I freely admit that I am one quirky girl. Even my quirks have quirks. Some are almost endearing but most, I suspect, fall closer to the annoying category but that’s OK since I don’t really have to deal with my quirks—just live with them. Of all my quirks, the one I enjoy the most is the thrill I get when I use something up and get to throw the container it came in out. I adore using things up. It appeals to some frugal part of my nature that isn’t satisfied until I’ve used the last bit of Blistex, squeezed the final trace of toothpaste and pulled off the end of the dental floss from its dispenser. I wear a maniacal grin as I toss the stick/tube/floss dispenser into the trash, feeling like I’ve accomplished something pretty damn major by using said product up. Like I’ve gotten my money’s worth. Like I’ve won. Exactly what I’ve won isn’t clear but the sense of victory remains until I buy my next Blistex, tube of toothpaste or dental floss dispenser and the whole process starts all over again. There is probably a psychological definition for someone like me but I’m not sure what it would be. Pathological tosser? Anti-hoarder? Plain old lunatic? Whatever it is, I don’t really care because it makes me happy and that really is enough.
I think anti-hoarder is the most apt description. I’ve never been one to hold onto things for too long but watching one episode of “Hoarders” sends me straight to the nearest closet where I start throwing everything into boxes earmarked for the local Goodwill. I come by my anti-hoarding tendencies honestly as my grandmother, the woman I was named after, was known to throw away shoes that were left by the doorway for too long (any amount of time over one hour) and had one frying pan, one sauce pan and one large pot as her only cooking accoutrements throughout her entire life. Whenever anyone wondered why she didn’t have such necessities as a fondue maker, an electric can opener or at the very least a coffee pot her response was always the same: “I’ve never been big on things.”
Now, don’t get me wrong; I like things as much as the next person. As a matter of fact, I happen to be very fond of a whole lot of things as my Visa bill will attest. It’s just that eventually I get tired of my things and then I don’t want them around anymore. I want them to go away and clutter someone else’s house so I can stay home and vacuum my uncluttered rugs.
Another reason why I’m into anti-hoarding is a biggie: death. We’re all going to die someday and when my number is up, I don’t want whoever is stuck cleaning out my stuff to a) wonder why the hell I was reading an article on Liberace’s ghost in The National Enquirer right before I kicked the bucket, b) find my high school diaries, read them and die of boredom themselves, and c) laugh themselves silly when they discover the size ten jeans I’ve been holding onto since 1994 just in case I woke up skinny some morning and needed something to wear. Let’s face it; death is a pain in the butt mostly for the people left behind. If I can reduce that pain by keeping my clutter at a minimum then, by golly, I’m going to do it.
There are two areas of my house that have escaped my anti-hoarding tendencies so far. They are my magazine and DVD collections. I am a sucker for any magazine pre-1985–even Newsweek. Ditto for any movie and television show (with the possible exception of “The Facts of Life) made prior to the nineties. Both my magazine and DVD collections are embarrassingly large and I suspect they are going to be quite the chore to move, should that day ever come.
One thing is for sure: I don’t plan on being around come moving day. Either I’ll be in some assisted living facility or I’ll be dead but since those magazines and DVD’s are going to be my sons’ sole legacy, I keep telling them that it would behoove them to start doing some research on eBay. I’m sure by the time I croak my “Starsky and Hutch” (the complete series) DVD’s should be worth, oh, at least twenty dollars. I won’t even fathom a guess on what all my Good Housekeepings and Ladies’ Home Journals will bring in but it should be in the high three digit realm.
And they claim I never think about their futures…
One thought on “Confessions of an Anti-hoarder”
“There is probably a psychological definition for someone like me but I’m not sure what it would be.”
Sane, they call it sane. If the frickin’ container says there’s five ounces of product in there, then you better not stop using it until that sucker weighs five ounces less than when you brought it home. Turns out, most manufacturers count on you not using that last half inch of deodorant, body lotion, or toothpaste. I say fuck ’em.
If I’m paying six dollars for chemical-free toothpaste, I’m gonna squeeze every last penny of mint-flavored goo onto my toothbrush. Neener, neener, Toms’s of Maine.