Part of my OCD means it can be hard for me to throw things away. To get rid of things.
Don’t worry, my house isn’t an episode of hoarders waiting to happen. I’m not quite there yet and I doubt I ever will be, my boyfriend tends to help me ensure I don’t hang onto things for pointless reasons.
Most of the time, the reason I keep the things I do is because the little voice in my head gives me a list of reasons why I might need them, why not to get rid of them. One of the biggest reasons is usually regret. Once something’s gone you can’t get it back.
I’ll keep magazines for years, for no other reason than I might want an article or a picture from it. I keep teddy’s I no longer really want because my brain flies to places resembling Toy story and I end up worrying about how an inanimate stuffed toy might feel. I keep computer cables that I no longer have the computer for, or indeed any technology to fit the damn things. I have three broken laptops that I simply refuse to throw away because I’m worried someone might get hold of them, even though they are knackered beyond repair, and extract personal data. I have clothes, clothes I haven’t been able to fit into for years, clothes that are knackered and holey. Clothes that hold no sentimental value but that I can’t seem to part with.
That was until recently.
It all started a few months ago. I’d been on my tablets for a while and suddenly my eyes were open to the fact things, material things didn’t matter all that much. Seeing a film first, before anyone else. Binging a TV series before anyone else. It didn’t make me any more or less of a fan of something. It didn’t make me enjoy it anymore. In fact there was a sort of pressure in trying to keep up. It was very freeing to suddenly have my eyes opened. It was very freeing to suddenly realise that it didn’t matter.
After this short burst of realisation I decided to pack up some of my dvds . I have an overwhelming collection. Close to 400. I went a bit mad at various times buying DVD after DVD. This one day, after getting annoyed at how little space there was left on the bookshelves I decided to pack some of the ones I rarely watched and stick them in the loft. It was a big thing for me. Even if it might not sound it.
It would be months before I would do anything like that again. I did though, I cleaned out some boxes full of old writing and notebooks. It was hard but I managed to get rid of them.
Recently I went on a bit of a purge and it started with teddy bears. I worked for years at Build-a-bear. I’m not going to lie. I have a love of stuffed toys. I could never really afford anything like they sold in the Disney shop. Or the proper merchandise, but, swept up in the excitement from work and with a hefty discount I used to buy bears occasionally. I also bought them before I started working there.
I still have no idea why I bought some of them and so, one day a few months ago I decided to get rid (let’s ignore the fact they’ve still been sat in the spare room until recently), I separated the bears into ones I have sentimental attachment to; The one Dave bought me for my first Christmas present, the very first one I bought (Mark Sloan from Diagnosis Murder), my Harry Potter one, my hulk one. Then all the ones I didn’t have sentimental attachment too I bagged up. At first I wanted to donate them to a care home, the problem is their office is way to far away for me to get to. Then I wanted to donate them to a children’s ward but they can’t have them because they’re not wipe clean. I ended up donating them to an animal shelter.
Then, when we finally bought new drawers for the bedroom I cleared out some of my clothes. I got rid of a fuck load. As luck would have it there was a charity bag pushed through the door so I filled it up and I’ll be doing it again as there’s been another bag posted through the door.
The purge started with material objects, things that hadn’t been used in forever and were in regards to other things, easy to get rid of. Then came a big challenge.
I decided to purge myself of the internet. Of tumblrs and twitters and writing. Fan fiction sites. Roleplay blogs. I decided to purge my computer of writing I no longer wanted, of characters long forgotten but still around my neck like a lead weight.
Believe it or not, ridding myself of tumblrs I’d spent years building up. Deleting hours and hours of writing and relationships built up over years was difficult. Those characters and storylines were like a lead weight around my neck though. All that potential gone to waste and tumblr has become an increasingly frustrating place to be, maybe that’s my age though. Despite part of me, part of my brain, trying desperately to cling to these things I decided to delete them.
I deleted every tumblr blog bar one, I deleted old writing blogs, I deleted my old twitter. I deleted my old Skype and I even deleted a few apps off my phone.
It felt like a weight had been lifted and a big one at that. I no longer felt tethered to this invisible force. I no longer felt guilty for not being online, rage at idiotic things I was seeing. I just felt free and in that I found I was able to start enjoying things again.
To some this is all going to sound a bit mad and to be honest it is but this great purge has been amazing for me. Its done me a lot of good and it will continue, especially considering I’ve just had another charity bag through the door.
Have you had any great purges? Did they do you any good? Were there any big regrets?