I certainly don’t think of myself as a hoarder, but I do have a lot of stuff. It is occupying space in more than a few rooms in this house. There is yarn, wool, fabric, sewing machines, books, magazines, spinning wheels, puzzles, knitting needles and computer equipment in the studio. There are books and knitting in the bedroom. There are bookcases and storage containers in the hall. There are books and more computer stuff in the office; there are full bookcases, spinning wheels and a weaving loom in the entry way. There are books and a small amount of wool in the living room (and two spinning wheels? not sure and have to check).
I am not wedded to most of this stuff. I have “plans” for a large amount of it – but much of it I would happily give to someone who was going to make use of it. I don’t save things that I might not use. I throw out things that don’t work and can’t be fixed. I don’t have all the shoes, clothing or sweaters that I have ever bought or made. I have lots of thermos coffee mugs (still looking for the perfect one) but have been known to pass on/toss out those that I don’t want any more, don’t work well or are missing their lids.
I have been steadily weeding out books, yarn and fiber; finding homes for many of the items with someone who will love them more than I.
All of this leads me to our three storage rooms in the basement: another part of the interlocking mess that is our home. The furthest back room has been home to suitcases and a dozen cardboard boxes since we moved into the house. Going through them today – there is a set of three suitcases with clothes in them that arrived in 2006. Said items were originally left with me in Kuwait in 2003 for safe keeping while a fellow officer went to the HQ in the Green Zone. She hadn’t picked them up by the time I left in 2004. When my successor was leaving Kuwait in 2006, they were mailed to me (clinic was closing and relocating) because I was in Europe and MPS was free.
For a number of years I attempted to return the things. Finding the officer once, she laughed her head off that I still had them because she had effectively forgotten about them. Never did get any disposition instructions. Six years? I don’t think that there is any point in hanging on to them any longer. Tomorrow they are going to PHV and going on the free shelves. This is sturdy, middle of common sense pants and shirts (of the kind most often worn by civilians on deployment) and someone will get use out of them. The suitcases will also land there, again someone have something better than Walmart.
And then there are the VCR tapes, boxes of them. I am not referring to commercially produced tapes, rather all the shows taped from the TV in the early 1980s. Primarily German kids stuff, there are a few movies and educational programs as well. No one volunteered to burn them onto DvDs, so they will also make a one-way trip to the recycle center (except for those that one friend said she might find takers for).
Did I mention every backpack, suitcase and messenger bag that we have ever bought was hiding back in that room? Well almost every one. There are a couple upstairs right now and it looks like the brown set we had when first married are no longer around. Some of the packs and cases have rips, tears and scuffs gouged half-way through the bottom. This is before we discuss mold, stains and old lunches that have petrified. I now have the box of “things to disgusting to donate or pass along.” Don’t you think that single, worn through shoes and torn curtains fall into the same category?
Now, none of this stuff is mine. So I am not a hoarder…. Right?