I used to think a neat house was the sign of just one thing: a lot of missed fun. But truthfully the mountain of unsorted mail on my coffee table, the tchotchkes on every surface and the jammed basement weren’t exactly making my life a joyride. Then I heard how all that stuff was putting a big dent in my overall health. “”If the first thing you see when you walk in the door is miles of piles, it sends your stress hormones soaring,”” says Pamela Peeke, M.D., author of Fit to Live (Rodale). Worse, she says, “”If the mess is so bad you can’t bear to let anyone see it, you lose out on life-enhancing social connections.”” Practically speaking too, if you’re already not in the mood to exercise, spending an additional 20 minutes searching for your sneakers isn’t exactly going to help.
Hoarding hang-up: Guilt When you have no use for Grandma’s afghans or Dad’s old records, but they’re still hogging shelf space, you’re probably confusing belongings with the relationships, experiences and emotions they represent. “”Part of you is afraid that if you let go of the item, you’re throwing away the memories and connections themselves,”” says Lorie Marrero, creator of clutterdiet.com. “”You can hold on to the love without clinging to the stuff.”” If you can’t display or use something, let it go. It may sting a little at first, but you’ll soon recover and move on.
Click the link below to read about more hoarding hangups.
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