Hoarding is unhealthy, right?

Those hoarding reality shows are fascinating. The people with the squished cats and vermin typically have some sad stories or tragic event that started their hoarding.

I think I’m a hoarder. I hold onto things. I hold onto thoughts and people, too. I see value where there may not be any or where few see it. I see value far beyond the time when the item or relationship has lost its value.

[cue the sad background music]

I grew up with little, but enough. Definitely enough love and was always taught to value others. Fortunately I heard first hand the stories of the Great Depression and how it impacted people and made them appreciate things. Taught them the value of even the smallest item and how a neighbor could become a savior.

[okay, the music can go now]

Those lessons have stayed with me. I’m frugal. Not to the point of rinsing out my sandwich bags (no offense intended), but I try to cut corners. (I will also “splurge” and buy a $4.00+ iced tea from the gourmet tea shop at the mall, but that’s another post.) I like re-purposing things. The idea of trying to save the planet makes me smile. Walk softly on Mother Earth and all that.

I can see how these hoarders got their start and how it could easily get out of control. In cleaning out boxes at my house, I’m finding stuff that was just thrown into boxes from one house move to another and never cleaned out. Or something that was thrown in a box with the thought, “I may need that.”

I heard somewhere that if you don’t use something within a year, toss it. I’m trying to get on that train, but it’s tough. I may not use that expensive cooking item for a year, but I’m sure not tossing or donating it. Other items – absolutely! Now that the kids are growing older, it’s getting easier, too. The old toys are getting tossed or donated and I’m making progress with the physical items.

Everywhere I look there is, however, another opportunity to hoard. Social media. How many ways do we need to keep in touch with people? And how many contacts do we need on each? Aren’t we really just hoarding other people? Do we know them? Will we ever know them? Will we ever be able to sort them out and “toss” them if they lose their usefulness? Or might we need them someday? It’s a virtual hoarding that is growing every day.

We share thoughts instantly, perfect example is here as bloggers. We read them, store some in our heads, toss some away. I’m willing to wager that we keep more than we toss. It’s virtual hoarding, just of an intellectual variety. It’s as if we’re creating a 21st Century Renaissance where everything is exploding around us and we’re drinking from a firehose of information every time we look in a new direction.

We’re so connected to our computers and electronic devices that we’re neglecting the warm, face-to-face side of our relationships. Did anyone feed the cats? We’re so busy hoarding connections and information that the cats are getting their warmth from the side of the computer. We have virtual pets that we forget to feed get crushed beneath the volume of other programs and the people we tend to online.

The hoarders on tv seem to live that way because they are recluses of some sort. The more we are behind our computer monitors, the more followers or connections or links we have; the more we become virtual hoarders.

Aren’t we all slowly becoming hoarders without even realizing it?

Hi, I’m The Forgetful Genius and I’m a hoarder.


4 thoughts on “Hoarding is unhealthy, right?

  1. Good point re virtual hoarding. There is so much stuff in our dusty online coffers that any TV crew investigating the matter would shake their heads in disbelief. Though they probably will then find that they do it as well:) You hoard, I hoard, she/he hoards.

  2. Very good post! I have the same thing with boxes that I’ve moved around with and don’t even really open until I move again. I’ve been slowly going through my closet and throwing out things… it’s rough to throw out some of the memories, but then again, I’m not remembering them much when they’re in a box…

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