Monday, 8 August 2011

Sentimentalist...or hoarder?

We had some friends from Canada staying with us for a few days last week, hence the mild panic last post about the lack of shower in the refurbished bathroom. Since we don't have a spare room as such we decided to put them up in the boys bedrooms and sitting room ( it started life as their play room but as they are now teenagers I'm not allowed to call it that anymore!) and let the boys sleep in the office.

Not only was it the best sleeping arrangement for all concerned but it was also a cunning plan on my part to get the boys involved in some serious tidying and de-cluttering. Or so I thought.

I'm probably not the best role model when it comes to throwing things out or getting rid of unnecessary items. If something gets broken or damaged, whether a toy, ornament, book or clothing  I'll try and fix it rather than consign it to the bin. A make do and mend mentality that wouldn't be a problem in itself, in fact many would applaud my efforts. Unfortunately it's joined by a  rather liberal dose of sentimentality, never a good combination if you want a streamlined home.

How much easier it would be to put things away if drawers and cupboards weren't filled with old birthday/Christmas cards, handmade calendars, art work from playgroup, nursery and primary, Halloween costumes, prizewinning poems and stories, pebbles, shells, pressed flowers and leaves, entry tickets and information leaflets........the list goes on.

Now, I was under the impression that this was a personal foible, especially since my husband didn't seem to show any signs of similar idiosyncrasies.  However, during last weeks great tidy-up it became apparent that I have passed it on to the boys( it must be genetic). Rather than discarding anything they spent most of the day organising their treasures into piles, three to be exact. A pile that could be given to charity, a pile that was to be kept in their room, and a pile that could be boxed up but had to be kept in the loft. I'll let you guess which was the smallest pile!

The largest pile was of their childhood books, ones they were way past reading but couldn't bear to part with.
Only one of 4 boxes of books that made their way in to the loft

The Hairy Maclary series, a firm favourite with all of the males in the house

Some of the funkiest illustrations ever

So the boxes were lifted up later that night, deposited next to a cache of others filled with knitted baby jackets and christening robes, the first year of shoes, wooden train sets, wedding cards and best man speeches, letters from family and friends. 
Some might see it as hoarding, an inability to let things go. As for me? Well, I'm just glad we have a really big loft!


Ali said...

I tried the same activity yesterday...trying to get my son to tidy his room...his dad was in stitches as he apparently did exactly as I do ...he carefully inspected every item and remenisced whilst doing so!(Much to my imapatient frustration as there was a time limit!)
We have very little storage space in the house so the garage is the next stage, one removed from the home...however once its in there it doesn't seem to move away..just builds a good foundation for the next boxful!
We have almost the exact same catalogue of cherished items as you! My mum now has a map of boxes stored in her loft - some labelled 'Don't look, just throw!'
I for one have appreciated being able to look back at all the lovingly hoarded school memorabilia, photos keep it up (in the loft!)!!
I also thought that my husband did not have the saving for sentiment gene until I found his school and student life stuffed into cupboards at his mum and dads!
xx Ali

Linnhe Mara said...

Hi Ali,

Thanks for that. It's comforting to know my boys and I aren't the only ones. I think your either a hoarder or a thrower and I'm not sure at what point in your life that is determined. As long as I keep it vaguely under control I shouldn't end up as the subject of some fly on the wall documentary!

Colette said...

Oh I'm just the same, I keep EVERYTHING!! I'm sure I will eventually need / use / be glad that I keep so much 'stuff', but some days it does drive me mad, lack of space is the problem.
I think I've 'passed it on' to my girls too, they keep all sorts of junk. Books and soft toys are definitely the hardest to part with.
I feel we will need an extension/spare house eventually!

gtlady said...

Horders and procrastinators are definatly the best sort of people, a quick trawl of fave blogs and they all have mentions of both usually as it being a bad thing. But imagine a world with no 'stuff', just getting on with what you are supposedto be doing? Admittidly initially it sounds lovely (calm, serene, no kids...) but in realily; boring, staid. Where would creatitivity be? A day spent going through 'stuff' is never wasted, you are taking time to appreiciate what you have in life. That and you can never have enough fimo animals!

Anonymous said...

I'm not really a horder, it's more a 'too lazy to go to the tip/charity shop' issue... But books I do struggle to dispose of.. my boys are are terrible horders. I am constantly putting stuff in the kitchen as a preliminary to getting packed up to go to the charity shop, only to find them playing with whatever it is a couple of hours later! They loved Hairy McClary too - after they had got over their initial fear of Scarface Claw!

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