7 Times You’re Actually Just Hoarding When You’re Trying to Organize

published Mar 22, 2018
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(Image credit: Minette Hand)

We’ve all been there. It’s almost springtime and after a long winter spent indoors, you’re ready to get your home nice and clutter-free for the warm weather season.

Unfortunately, sometimes instead of successfully clearing out the clutter in our homes, we simply wind up organizing stuff we shouldn’t keep in the first place. While catchall storages bins and closet organizers might seem space-savvy, they often end up helping us hoard things we should be getting rid of.

Don’t believe us? Read ahead for seven times your attempts at being more organized might actually be hoarding.

1. When you stockpile your old paperwork in a catchall file

Sure, your easy filing system has allowed you to free your desk of clutter, but at what cost to your overall organization? While it might seem like filing away obsolete paperwork is helping you get organized, in reality, all it’s doing is giving you a new hidden place to pile it. Instead, thoughtfully file anything you need to keep in specific well-labeled places, and for everything else, be generous with the paper shredder.

2. When you stash chargers and cords in a decorative basket

We all have one: a media bin, junk drawer, or decorative basket that’s filled with cable cords and old chargers. We hang on to them because we assume we will eventually need them, but the truth is we might not even know (or still have) the electronics they belong to. So instead of nicely piling all of your stray cords together, make a point of figuring out what they’re for and then dispose of any you haven’t needed for over a year.

3. When you buy decorative boxes (to stash stuff you don’t use anymore)

There’s no shortage of cute storage boxes on the market, making it all the more easy to stylishly conceal all of your old crap. So before you waste your money on yet another adorable decorative bin, do yourself a favor and decide if the stuff you’re stashing is actually worth hanging onto.

4. When you thoughtfully stash crummy kitchenwares

Look, we love holding onto plastic containers and scratched up pots and pans as much as the next person—you’ll never know when you need one, right? However your nicely stacked, but barely useable—and potentially dangerous—old kitchenwares are really just taking up valuable storage space in your kitchen. So as a rule of thumb, if it’s plastic or scratched and older than six months, it’s time say vamoose.

(Image credit: Carina Romano)

5. When you buy closet organizers (just to keep your old clothes)

We know how much you loved that plaid skirt you used to wear all the time two summers ago, but if you have to buy a magic hanger to make room for it in your closet, it’s probably time to let it go. Instead of purchasing pricey products to make you closet look more organized, use this time to be real with yourself about whether or not you’re really ever going to wear some of the stuff in your wardrobe again. If you haven’t touched it once in the past year, you’ve got some donating to do.

6. When you buy garment and shoe racks (to store stuff you no longer wear)

Kind of like closet organizers, shoe and garment racks can seem space-efficient when in reality they’re just holding you back from being better organized. So instead of finding (and paying for) stylish ways to display your growing shoe, purse, coat, or whatever collection, do some internal inventory and decide what items are actually worth the square footage.

7. When you style your obsolete media

Okay we know this one will be controversial, but when it comes to getting organized at home, you aren’t doing yourself any favors by color-coding your DVDS. While a well-styled compact disc or DVD collection might look amazing in terms of décor, your time would be much better spend downloading your favorite music and movies on your smartphone or computer, so you can free up your bookcase for storage.