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AIBU to want to keep stuff? Or am I hoarding?

(53 Posts)
MaximumHoldMousse Fri 04-Mar-16 14:05:38

Hello! I have joined MN to find out the consensus on what is acceptable to keep? We have a v small house with no garage or loft, can't afford to rent a larger one, so a lot of my things are at my parents' house still. I am trying to get rid of stuff but finding it really hard. Do people generally keep their old uni textbooks? Handwritten notes from lectures? I feel totally overwhelmed sad I've always been quite 'sentimental' about stuff but not sure if it's actually a problem or not. Would love to know what everyone else has/n't kept. Thanks so much

MaidOfStars Fri 04-Mar-16 14:10:25

I kept my textbooks for quite a while because I still work in academia in the same field. They have slowly been given away to my students etc though, and replaced with shinier newer textbooks!

I have a few of my lecture notes, a couple of folders of stuff that are directly relevant to my work today. Were it not for that, they'd have joined all the others in the bin 12 years ago. I have flicked through them occasionally, mostly to remember what I was taught and whether there are any great ideas to feed into the lectures I now give.

If you are never going to look at them or use them, dump them. These are not the most sentimental items from university!

HeyMacWey Fri 04-Mar-16 14:12:05

Dump then unless you are still working in this field.
Is hard to do but really no need to keep imo.

BestZebbie Fri 04-Mar-16 14:15:04

I still have my notes but they are pretty much the last paper standing in the house that isn't a book or a pre-digital photograph. One day they will also be scanned and shredded, I would think.

SqueegyBeckinheim Fri 04-Mar-16 14:15:08

The thing is, if you don't get rid of those things now, when are you going to get rid of them?

I dont want this to sound too grim, but having been through the experience of having to do a post death house clearance on my grandparent's house, who were people who kept everything, I'd never ever like to put my children or grandchildren in that position.

My philosophy now is that things aren't love or emotions or memories, they're just things. If i don't need them anymore and all they're doing is taking up space they have to go.

Burgerbobismydad Fri 04-Mar-16 14:16:42

Dump them!

2boysnamedR Fri 04-Mar-16 14:18:04

I am hoarder. Really. I don't just joke - it's not TV materail ... Yet but it's more than clutter.

My uni notes went in the bin a few years after I left. I have my few text books and my degree photo on the wall. The notes will never be read by anyone.

MaximumHoldMousse Fri 04-Mar-16 14:44:16

That is a good point - am working in a pretty unrelated field now. And the textbooks are so out of date now as well!

MaximumHoldMousse Fri 04-Mar-16 14:48:10

And thank you to the poster who said about someone else having to get rid if I don't! Sorry cant work out how to post properly... It's helped me make up my mind smile

I think the issues stem from the fact my parents are quite keen on keeping stuff as well... we always kept stuff 'in case it comes in handy'. Does anyone else have all their kids clothes once they have outgrown them? I gave some away after the refugee crisis was in the news but finding it really hard. Then I feel silly for having such 'first world problems' Argh.

RitaVinTease Fri 04-Mar-16 14:48:48

A few years ago I pretended we had had a house fire, and asked myself what was really irreplaceable. I kept that stuff and had a huge clear out.
It felt great. I can actually let go now.

I now have a digital collection of memories, like scrapbooking. You can scan documents, photograph stuff, then pass it on.

Greyponcho Fri 04-Mar-16 14:51:50

If you were moving house, what items would be worth the effort of packing, moving and unpacking? Keep that and ditch the rest.

ghostoftheMNchicken Fri 04-Mar-16 14:54:00

Have you come across Marie Kondo yet, OP? I strongly suggest checking out the thread and seeing if you can pick up a copy of her book.

Her slightly bonkers at first glance take is that these things have served their purpose and some be thanked and disposed of. But basically if you're not using them not, you never will. Get rid. Chances are they're out of date anyway.

I think you'd find the Kondo threads very useful.

ghostoftheMNchicken Fri 04-Mar-16 14:56:10

Current thread here:

AppleSetsSail Fri 04-Mar-16 14:57:09

I held onto my university and grad school stuff for many years but it's all now long gone. I studied technology so it wouldn't be very useful anyway.

My husband has a PhD in anthropology and he has kept most everything.

All in all, in our house (about 2500 sq feet) I have maybe the equivalent of a small wardrobe of sentimental stuff. Our formal reception room doubles as a library to accommodate all of our books. That's about as much hoarding as I can tolerate.

waterrat Fri 04-Mar-16 15:00:38

god...get rid of the notes! they are of absolutely no use to you or anyone else. Nobody will have any interest them in the future.

re. kids clothes - the best way to think about it is to think that somewhere near you there are children who don't have enough clothes. forget syria - it's far more cost effective to donate to a local womens refuge or group that supports refugees in the UK. or if nothing else just give them to a friend. what is the point them sitting around in your house when they could be making another parent happy!

all that will happen with all this junk is that you or someone else will have to put it in the bin one day.

as my husband said to me recently when I was worrying baout something. in 50 years we will all be worm food..let go now!

Clayhead Fri 04-Mar-16 15:03:16

I think SqueegyBeckinheim has it spot on.

There is nothing like sorting through whole households of someone else's stuff to make you aware of how stuff doesn't really matter. I too would hate to do this to anyone else and have next to no emotional attachment to material items.

SnozzberryWibble Fri 04-Mar-16 15:05:51

I think the "does it spark joy?" aspect of Marie Kondo sums it up.

I used to hold on to uni notes, texbooks etc too, feeling guilty at the thought of chucking them. I suppose its because they were once so important, and so central to your life, even if they're not anymore. Since getting into the Kondo mindset though, I don't feel any attachment to them anymore.

Just think... The notes for example. Do they bring you any joy? Do you regularly get them out and refer back to them? Or is your only interaction with them when you are decluttering, you come across them and feel a pang of guilt as you consider getting rid of them, browse through them and remember your uni days? You probably have other things, like photographs or even your degree certificate which are a much nicer keepsake of your uni days. And if you ever needed to refresh your knowledge of a topic, wouldn't you just Google it rather than referring to a musty old textbook or dog eared course notes?

You can sell the text books on Amazon or donate them. The notes can just be binned.

Greengager Fri 04-Mar-16 15:15:14

I'm like you in that I'm sentimental about stuff and I've been conditioned to keep everything in case it comes in handy. But after a while I realised that I was stressed and exhausted shifting piles of crap around and cramming them into storage.

I'd recommend the Marie Kondo book. (Few threads on here about it) it's helped me see stuff in a different way and enabled me to work out what I am really attached too. It's been great in helping me sort out the house.

MaximumHoldMousse Fri 04-Mar-16 15:19:08

I think i have heard of that. is it Japanese? I'm glad I'm not the only one who was brought up to hang onto stuff... it is a hard habit to break!!

SnozzberryWibble Fri 04-Mar-16 15:27:14

Yes , the book is massively popular. Even if you don't follow her method to the letter I think it helps get out of the hoarder mindset.

My DH's parents are "keep everything" types. They can afford to be, as they are naturally very tidy people and have a massive house. They even gave us some of DHs old baby clothes and stuff for DS they'd held onto neatly folded in the loft for 20+ years! Sadly DH inherited the keep everything mindset without inheriting the tidyness...!

I do still hoard a few bits just in case they're useful for fancy dress or crafts etc. But I've tried to be more realistic about the chances I'll ever actually use things. E.g. an old red bandana I decided has a high chance of being used for dressing DS up as a pirate. Whereas a load of fairly rubbish blank greetings cards I was keeping for emergency birthday cards, well I've never wanted to send them to anyone in the last 5 years so what are the chances I'd ever be that desperate? I only kept the really good ones I'd be more than happy to send.

BarbarianMum Fri 04-Mar-16 15:29:06

I have been getting rid of my university notes/text books for 20 years. Last lot went recently - and yes, Marie Kondo helped.

expatinscotland Fri 04-Mar-16 15:31:14

Sounds a bit hoardy. Can't abide all the Kondo shite, though.

I work in the same field as my degree and I still chucked my notes and textbooks after a few years as they were becoming dangerously out of date. Up to date information is available from a variety of online sources which I use instead. Chuck them out all the hard work you put in is reflected in the knowledge you have and in my case the job I do, not in some dog eared bits of A4.

thebestfurchinchilla Fri 04-Mar-16 15:33:09

Check out Marie Kondo and your life will be simpler and clutter free.

We gave away the DC's baby clothes to DH's family in North Africa as he has lots of nephews and nieces who are just getting married and having children. UK baby clothes tend to be of better quality then the locally available stuff. It's great seeing a toddler running around in the DC's stuff.
I did allow myself to keep 1 item for each child for sentimental reasons.

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