Obsessive Compulsive Hoarding

What do you hoard?

Apparently I hoard mustard and peanut butter. There are something like ten containers of mustard in my refrigerator, five of them that yellow kind that I use about once every six months. And, until the other day, I had four jars of peanut butter but Mouse took two of those off my hands. There’s a woman in San Francisco who apparently hoards just about everything under the sun and doesn’t mind talking about it on NPR and the web. She looks like someone I could be friends with…

Hearing about psychiatric disorders like this always makes me a little nervous because I do have a lot of junk and I seem to be going through a period where I just do not have the psychic energy to deal with it. I’m not as far gone as Melodie. If you visit The Landfill (aka my house), I can offer you a better place to sit than The Blue Toilet. And actually, I *clean* The Blue Toilet every day. I also do laundry and clean the areas of the kitchen where food preparation happens. *When* food preparation happens. That’s a whole ‘nother problem and a whole ‘nother blahg. Throughout the rest of the house, clutter reigns. The floors are in desperate need of vacuuming but there is stuff all around the edges of the rooms that I would have to *move*. Dusting? Same problem.

I used to be pretty compulsive about cleaning and dealing with clutter. When we bought The Landfill 22 years ago, there was a minimum of furniture and “stuff” in it and I used to have a regular cleaning schedule. Everything (almost ;-)) had a place and at least once a week, everything was *in* its place (almost ;-)). I vacuumed all the time, even though I had the scariest vacuum cleaner on earth. It was a hand-me-down from Bolette, who had also been afraid of it. It felt comfortable here when everything was clean and most of the clutter was put away or thrown out or whatever.

What happened? I do not know. The Landfill is just a tad small for four full-sized people and, even though none of us are anywhere near what you might call “big,” it was a challenge when the kids were teenagers. But we all like The Landfill and the neighborhood and the woods and I have never wanted to move. I thought that once the kids flew the coop — and they pretty much have (knock on wood) — that things would get easier. I’m not one of those mooms that immediately take over the kids’ bedrooms and clean everything out when they go to college. But I did think that without as many people in The Landfill I’d be able to deal with some of my stuff or the household stuff that has collected over the years. Sigh, maybe not.

I’ve been more or less living out of an old LL Bean duffle bag, a back pack or two, YAG bags, and various vee-hickles for a couple of years now. I never quite get completely packed or unpacked. I think the last time I actually spent *time* cleaning up The Landfill was when Lizard Breath was due to return from study abroad in Spain and I had (with her permission) been using her room. I cleaned that and gave the rest of the place a pretty good once-over. I have sketchy memories of cleaning before Christmas last year but it was probably more oriented to stuffing clutter into cubby-holes and giving the place a lick and a promise.

So, what’re y’all hoarding?

9 Responses to “Obsessive Compulsive Hoarding”

  1. Webmomster Says:

    Me, there’s only one category of stuff that I hoard: CLUTTER!

    I just never seem to be able to get a block of time to coincide with when I manage to gather the energy to concertedly deal with the CLUTTER.

    …and there is just SO much of it… O_o

  2. mouse Says:

    yarn.yarnyarnyarn??yarnyarnyarnyarn! yarn yarn yaaaarn YARN!!! ad nauseum. (that represents mouse’s continuous thought process)

  3. Valdemort Says:

    I used to be a bit of a packrat, but not really anymore. It was mostly a product of not being able to focus on things long enough to complete the cycle and get rid of things. I get claustrophobic easily nowadays when things pile up.

    My room at home is pretty bad. I need a couple of weeks in which I’m not worrying about school or jobs in which to just gut it. So much stuff can get tossed and/or given away. Old clothes and useless junk, mostly. I need to figure out which of it I *really* need and which of it I don’t. Most of it, really, could probably go. I’d just rather I do it so no one else has to deal with it, as we all have our own priorities,

    The trombone corner of the basement is bad too. I need to gut my room so I can move the trombones upstairs and Mom can have that space in the basement back.

    Surprisingly, my room at school is in really good shape. It’s a little *busy* but extremely manageable. I clean every Thursday (or Friday) after class and before band practice, and usually again Sundays after games because the hectic-ness of preparing for gameday usually results in my scattering things everywhere. Every couple of weeks, I take old newspapers down to recycling, clean out my desk drawers and backpack, and file away old exams/quizzes so I can study from them come finals week. There’s a stack of boxes for my various appliances in the corner, but they do a good job of staying out of trouble, so I let them stay. : )

  4. Pooh Says:

    Webmomster’s answer sums it up succinctly – I hoard clutter. Furniture that has been BAD in a previous life comes back as a horizontal surface in my house!!

    To be more specific – fabric and beads and a beginner’s yarn stash — this is stuff I love. Paperwork– UGH – not stuff I love, but important for doing taxes and FAFSA. Educational material – this includes a wide variety of stuff — but I try and put it away in the basement or in or near my portfolio. Teachers are almost all hoarders, I’ve discovered.

    Mark could give you a more biased view of clutter in our house, as he seems to be the only one who can readily pitch things. The clutter gene seems to be dominant in our household w/ Dan and Dave at least as attached to “stuff” as I am. We won’t even go into what’s in their bedroom!. Of course, I don’t know where I got it from, as neither Bubs nor Harry are hoarders.

  5. jane Says:

    I have maybe 15 boxes of ‘stuff’ in my back room that I haven’t opened in years. clearly I don’t need any/most of it, and MUST go thru that. now that the weather isn’t very nice for being outside for long stretches I’m pretty hopeful. it’s not like I’ve got anything else to do! no job yet. ;-(

    and speaking of not being unpacked – I still have my beach bag ready to go! just in case. just like I carry my passport with me in case I get an invite to go to Italy this afternoon. it’s really not a good idea to have my passport in my wallet – I need to remedy that today. right before I go into the back room with garbage bags. 😉

  6. Kate Says:

    I seem to be collecting Balsamic Vinegar. For a while it was lightbulbs…Then I started thinking I had so many lightbulbs that I didn’t need to buy them…until I needed one and my hoard was gone. Same thing happens with toilet paper and Kleenex.
    I just had my main bathroom redone and in cleaning out the closet realized I’d been hoarding hair conditioner and sun block. It seems that I run out of conditioner much more slowly than I run out of shampoo. Go figure!
    I try, I really, really try!


  7. Kate Says:

    Oh and can I say that Meggie/Goose hoards stuffed animals?

  8. kayak woman Says:

    I *never* buy kleenex until somebody gets a cold, which is rare around here. And toilet paper? I can *usually* keep up with that but I remember a couple o’ YAG performances, early on, when we were *totally* out. I don’t usually use conditioner and I usually run out of shampoo but both sunscreen and bug spray seem to pile up. And I could prob’ly write a book about stuffed aminals. But y’all may know that! 😉

    Kate, your bathroom is gorgeous. I’m envious over here with just The Blue Bathroom! 🙂

  9. Kate Says:

    Thanks on the bathroom! I LOVE it! The downstairs one is a complete wreck!