Recently I’ve been waking up singing ‘It’s like a jumble sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under’, because my room looks like a tip. You may have seen me tweet about my ‘clothes boyfriend’ aka the pile of clothes that sometimes lives on the other side of the bed, or moaning about tidying my room like a teenager. Fact of the matter is, I’m a bit of a hoarder and kind of messy too.
I wish my life was streamlined Luxirare-esque minimal and chic, when it’s actually more Collyer Brothers (see below). I’m not even one of those ‘messy and proud of it’ types, I hate being messy. I pore over Elle Deco and design blogs dreaming of a perfect house, while cursing and negociating piles of laundry, cosmetics, and lookbooks. It doesn’t help working in an industry that constantly gifts with more or less useful handouts, trinkets and nick nacks.
What spurred on this mini freakout is going through some boxes under my bed and discovering a handful of shoes I had completely forgotten about. Completely. Somehow I have amassed over seventy pairs of shoes which seems kind of ridiculous even by my ‘I work in fashion so it’s fine’ standards. There were still a couple of pairs of shoes that escaped the round-up but this is nearly all of them. Too much?
Finding things I forgot I owned always creeps me out so I’m going through my stuff, section by section to trim down my object-lust. I don’t even buy things that often, it’s perhaps more that I have a hard time throwing things away. Objects definitely have talismanic properties for me. They contain memories and as is often the case with ~creative people, they store up the potential for ideas and projects, i.e. if I throw away this scrap of fabric/dress/picture I can never realise X, Y, Z. This is something non-hoarders don’t really get, my treasures are not junk, right! Right?
I’m not whether I will ever completely shed my hoarding ways, but I would definitely like to try once and for all. I have now reduced my shoe haul to a slightly less shocking 40 pairs. In the meantime I leave you with a cautionary and Hallowe’en appropriate tale of the Collyer brothers hoarding, don’t have nightmares:
The Collyer brothers were two siblings who gained a reputation across Manhattan for hoarding and collecting objects in their parents’ Harlen home. One of the brothers, Homer eventually went blind, so his younger brother Langley prepared a curative diet consisting of ‘one hundred oranges a week, along with black bread and peanut butter’. Asked about their excessive bundles of newpapers filling up the house Langley replied, ‘I am saving newspapers for Homer, so that when he regains his sight he can catch up on the news.’
Langley was later killed navigating one of the many booby-trapped tunnels in his own home, leaving the blind and now-paralyzed Homer to die of malnutrition and dehydration. Police eventually removed 130 tons of rubbish from the house which had fallen into disrepair and was eventually razed.