Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I Might Be a Hoarder

I blame it on my mother.

(Sorry, Mom!)

My mother almost never threw anything away. Socks with holes were mended. Broken dishes were glued. Ripped books were taped. Bits of wire, ribbon ends, random buttons, wood scraps, and countless other things were all saved. 

Waste not, want not.

My mother was raised to be extremely frugal, to save, reuse, and repurpose as much as possible. This is wonderful in so many ways. But it also made it so that growing up, we had a ridiculous amount of stuff, because nothing was disposed of.

In preparing for our move, I may have not had to confront these same tendencies in myself.

Hubster and I spent the weekend packing up things in our basement. We sorted things into three categories.

There was the "definitely keeping" category, containing items that we know we will use again and are willing to pay to have moved across the country.

There was the "yard sale/donate" category, full of items that were perfectly good, but we didn't need anymore.

Last, there was the "trash" category, which should have been obvious.

Putting things in the keep pile was easy for me. Yes, I need my full frame back packing gear! Yes, I need to keep these winter boots! Yes, I need to keep all these books!

When it came time to put things in the other piles, it was a little bit harder...Fine! It was really hard.  And also embarrassing.

I realized that I hoard boxes. Piles and piles of boxes. Old shoe boxes, empty Amazon boxes, small little gift boxes. You never know when you'll need a box to ship something cross country or to wrap a Christmas present in.

All the boxes that couldn't be used to pack things into for the move went in the trash pile (actually, the recycle pile, because that's the right thing to do.)

I realize that I hoard glass bottles. Several boxes of empty glass bottles and jars. Old jam jars, sauce jars, pickle jars, all thoroughly washed and labels removed with their lids attached. I blame Pinterest for making me thing I was going to upcycle all these jars into darling storage solutions for Q-tips and  and crayons. 

All the jars also went to recycling.

Apparently, I also hoard bags. Several boxes of bags. The boys' old school back packs, work bags with hospital logos on them, diaper bags. I have no justification for this one. I can't think of a single reason I thought we might eventually need 30 plus old bags.

Most were still just fine and were cleaned in preparation for a yard sale. The others with broken zipper and ripped straps and shredded pockets were tossed.

Each time we found a box of more items that I had been hoarding away, I became more and more embarrassed. It was painful, sorting through all those things, trying to go back through the justifications I had to store them in the first place.

It was also very cathartic. Seeing our basement empty, letting go of so much stuff that we didn't need (or even want), was extremely rewarding. Almost freeing in a way.

My goal is that when we move into our next home, the only things we bring into the house are things we actually use. I don't need things sitting away in storage for the possibility of using them someday.

I might still be a hoarder, but I'm going to try to be a hoarder of good memories and clean rooms, instead of boxes and jars and bags.


  1. We just moved and I somehow find the opportunity to throw things away very cathartic. Is that weird? I enjoy getting rid of clutter! When I find something I can't part with because it's something from my childhood, I get frustrated because I have no idea where to put it. Enjoy packing. I'm glad that part is over...but dealing with unpacking and all the little things we have to deal with is wearing me out.

  2. I am THE WORST at this. I think it's because I've lost so many of my things from childhood during various moves and other dramatic events that now I just cling to everything. It's really bad. I hate that about myself. I'm like you. I want to hoard good memories and cleanliness.

  3. Haha, this is so funny because I literally just opened a box stuffed with empty boxes.... YOU ARE NOT ALONE in this! But I like the hoarding good memories idea...Go for it!