My mother is moving, so today, after a trip to the dentist I spent the day helping her.
My mother is a hoarder, nothing but nothing gets thrown out that might be of use some time within the next millennium. My Father – who died last year – was also a hoarder, so there is 50 years of hoarding to sort out. Not forgetting my brothers’ stuff that he daren’t hoard in his own house for fear of being told he would be sleeping in the spare room. Actually it was quite fun, took youngest student and Hubby over too and when we hit the old photos the laughs kept us going for a long time.
Did you know there are different types of hoarders?
My father was an organised hoarder, things boxed and labelled, picture hooks, pencil sharpeners, badges, (how does anyone even in over 70 years of life manage to acquire so many badges and not be a collector?) boxes full of magazines all labelled with the contents issue numbers and dates. Everything which had a certificate, a booklet, an instruction leaflet was with it. Now if you must hoard that is the way to do it.
My mother on the other hand is a manic hoarder who doesn’t even remember what she has hoarded after it has been shoved in a box and pushed into the back of a cupboard or wardrobe. We even found a present that was bought for me but she had forgotten about it. Mother, youngest student and I spent a jolly old time guessing what might be in each box as we picked it up, it was like Christmas. No I really mean it was like Christmas, my mother seems to have this knack of forgetting each year that she already has enough decorations for the Golden Mile at Blackpool and buys another load, trees, wreaths, figurines, cribs, baubles, plus all the wrapping paper, cards, tags and bows to fill Santa’s sack four times over!
The trouble with a hoarder is that it can be hard to convince them that they don’t really need certain things, she really didn’t want or see any need to keep railway timetables that were 40 years old, so they were easy, but when we uncovered the umpteenth box of bull dog clips she got all excited as if the 50 or so we had already discovered didn’t exist. How many bull dog clips does a near 70 year old grandmother need?
I know it isn’t easy for my mother; she is saying farewell to a mother (who also lived there for a time before her death), a husband and a home. She knew she needed to do it and that she needed help to do it. She wont have an attic, a cellar and a garage any longer, but the memories she will continue to have and the precious things – the waistcoat she made for my father, her mothers butterfly brooch, pictures of her family, gifts given to her, things her and my father bought together, will be around her still in her new home – priceless treasures of the heart that money could never replace and yet are worth nothing as far as an insurance company is concerned.
Maybe hoarding isn’t so bad after all if those are the kind of things we hoard.