My Name is LGS and I am a Hoarder

I recently had to move house and into a small apartment.  Even though the move is temporary, I was forced to get rid of a lot of stuff which I had accumulated over the last half century due to space constraints of my temporary abode.  It wasn’t easy.  I also had to get rid of a lot of things that my late mother had collected over an even longer period.   We filled one dumpster with rubbish and donated stuff for re-use or recycling to a charity organisation working with disabled people.  The donated stuff required one 3 ton lorry and one 5 ton lorry to be shipped away (that’s about 50 cubic m).

The problem is that both my mother and I are hoarders.  A lot of my mother’s stuff includes presents from friends which she received, never used but still she kept for decades.  For example, there were a number of serving trays – never used but already corroded by time.  She also had a large haul of alcohol – again gifts – enough to stock a bar which is strange as neither she or my late father drank hard liquor.  But some of the stuff was of her own doing; for example, she had washed, cleaned and kept all the cough syrup bottles that the family had received from the doctors over the years.  That was quite a collection.

Of course, I am my mother’s son and a hoarder too.  I remember when I was about 10 years old, I emptied out my sock drawer and labelled it as the “Scavenger Chest”.  Any odd thing that I thought might be of some use someday I would collect and keep in the drawer.  It could be a safety pin, silver foil from chewing gum wrappers, wooden ice-cream sticks or even Styrofoam packing beads.  I also collected books.  Strangely, my mother always tried to discourage my collecting and hoarding habits.  She cleared my “Scavenger Chest” a few times.  When I was away studying, she donated my Nat Geo magazines, my James Herriot books and my Peanuts and B.C. comics collection to relatives.  I still feel a little bitterness against those relatives that benefited.

Anyway, I had to confront my collection and ruthlessly throw out a lot of things.  For example, I had dutifully kept all my University notes and books for 30 years.  After all, you never know when you will find you have the need to refer to them.  The truth is that I have only referred to it twice in the 30 years.  Yet they occupied one whole cupboard.  Time to get rid of them.  Out went my tea towel collection which had not seen the light of day for twenty years and showing signs of insect activity.   I also had a large collection of “souvenirs” which I received over the years for participating as a speaker at various conferences.  These souvenirs are generally large but pretty much hideous and useless.  Most of them were just paperweights emblazoned with some awful corporate logo.

But I still couldn’t bring myself to throw all the personal letters that I had collected from as far back as 30 years ago.  I have lost touch with some of those who wrote the letters but I remember them all fondly and do not intend to wait another 30 years before I read them again.

My name is LGS and I am a partly reformed hoarder but what do you expect from a squirrel.

18 thoughts on “My Name is LGS and I am a Hoarder”

  1. Funny story. Good luck on the continued reformation. Simplify.
    Love the ending line and photo. Great stuff. Keep ’em coming. 🙂

  2. I am also a hoarder. I made a big effort a few years ago to de clutter so my kids wouldn’t have to. Ha,now I have more totes for them to go thru.

  3. Congratulations on getting so much accomplished! It certainly wasn’t easy. But God helps us even in something like cleaning up and organizing our homes.

    My parents are terrible hoarders. I have cleaned up a few rooms in their home several times but inevitably I would return to find the rooms filled with new stuff.

    It reminds me of how God wants us to live. We can’t just deal with sin in our lives once and then walk away. We our to be in the Bible studying and reflecting in His words so that we can “maintain” a clean and organized thought life.

    Well, I try to at least keep mine clean. Organized thoughts come and go. 🙂

    Great post.

  4. Okay, you caught me with the photo… you KNOW I’m a photo hound… Also have to admit I’m a hoarder too. I don’t profess to be the one like the ones they depict on tv… I limit my hoarding to one room (my bedroom) which is filled with personal items of collection over the years… but hey, nobody’s perfect, eh? I think I’ll lose it all when I finally move as my daughter hopes, so she can move into my home. I’ve been planning to move to Iceland all these years, but more probable, I will move to a near by city of Grass Valley, or Mendocino, CA… California dreaming…

  5. University notes! I wish I still have them, I could prove to my children that I did go to college and complete my engineering degree 🙂

  6. Fazlisa,
    Sadly, no one really is interested when you tell them you have a cupboard full of University notes. Looking at my notes though, I noticed how neat my writing was. I wonder what happened since then. 🙂

  7. Glad you were able to confront your issues now and be able to do something about it. My late grandfather was a major hoarder/spender in his lifetime. I could sort of understand the hoarding, since he was from the era of the Great Depression, but by the same token, couldn’t understand the vast sums of money that he would spend to buy schtuff that he would never use or use infrequently.

  8. G.B.
    Moving house certainly makes you confront hoarding. My laziness exceeds my hoarding instinct and knowing that I may have to move house again, I just don’t want so much junk to move around. As for your grandfather, perhaps having experienced not having things that he wanted or needed, he vowed never to be in that situation again but the other extreme is to keep collecting things “just in case” it would be needed in the future…..though often it is never needed or used.

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