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Starla

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Are you a minimalist or a hoarder?

I was a messy slob teenager, my turning point was renting a place at 17 with a family whose house was a pit, but it didn't bother me. Until, walking downstairs one morning (past clothes, shoes, boxes, car parts) I got a bit of toast and something unidentifiable stuck to my foot (I'd had worse, they had a dog) and began my journey as re-born minimalist tidy-head.

Less Stuff - less stress, less to tidy/clean, more time, more money, less pressure to keep up with the Joneses.

Hoarded Stuff - stressful, disorganised (or maybe it isn't to hoarders?)

I see stuff in 3 categories;

* Useful - ie. laptop, phone, washing machine, lawnmower, clothes, car, hobby equipment etc = they're functional

* Sentimental - i.e photo's, music, films, books, cards, letters (that's all scaled/digitalised)

* Pointless - i.e ornaments (crystal dragons/wizards), anything you haven't looked at or used in years, tins of old paint, multiples of the same items, etc, etc...

Does stuff/mess/hoarding do your head in or could you not care less?

This is similar to an ex's kitchen, really top person, but on sight of it started to feel weak...

Mess.jpg

post-18536-0-27502900-1366376648_thumb.jpg

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I have a few books.

And I have a lot of office paperwork for allotment and work.

And I used to be tidier.

I'm much more of a hoarder which I think is because I used to live with a minimalist.

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I agree with your categories but my definition of useful includes anything that it may be possible to reuse, re-purpose or restore. I love the minimalist look but I doubt I will ever be able to afford a house big enough to achieve it.

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Guest eight

Are you a minimalist or a hoarder?

The latter fighting hard to become the former.

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Mostly a hoarder. I hate getting rid of stuff that could still be of use, just seems to wasteful. I'm not that keen on the aesthetics of minimalism either.

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This is similar to an ex's kitchen, really top person, but on sight of it started to feel weak...

I always considered myself a hoarder but compared to that kitchen in your photo I'm definitely a minimalist... ;)

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I am a minimalist, I would even say an extreme minimalist.

Everything I own must have some form of purpose. It also must be of good quality, aesthetically pleasing, be cheap to run/maintain and hold its value.

I cannot stand ornaments. I can't stand mess, can't stand junk.

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Quasi-hoarder.

The wife is much worse than me. She insists on keeping each year's National Trust and English Heritage handbooks and just about every glass jar we ever use. She also likes to pick up the free mags from supermarkets, doesnt read them, fights tooth and nail when I try and get rid of them.

I throw them out when she isnt looking.

Big bust up a few weeks back when she spotted last year's NT/EH books in the recycling (I thought I'd hidden them underneath loads of tetrapaks) :unsure:

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I'm a hoarder i'm afraid. Wouldn't mind if I had the space or outside space for sheds (or warehouses!).

It's all relative. If you're a hoarder in a studio flat there's only so far you can go. If you're a hoarder and live in an aircraft hanger, that's a whole new level.

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I'm married - so the question is moot.

I don't see anything wrong with possessions so long as you possess them rather than the other way around. "Have nothing in your house that is neither useful nor beautiful" is a good mantra - and leaves plenty of scope for ownership of things.

But even if something meets the beautiful and/or useful criteria, there are possessions that I object to. Those that require management, money or maintenance. I dislike cars for this reason and am very wary of boats for the same reason. House ownership maybe falls into this category - certainly owning too big a house does.

Similarly, I dislike things being in the house that have no home; "a place for every thing and every thing in its place" is my second mantra.

However, as I said, I'm married and have children. So both mantras are more respected in the breach than the observance.

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It's all relative. If you're a hoarder in a studio flat there's only so far you can go. If you're a hoarder and live in an aircraft hanger, that's a whole new level.

I'm somewhere inbetween the two :rolleyes::)

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I have what I consider to be quite a lot of stuff, but it's really not much and nothing compared to some. Crucially I have no qualms of getting rid of items which are not in use or need replaced/upgraded. A bit like chris25 above to a degree, I only buy items which I have a clear desire for, which are of very good quality, preferably second hand, and will hold their value well for resale. Asthetics don't matter much to me though. The turnover of my stuff is pretty slow since I am pretty good at only buying stuff I know will be useful and used.

I tend to take the urge for a clearout now and again, and although I wen't through my stuff thoroughly when I moved house only a few months ago I can feel it building within me now. Not because I've bought loads of extra stuff since, but just adapting to the new environment. I'm no longer using my car much, and I am pretty much decided on getting rid, even though the thought only occured yesterday. Quite a lot of clutter is car-related. Bottles of various fluids, cloths, tools, spare sets of wheels etc. Some of it will stay for my wife's car though. I can think of quite a few other things to follow it too- laptop and a couple of pieces of camera equipment which are not used anymore.

Do the minamalists enjoy the feeling of getting rid of stuff? Not the receiving of monies from selling it on, the process itself? I find it incredibly satisfying for some reason.

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I'm not a hoarder or a minimalist. Probably about average. A few hundred books, about the same of DVDs. Not that many clothes. Quite a few old gadgets I really should get rid of. Very little that I'm really attached to. Have regular clear outs at least once a year.

The missus, however, dear God. The attic has forty to fifty huge boxes of the missus' clothes, shoes and other stuff. Bedroom similarly full. Most cupboards in rest of house are full of her stuff too. I get cross examined when I want to take my own stuff to the charity shop (and usually, she grabs it) - so I do it while she sleeps nowadays (she is a late riser).

Oddly enough she never used to be like this. When I first met her she had very little stuff. It all started after a serious illness. I guess it's some kind of security blanket.

Thankfully, I have the man cave (actually two) for a degree of sanity. Constant battle to keep her stuff out of them though.

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Minimalist.

If something doesn't have a purpose it either gets sold or thrown away. I've moved a lot over the years, and that may continue. Travelling light is the easiest way.

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I don't see anything wrong with possessions so long as you possess them rather than the other way around. "Have nothing in your house that is neither useful nor beautiful" is a good mantra - and leaves plenty of scope for ownership of things.

Like that. If it's "neither useful nor beautiful".

Do the minamalists enjoy the feeling of getting rid of stuff? Not the receiving of monies from selling it on, the process itself? I find it incredibly satisfying for some reason.

Hugely satisfying too. I sometimes sell stuff on E-bay, but it can be more hassle than it's worth. I give stuff to charity shops, friends, instead. It's helpful having limited emotional attachment to physical items - I can say this having lost (not my fault, someone threw it away ironically) all the small items I collected from my Grans house after she died. I was gutted, but learnt to separate the memory of a person from an emotional attachment to a cup/plate/cutlery set. I'm guessing renters are much better at this, I've moved 8 times in the last 5 years and if I can't all fit in a transit van, somethings got to go.

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Hate possessions that aren't functional. Have 'ornaments' but they are all natural objects collected on expeditions. Have loads of pictures on walls but they are all photographs from trips. Only have one item I would be sorry to get rid of. Possessions possess you.

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I try to be a minimalist.

My problem is I think it is a waste to throw things away so I tend to hang on to stuff I will probably never use again.

I also have a problem with getting rid of stuff that I paid a lot for. As an example I have a flat screen monitor that I purchased in 1998, I think, it was a bargain at £500, when the usual retail price was more than double. I might get a tenner for it on e-bay. So I can't bring myself to throw it away, its outclassed now by higher resolution monitors so its not much in demand.

I also have a B&O television bought in 1995, cost a fortune, for the same reason I can't bring myself to get rid.

I now I shouldn't purchase stuff to replace functional stuff that still works, but often the emotional desire to buy a new gadget/toy gets too strong to resist.

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Like that. If it's "neither useful nor beautiful".

Hugely satisfying too. I sometimes sell stuff on E-bay, but it can be more hassle than it's worth. I give stuff to charity shops, friends, instead. It's helpful having limited emotional attachment to physical items - I can say this having lost (not my fault, someone threw it away ironically) all the small items I collected from my Grans house after she died. I was gutted, but learnt to separate the memory of a person from an emotional attachment to a cup/plate/cutlery set. I'm guessing renters are much better at this, I've moved 8 times in the last 5 years and if I can't all fit in a transit van, somethings got to go.

I think that's the key, not being too emotionally attached. If you can combine that with the discipline to avoid buying things you don't need, then you're prettwell set to avoid becoming a garage-filler. Agree about renting.

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I try not to hoard but for a non-materialist person I seem to end up with so much stuff. Some of this is because if I see a good deal on something, especially a bundle of stuff, I'll buy it and look to offload the bits I don't need. But of course that takes a little time so it hangs around.

Digital technology helps. Where preferable it's eBooks, mp3, laptop not big desktop system, digital modellers instead of big tube amps, etc.

One thing about renting is that you can't really be arsed to get really good storage and shelving as you might have to move (or ask permission to drill.a few holes) so your stuff is never quite optimally arranged, which makes stuff feel more obtrusive than it is.

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Like that. If it's "neither useful nor beautiful".

I've found the exact quote:

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful" - William Morris

He also said good stuff including

Simplicity of life, even the barest, is not a misery, but the very foundation of refinement: a sanded floor and whitewashed walls, and the green trees, and flowery meads, and living waters outside; or a grimy palace amid the smoke with a regiment of housemaids always working to smear the dirt together so that it may be unnoticed; which, think you, is the most refined, the most fit for a gentleman of those two dwellings?

and

Worthy work carries with it the hope of pleasure in rest, the hope of the pleasure in our using what it makes, and the hope of pleasure in our daily creative skill.

All other work but this is worthless; it is slaves' work — mere toiling to live, that we may live to toil.

He also invented the fantasy genre of fiction - predating CS Lewis and Tolkien. Apart from the whiff of early socialism, he was a very interesting bloke.

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I'm a hoarder- but not really because I can't bear to get rid of stuff, more that I have a pathalogical hatred of waste, and so I can't bear to throw away things that I think might still be useful to someone, even in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Realistically nobody is going to want the several early 2000s AMD Athlon computers I have in the attic, but until I've at least attempted to give them away- which I never do because I'm too disorganised to sign up to FreeCycle again- I hoard them. Same goes for all the old car parts etc.

As for my cameras and computer games- I still cling to the idea that I might at some stage have time and space to use them. The 35mm kit I should really just give up on- It's nice owning a Canon T90, for example, but my EOS 450D can take equally lovely photos, and I don't even have any decent FD lenses- I have many lovely EF lenses that work with the 450 and will work with any future EOS I can justify buying. I should just bung it on ebay with a 99p start. My Medium Format kit I reckon I'll just keep until they stop making 120- even if I never use it in the meantime.

As for my enormous collection of retro games consoles (and my Amiga 600)- I'm putting them on hold until I can buy my own house and set up a dedicated games room. It's now 20 years since my little brother got a Sega Megadrive for Christmas- and on the roughly once a year occasions that I fire up one of the three I own I still greatly enjoy a play through Streets Of Rage or Sonic The Hedgehog. If I enjoy it at much now, 20 years later aged 33, I see no reason why I won't enjoy it as much another 20 or 30 years down the line, as long as I can find a suitable display device to hook the console up to- which is why I'm also hoarding a number of otherwise useless CRTs :D .

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I have Mr Toad style fads/obsessions so the problem I have is dealing with the leftovers from the last fad which inevitably is much less interesting than the new fad. Single biggest hoarded thing would probably be a big tool collection which often carries over from one fad to the next in one way or another, so not too bad.

I think when I was a teenager I did have large hoarderish style book and music collections but I think that was just a sort of young person trying to demonstrate who you are/pretension thing. I would never do the same now and just view DVDs and books as awful clutter I want rid of as soon as I've watched or read them. As for keeping and storing elastic bands and empty jars that's just a whole realm of Mentalville I can't really relate to at all, similarly people that freeze dozens of little plastic tubs of chicken curry etc.

As far as wasting things goes once you've been to a landfill site a few times to invigilate entire shipping containers full of slightly defective product being smashed to pieces by a bulldozer it puts things in perspective.

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[...] once you've been to a landfill site a few times to invigilate entire shipping containers full of slightly defective product being smashed to pieces by a bulldozer it puts things in perspective.

You should take them home and keep them in the attic. Might come in useful some day.

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  • 244 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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