Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Accumulation

It was a dark and stormy night...

Actually it was an overcast Friday and I had no car and was stuck at home.  What to do? What to do?

I started with a coffee from the Keurig.  That was the intent but instead boxes of coffee pods came tumbling out onto the floor from a messy, disorganized cabinet that could barely close.  Pumpkin spice, chai tea latte, hot chocolate, espresso, mocha latte, mocha lessa.

Since I was grounded from going anywhere fun or spendy my agenda was set right then and there.  I looked at that pile of pods and decided that since we may move someday (or never) that the load around here needed to be lightened (personal weight issues excluded).  I strapped on an armor of use-it-or-get-rid-of-it that refused to look back, look over, or keep looking into the ever growing black bag that sat beside me as I sat on the floor.

Sitting amongst one's treasures useless crap can be revealing:

I have never met a candle I didn't think needed to come home with me.

I haven't used a tealight in at least five years but I have dozens of them.

At some point in my life I had grandiose plans of dinner parties with said candles, tablecloths and cloth napkins.

Every beat up pair of shoes I've ever owned got retired to the front closet to become garden shoes.

Anorak?  Now there's a jacket that can make any suburban mom look cool. I would know. I had four.

During my gap year when I was unemployed and searching for my passion I thought I needed to take fish oil, magnesium, iron, potassium and B-12.  Day after day my passion eluded me so I watched Dr. Oz instead.

I got into stamping and I don't really even know what stamping is.  Boo. Joy. Thank You So Much.  Texas.  Texas?   

Ink pads for stamping.  Black, black, black, black, black, red, red, red, red, gold, silver, distressed blue.  I could literally stamp Texas to look like a pair of blue jeans.

A collection of corrugated, cardboard sleeves from Starbucks cups that could be made into, made into, made into WTF?

Tub & tile caulk?  2

Latex caulk? 4 

Vacuum cleaner bags?  10 

Bottles of Ibuprofen? 3

Frontline for an 80# dog?  2 boxes  Years since we've had an 80# dog?  2.5

Gloves with no mate? 6

Whilst in Target (but not in the candle aisle) my neighbor called me to tell me about an ESTATE SALE I HAD TO GO TO NOW.  I hustled out with my cat food and toilet paper (since she said it all in caps) and headed over to the sale.  That's when I saw what accumulation looks like when it goes to the dark side.  Piles of stuff, thousands of books, three sheds in the backyard, a kitchen that barely had a path. 

It made me a little sick - this woman who bought and bought, and how did she even walk in this place?  Did anyone come and visit her?  Where did they sit?

There was no doubt that she was a hoarder, that she probably drove her family and neighbors nuts, that she bought dishes and glassware and garden pots and Christmas decorations by the dozens.  She saved decorating magazines from twenty years ago.  She saved ribbon and fabric, and calendars that were fifteen years old.  She saved toys and games that her kids must have played with decades ago. She saved hat boxes by the dozens.

She didn't know how to stop but if you saw her stuff you would know that despite some serious mental health issues she had damn good taste.

Nothing was priced.  Depending on who was working the money it was either a pile of stuff for $5.00 or $5.00 for each item.  I drifted to The Pile of Stuff guy with my garden urns.

Then I came home and opened every drawer and closet that I had already cleaned to see if I had missed anything else that could go, certain that I didn't want to be the lifelong caretaker of regret.


3 comments:

  1. I totally relate to this story . ( Except the part about the Estate Sale .)
    It amazes me that I have decluttered every few months and I still find things when I look again.
    I read an article on Pinterest ( where else ) that said if you go to declutter your clothes closet ,
    Take everything out EVERYTHING ! And try it on . If it doesn't fit , Donate .
    If you would never wear it again , Donate .
    If you have not worn it more than once in 6 months, Donate.
    End result . My closet has wood floors and I have 4 outfits. ��

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  2. Great piece! I'm trying to get rid of stuff but haven't reached the technical definition of hoarding yet.

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