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Hoarding in Manhattan: Climbing a Mountain (of Stuff)

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I don’t know if I’ve mentioned my organizational issues before, but let’s just say that some of the people featured on A&E’s Hoarders pale by comparison. This isn’t to say that you’ll find the mummified remains of my dear, departed Fluffy underneath piles of empty pizza boxes, but I definitely know what it’s like to have a room without a floor that you can walk on. I believe that genetics may be partially to blame. My grandmother was a hoarder in the truest sense of the word. Her apartment was always filled with furniture: recliners, sofa sleepers, coffee tables, and armoires. Most of the time, there were only two people living in the apartment, so there was no need to have that much. My grandmother always found ways to put the excess furniture to use, however. She had an entire curio cabinet designated as furniture storage space for china dolls. A daybed served as the home for a plethora of stuffed animals. Despite the fact that there were two couches and three recliners, there was never anywhere to sit in the apartment, because every spot was taken up by something. My grandmother seemed to collect everything—the most bizarre things you could find: coasters featuring the Maid of the Mist, which she found at a yard sale for twenty-five cents; Shirley Temple dolls; boxes, which she brought home because they had a nice pattern, or were too good to throw away. The only space left in the apartment was a narrow corridor that ran through all of the stuff, so that one could walk from the living room, through the kitchen to the bathroom. Everything else was a place for something.


The First Step Is Admitting There’s a (Storage) Problem
I’m not quite as bad as my grandmother was. I try not to collect random things, although the urge is strong within me. Every couple of weeks, I’ll go through a few things and ask myself if I really have the need or use for something. If I don’t, I either give it away or throw it away. I don’t like being weighed down by things.


The problem that I’m having is that I live with three other adults in a tiny apartment. Everyone has their stuff. It may not be much. Some have only their clothing and a few books. Others (I’ll give you one guess as to who) have boxes full of photographs, mementos, and all sorts of tchotchkes. A closet full of garments that repeat, because one isn’t good enough when they come in five different colors. Stacks of packing boxes , because I know I have things to put inside of them. Maybe I’m just making excuses, but I feel like it wouldn’t be so bad if I lived alone, because I could spread my things out. If I’m guilty of covetousness and gluttony, my roommates are equally guilty of sloth. I often find myself stepping over towers of dishes, balancing on one foot so as not to accidentally kick over a half empty bottle or coffee mug. Piles of unsorted mail cover every surface in the living room. The kitchen counters are gritty from dried coffee and spilled sugar. It’s a bad situation.


Storage Adviser Concierge Services to the Rescue!
You may have heard the saying that a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind. If this is true, I really don’t want to think about what my apartment says about my mental state. I’ve got to do something, though, before I do end up featured on A&E on a Monday night. It’s all too much to deal with on my own. The space just gets overwhelming. I’ve called in the reinforcements. I’m enlisting some storage adviser services from one of my favorite New York City storage facilities to help me sort through things. It should be an interesting process. How do you deal with all of your extra stuff? Hit me up in the comments … I could use the extra support right about now!


 


 

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