I’m genetically predisposed to hoarding. My dad likes to get a good thirty years’ wear from a t-shirt before he’s satisfied that he’s got every last cent (and piece of elasticity) out of it.
While my mum is like a ruthless Tinder dater: gathering up possessions like men’s phone numbers, then deciding she’s over them all, binning them off (literally) and two days later deeply regretting it.
It’s no surprise that I’ve always clung onto material goods like they were limbs, or close pals. But friends they are not, with experts now describing many of us as ‘stuffocated’ – victims of an unhealthy, unfulfilling epidemic of mass material accumulation. Possibly fuelled by late-night binges on The Iconic, though this part is not scientifically proven.
The anti-venom for stuffocation is a bloody good clear out. And I’ve tried it. I was forced to minimise my life six months ago when I upped sticks from London to Sydney. And, the weirdest bit, I haven’t missed a single that thing I ditched.
OK, people, you can do this too. Bin-liners at the ready…
1. Get back on eBay
I know what you’re thinking: ‘Isn’t that a bit 10 years ago?’ Actually, it’s more like 16. It’s like the MySpace of retail – you wonder if anyone is actually still on there. Well, let me tell you – they are. I earned the equivalent of a second month’s salary by eBaying clothes, unopened cosmetics and old tech. I’m not going to lie, it’s not the most fun you’ll ever have on a Sunday afternoon (possibly the least). It’s still a faff to upload the photos and the descriptions (though the app makes it a billion times easier), and the staff in the Post Office dread seeing you and your 15 packages almost as much as you dread the queue. But it works.
2. Edit your ex-boyfriend box
We all have one: a top-secret box filled with romantic mementos of ex-partners past. My initial reaction was to store mine at my parents’ house, because obviously it was full of such romantic treasures that throwing it out would be a crime to St Valentine himself. Then I looked inside.
There was the Valentine’s poem written in 2006 from a guy who turned out to be a cock. There was an origami rose made by a guy who turned out to be a bit of a cock. And there was a ‘thanks for last night’ sex note from a guy who wasn’t a cock, but whose actual cock I didn’t need any reminding about. I binned everything.