"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Enquiring Mind Wants to Know

I have a question for you, but first some background:

During those moments when I want to veg out in front of the TV and there isn't anything I want to watch, I flip through the satellite TV guide and sometimes come across a program that sucks me in and compels me to watch.

It’s much like watching a train wreck, as the cliché goes.  It’s too close for comfort, but I can’t turn away.

That program is called Hoarders.

Can't walk through here anymore.

If you haven’t watched it, it’s about people whose homes are so stuffed with stuff they are imperiled physically.  Usually the impetus for cleaning up the stuff comes from a government agency that is threatening condemnation.  At other times, family intervenes.  There are all kinds reasons.  Rarely does the hoarder initiate the action.  Instead, after the initial tossing of stuff, he/she frequently attempts to halt the process.

I understand the hoarders are dealing with emotional issues or illnesses that cause the hoarding.  Still, saving garbage for years—and I do mean garbage—is beyond me. 

On the other hand, as I watch the program, an avalanche of guilt buries me as I think of all the stuff around here.  It is much the same feeling I had on the few occasions I found myself at a garage/yard/whatever sale.

Time to clean this up.

“What am I doing here?”  I ask myself.  “I should be at home getting rid of my own stuff.”  I NEVER go to those things anymore.

Anyway, my introduction to Hoarders has impelled me to get rid of even more stuff.  I spent an hour last night purging my kitchen cabinets, tossing anything that was far out of date.  Would you believe I found stuff that expired in 2002?  Out of sight, out of mind.

A month ago, I spent three days under my house, crawling around in the crawl space.  Actually, it’s more of an almost-stand-up place, because I can between the floor joists.  Some shelving from WalMart and Costco was set up.

Shelving helps.

This crawl space is a far-too-convenient place to toss stuff I want out of sight, rather like someone's hall closet.  I straighten it up every once in a while when it gets difficult to walk through it.   But still...

Much better.

I threw away a lot and organized what was left.  It’s still too much.  I might have to have one of those things that I never go to any more.

But, here’s my question:  Is it still hoarding if it’s all neatly organized on shelves?

Seriously, is this hoarding?

(A confession:  the "before" pictures were taken AFTER I'd started sorting and tossing.  My crawl space really wasnt' that bad.)


  1. Nah!! the only problem I see is that rot-gut Coke, but as long as you dilute it with vodka and Kahlua you're okay. ;D

  2. I say no. What you've got on those shelves is not imperiling your life in any way.

    I love Rilly's thoughts!!

  3. I was a little worried in the first few shots, but now I'd just call it a well organized pantry.

  4. OBviously, the Herr Jeanne that straightened my pantry was nowhere to be found when YOURS was cleaned! lol I still have anxiety attacks when putting groceries away!

  5. I know a hoarder family (borderline functional -- scary, but not so bad they will be found DOA under their stuff. . . ) and I can say with certainty that you are much higher on the neat-freak scale (about where I am) than the average bear.

  6. It's not hoarding if it's filed, organized, stacked, boxed and NOT in danger of toppling over! What you have, my dear, is a stock pile! Ever watch Extreme couponing?! LOL I'm amazed every time I read your blog - you literally amaze me. I love your adventures, your sense of humor, your class and grace....*smooches* Mick and I have got to come visit :)
    Much Love and Admiration - Little Jeanne