Friday, November 9, 2012

The Garage Hoarder

“Can we get rid of this box? It’s full of tapes,” Tom said and made a move to take the box and TOSS IT IN THE TRASH PILE we had started. Was he nuts?!

“Stop!” I shrieked, then calmed myself down. “I mean. I might listen to them again. There’s New Kids on the Block in there. And the Annie soundtrack.”

Tom blinked at me. “Get the songs on iTunes.”

A lump was beginning to form in my throat. “But. But.” The thought of my tapes being crushed to death in the trash was beginning to bother me. True I could donate to Goodwill, but what if the person didn’t appreciate the tapes? I had them since I was little! I remember jamming to The Right Stuff when I was 8. I had a massive crush on Joey and pretended he was singing Please Don’t Go Girl to me. (“Don’t worry, Joey. I’m not going anywhere!”)

“So let me get this straight,” Tom said and I knew what was coming. “You won’t get rid of your notebooks from high school. You won’t get rid of your sweats from gym class in junior high. You won’t get rid of your tapes. You practically had a meltdown when I suggested we get rid of Tommy’s baby clothes—”

“I kept my favorite outfits!” I yelled. Don’t think that I kept them all. No, we donated a bunch to the Airman’s Attic before we left the base in Nebraska. But I kept my absolute favorites. And yes, maybe five outfits to keep is a bit much, but oh well.

“What are you going to get rid of?” Tom asked impatiently. He had easily dumped some of the clothes he no longer wore in the donate pile. It’s easier for men. They don’t get attached to things. He could care less if we got rid of Tommy’s mini boxers that I bought for him when he was 3 months old so he could match Daddy.

“I got rid of that fan,” I reminded him, pointing.

“Because it was broken.”

Oh. Well, still.

“I also got rid of the kid’s trike. That’s been around since Tommy was two. It was very difficult for me.”

“Why? It’s too small for the kids!” Tom boomed. See? No attachment whatsoever. Didn’t he remember Tommy learning to pedal for the first time on the trike? It was a struggle for him to pedal and the doctors said it had to do with his sensory processing disorder. He had low muscle tone. When he finally got it, I was so happy. I even let him bring the thing into the house so he could keep pedaling. Tom wasn’t as amused with that one. He kept grumbling, “Bikes belong outside.”

“What is all this?” Tom demanded, opening a large plastic bin that was full of toys.

“Oh, that’s what I picked up at the Target 70% off toy sale. Some will be for Christmas, others are put aside when the kids are invited to birthday parties,” I explained.

“How are we ever supposed to organize this garage?” Tom wanted to know.

“Well, we have a pathway that we can walk through so that’s good,” I said. Then I flashed to an episode of Hoarders. Crap. They also make a pathway to walk through while their stuff looms around them. Sort of like the garage. Only we don’t keep trash in there and I swear, you won’t find a body of a squished cat either.

Still, Tom is right. So I’m going to make more of an effort to get rid of stuff.

Yes, I am a pack rat. Only, as I’ve said before, I like to call myself a Preserver of Memories. There’s a difference.

There’s a difference.


  1. I'm the same as you - I find it SO hard to get rid of stuff. Last weekend though? I don't know what came over me. I had a good sort out and threw away SOOOOO much "junk" I felt better for it, too :)

  2. You saw the episode of the squished cat too? I mean, that about made me just loose it. And why do I continue to watch that show as I eat?

  3. I'm borrowing "Preserver of Memories" for the next time my husband heads to the trash with my cassettes! What if that "cloud" that holds all the iTunes music disappears? I'll still have my music! That's what I like to tell myself anyway. Oh, and there are no squished animals in my garage either. :)

  4. I'm a Preserver of Memories & the husband is a hoarder of all things that might come in handy one day ... it's NOT a good combination.

  5. Believe it or not, letting go of stuff you no longer need is very liberating! I'm with Tom on this one, sorry! Be brave - you can do this!!!!

  6. There is definitely a difference. I'm a "preserver of memories" myself. But I have got to get rid of some stuff in my garage soon or my car isn't going to fit anymore. I've been putting it off, mainly because I'm afraid of spiders and there are spider webs everywhere out there!

  7. I'm not horribly attached to things, as much as my husband is. When we moved in together I forced him to get rid of ratty shoes from high school, shirts that didn't fit, and clothes that had stains all over them. Why did he need all that junk anyway?

  8. Ahhh, the episode of the squished cat was horrible! I believe that was also the episode where the lady found her missing dentures in a big pile of nastiness....and proceeded to wear them.

    Needless to say, I don't think you keeping a few items is all bad. I do the same thing. ;-)

  9. Preserver of memories.. I have to use that next time although Im not the pack rat in our house my husband is lol I could understand not wanting to get rid of things that are precious. I still have my oldest sons first diaper (clean) it came out of the very first pack I opened and I wanted to put it up :)

  10. Well said, As the hoarder of my house- sorry preserver, my wife is constantly asking why I'm hanging on to things!

  11. I know this won't be a popular comment.....but the memories are in your head and your heart. Not in the stuff. The stuff is just stuff. And if it's taking up space that you need, it's a problem. Really.

  12. Take photos of the stuff you love, make an album, and voila!

  13. It is really hard to get rid of things when there are memories attached. I struggled with getting rid of my kids babies clothes. But really, who were they helping in the garage? I eventually gave them up (the clothes) and haven't missed them since. Just pull it off like a band aid.

  14. Preserver of memories-I love it!
    I have a tendency to keep things that I really don't need, eh whoops.

  15. "Preserver of Memories". Nice! It IS hard to part with some of the kids things. The only problem being - the old they get, the more junk, er, stuff YOU accumulate. Then it is time to select ONE baby outfit and put it aside. It's not easy. Believe me.

  16. You need an intervention.
    Or me.

    I have no trouble at all tossing.
    I love the clean.

  17. well..Im totally opposite i cant keep anything for the life of me!! It gos out the door if its not touched in 6 months, I cant do clutter ;)

  18. I think it's hard for most of us at times to get rid of things that bring back fond memories. I however get to the point that I can't stand all the stuff and no place to put it.

  19. there IS a difference. at least I keep telling myself that...

  20. The husbands won't get it...ever. Especially when it comes to the baby stuff!

  21. I don't even want my birth certificate

  22. I don't even want my birth certificate


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