Keeping things just for the sake of keeping things.

Hoarding stuff is not my way although my wife, Lyn may disagree. One thing keeping me from this extreme way of life is my history with hoarders.

When my Dad’s mother moved from one home to another, he assigned me to help her. My Dad decided I would help her after school and on weekends. I wondered why I was the chosen one since I had two Aunts and four cousins living near her. They knew to get scarce I guess.

GrandMa had worked at a local thrift store for years. When I walked through her home, the message I got was the store didn’t throw anything away, my Grandmother just boxed it up and took it home. Once there, she simply stockpiled it never to be used again.

We’d load volumes of low worth items into her station wagon and unload them into the new destination’s basement. I was at her home for about two weeks and rejoice when I got the word I no longer would be going there.

I wonder whatever happened to that mobile junkyard she kept. I am better off not asking.

My business partner, Harry Crosson managed to fill his home with so much “stuff” visitors would need to move boxes around to get across a room. When he moved, he asked me to help him with the move. He had family, but he would suffer the high price of their disapproval.

Moving Harry from his single home to a one bedroom apartment required the rental of a storage locker equal in size to a tractor/trailer. His belongings in the new apartment caused a redecoration in the fashion of his old home. Stuff was jammed into all conceivable areas. The move took a week of six hour days, and the move was only two blocks away.

A story to illustrate the way of the hoarder.

As we started the move, I suggested to Harry that he first go through his stash and throw things away. “NO!”, he said. I then reached into a box and removed a nearly empty box of chocolate covered cherries. It looked to be years old. I said, “Why are you keeping this?” He shot back, “Well, someone may want it.” I said, ” May I have it?” After he said, “Yes”, I threw it into a trash can to make a point. Harry used moves and reflexes of a younger man as he scurried across the room to reclaim the box. I tried to explain there is zero chance anyone will ever eat the candy so it a burden to keep it and all the other things like it. The chocolate in the box went to the storage locker. It was still there when he died. Then it was someone else’s problem.

In 2016, I reorganized my humble bedroom using the KonMarie method*. I cleared a lot of stuff I was not going to ever use. Even today, I stored clothes and other items a la KonMari.

Maybe with my past history with hoarders and my newly found “sparking joy” way of life, I will not descend into the self-loathing ways of hoarder.


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