My hoarding habit needs to get sorted

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STEVE CANAVAN: The case of the 'kitchen' door is open and shut

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I never imagined that throwing away something that no longer has use to me or the family would prove so difficult and emotional.

The definition of a hoarder is someone who has an inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that are now deemed useless or without value.

We’ve all seen those TV shows that venture into the house of these so-called hoarders.

Once the camera crew has got through the door and climbed over the hundreds of coat hangers and a shopping trolley, they find three ovens in the kitchen and the dining room has 19 chairs, stacked up high until one of them is making a dent in the ceiling.

Of course, that’s the extreme and I’ve never thought of myself as one of those people.

Once something isn’t needed, it goes in the bin.

Or even better, it’s sold so I can buy something else that I’ll need or enjoy. Then one day this new item will not be needed and the cycle continues.

But since becoming a dad in 2009, and again in 2011, I fear I am starting to change.

I don’t want to admit it...but I’m starting to hoard.

You wont find trolleys in my house and I certainly don’t have 19 chairs stacked up making dents in my ceiling.

What we do have though are car seats, toys and even dummies that are no longer needed.

My girls have grown out of these things but the problem is I can’t bring myself to part with them.

It’s like there’s a large piece of emotional string attaching me to these now useless items and I don’t want to cut that string.

I blame the memories. I remember carrying my daughter Caitlin out of the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham when she was just one day old.

It was the first time she had seen sunlight and smelt fresh air and she looked so cute and tiny in her car seat on her first ever journey home.

It’s the same with the girls’ dummies.

They have grown out of them and they are no longer needed. But I remember when the dummy fell out of Alyssa’s mouth and she reached over her bouncer and picked it up for the first time, popped it back in her mouth and looked at me with a satisfying ‘I did it’ look.

Since Christmas Day and visits from friends and family bearing gifts in very large boxes, our living room has been taken over by toys (I fear for the ceiling), so it’s time for a clear out.

Each toy has a memory but I need to man up.

With two adults, two children and a dog we really need the room.

I suppose this is what the loft was made for.

Up that ladder I go.