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H or T?

It’s another long weekend and, improbably, I want to spend some of it scraping an archaeological layer of filth off Badger House. That’s because I’m taking time off in May for my traditional birthday celebrations, and I sure don’t want to be doing it then.

We are not tidy people. In fact, we’re getting on for hoarders. I’ve just gone through our old owner’s manuals, and we had documentation for machines that were made obsolete by the invention of electricity.

Now, in some ways, the fact that we’re both similarly disinclined to throw shit away is a good thing: the marriage of a hoarder to a tidy would probably end in murder. But the downside is obvious: our home is an EFFING DISASTER.

I will say in our favor, a sizable chunk of our crap is books and cool antique doo-dahs so, while it’s technically clutter, it looks sort of awesome piled up in tottery mounds.

Are you a hoarder or a tidy? And, if you have a significant other, what is your spouse’s inclination? I shall leave you to ponder the question while I go hoover up fragments of Elizabethan history. Good weekend, y’all!


Comment from durnedyankee
Time: April 28, 2017, 9:04 pm

based on the garage (never used to park automobiles) – hoarder.
Occasionally reduced in debris only to discover “coulda used that _________ we threw out last week to fix the _________!”.
I blame Yankee grandparents and years of “The Depression” stories.

Spouse – hoarder, but attempting to deny it by claiming she “has plans for that!”.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: April 28, 2017, 9:26 pm

Hoarder. And yes, when I throw things out, I regret it.

Advice I read is that if you hate throwing things out, take photos of it and then throw it out.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: April 28, 2017, 9:40 pm

@Ric Fan – You give me an idea! If you worry about being a hoarder, take pictures of your stuff and then email the pictures to the trash company.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: April 28, 2017, 9:45 pm

My wife and I have hoarderish tendencies but are far from full blown. Every few years she goes through some part of the garage or spare room and I have to schlep a trash bin or two to the curb (kerb) plus fill the back of the wagon with stuff to donate to the local cat shelter thrift store. Then we spend a few months regretting not having (a) or (b) or (c). Plonk helps get us through those tough times.

Comment from dissent
Time: April 28, 2017, 9:56 pm

Not a hoarder, but do engage in “historical preservation”.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: April 28, 2017, 10:04 pm

I am a hoarder, but Mrs. Vegetable is not. Amazingly though, she doesn’t often bother my stuff, but eventually she always does a Stalinist purge while I’m away traveling – and a bunch of my things join the Desaparecidos.

She waits till I’m away though because of the counter-revolution which occurred the day I came home and found all my paperbacks in boxes awaiting the Salvation Army (“you can read anything you want on your iPad“).

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: April 28, 2017, 10:05 pm

Hoarder on a limited budget. So don’t have much stuff, but what I have is old and mostly not functional, but still usable maybe; under certain conditions.

Comment from AliceH
Time: April 28, 2017, 10:39 pm

I’m not really either. It works because I’m not much of an acquirer, so there’s hardly any stuff to tidy or hoard.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: April 29, 2017, 12:12 am

I’m a hoarder but I’m trying to be more tidy. I don’t like my environment to change, is why…it’s very disorienting. I always know where this or that is, except after tidying, that breaks my chain of location awareness, then I can’t find anything anymore.

Comment from Fritzworth
Time: April 29, 2017, 12:15 am

During the first 15 years of our marriage (2nd one for both of us, with 9 kids between the two of us when we got married), we never lived in a given house more than 2 years, so we got pretty ruthless at purging stuff, particularly once kids started leaving home.

In 2001, though, we moved into a house in Washington DC and ended up living there for four years, so we started accumulating Moar Stuff. However, when we moved from DC to Colorado in 2005, we used the ‘pods’ method of moving; I set a ‘budget’ of ten 8′ x 8′ pods, and whatever couldn’t fit in those, we got rid of (lots of single and married students in our church congregation benefited thereby).

In Colorado, we lived in just one house for the full nine (count ’em!) nine years. Furthermore, it was a really big house (6000 ft^2) with a completely finished walk-out basement. For the first (and only) time in my adult life, I had the space to buy enough bookcases to have all of my books out at once. By the same token, Sandra (sweet wife) had a lot of wall space and frankly a lot of room space to fill. We accumulated a lot of…stuff.

When we moved from Colorado to Utah in 2014, I set a budget again — this time of three 8′ x 16′ pods. Anything we couldn’t get in there, we gave away. We literally set up several folding tables in our large garage and would constantly put stuff out there for friends and neighbors to take. Sandra gave away our entire living room furniture set to the appraiser who stopped by. We were both pretty brutal in sorting through stuff. In fact, over the past 3 years, there have been many occasions where one of us has said, “Didn’t we have X?” And the other will say, “Yeah, but we probably put it out on the tables.”

Except, of course, I kept all my books. Well, I gave away 100 or so, but out of 3600, that wasn’t much of a dent.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: April 29, 2017, 12:26 am

I’m an army brat. I’m a ruthless purger. My husband would be a hoarder if I let him. His father really is a hoarder. We had a big house for many years. When we sold it we gave away rooms of furniture and enough stuff for the women’s shelter to set up 5 families. There are 2 of us. I vowed then never to have that much stuff again. We have lived the last 15 years in lofts. That means you either get good at organizing and creative about storing your stuff or you give up having a lot of stuff. We’re good at all 3. We live by the rule “1 in, 1 out”…no exceptions.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: April 29, 2017, 12:52 am

Husband is very tidy—I am messy. We shared an office for a year and it was terribly painful for him. I hate shopping so by default I’m not a big spender. I have winter boots that are 30 years old, and my bathrobe dates from 1994. I buy purses that are guaranteed for life.

My failings are books, kitchen and dining ware, and my sewing things. I started sewing when I was 12 and I still have every pattern I ever bought. I darn sweaters. Husband is driving a beautiful 2007 Dodge station wagon with nearly 300K miles on it, and I’m driving a pristine 2005 MB suv with 85K miles on it. We are keepers not hoarders.

Husband wants to downsize, and I’m willing. But I want a large RV and an airplane hangar.

Comment from Pupster
Time: April 29, 2017, 1:55 am

Mrs. Pupster is not a hoarder, but she is sentimental and disorganized. I’m a place for everything and everythinginitsplace guy, so it is a point of friction. I have an annual purge every spring, she’s not allowed to watch. I get things organized and de-cluttered, then watch as the piles grow for the next 11 months.

Comment from gromulin
Time: April 29, 2017, 2:08 am

Collector. Curator. Preservationist. I have a hard time with old family stuff. I go through the process of ‘distillation’ every few years. I take the containers of old family stuff down, including the stuff my mom saved from 2nd grade (!) and look at it, examine it, and if it no longer makes the cut, it goes. The rest gets put into a new container for the next culling. I enjoy it, and enjoy sharing what I know with the spawnareenos. My other weakness is tools. Dad always said buy the best tools you can afford and they will last you a lifetime if you treat them right. I’m a sucker for specialty tools, so I have quite an eclectic collection, including some of my Dad’s stuff that’s likely 70 years old. A good socket is a good socket! My mom’s house however was like a fucking clown car. It was 952 square feet, but when she passed it was like the Tardis inside. All well organized, but just boxes and boxes of memories she couldn’t let go of. All neatly stored in closets and up in the rafters. Even a child’s desk and chair her Grandfather made for her, and signed, in 1932. From Eucalyptus wood he milled himself. It’s in my rafters now…

Comment from Niña
Time: April 29, 2017, 2:40 am

I am also a everything has its place kind of person, but my daughter is not. Since she’s been helping me out whilst I’m on chemo, my house is what to me is a mess. I hate it. She doesn’t even notice.

I don’t get rid of much, though. I spent a lot of my life being too poor to have things, so I tend to keep things for many years. I usually purge when I move, but this last move three years ago happened when I had surgery, and I barely got moved as it was, let alone purge. I need to do it, I just need the energy!

Comment from Bob B
Time: April 29, 2017, 4:08 am

I consider myself a collector, my wife is an absolute hoarder. One “unused” bedroom is stacked wall-to-wall-to-ceiling with boxes of stuff. I cleared out some space in the garage for something, went to the store and returned to find the garage repacked with more, different stuff. She has pulled my some of my books out of the bookshelves and stacked them on my desk so she could put her stuff on the bookshelves.

In other news, at this link, Charlie Martin, who occasionally posts at Instapundit, explores what happens when you wear an “uncanny valley” cat mask in front of real cats. https://pjmedia.com/blog/liveblogevent/thursdays-hot-mic-4/entry-207011/


Comment from Bob B
Time: April 29, 2017, 4:33 am

Some Vegetable: consider yourself lucky. My beloved spouse remodels when I travel. I came home early from a trip to find holes in the house where all of the windows used to be. The contractor had been fired. And some of my stuff had been disposed to make room for the the changes. Fortunately I knew a really good window installer who was looking for work.
I bought my first Kindle in 2010, and while I still have several thousand physical books I rarely acquire any new ones any more. I have over 500 Kindle books and maybe a thousand PDF, Epub, or other electronic books. In fact, I sometimes buy the Kindle version of a book I want to reread or reference to save me the trouble of digging out the physical book. I can highlight the ebook and save my highlights to Evernote. I am fully embracing digital books.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: April 29, 2017, 5:30 am

I have hoarder tendencies, but mostly under control. I know how to get rid of stuff, and sometimes do, but I have accumulated things anyway. Not having moved in almost 30 years contributes.

As I get older, the length of time I will keep something because I’m going to get back to that gets longer. I haven’t used my home brewing kit in about ten years, but it stays.

(Part of my current situation is that I am living at my mom’s house to watch over her, but most of my stuff is still at my apartment. And a lot of it is packed up due to a bedbug infestation about the time I started staying at Mom’s. So I have no opportunity to use stuff that I am keeping – but when Mom goes somewhere else, and I move back home…)

Comment from Niña
Time: April 29, 2017, 9:35 pm

Bless you for watching over your mom, Rich. I hope she appreciates it as much as I appreciate my daughters watching over me this last year and more.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: April 29, 2017, 10:31 pm

Anyone noticed that in the graphic that stoaty appears to be mopping up blood?

Use, bleach, stoaty! Only way to eliminate the incriminating dna.

Comment from Niña
Time: April 29, 2017, 10:40 pm

It’s baby runnybabbit blood. 😜

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER`
Time: April 30, 2017, 10:56 am

Every now and again, I clean out my burrow, in the traditional American Badger way. I rent a Bobcat.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2017, 4:33 pm

I had this memory that I had done a graphic of a weasel with a mop, so I went looking and found it. But for all I know, that was supposed to be blood. It sure looks like it.

Comment from Monty James
Time: April 30, 2017, 9:05 pm

/raises hand

I confess to bourgeois parasite running dog capitalist hoarding tendencies, and denounce myself.

But I don’t have a human remains collection. As long as you don’t have a human remains collection, everything’s cool.

/lowers hand

Comment from David Gillies
Time: May 1, 2017, 5:14 am

I have so much obsolete computer junk it’s stupid. Periodically I launch a search and destroy mission and bin the really Stone Age stuff. I found a 64Mb Matrox Millennium video card in a drawer a while ago. I remember paying top dollar for it in 1999. Out it went. I have an Ultra-160 SCSI card that’s just too pretty to throw away, despite the computer it belonged to, with its first gen PCI bus, having been sent to a landfill lo full many a moon ago. Fortunately I have a splendid recycling system for things like the half-dozen CRT monitors I decided just had to go bye-bye last month. I leave them out on the kerb in the evening and by dawn the Costa Rican equivalent of pikeys have had it on their toes with them. This also works with e.g. fridges and washing machines.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: May 1, 2017, 3:45 pm

I own 3 muskets from the American Civil War period (2 rifled, 1 pumpkin slinger) – am I a hoarder
a right wing terrorist for owning 3 military assault muskets?

Comment from BJM
Time: May 1, 2017, 4:23 pm

Tidy hoarder here…I can’t live with piles or stacks so everything in it’s place. I do purge from time to time and usually live to regret it.

When we moved three years ago some stuff had to go. I had crates of obsolete network and computer peripherals, including multiple SCSI printer cables?! The local community college has a twice monthly computer/electronic disposal drop in the parking lot. As I was driving away the geeks were exclaiming over the boxes and pulling stuff out.

My passion and vice is gardening and seed catalogs are the work of the devil.

Sigh, my weakness used to be shoes now it’s secateurs.

Comment from Janna
Time: May 1, 2017, 5:49 pm

I’ve lived in this house for 25 years.

I have empty cabinets.

We have a local vintage market that sets up twice a year, most of my antique pottery, linens etc go there. My two boys like mid-century modern, I have old english furniture, mission style and 37 antique clocks (at last count)

To the market it goes.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: May 1, 2017, 8:07 pm

@durnedyankee – You are a fellow right wing terrorist, I’m happy to say! I only have one weapon that was actually used in war: an M1 Garand that saw both WWII and Korea.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: May 1, 2017, 8:36 pm

Oh, that’s just the old stuff that probably makes me a right wing hoarder 🙂 . We used to threaten to paint them black to make them more scarey and lethal.

But if they got upset about THOSE assault weapons, they’d really be upset by the various semi-auto modern ones.
Always wanted a Garand, but dang, you’d think they were made of gold!
I’d love to have one in the hoard though.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: May 2, 2017, 2:33 am

Bought the husband a Garand about 5 years ago for Christmas. Even in the projectile throwing realm we remain disciplined in our collection. He sold off over 30 of his weapons about 15 years ago to help pay for his culinary school tuition. We’ve brought in only 5 since that purge and I don’t see us acquiring many more. In fact, I see us selling off another 30-40 pieces and downsizing the safe.

1 in, 1 out, no exceptions.

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: May 2, 2017, 3:27 am

Besides some modern “liberty preservation tools” I have a couple of old pieces. My former service revolver is literally as old as I am. And no, it does not load from the front. But I do have one that does. An East India Co. Brown Bess musket [Windus Pattern] as modified over the years, that was found in an Al Quada arms cache. Also a Wehrmacht P-08 that my dad took from the previous user who had no further conceivable use for it. And a few sabers. I am a qualified gunner for muzzle loading cannon, but never did get my own 12 lb. Mountain Howitzer that I wanted. And I would love a Garand, which my dad carried in WW-II. Armybrat’s husband is a lucky man.

As far as books are concerned . . . We last counted over 15 years ago. NOT counting my working reference library for military and naval matters that used to be in my study, when I had one[those books now packed away], we had over 4500.

“Hi. My name is Subotai, and I’m a hoarder.”

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: May 2, 2017, 7:24 am

Comment from David Gillies @ May 1, 2017, 5:14 am:
I leave them out on the kerb in the evening and by dawn the Costa Rican equivalent of pikeys have had it on their toes with them. This also works with e.g. fridges and washing machines.

“had it on their toes with them”? Is this a mysterious Britishism? I’ve never heard or seen it before, and don’t quite understand it. Does it mean “took it away”? Or “took them away”?

Around here, there are Mexicans who cruise alleys with pickup trucks for scrap-sale metal junk. When someone dumps a mattress by my apartment building, I strip off the covers and padding, and they take away the bedspring.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: May 2, 2017, 1:36 pm

@Subotai Bahadur –
I’ve helped shift a 10 lb Parrot rifle around from place to place, but alas, have never crewed. We did lay in FRONT of battery of 12 pdr guns (blanks, obviously) at Franklin one time – does that count for anything. Yeah yeah, I have qualified as a target, I know.

You get the howitzer, then you have to have the limber chests, limbers, traces, horses, and trailers…
And powder…..
Heh, talk about hoarding.
I always marveled at guys who could afford to do that.
I’m beginning to make the layout for a Garand sound like buying a taco.

Comment from Veeshir
Time: May 3, 2017, 5:19 pm

I’m a hoarder. I save weird things that ‘I might need!’
But if I need a doo-hickey to connect the whosis, I’m set.
When I move I’m ruthless. Since I’ve move fairly regularly, it doesn’t get out of hand.
I moved to AZ with one, 6-foot, U-Haule trailer and my Mustang loaded.
6 years later, I’m moving again and I have a lot to throw out.

Comment from lauraw
Time: May 4, 2017, 12:17 am

I did the Marie Kondo method of decluttering last Summer and it was awesome, highly recommend. Declutter by category, not by room. Use her general thought process for selection, and her category progression. Ignore her silly mysticism.

I never got to the music/ media category because that involves mostly hubby’s stuff, not mine. Throwing away other people’s stuff is a no-no, and I agree with respecting your housemate’s property and wishes.

Time is on my side, anyway. I can wear him down. Bwaa ha ha haaa.

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