Recycling – A Cure for Hoarding?


Well, no, probably not. But it may just help. In one not-scientific study conducted by a small group of not-scientists (namely, my family), results have shown that it can decrease the inclination to be a packrat.

Now, we certainly aren’t a family of hoarders like you see on television, but my grandmother definitely was and some of her tendencies have been passed down, whether we wanted them or not. Some of us got more of them than others, but I’m not naming names. What I will say is that recycling has helped curb those leanings toward not getting rid of things.

The number one reason given for not throwing things away has always been “this could be used for something later” or 1,000 different variations on that theme. The idea being that, if it was thrown away when it might be useful, it was being wasted (even though stacking it in the closet isn’t exactly making use of it, but I digress). That’s not necessarily a bad way to be (and is certainly understandable in someone like Gran who experienced the Great Depression in her formative years), but it can make life difficult, to say the least.

The reason that recycling helps contain this not-wasting bent, or at least channel it more positively, is that gives a third alternative. In other words, you don’t have to use it yourself or throw it away. You can send it to the recycling center, knowing that it will be used and not discarded. It isn’t being tossed out, but it also isn’t there taking up space in your house.

So if you have a packrat in your family, see if you can get them to hoard for the recycling center instead of the attic. I can’t guarantee it will work at all, or at least not 100%, but you might be surprised at the progress that comes.

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One Response to “Recycling – A Cure for Hoarding?”

  1. Actually in my experience the potential for recycling has increased my husband’s hoard!

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