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Preparing my own episode of ‘Hoarders’

POSTED: July 25, 2012 4:00 a.m.

I'll admit that I am a pack rat.

I am scared to pieces that the minute I throw something away, I will need it.

Which is why I have magazines that are more than five years old and makeup that is well past its shelf life.

But I have a fear of tossing it.

One day, I may need that magazine article or maybe that lipstick won't rot my mouth off.

My husband thinks I am preparing for my own episode of "Hoarders."

"I am not," I will refute.

Well, not intentionally anyway.

"Then toss some of this junk," he will plead.

"You first, starting with those cycling shoes from 1989," is my reply.

He's one to talk. I don't have an empty space that is spared from some kind of worn slap-out bicycling paraphernalia. The barn looks like a graveyard for old bicycle parts.

At least I try to conceal my hoarding. My office is where I stash my makeup and most of the magazines.

The cabinets under the bookcases in the living room hide some of the other magazine collections and my holiday décor.

When the DirectTV guy had to run a new cable a while back, I was frantic. Of course, the very place he needed to run the cable through was in the midst of Christmas and Halloween decorations and a pile of decade old "People" magazines.

"My husband should probably have you sign some kind of waiver when I open this," I said, kneeling on the floor ready for the collapse of Santas and celebrity news. "He swears I am a hoarder."

The man bent down and peered in the cabinet.

"Oh nah," he said. "That's nothing. I've been in houses that could make you cry. You're nowhere near a hoarder."

Lamar wishes that man had never told me that. I had been reassured I was nowhere in the vicinity of a hoarder.

"You're teaching Cole to hold on to stuff," Lamar told me one day, surveying the disaster that is our child's room.

Cole overheard this comment and knew the following statement was going to involve the words "clean" and "throw away."

"Oh uh uh," my child began. "You threw away a lot of my stuff and that was terrible. I need all my toys! I'm still trying to rebuild."

Sure enough, Cole's room had gone through a few purgings.

One, when Lamar had swept everything up but Piggy and put it in the barn to see if Cole missed it. It was a year later when Cole found it and had an apocalyptic fit over it only to find out most of it had been turned into a nest for the zombie rat family.

The second purging was when Mama came up to help him clean his room. Her idea of room cleaning had not changed since I was a child and it still involved big black garbage bags and elbow grease. Cole didn't speak to her for three weeks afterwards.

I am trying to purge every now and then. Simplicity is supposed to be good for the soul and feng shui, whatever that is exactly.

I toss out the makeup I know needs to go and even started weeding through the magazines. Even the one with Brad and Jen's wedding day on the cover.

It's a burdensome process, but hopefully, I'll make it.

However, if you happen to see a film crew outside of my house, you'll know I failed miserably.

It was probably the collection of Southern Livings that did me in.

Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist and certified life coach. She lives in the north Georgia mountains with her family and four insane, but fairly well behaved dogs.

 

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