Before I talk about hoarding, I am sorry that I didn't post the last two days. The taxes turned into a day and half adventure. And then yesterday afternoon, I spent 3 and 1/2 hours at the dentist having my crowns and bridge permanently put in. What an ordeal that was and today I feel like someone beat me up. I also woke up with a slight fever this morning which I am sure is a result of all of that dental work yesterday. After the dentist I had one errand to run. By the time I was on the road coming home it was 6pm. I was in no mood to come home and start dinner at that late time so I stopped and picked up submarines with my Subway gift card. After we ate, I went to bed. I was beat!
Now let us get on to the subject of hoarding. I am sure you have all seen the show on TV about hoarding. That show makes me cringe. Because every time I see it or think about it, I think of my stockpile. Having almost a years worth of food makes me wonder if I shopped for the sake of getting a great sale or to actually stockpile what we need in case of an emergency. Then I ask myself how long would that emergency last.
A snowstorm with a power outage could be 2 weeks or more here in the Northeast. A severe earthquake, flood, or other weather catastrophe could last even longer. And then of course, there is always the chance of a foreign country taking down our power grid, a war, the economy collapsing or some other horrible thing that could happen that would take our country a year or more to recover from if ever. These things a lot of preppers prepare for because they want to be prepared for the worst. All of these reasons are valid so people prepare. But I wonder when it turns into an obsession or crosses the line into hoarding.
As I organize my home, I am looking at each and every item with renewed interest. I ask myself does it serve a purpose, have I used it in the past 6 months, is it a duplicate, is it a thing of beauty in my home and do I love it. If any of these questions I answer with a no, the item is either thrown out or donated.
I have found so many pictures from back when the kids were growing up. They are fading so I have asked Hubby to scan them all into the computer and make sure to back them up. We would not want to lose them. I also want to save what is left of them so that they don't deteriorate any further. But we don't need to keep the paper copy.
As I was doing our Federal and State taxes, I had to look for last year's taxes for certain information. While down in the basement looking for the file box they are in, I noticed that we have all of our tax returns and back up information since the year 2000. Now as an accountant I know that it is not necessary to keep them that long. Seven years will suffice. So that is a new project for me to do when I get to organizing the basement.
I am sure that you all have things that you hang onto for sentimental reasons. Something someone gave you that you hated but you don't want to get rid of it because of the person who gave it to you. My Mom is no longer with us but over the last few years of her life she was into making ceramics. She made many of them for us and she was so proud to give them to us. The very last one she made for us was a cactus because we were moving to Arizona. I loved that cactus both because it was beautiful and because she made it for us. Since we have moved back to the Northeast, my decor has changed and I had no place for it. I hung onto it and hung onto it. Then I realized that I was hanging onto the memory so I didn't need the item. I took a picture to store in our computer and then donated it. I have done this with many an item over the years. It's the occasion or memory that I need to keep not the physical object.
How many of us have gift closets and we just keep adding to them. We buy things when they are on clearance or a great sale and then never seem to find the right occasion or person to gift them to. Clean them out and donate what you haven't used for years because you probably won't ever use them. Then vow to never buy something again just in case. Always purchase something that you know the giftee wants and will love. In other words, attach a name to that purchase whether it be for a birthday, Christmas, or another occasion.
Now back to my food stockpile. Do I really need a year's worth of food or not. It is all starting to look like a lot of clutter to me. Sure I will keep rice, dry beans, flour, oatmeal and water in quantity in case we need to eat. But do I need cans and cans of things especially since we are now mostly eating from scratch. The answer is a resounding no. The only cans that I really need to keep are vegetables, fruits, and some protein like tuna, chicken or turkey to get us through the winter and/or in case of a catastrophe. So we have been and will continue to eat it up which will also save us money on our grocery bills over the next few months. We are also eating down our freezers to not only make room for a 1/4 cow next fall but so that we can freeze some fruits and veggies when they are in season.
As organized as I am, there are areas that I can do better. And I am working on that. I don't want to end up being a hoarder. I don't want my children to have to rent a dumpster to shuck all of the crap out the door when we have passed on. That is my worst nightmare.
Sometimes I think that I am the only person who has this dilemma. Let me know if you struggle with any of this too.
We have always kept our finances pretty organized so that is not an issue. But bringing clutter into the house is.
I have not asked you to respond to any questions yet and that is because I can't type a question mark on my computer keyboard. Hubby has looked at the problem and he says that it isn't my keyboard because the slash mark works and the cap lock works for other letters and punctuation. If anyone knows what could be causing this let me know. It is getting very annoying. I am tempted to go buy a new keyboard and just see if it corrects the problem. I can always return it if it doesn't.
So please let me know in comments if you struggle with any of this or am I the only one. I hope all of you have a great weekend.