[CN: hoarding behavior; briefly: difficulties with hygiene/food/alcoholism]
Throwing things out is really hard for me. So I've started this new routine called Every Saturday One Boxful Of Crap Must Go Out The Door. The thesis underpinning it has several axioms:
- steady improvement is better than massive jumps,
- I have fewer than 52 boxfuls worth of crap, and
- filtering out one boxful worth of crap is a minimally painful task which I can complete in less than an hour.
My theory goes, if I get rid of a large but reasonable amount of crap every week, within a year my apartment will be much more livable. I don't have to get rid of a box as it is currently filled! I have to take an empty box, fill it with things, and make those things leave the door. It's a sufficiently flexible constraint that if I'm not feeling it, garbage can count; or if I'm feeling ambitious, I can take a box of clothes to the thrift store. The only strong constraint is One Boxful Must Leave.
I have so many things partly because my family never moved when I was a child, so I never had to figure out how to constrain my life to a certain quantity of space. One thing that I would like to get out of having fewer things is being able to reduce my fear of having to move house—it's really scary for me because I have Lots Of Things and a rapid unplanned move would result in me not being able to either bring them along or cull them properly.
This is part of my Habits Deliberately Formed For Better Living, a list which includes gems such as Floss Every Day, Eat Consistently Nutritious Food, and Don't Drink Alcohol Every Day. I currently only do some of these things.