Probably I have watched every episode of Hoarders or Hoarding: Buried Alive or any other variation thereof while knitting/crocheting; I can’t sit and knit without something to occupy my brain and left to itself my brain can run amok. There’s something satisfying about seeing people come to some difficult realizations about their lives and making positive changes. Not all the stories have happy endings and there’s no way that a few days with a psychologist, organizer and cleaning team can “fix” a hoarder. But anyway, along with other documentaries, it’s something I like to watch.
The other benefit of watching a show about hoarders is how it makes you rethink your own possessions and reasons for holding on to them. Now, I don’t have sentimental attachments to empty yogurt containers, but I find it difficult to get rid of certain things. There is a reasonable amount of storage of clothing for hand-me-down purposes that must take place in a family with many children but even that good reason can develop into frank hoarding. Holding onto a piece of clothing because I like the pattern of the fabric is not good if there’s no one who will be able to wear it. There are certain heirloom baby clothes that have been passed down that I continue to save and will keep for grandchildren. Other than that, I really have to be strict with myself about keeping things.
“Just in case” is a common argument heard on hoarding shows. “I need to keep this just in case the other one (or ten) breaks,” or “I need to keep this in case I don’t have enough money down the road to purchase something this nice.” This is a not-too-transparent version of “storing up treasures on earth”. When we keep every little thing because we “might need it someday” we are both displaying a lack of faith that God will provide for our needs and a selfishness in refusing to allow the item(s) to bless someone else.
So let it go. Look at your excess and ask yourself if you need it right now or in the immediate foreseeable future. Ask yourself if you have a definitive (and practical) plan for it. If not, consider letting it go. Let it bless someone else. If years down the road you are in need then trust that God will provide for you. Right now, in letting something go you may be the hand of God providing for someone else in need.