1 Rule to Avert Your Very Own Hoarding Horror Story

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WGE Founder Jim Ireland spent over 15 years cleaning New York City apartments as a supplement to his career as a stage and screen actor. Having seen inside both the glitziest and grimiest abodes Manhattan has to offer, we asked Jim to share some of his cleaning horror stories.

This one in particular stood out.

I once arrived to clean an apartment in Midtown with another cleaner. The woman met us out in the hall to warn us that her place was “very messy”. She stood in the hallway with her door ajar as if she was hiding her home from us. When she invited us in, she squeezed through the narrow door opening, as did we, with the stunning revelation that she was not hiding her place but had hoarded so much stuff that she could barely open her front door. We literally stepped up into her apartment and were walking so high off of the floor on her “stuff” that we had to duck to get through the interior doorways. In the bedroom there was no sight of a bed, only the gradual rise and fall of a magazine mound.

Don’t live in a landfill! (Well unless you’re into that sort of thing – you know what they say about one man’s trash…)

While we’ve shared with you Jim’s 7 Second Rule for preventing messes from accumulating in the first place. However that ship has long sailed if you find yourself in a situation such as the one Jim found our friendly neighborhood hoarder in. Even if it’s not that bad, recognizing that the clutter is reaching an unacceptable level is the first step to taking action. What do you do if the problem is HOW DO I GET RID OF ALL THIS STUFF? There’s a reason (psychological, sentimental, laziness) you held onto these things in the first place, so Jim has a helpful rule to cut through the uncertainty, set down some boundaries, and make it easy to get down to getting rid of all this junk.

The 2 Year Rule: If you haven’t worn or used something this season or last season, give it to someone who will. And if you’re holding onto it because you’re thrifty, give it to a not-for-profit organization, get a receipt for it and deduct it from your taxes.

If you can’t think of someone who would make use of these things, or if they aren’t suitable for anyone else – then there’s only one appropriate action: disposal (don’t forget to recycle if that’s appropriate.) There you go – if you’re holding onto something for the mere sake that it might come in handy some day at the expense of comfort in your present living space, then either you’re delusional or you need a storage unit. Follow this rule (you don’t have to blindly terrorize yourself, a FEW exceptions are allowed) and you will find yourself de-cluttering your space, your mind, and gaining square footage you totally forgot about!

We hope the knowledge on this blog helps you treat your home with care. However, sometimes it’s great to have help – otherwise we wouldn’t be in business. Book service online today or call us at 212-684-4460 to schedule an appointment with New York City’s top tier housekeepers.