Make a Haven not a Hoarder

When I first moved to the city, I worked as a dog walker. Trust me whatever you are imagining right now, multiply it by ten and it was that outrageous! One of the clients lived in the famed Dakota building (if you haven’t heard of it, John Lennon use to live there, and his wife still does.) million dollars, many multiple levels, it is a New Yorkers dream. Never mind the history!

Then I walked in. And discovered this woman was a hoarder. She had two dogs, one, a former show dog, who was a gigantic bull mastiff, the other a teeny tiny terrier. I think I walked the terrier maybe four times. I could never find him due to all the clutter and the dogs penchalance for hiding.

Living in a two hundred square foot studio. I have no room to be a hoarder. I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I was! Though in all honesty I don’t know how this woman slept.

Even if I was, my obsessive compulsive Type A self, wouldn’t allow it. It isn’t in my DNA.

From the time I was a young tyke, I loved going on cleaning binges, throwing things out, getting rid of toys I didn’t use. I would even voluntarily clean my room. My mother lucked out in the kid department. Of course my siblings made up for that in droves with being pack rats.

I have always lived by the adage of, “If you buy something you, throw something else out.”   the circle of consumer life.

I admit part if it is my OCD. I crave cleanliness and organization like the Kardashians crave publicity. I function better, especially since I live in such a tiny space. Thank you New York. In truth I think I almost prefer it, I don’t know what I would do if I had a bigger space.

When you live in a shoebox, everything has a place. It is important, or my humble abode would look like Filene’s basement. Oh I miss that store.

Cleanliness and organization is next to godliness and I live that way. Of course there are days where I drop stuff, and don’t pick it up, if I am doing a drive by my apartment. Then there are the days I am going to an event where I throw clothes everywhere and my apartment looks like a tornado. But it never lasts. I always put them away (usually when I come back at two and the morning and have to decompress) you don’t have to be OCD about it (though I tend to be, don’t be like me) but having a routine and a place for everything is important.

Bins, hooks, trays are all a girls best friend. Especially if they look cool. The rubbermaid bins from Walmart? Ugly. But kitschy boxes from Pottery Barn? Drool worthy! I even have a wicker chest I use as a coffee table. No one would know that inside stores all my seasonal clothes. functional, creative, and yes even a bit sneaky.

I am also reminded of a commencement speech I heard a couple years ago, where a General told the graduates to make their beds. I agree. Especially since, if you are like I am, my bed doubles as the couch. It starts the day off right, and gives your apartment that air of tidiness.

As a fashionista, my closet could very well explode any second. But I live by another old adage, of “If you haven’t worn it in a year, throw it out.” I live by that religiously. And what is more in todays cyber tech world, their are great online stores that help you sell what you don’t want, and get some bang for your buck.

One of my favorites is ThredUp. ThredUp is a super easy company that ships you the bag. You then fill and send it back with lightly used clothes (usually only a couple years old to keep up with the trends). They will through it and can either send you what they don’t take, back to you, or donate it for charity.

I also use Ebay for handbags, coats, jewelry, and more random items. It is more time consuming because you have to take pictures and post the listings yourself. But that makes it more profitable because you get rid of the middle man.

With warmer weather just around the corner and spring cleaning in full effect, there is the traditional Tag sale. Before the internet age of Poshmark and Craigslist it was what people did, gather the junk that is another person’s treasure, and sell it in their yards. Regardless of whether you go by, tag sale, yard sale, rummage sale, pretty much any name with sale at the end it is a quick way to get rid of the old to make time for the new.

What are some of your favorite sites to sell your old wares to make room for new?

Happy cleaning out!


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