Does fear make you keep stuff? How I stopped myself hoarding.

Darren Hughes
6 min readFeb 25, 2022

I, like many, have too much stuff.

I also have stuff most people wouldn’t keep. I have stuff specifically for the ‘just in case I need a bit of rubber tube’ situations. I am a maker builder fixer type guy, but there is a point where stuff is actually rubbish and I should throw it away.

Also, I have a tendency to collect certain things. I have a lot of backpacks and daypacks and camera bags and … lots of bags. (Probably because I lose stuff often, and a bag lets me make a kit, and I don’t lose stuff if it has a place in a kit).

I know why I am like this. My family had no money so we always fixed things, often because went into debt to get them in the first place or if there was a bargain or something was being thrown away, we’d put up our hand to take it.

One of the many things I let go of.

Several times in my life I’ve had to move from where I was to nowhere. To gypsy mode. To stuff in storage while I figured out my life.

Recently this happened (is happening) again, and once more I am confronted by stuff.

I moved to where I am now with a ute (small flat bed vehicles in Australia. Called a ute. Probably short for utility, but no-one says that) that had all my stuff packed into twenty one 100 litre black plastic tubs with yellow lids (which I kept, because see above).

I am now moving again, this time to a small bus, (which is theoretically a campervan, but only to the extent that while in it, the rain doesn’t hit me).

So now it is critical that I let go of stuff, and has always been very difficult for me. How do I decide to throw it vs keep it, then how do I get motivation on myself emotionally to go through with it?

First up, I have a rule called ‘best in class and a spare’. I get to keep the best item for a task, and a spare one. Best raincoat, plus a spare. Best frypan, plus a spare. Etcetera.

What is left over after this is a set of items I would normally keep but now have to get rid of.

This is what has been working for me. It is all about emotional leverage.

A vs B

‘A’ is the set of reasons I would keep something.

Darren Hughes

Life has so many questions. So many issues. So much potential. I occasionally have thoughts that might help you. I hope I can. Peace Out humans.