Lessons in the art of Hoarding ◇ 100 years, 4 generations, 6 weeks later...

in ecotrain •  4 months ago 

I am learning to have no patience for useless things!

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Well refurbished, this could be a beautiful box.

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Moving is hard, especially when there are three homes to pack into one. No matter the size of a place, I think we tend to hide things in all the possible places we can. There is alway much more to move than meets the eye...

My father inherited the home he's been living in for the last 40 plus years. Over the years there was a part of this home which they turned into a second dwelling so as you could imagine they had the double of everything you want in a home.

There's this thing that we do when we see sonething that may one day be useful or may one day have some sort of value; we put it aside, to be fixed, used or sold at a later date. Unless we're super well organized or we're able to see the difference between something we'll need and something that will be stowed away for ever to never be seen again, we will accumulate as much stuff as we can fit into every crevice of our homes!

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There must be a point when we say enough is enough... but how do we stop collecting things that will only take up dead space in long forgotten places?

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After two weeks into my second trip to help my father move, I am tired but this Rainbow was a reminder of how beautiful life is!

Three days in a row we saw a rainbow, the rain has been with us durring this move that seems never ending! Isn't life grand?


I took a few photos of things I thought were either beautiful, had some sentimental value, some to show an intense collection of comic book, dvd's and model cars or simply because they were fun things to look at.

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Never the less, amongst all this stuff, I had a growing feeling of wanting to return home and get rid of everything we own for which we don't have a need, forgotten aboit or haven't used in the last year or two.

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These two photos don't really give the room justice. We already had condensed two rooms like this!

Even the garage was full of stuff... one side full of things to be thrown away and the other, things to sell and donate.

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The gem in all of this was a photo album from the first world war I made sure my dad kept this thing. As a souvenire from his late wife's grandfather.

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What about this letter requesting a leave of absence for 8 days... it's dated 1915!!! There were loads of strangely attractive treasure like things. But obviously not everything could be kept...

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This sorting and packing and going through all these things from the last century to present time made me realize how much we can really pack away into storage, taking up space. I find this type of behavior (which I have as well) kind of unhealthy, it takes up too much space in our psyche. From not knowing where something is when we need it to forgetting what we stowed away, it almost seems to be one of those symptoms of our domestication... do we really need so many material things in our life?

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Huge job! I, like you, live light and don't personally own much stuff. My daughter? LOL a total packrat!! The funniest thing was when my nephew visited from Holland and curiously asked Where do you keep your stuff? LOL He was quite taken aback by our lack of it. The scary thing is so much of that vintage stuff is worth serious money to collectors.


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That 'worth' that some collectors would pay for is in parr what made it difficult to sort!!!!

I am not very minimalist but I inspire to be 😁

There is a fine point between keeping to possibly use again, and just collecting or hoarding. So speaks she as a 4th generation (from both sides) packrat.

But I don't know how many times I've pulled something I really needed out of storage after 10 years of waiting. The time that comes to mind was in 2008, our 1st year with chickens. Well over 10 years earlier, I had bought very large crocks at a tag sale, thinking they would be very useful one day. And that day came when I had 23 dozen eggs from birds who weren't supposed to lay or lay well if they did.

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I was able to store all the eggs in waterglass from December until July when we finally used them up.

We've kept all the scrap wood from each building project. The little stuff was kindling, anything of any size stored by size. These have fed mini projects for years.

Because I have a very poor memory (thanks, Lyme disease!) I took to mapping the attic and other storage areas so I could find what I was looking for. So there really has to be method to the madness. Or else it is merely collecting or hoarding.

You are so right... there is such a fine line between hoarding and having things we need. And organizing may be the key to it.

I am interested in this waterglass thing, is it simply creating a barrier between the eggs and the air with water?

I also keep all the scrao wood and things for chickens evennthough we don't have them yet but I will need to organize everything as it's starting to all look like a big mess.

Thanks for your awesome comment

I thought I did a post on waterglass egg storage, but I can't find it...

Anyways, it's a solution of sodium silicate (waterglass) and water. There's more to it that just that, but that is the barrier.

I'll for sure have to look into that and pass it on to our neighbor... if he doesn't know about it already. Thanks

There is something therapeutic about sorting, donating, discarding and creating space 💭

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Frustrating because of a rime constraint but yes there definitely is a little something therapeutic

You've got some cool stuff there, but boy that job looks huge. Having cleaned a few homes like this up in the past, I do not envy you. Good luck selling some of it!

All I can do now is hope my father can get enough help... I can't go back to finish the job because I ran out of money and had to go home to work and also take care of things there.