I watched Hoarders last night.

During the first commercial break, I dared to look around my living room and I thought, oh holy mother of four-letter-word. Color me cluttered.

Yes, it's true that most of my mess is hidden and collecting dust in the dark, but I know what's there -- like the 100+ VHS tapes in my bookshelf/ media cabinet, for instance. Yes, I love knowing that should I desire to watch my old school copy of Riding in Cars with Boys or Girls Just Wanna Have Fun or The Royal Tenembaums or Serendipity or Ghost World or Memento or...

okay. You get the picture. It's there. If I wanted it, it would be right there.

Also semi-hidden? Probaby 50+ copies of this weekly magazine from the late 1960's - early 1970's called Story of Life. My grandma gave them to me. Have I cracked the cover of even one issue?

Hell to the no. I don't have time for that type of nostalgia. Plus, I can't even find a link for it with a quick google search. Something that obscure can't matter much, right?

Then there are the dinner dishes which belonged to my mother and her mother before her. I boxed those suckers up after the wedding, when the hubs and I received the chic cherry blossom dishes from my our gift registry.

The plan was to box them up and then head over to Goodwill to hand-down my hand-me-downs.

Nope. They are stashed up above my washer and dryer, situated on a shelf that will probably someday snap in half from the weight of the eight to ten place settings. (Not to mention the gravy boat and sweet little sugar and cream holders. And those are just adorable.)

When it came down to it, I didn't want to give away those dishes. I've been eating off of them for the better part of three decades! I can almost picture my grandfather, now long gone, spooning sugar on his morning grapefruit or grits.

I always assumed I got this emotional-ism from my own mother, a sap if there was ever a sap.

But then a few years ago she got all spring-clean-y (and menopausal) and went so far as to let my father chop up the piano from her childhood, which, to be honest, is so far gone tune-wise that it could probably never to plucked back into the correct key.

He made it into a modern-looking end table. It actually does look pretty cool.


So, I'm torn. I'm torn between holding on possessions from the past which evoke certain memories for me -- and shedding my life of the stuff well before I become one of those crazy cat ladies who can't even negotiate her way from the living room to the litter box without knocking over piles and piles of her memories.

What do you think? What stuff are you holding on to? What would it mean to give it away?


Talli Roland said…
I am *such* a hoarder. I have a load of TimeOut Magazines behind me right now dating back to last year, and lots of old papers and print-outs clogging the shelves of my desk. Every year I do a big clean-out... and I think that time has now come!
Sarah Ann said…
That show gives me goosebumps... I hope I never end up that cluttered, even though I have a little, now!
MJenks said…
I've got a bunch of stupid magazines I keep meaning to recycle. But, they're tucked into the credenza in our bedroom, and not bothering anyone, and I'd have to, you know, do work in order to carry them downstairs...

I have a happy little space that was, when we moved in, designated as "mine".

It's crammed full of shit that my wife absolutely had to have but then decided we really don't need.

So much for "my" space.
Elliott said…
I have far too many things. I have old magazines, like most everyone. If I didn't know some were worth a small amount on eBay, I'd just toss them. I've divested much of my stamp collection, but those never took up much space.

However, despite all my 'keeping', there has been much 'un-keeping' over the last five years. After the wedding, many kitchen duplicates went to Goodwill. When we moved into the bigger house, I spread things out and got rid of anything that no longer held sentimental value. When we then picked up and moved 1300 miles and were paying for every ounce, we gave away nearly half of our things.

Now, as we prepare to move again, I've started down the road once more.

Wanna buy a prime condition 1979 John Travolta Dynamite magazine?
I'm a hoarder, my husband loves to throw out. He's really good about figuring out what stuff needs to go and getting rid of it so I don't notice. By the time I do, I don't care anymore because I haven't missed it.
Jen said…
That show gives me the shivers, I can't believe there are so many people out there hoarding things, it is just crazy to me!

I'm very opposite, I keep nothing, must people say that my house is too clean, doesn't look lived in. I hate clutter, I hate keeping things I'll never use, clothing and shoes included, if it's been a few months it goes to goodwill.
carissa said…
ah I am torn about these things too. My parents are going though a divorce and I'm supposed to pick what I want to keep.. well I want to keep it all!!! But not really, but kinda!
I used to be a hoarder. But then my husband and I had to move a combined total of 6 times in one year. And let me tell you, by the third move it was like, "Is this knicknack/book/thing/memory WORTH wrapping in newspaper, stuffing into a box, lugging said box down and up flights of stairs, unpacking, and cleaning the news print off? If the answer was no (which was surprisingly often) it went to the garage sale pile.
pinkflipflops said…
I have no problem throwing shit away. I am just too lazy to start hehehe.
~*~Lilly~*~ said…
OH the list is endless my dear! I grew up in a house when something was old you put it up in the attic. (out of site out of mind- riggghhht?) & the same with the boxes special things came in. I think if we would journey up to the attic i could find the original box from our early 1980 Atari with the console & games next to it, the box from my very first cabbage patch when they were the shit back in 1983-ish & oh probably about a million other things. lol But luckily here in NYC there is NO room for extra - so here i spring clean ever 6 months and take loads to goodwill.
Ashley Stone said…
i understand, I hold onto stuff too!

why not keep like one or two of the magazines, and toss the rest? etc......
Tina Lynn said…
I threw away tons of stuff during the move. I officially hoard no more. Unless you count blog awards, then *raises hand* guilty!
jayme said…
if you don't have any hidden dead cats underneath your VHSs, then i think you're fine.
Sierra Godfrey said…
I love that show and totally got sucked in on Sunday night. (Or was it Monday. Can't remember that far back.)

As we watched, I thought "Oh no. I am totally a hoarder." It's not that I have a ton of stuff, but it's the difficulty in the throwing away. I don't have time to clean! I'M WRITING!

But because it will be disgusting otherwise, I force myself to throw out old crap. It hurts. It really, really hurt to throw out all my college exams and essays. I might need to refer back to those someday. ;)
Jm Diaz said…
Dump it. Ditch it. Get rid of it all.. excpet the magazines. Go through those, pick the best covers and frame'em. Everything else should go.. and kidos toyou dad for the creative piano\table making.

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