Am I A Hoarder?

My dad is a hoarder. The basement and garage are filled with junk, or antiques. Some of its pretty cool, but boxes and totes fill up most of the basement and garage. They’re filled with all kinds of items. He is an antique-r and I have to admit, he does “pick” pretty well. He is 71 and every weekend he packs and unpacks his truck with his “junk.” He loves it, but quite honestly, it’s a lot of clutter. It drives my mother crazy. Attempts at cleaning it up only last a couple of days until he accumulates more stuff.

I feel living back at home for the time being, I too am becoming quite a hoarder. I have an abundance of beauty products ranging from hair treatments, eye masks, about 8 foundations and BB creams and enough lipstick to start my own business. I try selling the good stuff online. I’m not having much success. So in an attempt to de-clutter, I am trying, sort of. I read up on if clutter causes anxiety. And it very well can. It causes visual overload to the eyes and brain reacts to the clutter as anxiety-provoking. Very well meaning people, including my mother are embarrassed by clutter and this can cause anxiety. The “stuff” my father has accumulated gets organized in some matter and basically she de-clutters the home for any visitors. Every. Single. Time. But on an everyday basis, we live among clutter in every room. For example, there is a island sitting atop blue tape on the ceramic floor in the kitchen yet to be installed. It’s been there for almost half a year now. I’m very accustomed to this clutter. I grew up with a lot of antiques decorating the walls – especially mirrors or mirrors with advertisements such as Coca-Cola. (I don’t know if this contributed to an anxiety about my looks, but there was a time in my life when I spent a ton of time inspecting myself in the various mirrors. It always bothered me that each mirror, in various places, produced a different image of me. I wasn’t sure what I looked like. It became a real problem. So in this case the clutter of mirrors was very bad for me.

Above are pictures of my current hoarding – I like to call it experimenting – of beauty products. My dad would say I’m a sucker for marketing and reading too much stuff about the latest and greatest beauty products on the market. I buy cheap and I buy expensive. I’m always experimenting to find what works best for me. I think my love of having about 10 different shampoo and conditioner sets has worn off on others, too! The more to choose from – even better – something new – is a rush for me. Is all this clutter making me anxious though. No, it isn’t. But by no means am I going to leave it this way. I purchased (yes, spent more money) on an organizer for my makeup. It’s been sitting there unopened for two weeks. But I’m dedicating some time today to sort through my stuff and toss what is old or I don’t want. (I’m not the only one. Currently, Sephora is running a 100-day lipstick challenge started by employee that noticed her bag full of over 100 lipsticks. So every day, she’s vowed to wear a different color.) Like I said, I’ve tried to sell some makeup that has been barely used. I had some success at first and people loved my stuff, but no such luck right now. I even created a group on FB for New and Like New Beauty Products at reduced prices. I have interests, but they disappear. I realize the hygiene issue, but my foundation for example is new and the way it’s packaged, it cannot be contaminated – and I wouldn’t do such a thing anyway. I’m super hygienic, but I understand where people may be wary of buying makeup off someone. Hair products on the other hand should be good sellers and I’ve sold a few, but only a few….

In Life at Home in The Twenty-First Century, anthropologists, social scientists, and archaeologists found:

A definite link between an over-abundance of household objects (what they called “stressful” home environments) and the homeowner’s health. Definitely affecting the woman’s long-term well-being. Men, apparently, aren’t affected by the mess. As they measured cortisol levels over a number of days and in cluttered or messy homes, there was a higher rate of depressed mood toward evening.

Am I wrong to not be upset over my clutter or maybe what some would say, hoarding? Well, my site is about beauty in addition to other things, so it is a passion of sorts of mine. And I speak to other communities about the products I use to help others. I just simply enjoy the artistry of it and community among women over it. I actually, as I’ve stated elsewhere, am usually barefaced. But when the moment arises or I want a confidence booster, I want to have a routine I know I can rely on for a more “done” look. But I want to know that I’m just fine without all of it, too. Hence my quote, which has disappeared from my site: 

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”

― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

So am I adjusted to cluttering, having lived with in since a child? I am not bothered by it, however, I truly wouldn’t normally put it on display for others. (Like my mom, I pretend that I don’t live this way.)

But pretending to be as high as Thoreau is pretentious and I don’t want to be either. So time to get stuff organized and stop the accumulation. Lets be real. If it causes me any anxiety at all, it’s not the clutter itself, it’s the fact I found it necessary to accumulate it in the first place so in this, I agree quality over quantity. But hey it’s part of a bigger picture to me and not all selfish, hoarding of unnecessary items. Yes, I want quality and stuff that works and it takes some time to discover all that. But I want to be able to share with others ideas, suggestions and real feedback on the good and bad of it all. So somewhere there’s a true purpose for all this and I hope to contribute more to my beauty section. I’m not ashamed that I want physical beauty nor do I see it perpetrated by philogyny. 

I’ve only worn false lashes once for Halloween. I don’t do fake nails. I do, however color my hair, but I like my original color, too. I actually got a pair of false lashes in my Allure subscription box that I’m going to try out and hope that they’re reusable as my lashes have gotten noticeable less full as I’ve aged. 😦 But for fun and to tell others – share with my fellow women out there!

But makeup and skincare and hair styling to me is just fun and artistic! In the Spanish language it translates to like a mask. So some may use it as an insecurity thing, to cover flaws or make a less than perfectly sized nose (like me) look amazingly smaller. But that is not my approach. I actually feel the most beautiful without makeup. But I think that is because my application is all wrong. There’s nothing wrong with putting on some mascara! So I’m practicing and hoping to teach in the process so others can learn how beautiful they are by just taking care of themselves, too. I’ve learned so much from others that I want to be part of that artistic community that can pull off falsies as real as can be and I know I’m doing it for my pleasure. Thank you to the scholars that say clutter is anxiety provoking only to women and men, meh, it doesn’t affect them! Well I’m here to tell you it’s really not that bad. Not every room has to feel like it’s been untouched and sterile. A home is to be lived in so let your real self live!

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