Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Hoarding’

That Stuff May Be Useful Someday

I helped my 10-year-old friend clean and organize her room. As she lobbied to keep a shoe that was about to fall apart, I saw shades of myself in her. And a characteristic of my mother.

Her name, which I’m withholding, means moonlight. So I’ll call her Moonlight. An artist, Moonlight saw value in things that might be useful someday.

That shoe? Its unique straps could be saved. I don’t know what for, but I looked at them through her eyes. Maybe, I thought, they’d get a second life in a piece of art.

parentthings1

The teeth my mother made in dental school.

My mother used to stow things away for someday. I must admit, I inherited the trait to a degree. The practice makes cleaning out a loved one’s stuff after their death, well, interesting. I still don’t know why Mom put a handful of her long, straight, gray hair in a grocery bag.

I found the bag of hair tucked in a drawer of the coffee table. I kept the hair.

Read more

Advertisements

Inheritance: Holding onto Stuff

I am not a hoarder. I am attached to stuff, but I am not a hoarder.

Now before you say “the lady doth protest too much,” I must explain. Before I asked whether I was a hoarder, I asked whether my parents were hoarders. I inherited all their stuff. A lot of stuff.

ClipsPhoto

Unearthed: A box of my “clips,” examples of my writing, that dated to 1985.

Charged with cleaning out their home, I didn’t know where to start. I found folders of utility receipts stuffed between a living room chair and table. I discarded a broken microwave that had been standing on end in the floor for years. The bedrooms where my brother and I slept as children had long been the abode of cats. They ruined the carpets and scarred the furniture.

Did you know there are levels of hoarding? I went to a mini-seminar in November 2014. It was conducted by Dr. David Dia, a hoarding specialist with some national prominence. A Memphian, he’s appeared on TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive.

Read more