My wife and I had an interesting discussion the other night. The subject was about hoarding. I am a thrower and Roxie is a collector. Before I continue, my wife is a neat freak around the house. She hates messes and clutter. She keeps the cleanest home I know, but I will take some credit for a clean house also. I do dust and vacuum once in a while. Is it possible to have a clean house and yet be a hoarder?
This will not be a blog about my wife’s “collecting” things. I love her and we have a really nice living space that is always clean. But there are issues! Now I have my faults as well when it comes to not throwing things out. Mine is in my office at work. I will admit I do hoard at work, especially with newspaper clippings of high school sporting events that I have covered and broadcasted for the radio station. The filing cabinets in my office are stuffed with newspapers and magazines. I don’t want to throw them out.
Wikipedia says “Compulsive hoarding, also known as hoarding disorder, is a pattern of behavior that is characterized by excessive acquisition and an inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that cover the living areas of the home and cause significant distress or impairment.”
I have been in homes where you can’t walk because the living space is filled with boxes, trash, and who knows what else. It is awful. Our living space is clean and definitely free of clutter, so technically we are not hoarders. We still have stuff and lots of stuff.
Let me give you a tour of our home. It is a three-level house with an attached garage and a double garage in the back. I think it was built in the 1940’s. We have lived in this house for forty years. We raised four kids in this house. Roxie and I have been empty nesters now for about ten years. It is just us two living in our home. So why is there so much stuff in our home?
We still have our daughter’s prom dresses hanging in her closet. I have literally around fifty hats in the front closet. We gutted our basement, knocking out walls to make it one big room. We took out the cement floor and poured a new floor. That was two years ago. We never go down in the basement, but yet it is full of “stuff” like a couch, loveseat and empty boxes all over the place. My workroom in the basement is full of tools and nails, screws, duct tape, etc. I haven’t been in that room for months. Full of junk. How did that happen?
The upstairs has three bedrooms with beds full of boxes and boxes. Most of the boxes contain t-shirts that I have collected over the years from covering high school sports. Like conference championship shirts, state t-shirts, section championship shirts. LQPV, Dawson-Boyd, Canby and Minneota school t-shirts. I have them in boxes and my closet is full of them. I don’t want to get rid of them.
The two garages we have are another story. My bike, which I haven’t ridden in maybe 5 years is still hanging upside down from the garage rafters. The garage also contains firewood which we hardly use, garden stuff, although we don’t have a garden and old siding. Someone once said if something hasn’t moved in over a year, give it away or throw it away!
After writing this blog, I have come to a major conclusion. I always thought and blamed my wife for being a hoarder. I now realize that I am more of a hoarder than she is! Looks like I need to do some spring cleaning.