Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Self Storage

I have been only the latest in a long line of pack-rats in my maternal family line. Everything that I come into contact with, I feel an overwhelming desire to hold on to. The fact is, I don't find too much difference between the "Hoarders" TV show and where I am capable of going except for the fact that I have been motivated by, "Clean House" and and my love of my family, to turn off that road about a year and a half ago.

Clutter no longer rules my home. And it did. Once I even threw my wedding ring away, because my husband dared to try to throw away the pile of clutter that had accumulated on out dishwasher without letting me go through it first. Yet last August I had a two day yard sale, then donated four pick-up truck loads to charity and took another three loads to the dump and am still going strong.

What made the difference? As flylady says, it is learning to Finally love yourself, and to give up on perfectionism. The main thing for me was the simple point that I am not getting rid of the memory, or the person, by getting rid of the item that they gave me, or wore or touched.

My problem started the day My Mom ordered me to clean my room, and then cried because I had thrown away a valentine card with a flocked grey kitten on it. It was from her, "Don't you love me?" and from then on, I was afraid to throw anything away. Now, She lives in a pack-ratss dream, next to the packed house of my Grandmother, and there are several, cousin's, aunts and Great-Grandparent, homes that went the same way. It is easy to see, even on a short road trip, my relatives are the ones with bags and cartons tucked around our feet in the floor of the car.

The biggest cure in my life is my digital camera, and a scrapbook that I named "Self-Storage." So I can always find Myself.

I took pictures of the clutter, and then wrote poems or paragraphs about why those items stirred my memories. Then I could lose the clutter without losing the memories of the people, and the places that I loved. That scrapbook was little more than a concept and two pages before my teenagers were interested - yet I know that if I had left the piles of old t-shirts and motel soaps and grade school art projects, they would have eventually been forced to throw them away for me, and been angry and frustrated, and clueless to the rich history that I can now share with them.

The things I keep now, the best things, are no longer saved for special occasions, because no time is more special than now - while my family is all still here, to chip the good china, and laugh at the memories when they see that chip later.


  1. Echo, I read your blog about "Hoarders" and self storage and saw your pictures and had a fit of the giggles. You have a marvelous sense of self deprecating humor, but you got a Looonng way to go to be on Hoarders. hee hee. I used to think I was bad and so was my grandma Edna until I saw that show! whoa nelly. I hope your day is going well my friend. Prayers going up for you and yours. Much much love, Dana Bee aka Magicmomma from BPer. {{{{Hugs to you}}}}}

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