Disposophobia – fear of throwing things away

by | Jan 12, 2024 | Latest Post | 0 comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I must have this condition because I find it almost impossible to throw things away. Today I assembled all my clothes in the living room. Apart from underwear and socks I have many vests including thermal vests, about 15 serviceable shirts, 15 T-shirts, 6 jerseys and numerous tops for going out in various weather conditions plus various trousers for summer and winter use, plus casual trousers for use around the house. In practice I rotate a few of them so the vast majority do not get the outing that they deserve.

With the aid of Francoise I sorted things into meaningful piles, threw away about 10% and submitted others to the mercies of the washing machine. I decided to hang up jerseys and trousers and make room to avoid putting them in piles in places where they should not be. I have put all my summer gear in a plastic container and taken it up to the loft. That is a start anyway.

I would find it easier if I felt that good homes could be found for be rather unistinguished pile of clothes but I doubt if charity shops would even look at it. If a homeless person turned up at my door I would be very happy to give it directly to them. I don’t like the idea of wasting something even though it only cost a few pounds in the first place. The problem is that clothes and indeed possessions take up room.

Maybe the answer is to have a false waste receptacle as a halfway stage. Put all the stuff in you don’t really need, see how you get on for a few months, and then finally throw them away if you did not use them. I have clothes that are 30 years old and still have a lot of life in them. I suppose a good analogy is that if I have read an email and do not need it anymore I put it into the trash but then I only delete the trash from time to time.

I won’t begin to tell you about the amount of electronic connectors I have, wires that link one piece of apparatus to another, electric plugs of all sorts, goodness knows how many earplugs, speakers that have seen better days, non digital projectors, numerous pairs of shoes, left over piles from published books… PC screens, bits of computers, and so the list goes on.

I also have piles of DVDs and CDs going back don’t ask me how long but I seldom find the time to play them.

I also have about a thousand books many of whom have a reasonable value. It is doubtful whether I will read most of them but they are part of me, I grew up with them, I like the smell and touch of books. Perhaps I could have a book fair in my front garden and invite people to give what they feel is right for the various books. I have about 100 art books most of which are difficult to obtain and have historical value. I am not going to sit down and advertise them individually on Amazon. The thought of running to the post office every day fills me with horror though there are cheaper alternatives these days.

I don’t think there will be much local interest but I could invite people from Bath or Bristol, take an ad in the local paper, to tempt people to drive a few miles so that I can find good homes.

I guess if my house burnt down – perish the thought-  I would have to start again but it could be quite a useful purgative for items that I really do not need. My most valuable asset is the information stored in my computer so I make sure key files are backed up.

So by writing this down I haven’t made the problem any easier I must just prepare myself at some future time to plunge in, close my eyes, and drive to the recycle. I could start off by removing the items that I have not used for the last five years then work down to two years.

I know I have to do it, I will do it, but I hate even the thought of it.


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