Under my bed, you will find two long boxes full of stuff. Nothing particularly remarkable, just a whole bunch of stuff. Half-filled notebooks from elementary school, maybe a few books, a couple certificates of achievement, art projects that I have no recollection of making... that's the gist of it. It was worse a few years ago. I had an entire dresser with drawers full of board games and those little beads you can make bracelets out of. Each corner of the dresser, you would find random objects and photo frames that were strategically placed in an attempt to make it look less cluttered.
I have always been attached to objects that don't really have a significant meaning in my life. Sometimes they do, like my mother's minivan which we've had pretty much since I was born- that car is a little battered, but I would never want to let it go. Other things I keep because I have a false sense that something will be useful at some point and I'll regret not having it later on. But the vast majority of the things I keep are because they cue happy memories for me, and I think that's why most people keep objects. We don't look at them often, but when we do, it makes us smile.
In my opinion, hoarding isn't really that bad. Lots of scientists seem to think that hoarding is a big issue for OCD people and it causes anxiety or whatnot. Sure, if there's no place in you're room to even stand, then there's a problem. And their claims are probably backed by rigid scientific facts, but whatever. To me, hoarding really just represents the connections to the past and to people you were once very close with. When you reminisce about those people, you reminisce about yourself and who you were then, because, as humans, we are always changing.
In my old school, everyone there was obsessed with reflection. Not like staring in the mirror or anything, but analyzing and thinking deeply about everything you do. It got pretty annoying after a while, but I can still understand why it's important. That's what hoarding does for me- I pick up an object and it takes me back to a time when I was younger and I had a different personality. I remember how I've grown and become a better person, but I also look back on what I did better then.
That's why my boxes of "stuff" are so important to me. All these emotional memories are powerful and guide us through the present and prepare us for the future. Constantly remembering things from your past and not being able to forget is definitely not a quality I would want to have- that can prevent someone from achieving goals- but every now and then, a friendly reminder of when you were younger can help propel you forward.
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