Unintentional Hoarding: I Really DON’T Do It On Purpose

I’m not a hoarder, at least not on purpose.  However,  I’m convinced my kids are.

My daughter HAD to have the foam pieces that came out of the fake pumpkins I carved the other day.  She carries them around in a Halloween bucket.  Then she set up her “store” and featured them.  Her store was basically a bunch of random things she has collected laid out on the piano bench, her desk, and a big rubbermaid container.  If you “bought” something, you got a “free sample” (which was as far as I could tell a small Halloween stamp.)  She was paying attention when we went to the Origins counter.

My son had a fit of sorts the other day when he saw that I had thrown away some of his school papers.  I was trying really hard to be discreet.  He just can’t believe that we would throw ANYTHING away, unless he doesn’t want to clean it up-then it’s fair game.  I explained to him that I DO keep the important stuff, like his special artwork, some of his  stories, benchmark stuff, etc.  He looked skeptical, and also like he was about to cry.  Think Mom, THINK!  Suddenly it came to me:

“Do you remember that episode of Spongebob where he wouldn’t throw anything away, and he had so much stuff it came out of his house and buried everything?”  He nodded, smiling. “Well, if I didn’t throw anything away, we’d get there real quick.”  He agreed, and walked away smiling and chuckling to himself.   Whew!  Probably the only time Spongebob will save the day in our house.

I don’t need to keep every piece of paper that comes home. I have enough on my plate to deal with right now, thank you very much.

Back to my original thought-I have a problem with accidentally holding on to things.  I seriously don’t do this on purpose.  The other day I was looking for something and started going through some of my bags.  I have a lot of bags, which is another problem.  I have a big brown Sherpani bag with lots of pockets that was my work bag, a big purple tie-dyed bag that holds everything when we travel with kids, two purses, and lots of random other bags that I use occasionally.  As I am going through these bags, I start finding lots of different bars:  Three Kashi bars of three different flavors, a Lara bar, and a Kellogg’s Fiber plus Antidioxants chocolate caramel bar.  I also find several packages of strawberry fruit snacks, and a whole container of cinnamon almonds.

Why all the food?  The reason is two fold.  I get a little loopy when I get hungry.  Actually a lot loopy.  I literally can’t function.  I get really shaky and my already foggy brain goes into a fog advisory of sorts.  I have two choices when this happens 1)  eat something I brought along, provided I can find it or 2) seek out food, which can get really expensive or really unhealthy, or both.  In other words I gots to eat.  Right then.  Secondly, I am a mom.  My kids are hungry.  Even if they’re not hungry, if they see me eat anything they are automatically starving.  My choices are 1)  give them something I brought along or 2) seek out food, which WILL get expensive.  Do you see a theme here?

So I tend to overdo it a bit.  And I throw something in whatever bag I have every time we leave the house.  Usually lots of food we’ll never eat.  And since no one ever helps me bring anything into the house, I get distracted when we get home and forget to unpack my bag.  Then the next time I don’t check it before I throw anything else in there.  Sometimes this doesn’t end well when I finally do getting around to cleaning out the bags.  There have been bad things that I’ve found later-a bag of moldy grapes, a stick of string cheese that had to have been there for months, an apple that had seen much better days.  Due to this, I have been sticking to, well, less perishable items.

This unintentional hoarding has saved my life on a few occasions when I have forgotten to put something in my purse and have started feeling a little woozy.  Like the football game we went to a couple of weeks ago when it dawned on me I never really ate anything at the tailgate. It was an odd time of day to eat, and the food wasn’t quite ready when we got there.  I had a few chips with nacho cheese, but that was about it.  Feeling really shaky, I reached down deep into my purse and found a Kashi bar.  A miracle!

There are other things that I tend to have multiples of that I find in odd places.  Like lip gloss.  I don’t wear lipstick, because it would look garish on me, but I do wear Neutrogena Moisture Shine Lip Soother in the clear sparkly color.  Clear sparkly because it’s the only shade I can wear, and with spf because I’m terrified of cancer.  I have approximately twelve tubes.  I’ll slip it in my pocket, or in my purse, or someplace else, and then forget and lose it.  I’ve washed every tube at least once.

I’m not sure if there is a name for this accidental hoarding.  Oh wait, there is-it’s ADD!  And all of this reminds me that I have a bag to get ready…

This could totally happen in my house. I may have several purses with cats in them.


5 thoughts on “Unintentional Hoarding: I Really DON’T Do It On Purpose

  1. All day long I have been pondering if I should throw out some foam hands we received at a football game that have a bank’s name on them. No one needs foam hands but what if I need foam for something. I don’t know what but I’m sure the minute I throw them away I will need foam….Ugh…it’s such a problem!!! LOL!!!

  2. My wife thinks I am a hoarder. I think i just recognise that some things are of sentimental value (like your son’s school papers 🙂 ) and that some things may come in handy one day (like the box the TV came in) 🙂

    • We have issues somewhat with that too. Recycling things makes sense, not only for the environment but as you said, it may come in handy! Toilet paper rolls-those are very useful for some things! However, my daughter wants to save ALL of them. I should take a picture, they are all lined up on the piano. Now that I think about it, maybe she’s trying to turn it into a pipe organ! 🙂

  3. Ohhh, thanks for writing this. I googled unintentional hoarding just to see what was wrong with me, or if that was even a “thing” hoping to find some tips (maybe a little validation, whatever). I never put the two together that it’s part of the ADHD. I’m just Glad I’m not alone.

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