The Hoarder vs. The Neat-freak In Me

In preparation for the massive endeavor that will be transferring all of my junk to my old room at my mother’s house, a room that actually used to be a living space but has become more of a storage facility in the last 4 years, I’ve been doing lots of cleaning and attempting to de-clutter my dorm room. (Ms. Thoe, please don’t frown at this extreme run-on!)

This time-consuming project has been quite educational (who knew?) and relieving. I’ve always enjoyed cleaning my room, especially the resulting mind- and anxiety-soothing cleanliness; It used to be my go-to stress reliever in high school (actually, it still kind of is.) This, however, was on a whole new scale. I went through all of my clothes, all of my desk and school supplies and the cornucopia of random objects I somehow accumulated over the last few years… and learned a few things about myself:

  1. I’m not as much of a neat-freak as I thought. My room has been getting pretty messy lately since I haven’t been spending much time there (now you may think that it shouldn’t be too bad if I’m rarely there, but the problem is that I create a mess every time I go through my stuff to pack for wherever I’m going next, and am never home long enough to clean it up afterwards.)
  2. I’m more of a pack-rat than I realized. I don’t have any wrappers lying around or anything… but I do have stacks of packing materials. I saved packing paper and bubble wrap from things I ordered online to put in boxes of goodies I’m sending to friends abroad, except that it’s been months and I still haven’t sent these boxes!
  3. I like to be overly prepared. In going through my room, I have found 4 rolls of tape; stacks of folders, notebooks, and lined paper; more recycled dryer sheets than I care to admit; and a whole drawer full of aspirin, cold medicine, flu medicine, throat sprays, etc. that I kept misplacing. I’m going to make some international students very happy and very well-prepared for this coming school year!
  4. I’m an emotional hoarder? Sometimes people give me things that I know I’m not going to use but I feel too bad to get rid of. Example #1: my little brother gave me a set of 3 blank-pages books for my birthday. (Mom, if you’re reading this, please don’t tell Will. I know he probably won’t care but I still feel bad about it.) I haven’t used that kind of book since I discovered notebooks were much more comfortable to journal in in high school… but I felt it would be rude or inconsiderate to get rid of them. Example #2: a friend I used to tutor gave me some books on Japanese history since he knew I was very interested in everything Japanese, but I never read them and I definitely don’t have the time to do so now.
  5. I really don’t need as much stuff as I think I do. Whenever I’m home I’m either working on my computer, taking a shower, sleeping, eating, or reading magazines/watching shows on my laptop. I really don’t need much more than the bare necessities, yet I still have a bunch of arts & crafts materials that take up a lot of space–especially considering I only use them a few times a year. Oh, and that’s only 5% of those materials by the way!
  6. I love the look and feel of a nice, clean, uncluttered space. OK, well I already knew this but I felt I had to point it out after making myself sound like such a slob throughout the last 5 bullet points… I have enjoyed getting rid of things even though I imagine I may, at some point in the future, possibly use them (is that the hoarder in me coming out even in this bullet point?) The truth is that I spend so  little time at home anymore that I really don’t need most of the things I used to use anymore.

As always, cleaning my room has been therapeutic. I’ve given away and thrown away a big chunk of what used to clutter my room, and it feels great!  (By the way, I’m still giving away lots of things and clothes for free/cheap on Facebook so check my profile!) I feel neater, lighter, and ready to move on! Getting rid of all those old things kind of signified making room for the new collection I’ll probably begin amassing once I get to Paris.

So now that you all know how much stuff I’ve gotten rid of, who wants to help me move? I need to get everything out of my SJSU apartment pretty soon, as in Thursday O=]