Yes, there is treasure among the clutter and hoard


A recent survey by Market Research Company ICM has revealed that we are indeed, a Nation of hoarders but could there be treasure among your hoard?
The over 65 year olds are reported as being the most guilty with ‘one in ten overwhelmed by the number of items in their home and one in 20 admitting they have tripped over clutter’.

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This I know to be true as I have first hand experience of living with a house full of clutter. My family were  hoarders with both my parents and my grandma being guilty of filling every room, drawer and cupboard crammed full of stuff. My dad believed that nothing should be thrown away either because it could be worth money or might come in useful one day. In some rare cases this was true but on the whole our family home was filled to the brim with trash. In fact, it became so bad that as a child I was unable to invite friends over, and most rooms you couldn’t get in the door. As I grew older and Dad reached his 60s it got to the point that his obsession with hoarding was at the extreme which worried all of us as a family. I now realize it was an illness as my dad had reached a point where he just ignored the chaos around him and could not mentally deal with his hoarding. This eventually had to be resolved and the house was in such poor state that it was sold, filled to brim with stuff in order for us to help dad move on and start afresh. Even when we moved him into a new flat, thinking that a smaller space would put a halt to his hoarding the same cycle began again as he became addicted to buying from the internet and filling up yet another room with useless items.  sh3

My dad was not unique in accumulating clutter and in my recent Television role as an antiques expert on ITV’s Storage Hoarders I have visited many homes that too suffer from the weight of stuff.  Many hoard because items hold sentimental value, whilst others need that feeling of ownership but whatever the reason it all boils down to the same thing – the hoarding takes over until it reaches a point where something has to be done.

Most items are rubbish and just need discarding, however, many of the people I filmed with actually had some real treasures hidden among the trash. I unearthed  items such as a silver Mappin and Webb silver salver which when sold made £660 at auction, a Barograph made £350 and set of three 1920s ladies card cases which sold for a staggering £200 as well as other wonderful treasures including three Victorian mourning brooches, an oboe and a gentleman’s top hat.  sh2

You never know what could be buried within a mound of clutter so its important to clear it methodically using your instinct with items that could be saleable.  Cashing in is simple as you can take items to auction or ask a valuer like myself to take a look, list items online or if you can brave the elements set up a carboot stall. If its not about the cash and simply concerned with clearing out then donate the proceeds or the items  to charity who can benefit.

I promise you if you clear your clutter you will clear you mind with the potential of earning a few pounds being the added incentive.

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