Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Horton Hears a Hoarder
Behind a mysterious door, in the darkest annals of a nice little house built on a hill lives a collection of treasures spanning 45 years. Prom dresses, Strawberry Shortcake dolls, old knick-knacks, wrapping paper, bar signs, furniture, maybe even a human skull or two. It’s all there—bushels of booty carefully tucked away by the pirates that are my parents.
On Thanksgiving night, my brother told my mom that he had watched the show “Hoarders” and that he thought of her 59 out of the 60 minutes it was on.
We often tease her about how we’re either going to burn down the house when she dies, or sell every single thing in it for a dollar, because with the amount of stuff she owns, that would make us millionaires.
But here’s the thing. As I was cleaning out closets this weekend, gathering stuff to give to the Goodwill (which I do very regularly), I became aware of my own hoarding tendencies.
I have a collection of gift bags and boxes that could choke a herd of elephants. I have a bunch of candles and candleholders that I don’t want to get rid of because maybe, someday I might use some of them again. Then there are the travel bags. And the craft supplies. All the other little things I hang onto just in case…
Mr. Wonderful suffers from some of the same thinking. The bottom drawer in his bathroom has enough medical and hygienic supplies in it that he could probably open a corner store. But he can’t get rid of it because he might need it one day!
In some ways, I think a bit of hoarding can be good because it may prevent us from just buying and throwing things away in a continuous cycle. It may be better for the environment for us to hoard a little because we can "shop" among our own things and not fill up the landfill with old stuff. But this could just be my crazy collector mentality seeping into more brain cells. And I certainly don’t think there’s any reason to save old newspapers under your couch (Mom).
Where do you all stand on this? Do you have secret stashes of stuff strewn about your houses?