Hoarding and clutter
As I have stated before in a previous blog, I have a touch of OCD. It’s not a paralyzing form like some people have, it’s more of an interesting conversation piece at family gatherings. It also makes for funny blog entries. Along with the OCD, I have a dual issue that is currently causing me a great deal of stress.
Ok, it’s not that much stress. I think I’m a borderline hoarder. That’s ok on it’s own, but the problem is… I hate clutter. Part of my OCD is that I need to have everything in it’s proper place at all times. If I spend more than 5 minutes trying to find something, that’s a problem. Its mean either A. I absent-mindedly put something in the wrong place, or worse – B. someone moved something in my house. This is a major no-no.
So what this leaves me with, is very orderly stacks of books, shoes and papers strategically placed around my apartment. On my coffee table is two book stacks, the books that I want to read next, and the books that I should read but I’m never going to get to…
I don’t try and collect things, they just seem to accumulate. It’s a family trait. My grandmother had a junk drawer. Anything that didn’t have an immediate purpose was thrown in the drawer for possible use in the future: found keys, door stops, single earrings, you name it. Eventually it got so filled up that something jammed it shut and it wouldn’t open. They had to break into the drawer from the one underneath. I think all they did after that was move everything to another drawer.
After my mother passed, we were forced to empty her apartment. You couldn’t believe the things that my mother kept. You couldn’t believe that all this stuff fit in one 4 room apartment: bills from the 70’s, phone numbers with no name on the paper, used bingo cards (all losers), dozens of bingo markers, you name it. Of course, we didn’t actually throw anything out; we just boxed it up, split it down the middle and took it to our respective houses.
Today, I made the decision to start the process of removing the excess clutter from my home, before it starts to take over. This is what I found.
A stack of Rolling Stone and Spin mags from the early 90’s. This was the early days of grunge, and the last days of hair metal. I put them back.
A pair of 30-waist stone washed jeans. No holes. No rips. I put them back.
Two sweaters that my mother bought me that haven’t been worn in years. I put them back.
As you can see, things were not going well. I moved to my spare room to see if I had better success.
10 different menus for restaurants that no longer exist. I managed to toss these.
25 quart cooking pot. Gonna give that to goodwill.
Thank you cards from couples that are already divorced. (See previous blog post) In my head I counted up the total amount that I put in their collective envelopes. I was not happy. I’m thinking about mailing them back.
A box of at least 50 VCR tapes, including every episode of the X-files. This would be fine, except I don’t have a working VCR.
A scanner than hasn’t been used in 10 years.
A line printer. Do any of you even know what a line printer is?
A fashion magazine dedicated to Christy Turlington. That went back into it’s place of honor, along with the poster of her that I stole off the ‘R’ train, and the autographed poster from a signing at Calvin Klein.
All of the hard covered composition notebooks that I kept as journals since I was 15. A crate full. These need to go in a safety deposit box.
A newspaper from every Giant and Yankee championship. All three local papers. The stack is the size of a 4 year old child.
A high-intensity flashlight that I found on the subway. Only problem is, I don’t have the charger, so it’s useless. Kept it.
A metal folding chair.
A snow-tire. (I kid you not. Don’t remember how it got in here, but it’s here. Not sure if I can throw it out with the regular trash.)
I also came across a George Foreman grill and a wooden tennis racket.
A paper-shredder with a wad of paper jammed in it. Someday I’m going to fix this – back in the closet it went.
A weight bench. I like lifting weights. I still go to the gym, however, I havent used this bench for anything other than a clothes line for about 10 years.
When all was said and done, all I really got rid of, was the menus and some old tee-shirts. Well, i didn’t really get rid of the tee-shirts, I just moved em from the dresser to the rag bin. I’ll use em to wipe up dust and cat hair.
So today wasn’t really a success. I’m sure if I had a stoop sale, some of this would go, but that’s never going to happen. If anybody wants anything, please let me know. I’ll probably be able to part with it in a year or so.