“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”
Last night, my first night since I’ve stopped being a hoarder, I was going through my pictures looking for “before” photos. As I went, I deleted any that no longer pertained. I’ve been photo journaling my progress for years now. I used it to keep track of what’s in storage, projects, reminders. Once I decided to quit being a hoarder I used it to keep track of my progress.
For a few years, back when I had a helper I pulled interesting bits of furniture from the dumpster area. I bought furniture at yard sales to repaint and donate to Friends Of Felines, our local no-kill shelter which has a very good second-hand store. I felt I was making a difference. A little spray paint, some ingenuity and it’s good to go, right?
Like most hoarders I pride myself in seeing treasures in other people’s trash. Since I had a clear destination planned for those treasures, I wasn’t buying into my hoarding right? I did paint and fix. Then I happily took some of my loot to the cat store.
They don’t accept furniture. They don’t have room for it. Back home it came, to sit in one of my many piles.
In looking through the photos I realized just how much stuff I had accumulated back then. I also realized that 98% of those scavenged project had made it back in the dumpster when I got serious about ending my hoarding. A new rule about not leaving furniture outside the dumpsters (I didn’t actually dumpster dive) stopped me from being tempted by seeing the potential. I had even forgotten I had kept that stuff in the first place, so I certainly didn’t miss it.
I no longer feel the urge to “rescue” abused furniture. I go to yard sales armed with a list of specific things I need, along with measurements and a tape. When I’m tempted by some odd or end, I think about where it is actually going to fit in my life NOW. Not in some vague hopeful future. After all, I like going to yard sales, if I find I need that something in that future, I’ll buy it then. Yard sales are now a completely different kind of treasure hunt. More of a challenge. It’s still fun to see other people’s stuff. I just don’t have to bring it home to enjoy it.
Sometimes trash is just, well… trash.