I am a recovering hoarder who still has a tendency to cheer herself up with Stuff. What are some good presents or treats that won't lead to me increasing the level of
in my life? And how do you deal with decluttering when things feel pointless?
Sometimes I get depressed. I feel sick of the clothes I own and think a new dress will make me more fabulous. Or I get the idea for a new project and want to throw myself into it (I'm a cross-stitcher/sewer/beginning crocheter, all of which require supplies). Or I feel like a little joy snack that will cheer me up at the end of a bad week.
However, what this leads to is having less money and more Stuff. Piles of it. I'm currently house-sharing so I have to fit my life into one room (not easy by the time you get to your late 20s) and my partner says that the sheer chaos he finds when he visits makes him worry that we'll ever be able to live together harmoniously and without it being a source of stress. (My partner has helped me a lot in the past with this situation, from hiring a storage locker to get things out of my home to sitting down and going through things with me.) I'm turning 30 this year and I don't want to keep living like a teenager, even if the house-sharing situation will continue until we get our own place (I live in a very expensive city, and moving in together is A Plan, so this seems the sensible way to go about things for now.) I've been attending therapy (I have bipolar disorder) and that and reading this article about people waiting to be thin
has made me think that I need to start living the way I want to now instead of waiting to have more space - to respect the space I have and make it something that makes me happy, rather than expecting that moving in with my partner will magically lead to me being tidy and happy. But there seems to be cognitive dissonance between this idea and the reality of coming home to a messy, chaotic living space.
I'm trying the usual clutter-reducing tactics: paring things down, using things up, finishing off projects/using what I have, but it's taking time and when I feel very low I don't have the motivation or even see the point of picking up the dirty washing off the floor. And it's hard sometimes to work out what I do and don't need, and deal with the guilt getting rid of stuff brings up - all things that will be familiar to those who have been in a similar situation. That's when I'm more likely to think that a shiny new thing will cheer me up. It's particularly easy to shop online if I feel this way at work, which doesn't help. And then the things arrive and I start wondering where they'll go and thinking about the money spent and it becomes a thing of guilt rather than fun. I'd like getting new things to be fun again.
So what do you do to cheer yourself up that doesn't involve accumulating more - more possessions, more projects, more to store and care for? Food is out - I'm trying to eat more healthily as snacking seems to be part of the same problem.