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Hoarding challenges fill up Nairobi space

By Winnie Onyando September 13th, 2023 2 min read

Nairobi city’s allure has attracted many Kenyan residents and foreigners alike.

With a continuous influx of migrants choosing to settle in the city every year, the population is expected to keep rising.

Many Nairobians, particularly those in the middle and lower-middle classes, often opt for more affordable apartments or shacks based on their location preferences.

Unfortunately, this has left them with limited or virtually no operating space.

While the more affluent individuals have the privilege of selecting spacious and aesthetically pleasing living spaces, the middle and lower classes do not enjoy such luxuries.

The practice of hoarding possessions has only exacerbated this issue.

Numerous residents find themselves living in cramped quarters, with their homes filled to the brim.

Locating something under the bed can be a nightmare, and many prefer not even to contemplate it.

Many people, particularly Women are notorious for holding onto items they don’t need and may never use.

This attitude of hoping that these items will be useful in the future only adds to the discomfort of those whose homes are nearly bursting with seldom-used possessions.

Even years after their children have grown up, some women still retain baby items, hoping to give them away someday, despite attending baby showers for friends and their friend’s children.

Others cling to items because they consider them special gifts from someone, though the practicality of keeping items they will never use is questionable.

It’s common to see children’s bicycles on many balconies, particularly in multi-story apartments.

These bicycles remain unused for years while their owners have outgrown them and will never use them again.

The continual advancement of technology renders many stored items obsolete, yet some still prefer to keep them at the expense of space.

In Nairobi, many houses are seldom thoroughly cleaned because they are too cramped.

Women, in particular, are known for keeping clothes that no longer fit and will likely never fit again.

Even if they were to lose weight, these clothes would no longer be in style or fashion, defeating the purpose of retaining such outdated items.

Even when some individuals decide to declutter, they end up hoarding more items, perpetuating the cycle of fully packed houses with no room for children to play.

This often forces many children to turn to cartoons for entertainment, as playing poses the risk of injuring themselves on hoarded items.

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