection with a Kevin Smith film. For every piece of crap clay animal I have sitting out on a shelf, I have something my nana hooked me up with or a cool trinket from a friend’s travels. Most of the stuff out on my shelves is crazy lady shit.

5. Books

We get it, you’re smart. But the books are everywhere. Contain them to shelves and perhaps the coffee table (if you figure out a cool way to display them that isn’t freakin’ insane) and store or sell the rest. You won’t miss them, I promise. They seem like something you’d really miss, like clothes, but once they’re gone you completely forget about them except you don’t, you know?

6. Open liquor bottles

You’re never going to finish that fucking bottle of lemoncello that your friend brought over for game night. It was so bad you made the losers drink it. Let all of that novelty stuff and handles of cheap stuff you’ll never drink go. Give them to a college kid—it’s that easy to be a hero.

7. Pet stuff

Expensive pet beds that your dog never took a liking to or a cat jungle gym that looks like shit and takes up too much space in your place has got to go. Give it away on Craigslist—you’ll make some pet very happy. But they bring down the vibe of your place and make other people uncomfortable when they come over.

8. CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes

If you can’t contain these things, they need to go. Go buy black CD books or those boxes they make at the container store for DVDs. Store your favorites, donate or sell the rest. You use Apple TV most of the time anyway.

9. “Collections”

A grown person does not need more than one collection, and that includes a record collection. You are not a five year old who just learned about the concept of “collections”, you’re 28, you live in a one bedroom apartment and no one needs to see five shelves of your action figures. Pick your favorite, make it look cool. Put the rest in storage or—you guessed it!—sell them and buy a fucking house because them shits can be worth mo-nay.

10. Food

Cereal was on sale so you bought two boxes and you ate one bowl of each and they’ve just been sitting in your pantry next to the three other half-eaten boxes for months now. You’ve got jars of stale cookies on the counter next to rolled up bags of chips. Your cupboards are full of dozens of cans of vegetables that you don’t eat but that you bought “in case.” Send the cans to a holiday food drive, it’s the right thing to do.

11. “Gifts”

When I was growing up, my friend’s grandma used to shop for family holiday presents YEARS in advance. She had about a dozen grandchildren and all of their Christmas and birthday gifts for the next decade or so were purchased and wrapped on shelves in the basement. I remember seeing a package that said “Michael, Christmas, age 14” and Michael had just turned 2 at the time. Now that I’m older I realize that this could have been a grandma’s attempt to stay in her grandkids’ lives long after she’s gone, but it’s also VERY hoader-y and under the guise that it’s for other people. Like, the lady just wanted to buy too many toys. Everyone would have loved a check, I’m sure.

12. Art supplies

People who are hard-core into crafting always have that overflow into their kitchen and livingroom of fabric, glue guns, random pieces of ribbon, Polaroid printing paper for days. It’s like a mad dash to finish their attempt to make homemade Valentine’s Day cards every single day of the year. Keep that shit neat. It’ll save you time and supplies and in turn, money and who doesn’t love that? I mention money a lot in this piece and that’s because it’s great and people just love love love it.

13. Broken kitchen supplies

Throw away the melted spatula and the weird strainer spoon from the 70s that you somehow acquired. You never use that shit. You never use the Foreman anymore and you know for a fact those plastic tumblers always wind up on your car floor and are probably beyond filthy deep inside the plastic in a way that can never be fixed.

14. Beauty products

Birchbox fucked you. You bought everything and would get so turned on by how many Birchbox points you were accumulating, as if you weren’t spending your money to get them. You bought more scrubs, scented shaving creams, fancy Band-Aids and lip stains than any twenty-nine women need. Box up the stuff you have barely used and keep it. You will use it eventually. If there’s not much left or you think there’s a remote chance it might be bad, toss it. Learn your lesson with beauty products (but never learn your lesson with beauty products—they are the most fun, sorry.)

15. Towels

You live alone and have no less than eight bath towels. You have six beach towels. You have two bathsheets and five hand towels. How about you just do your fucking laundry? No one needs to devote this much space to “spare towels”—toss out the old set and just keep the nice ones. If you don’t have nice ones, maybe toss all of them and invest in ONE set of nice ones. They’re everything.

16. Furniture

We all know that creepy living room that has two mismatched couches and a crappy armchair with torn fabric in it. Dudes are usually the biggest offenders of this. Please get rid of anything that looks like a litter of puppies has been born on it. Or maybe dress it up with a nice slip cover from IKEA, huh?

17. Kid’s toys

If you have kids, fucking forget it. I’ve seen kids—they own your ass for years. It seems like the early years are the worst in terms of property take over. The toys are so big and primary colored between ages one and three. Then they kind of start to chill out and you can tell them to go hang in their room while you throw all their toys away.

18. Shopping bags

This is a classic Hoarders thing that we all can fall prey to this time of year. It seems like people on the show are never able to actually UNPACK their shopping bags and there are piles of them on tables and the floor—brand-new items. Well, I do this too, especially this time of year. I had all of my girlfriend’s gifts in a pile in the corner of my living room for weeks. I only got around to unpacking them two days ago and they had dust on them. I know I’m not alone, that’s why I’m sharing this. Don’t judge me.

19. Dishes

First of all, you have too many of them. If they’re piling up, you’re simply in the possession of too many dishes. If you don’t own a dishwasher (as many of us don’t in LA and New York in our first apartments), you should own even less. If you’re some kind of cooking person or whatever—do whatever you want, but the average bear is not cooking a ton and has no need to own more than four plates and appropriate bowl/glassware and utensilage based on that. Beg your parents to hold on to the nice china they keep trying to give you for as long as you can—it will just sit around in your cabinets taking up space you need otherwise.

20. Organizing solutions, LOL!

The best part is that you’ve totally gone out and bought boxes and shoe racks and pockets to hang your purses in but you haven’t gotten around to setting any of them up yet. What? There’s too much other stuff around them. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Molly McAleer lives in Los Angeles with her chihuahua and can be found on Twitter (@molls) and on Instagram (@itsmolls). Her writing has appeared on your television, your Internet and the bathroom walls of your favorite cyber cafes.

Keep up with Molly on Twitter

More From Thought Catalog