The Anti-Hoarder


     While my husband and kids could easily qualify for the A&E show “Hoarders“, I could easily qualify for the show “Throw Away All Your Shit And Then Some“.  I’m constantly getting busted for throwing away somebody’s crap that was apparently REALLY important. I get so sick of all the random piles of stuff that are sitting in every crack and crevice around here.  How am I supposed to know that an itty bitty piece of paper that’s sitting in the middle of the coffee table is the be all end all for something when we seem to have itty bitty pieces of paper scattered EVERYWHERE?!

     With Christmas comes an endless amount of wrapping paper, directions, boxes and receipts.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand to have that wad of clutter covering every damn inch of my floor.  I tend to immediately bust out the trash bags and start stuffing them to the max. And unfortunately, I sometimes end up throwing away something that I shouldn’t.  For example, I apparently threw away the directions to my daughter’s new puppy game that she got from her Grammy on Christmas Eve.  You would think that she might have put them in a safer place than right in the middle of a big ass mountain of crumbled up wrapping paper, but no.  After scouring the entire house and trying to wipe away a flood of unhappy tears, I had to email the manufacturer to plead my pathetic case and see if they’d email the instructions to me, to which they thankfully obliged. 

     I repeated this same crime with some special caramels that my husband received from someone at work a couple weeks ago.  They’d been laying completely untouched on the counter for almost a week, so I figured I’d save a few and throw the rest away.  We had ten thousand sweets taking over our kitchen as it was — what was the big friggin’ deal, right?  Well, when my hubby learned that I’d tossed out his precious candy, he actually dug through the nasty old trash to locate the damn things!  Thank God they were individually wrapped caramels or else he’d be getting no more kisses from this chick’s lips. 

     I would think the moral of this story would be for everyone in my household to keep their important papers, candies and any other significant items in a secure location.  Unfortunately, though, nobody seems to be learning from prior experiences that mama’s gonna throw their shit right out with the garbage if left lying around for too long.  So, in my eyes, they have no one to blame but themselves if their Pez candies from their stockings end up with the dog poop in the alley.  Am I right, or am I right?


18 Responses

  1. Sister, you are SO right! I am guilty of the same around here. I throw out so much crap, and inevitably someone spies it in the garbage can and yells “hey! why did you throw out my (insert whatever item/artwork of the day here)???”
    (Not to say that I am not guilty of my own few small piles but…).
    We live in a modest size house and there is just NO room for all of that stuff. Christmas makes me super-mental cause as you say its more boxes/directions/cables etc that are so important and sit in the same place for months untouched.
    Either the mess/crap/stuff goes or a person goes, and I am not saying which one. 😉

  2. You are right on! We still have random Halloween candies in the kitchen someplace. And it doesn’t help that my son likes to keep the empty juice box containers from his Happy Meal “just in case” we need one. He has yet been able to explain to me why in hell we would ever “need one” – but the water works are too much to deal with so it sticks around for a while until forgotten and I chuck it.

    I myself though ride the fence on this one. I’ve been guilty of keeping a few too many things for too long. But at the same time- I’ve been known just to open up the garbage and start chucking indiscriminately. I have to think these two things are connected. And there have been times that I was throwing something while thinking maybe this isn’t such a good idea but I go ahead anyway. Sure enough, 3 weeks later somebody is looking for the directions to some toy that has long since been recycled.

  3. Truer words have never been spoken, my dear.

    I am still childless, but my husband leaves enough crap lying around the house to probably rival your two kids… and each and every time I cleanup I somehow manage to misjudge that the random piece of paper found in between the couch cushions held directions to find the holy grail. its an ongoing battle, but I will win 🙂

    Good luck.

  4. while it’s not full-fledged, my 81 year old mom could possibly be considered a hoarder. she had a car wreck recently (everyone was fine) and while she was in the hospital, my brother, his wife, my wife, and me went over to her house to clean up. among the things we found: one half of a pair of Vans (blue checkerboard) I rocked back in when I was a mulltet-wearing Def Leppard enthusiast (pre one-arm-drummer days), a Nazi war helmet I wore as part of the chorus in our high school production of the Sound of Music, and a 1984 Greensboro phone. this just in. it’s been a quarter century since 1984. oh, and we’ve never lived in Greensboro. ever.
    i need to stop before more pours out. i also need to clarify. i love my mom. but she’s always been a pack rat. it was my dad (when he was alive) that kept our house looking like shit (vs. looking like the set of a Hitchcock flick) while we were growing up. after he died, it’s steadily gone down hill. we tried to talk mom into moving out, but she’s not ready. and the honest truth of the matter is this: aside from her home, she’s incredibly well put together. her mind is still sharp (she’s possibly the smartest woman i’ve ever met). she’s super-active. she was a professor and has former TAs that live all over the world whom she’s constantly visiting, etc… since dad died, she averages at least 2 trips abroad per year. it’s odd that you could kick it with her in Beijing, but you can’t walk through her kitchen without bumping into an STP CD i bought back in college.
    SO, what’s my point? not sure, really. except that so much is being said of hoarders lately, and it’s weird b/c, well, b/c my mom’s a hoarder. if not full blow, than at least kinda.
    how has growing up in such clutter affected her children? let’s just say this: i dare you to come over sometime, any time of your choosing, and find ANYTHING out of place. is this due to my diligence? frankly, no. it’s due to my wife’s. i can’t even finish a 20 ounce bottle of water without her putting it back in the fridge “where it belongs.” my wife’s a world class hottie, but the fact that she’s a neat freak made her even more attractive to me. very likely b/c of the way i grew up and what i see is becoming of my mom’s home. we have a motto–one that it sounds like you follow.
    when in doubt? THROW IT OUT.
    sorry about the cute little puppy toy and the caramels, but hey, in both of these cases, everything turned out fine. i’d rather spend the time to right the (seldom experienced) wrongs of running a tight shit than trying to resurrect the titanic, which is honestly what dealing with mom’s house is starting to feel like. so sorry to rant. this is your blog, but this topic hits close to home for me.

  5. You would definitely get along with my hubby. Watched Hoarders for the first time lady night – eeeeewwwww!!!!!

  6. I hate when people clean up my stuff. I limit it to specific areas. The rule is that you don’t mess with stuff within my domain.

  7. I SO need you to come and sort out my house. My 7yr old son in particular has so many “books” he has started to write, and drawings that are incomplete…there’s paper everywhere. Hubby has boxes of “files” of God knows what. Probably receipts from 1987.

    Although, having said that, I’m not great at throwing things out either. I start, and then I pick up a mag, say, from last year that I haven’t read yet, and then decide I had better keep it, just in case there’s any good recipes in it. And back on to the pile it goes. Along with the 12 other mags awaiting my perusal. *sigh*

    Good for you. Purge! PURGE!

  8. Two weeks ago I threw away a box of scary looking painted figurines? toys? action figures? that have been sitting in my husband’s closet in a dilapidated shoe box for 3 years. Turns out they were worth over $500.

    I still contend that if they were that valuable then they shouldn’t have been in a broken down old shoe box with dried up bottles of glue and loose change.

    Though I’m still sick about the $500.

  9. […] A shout out to nuckingfutsmama who also wrote about being an anti-hoarder. Glad to hear there’s another member to the club. Possibly related posts: (automatically […]

  10. You know where I come down on the whole issue. And my kids don’t even THINK about arguing to bring something back after I have deemed something “gone”….I hate to think what kind of hoarders I might be driving them to be…. 🙂

    If it makes u feel any better..I would’ve thrown away the puppy game & went out & bought more caramels.

  11. Oh I am so the anti-hoarder too. But I am living with two little hoarders and a big daddy hoarder. So yup I frequently do the dad’s at work and kids are at school sweep of the house and yet still mountains of crap everywhere – so many I need a bigger house. Hate that! My 8 would say don’t throw that used coffee filter away I could use it to craft with – recycle Mom! That’s how extreme she is. Ugh you should see her room.! Gross! Umm hun how come there’s an acorn and a half eaten lollipop underneath your bed and how about the library book we lost three months ago but I pleaded and told the library it was their fault and they must have lost it because I returned it. Response either always I don’t know. Or I can make something with it.. Ar Grrrrrr>>>

  12. We have dug through the Christmas trash so many times around here that now we bag it separately and leave it in the garage for a week! That way I’m not digging through the coffee filters to look for some little plastic figure. And yes, moms seem to be the only ones who ever clean up so we are always the guilty ones that discard things:)

    • That is a brilliant plan — to leave the Christmas trash in the garage for a week! We are totally gonna do that next year! Thanks for the tip! 🙂

  13. I am working my way to this! I always tell my kids they have two choices, they can clean up or I will and they know if I clean up, things will disappear!

    I featured you in the Sunday Funnies:

    • And isn’t it so much easier to do the purging when kids & hubby are out of the house? I swear they wouldn’t even miss half the crap I throw away if they didn’t see me throwing it out. Out of sight, out of mind! 🙂

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