Containers and Hoarding

Boxes, bags, containers (is there anything beyond a box or a bag?) abound. Loose stuff goes into a container at some point, only to come out again. This time, I bought more smaller plastic bags for jewelry…the endless pieces of costume jewelry. Each piece must have been that shiny bauble that captivated. Like gold coins tucked away and fondled now and then…my Aunt loved her shiny, costume jewelry. Thousands of pieces (this is the fourth time I have bought plastic bags and I will have to buy them again I am sure).

The patterns emerge of what was held valuable, what was hoarded for pleasure.  

In the end, you are dealing with containers of one sort or another as much as the loose stuff of a hoarder. My Mom was into bags. My Aunt was into boxes. One lends itself to stacking and the other leads to cascading mountains of stuff.


5 thoughts on “Containers and Hoarding

  1. momoftwo

    Hi, I will be in Portland the weekend of Oct 12. I was hoping to attend your sale if you are having it then. If you are, would you be able to email me and let me know what the house address is? I’ve enjoyed following this blog so much and I’d love to meet you and see the house of your sweet, hoarding Auntie. 🙂 Thanks!

  2. HI Gary;
    I am always so amazed at how you continue to navigate the hoard of both physical and emotional objects as you plow along, clearing out your Aunt’s house.
    My Mother saved enormous amounts of boxes, and, of course, they were piled right next to the furnace. She saw nothing wrong with that, and finally wouldn’t allow me in the house, because I didn’t stop pestering her to let me remove them. They were not stacked, they were piled haphazardly (very hazardly) beside the gas furnace, and under the stairs to the basement. The stairs were wood, of course, so a fire would have been deadly very fast.

    She did set a fire on the stove top, when she forgot to turn off a burner, and put the plastic coffee maker on top, because there wasn’t any room on the counter. This burned the microwave/stove vent over top, causing the plastic on the microwave to melt, making it dangerous to use, but she did anyway.

    My Sister, the other hoarder in the home, buys plastic containers, lots of them.She remembers giving me some items in containers, and asks about them whenever we talk, which isn’t that often. She wants them back when I “don’t need them any more”, because she has more stuff to put into them. I figure there must be hundreds of dollars spent on various kinds of plastic containers, from small to very large.

    In your blog, you almost never express anger at the horrific waste of money, and life itself, that your hoarding relatives left behind. I don’t know how you do that, and I hope I get to that point one day. Keep writing, I really enjoy your blog, and all the pictures of the treasures (and trash) from your Mom and Aunt.

    1. Thank you Linda, for the very insightful remarks. Soooooo, right on and exactly the same for my Mom and Aunt. Frankly, I turn my mind away from calculating the hundreds of thousands of dollars the two squandered. Entire retirement investments, untold purchases. The push back and harsh attitudes were hurtful. It is only counter balanced by my knowing the degree of sadness and loneliness they felt. But, this was not all sadness…there was an element of massive garage sales to make a buck…which was the initial push. Later that, of course, was smothered by that depression and probable recognition that they were buried and too tired/ashamed/overwhelmed to respond any more. Thanks again.


  3. I feel your pain! My father stores all of his things in boxes and my mother stores all of her papers in plastic bags. I think I definitely hate the bags more as they rip over time and turn into a landslide of bags and paper if you move the wrong one. That said, encountering mountains of boxes can be overwhelming and breaking down multiple boxes at a time is absolute tourture!!!! Good luck with your last sale of the season!!

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