Thursday, April 19, 2007


Collector.. or hoarder? It's a fine line.

While I don't think I'm quite a pathological hoarder (yet).. I don't think that the Stuff! that I/we seem to accumulate could ever be defined as "collecting". Real collectors seem to have some sort of rationale for what it is that they accumulate - whether it be kitsch with a theme, or items with an accepted value, like antiques, or sporting memorabilia. An unlikely TV show that I have actually enjoyed - Collectors - has showcased some amazing collections by people all around Australia, including some quite bizarre themes. One guy collected 'red' things! Another collected tinned tomatoes. (They had to be whole tomatoes!) Check this link for other more bizarre collections shown in the series!

I've often wondered how many of something you have to accumulate before you can call it a collection. The girls, after seeing this show, reckon we collect tandems - but I don't think four of them quite qualifies. Nor does our total accumulation of bikes - even if our shed looks a bit like a bike shop.

I do seem to accumulate things though.. Am I a clutterer or a hoarder?... Certainly I have a tendency to save things 'in case' they come in useful one day. Combine that with an indefinable, vague greenie streak which has me trying to Reuse first then Recycle. And a sentimental streak that holds on to things for the potential memories...whether they be soft toys (ie. finding it hard to dispose of any of the soft toys the three children seem to have amassed), or mugs I had when I first moved out of home.

One of my current 'collections' is Moccona coffee jars. The jars are designed to be reused, and because of their glass lid, they seem too valuable, too 'nice', to just throw in the recycling. But there is a limit to how many 'nice' glass jars one household can actually use! See my problem? And that's not all - I have a plastic box full of them in the cupboard under the sink. I added to my problem with them recently by starting to buy the bigger jars.. because, being bigger, they'd be more useful! At the moment this collection is taking up valuable kitchen bench space while I 'decide' what to do with them.

I have a similar 'problem' with plastic containers. I buy them because they look like they'd be cool to use. I save them to reuse. Sometime. My plastics cupboard is diabolical - despite my efforts to store lids separately so they are findable. Plus how many of these containers can you save and use:

(Any guesses on how many of these 'tinned' fruit containers I have in the back of the plastics cupboard? - *cough*.. um.. probably at least a dozen...)

I have all manner of other things that I 'save' in case.... The cupboard 'under the stairs' is full of stuff that the kids might use one day for craft projects, school projects, etc. Paper, cardboard.. ribbons, corks... Somehow I don't think the space it all takes up is justified by the amount of usage.

And of course, anyone looking at my house would think that I also collect dust and cobwebs.

What do YOU collect hoard ?


pens, scrap paper, birthday cards, clothes (could bring myself to give away the majority of my daughters good stuff when I had my big clean out), old clothes and shoes (for gardening that we don't do) have a colony of daddy long legs spiders overtaking the enitre house, very good for keeping away the other creeoy crawlies but so many cobwebs.
you name it, we hoard it for just in case or until the next big chuck out but dust is what we have most of.
Love that Collectors show, saw a lady on there who collected Easter egg wrappers (smoothed out flat) fascinating in an odd kind of way
Shishy, I was in awe of you being able to give away your daughter's clothes... when you don't know whether you'll end up sometime maybe having another daughter!!

Saw the easter egg wrapper collector !!
be in awe no longer I am a big wuss, i did get rid of some of the stuff that was good but I didn't like so much
I'm the opposite. I hate keeping things. Probably 'cause I was married to a soldier and had to move every two or three years.
Books. I'll keep books no mater how bad or useless they are, because I just can't bring myself to get rid of them. We have bookcase after bookcase after bookcase, filled with these precious literary gems that I never read. We got rid of some, really bad literature, when we moved, but that was maybe 5%. So now we have lots of sorta bad lit, some not-so-bad lit, and a fair amount of "read it once every 3 or 4 years" lit.

I can relate to the containers. Do you have a Goodwill or Salvation Army thrift store you could donate all that extra stuff to? That way someone else could use it, and it's out of your way.
I've become less of a hoarder as the years have passed and I've run out of space. Think I'll go take a photo of Paul's magazine collection and post it on my blog.

Between P. and S. it will take an extra truck just to cart out their stuff if we ever move.

I try and keep my collecting down.

Plastic and glass containers that have sat and gathered dust are next on my list to throw away. At least I can recycle the glass.
plastic bags, rubber bands arounds the newspaper and those plastic bread bag clips, stamps, of old uni essays I have written, Australian ice cream containers (thank God they don't have those here). Sounds like alot, but I am actually quite good at throwing out most other stuff. Clothes - off to charity, old baby things and toys - charity bin. As a child (under 6) couldn't throw anything out (particularly if it had a piture of somethign lving on it), I felt everything had a soul and I couldn't bear the thought of hurting the objects feelings and rejecting it, by throwing it out. I remember having this huge draw filled iwth JUNK - I knew I had a problem, it was overwhelming. One day my Mum threw it all out while i was at school. I was relieved and Forced myself to let that go, you acn't go through life worrying about poor Humphry B Bear, whose head was ripped off when my brother tore down his poster in my room. Oh the tragedy!!!
lol Trace - reminds me of one of my favourite movies "Housekeeping"

I am big on those Moccona jars too, but actually use them in the pantry. I save every other jar as well for when I am making chutneys.

I think because my parents are such hoarders and because - ooh - hang on, just felt a blog coming on on this topic, may save it - lets just say I was once mentally and emotionally scarred (tongue only slightly in cheek) and in retaliation for my hurt, de-hoarded my mother's kitchen and my father's saddle room. As a result, I now have to be super vigilant in case these actions come back and haunt me...
LOL- Shishy... actually I did get the vibe reading your post that that was why you got rid of some of those clothes!

Rootie, I have a few boxes of containers up in the shed from a cleanout about a year ago. They are earmarked for the op shops.. just I never got round to taking them there. Now they'll all need cleaning again because the boxes were open. Sheesh I'm an idiot.

Strauss.. I can't throw away icecream containers either! Actually I use one type regularly, just to confound the children. The current Peters icecreams are in a flatter, rectangular container, and so I use them to freeze the leftover spag bol mince. So the kids go to get icecream out, and find frozen bolognaise. Hah!

I am aiming for a throw out of kids stuff when they are at school... probably best to do it the day before the garbage collection day, because otherwise, invariably, they discover stuff in the bin and get upset about it. If they don't see it in the bin, they don't realise what's gone!
Hah! Love the spaghetti sauce joke. I'm imagining the change in their expression as they open the lid.

Plastic bread clips? Rubber bands? You've got me worried strauss. That's serious collecting.

I don't even keep books any more, unless I can honestly tell myself that I will read them again.

Oh and I definitely relate to throwing out kid stuff while they're not looking. That's what playstations are for Tracey. They get so absorbed, you can walk past the door with the old toys!

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?