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  • Writer's pictureH. Rick Goff

Mental Hoarding

A hoarder is someone who feels the need to find, collect, pack, and keep everything. Hoarders don't know how to throw material things away and literally let stuff pile up around them. There is a sense of total loss if anything is thrown away. Importance or value can't be determined so everything is kept. Hoarders can't control the urge to hold on to material things and are blind to the amount of stuff they accumulate. Yes, there is some important stuff in what they hoard, but most of it is clutter that buries items of value.

True hoarding is an extreme condition that is relatively rare. But we all hoard to some degree. We keep things that are not needed and allow them to clutter up our lives. We hold on to things that may have had value at one point but have outlived their usefulness. The old blender that once made the best daiquiris in the world still works, but who drinks daiquiris anymore. Styles do tend to come back but MC Hammer pants were never really in style. It's all clutter that takes up valuable space that can be used for new more practical items.

We not only hoard materially but also mentally. We mentally hoard old thoughts, old ways of doing things, and old ways of looking at problems and tough situations. The clutter of mental hoarding stagnates thoughts and blinds us to new ways of dealing with tough situations. Problems are viewed the same way every time with an expectation of a different result. But the result is often the same and we conclude my least favorite saying is the answer, "It is what it is"! This is not an answer or a solution, it's a default. We have allowed the clutter of mental hoarding to default us to the old and block out the new.

Now is the time to clean out the clutter of mental hoarding and embrace a new philosophy. It's time to stop accepting the default of the same conclusion to difficult problems or situations. Don't allow yourself to make the same mistakes over and over because you approach the situation the same way every time. Clean out the clutter caused by mental hoarding and open yourself up to a new way of thinking. Keep what you need and rid yourself of "old think" that holds you back from achieving your goals and aspirations. Don't give up on yourself and don't allow the clutter of mental hoarding to put you back in the box. Fight the urge to keep things you don't need. Know what is important for you to function; keep it and get rid of the rest. It may hurt a little at first but like most pain, it doesn't last forever.

Mental hoarding clogs the mechanism (your brain) and keeps you from moving forward. Use the valuable resources around you to clear your mechanism. Talk to professionals, surround yourself with positive, find your space/place that gives you clarity, but most of all commit to getting rid of the clutter of mental hoarding.

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