The earthquake retrofit of the foundation on our building is finally wrapping up. During the construction phase everything in the garage and storage units had to be removed for a couple of months and everyone in the building had to drag out all their precious treasures and relocate them. This gave me a glimpse into what my neighbors keep stashed away.
Wow. So. Much. Useless. Crap. I was designated as the guy to transport the donation items to Community Thrift and organize the bulk trash pick up. Getting up close and personal with other people’s stuff made me relax about any suggestion that I was a hoarder – a term that’s tossed my way on a regular basis. KonMarie wasn’t up for this job. I needed battlefield triage. Even the minimalists in the building had ridiculous things salted away that I know haven’t seen sunlight in a decade. Honestly, I think this is what almost every American has packed in their dark corners. Clothes that will never be worn. Broken things that will never be fixed. Sentimental objects that will never be fondly looked at or ever touched.
This is my storage unit. It’s difficult to photograph even with a wide angle lens since it’s a tight trapezoidal space. Picture a small bathroom that’s just big enough to squeeze in a shower stall, but not a tub.
So here it is now that things are getting back to normal. It’s a little grocery store. Peanut butter, jelly, cans of tomato, Kosher salt, oatmeal, polenta, and other dried goods, plus about 500 jars of home pressure canned soups, meats, and stews, along with Costco cases of toilet paper and dish soap. It’s organized, accessible, and everything is rotated so the oldest items are used first and new items go to the back of the queue.
So… how do you define a hoarder? People who mindlessly squirrel away a mountain of useless crap, or people who carefully build a reserve of genuinely useful things for a rainy day?