Sunday, March 01, 2009

Hoarding...long and rambly

My question to you today is: Why do we hang on to "stuff"?
I spent some time yesterday with Superchick, who is planning on selling her house, and needed my Toughlove to clear out her sewing room. The things she hung onto are no different from the goofy things I do. Who needs 3 metal thimbles, if you don't use them? I even have a commemorative Princess Diana porcelain thimble from my dad's mother. WHY?

Another example: I'm transferring my old tote bag necessities into a new tote bag, and realized I had 2 lipsticks, 1 almost-empty MAC Lipglass, 1 roll-on lip balm, and a new lip gloss stick. Have you seen me lately? Was I wearing any of the above?

The Lipglass is seriously from at least 4 years ago, when I lived in an apartment building with a MAC cosmetics employee. Tanya and I would get into the boxed wine and then play makeup and watch videos. I like the Lipglass, but it's almost gone and the applicator is all gunky. But, did I throw it out? No, I added it to the dish in the refrigerator with the other 7 lipsticks I've acquired over the years and can't seem to part with. One of them is so old, the color (L'Oreal copra) has been discontinued, and I bought it (on clearance, natch) at the Osco on Brighton Avenue WHEN I LIVED IN BOSTON, which was 10 years ago.

What the heck is wrong with me?!

After a few minutes of indeciveness, I added these things to the little pocket of my new Liberty print tote bag: loose powder (also very old...must downsize to a compact), 3 OB tampons in a little case I got for free, the new lip gloss, a pad and some Trident. Oh, and don't forget the little zippered pouch of eye drops and roll-on lip gloss (mmm...smells like ginger).

As you all know, last week we got a queen size bed. It was easy for me to say "adios" to 3 of the sets of sheets we had, especially since I know they are going to a great little girl. But the others? Waaaa....they were from our wedding....waaaaa.....I like the prints so's the red with white snowflakes from Martha Stewart set that I stalked at K-Mart until they went on sale....
You get the idea.
Part of my crazed mind wants to keep them and use them for the backs of all the quilts I intend to make. *coughs of disbelief* The other part wants to take my MUST CULL CRAP I WON'T USE mood and give them to said little girl.

So, what is with my clinginess to these things?
And seriously, I now have at least 7 shirts that are all the same leaf green color that looks so fabulous on me. Must. Find. Other. Color.
But I can't get rid of them!

Things I Have Too Many Of And Must Eradicate:
1. Sweaters I plan on wearing, but don't.
2. Gap Kids size 13 overalls. I used to fit these. I haven't worn them in at least 7 years. But why are they still in my closet?
3. *sigh* fabric
4. Insulated thermoses. I have 4, if you count my travel mug. Matt has 2. What the hell?
5. Clothes hangers.

Things I Have, Don't Use, But Won't Get Rid Of:
1. suede/shearling coat which was my mother's from 1967. It is too small, but I love it.
2. navy blue Doc Marten boots...well-loved and creased
3. Matt's grandma's sewing machine
4. Books, books, books
5. Leather biker jacket with punk band names painted on it. Found for $4 at a church yard sale. I was the luckiest girl in Brookline, Massachusetts that day, even though I missed the bus and had to walk home from the dentist, who had looked at my teeth and laughed.
6. patterns, patterns, patterns.

Today's Good Stuff----Demolition begins tomorrow on the apartment buildings behind St. Mary's High School on South Grand. I hope they're going at it when I leave for work, cause I surely love a wrecking ball! Thank you, thank you, thank you, whomever, for getting rid of those shitty buildings and their mostly-shitty tenants! Bring on the baseball field!


Senora Muertos said...

Just wanted to say Thank you again!
I understand the hoarding. I have two pairs of docs I can't fit, but yet I still have them. Many other such items. Maybe we could all get together and do a purge along. Purge one item a week, write about why we held onto it for so long and if we freecycled, gave to a friend or did something else with it. Might be therapeutic!

bev said...

The first step is admitting you have a problem...

While our hoarding didn't stop, it was brought into sharp focus when my MIL died and we had to clean out her house. Not only did we see all the stuff she kept and not only did we have to go through it, but we saw the hoarding disorder manifest itself in the living. My oldest SIL simply could not part with anything. It was kind of sad.

So while Ed and I can easily get rid of the 1500 cheap, silkscreened ceramic company coffee mugs we've collected over the years, that plastic tub full of door hardware - most of it 100 years old or more - isn't going anywhere. It's a matter of value! (Though that McDonnell-Douglas mug I gave to Goodwill is probably a collectable by now...)