I am not a hoarder. I’ve seen the sad episodes on talk shows of people who live in homes with paths to their beds that have a tiny spot on which to sleep. My own grandma was a bit of a packrat. But I am not a hoarder, not even close. I am a collector.
If you walked into my house, you’d look around and think, nope, not even a collector. This woman and her family live a pretty sparse life (until you look in the children’s rooms—gah!). Even the dog has only 2 toys. But wait until you see the attic. Boxes upon boxes, all empty. Therein lies the collection. When my dh and I were first married, we were pretty unstable where we lived. He was in law school and we moved twice in those first 3 years, then 3 more times in the year after he graduated. By the time we moved into our current house, we had moved a grand total of 9 times in 8 years and we weren’t military. After our first move across country—and across Arkansas!—we learned to keep original boxes to keep items in good condition, hence the box collection.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to paint my dd’s room, which necessitated moving all her furniture out to give me some room. We were using the space under her captain’s bed for storage and since she’s getting older, I’ve decided to move that stuff out so her things can go under her bed. Where to put all that junk that’s under her bed? (For the record—it’s my mil’s!) Up the ladder I went to the attic and discovered my collection of carseat boxes. Heh. So many! So many for so many seats I no longer have! Really, though, I did have to keep them in case I had to ship a seat back to a manufacturer (I’ve done it) or ship a seat to a friend (yep, done that too). Have you ever tried to MacGyver a box to fit a carseat? Really tough, I tell you. It’s easier to break them down flat and store them, only I didn’t do that with the ones in the attic. We had the luxury of a little bit of space up there, so we pitched them off to the side and forgot about them. After pulling them out of the attic, plus a few other boxes of items I knew we no longer had, it turns out I had 2 boxes for carseats I no longer have and 2 more for carseats that will be expiring soon! Plus I have at least 3 other carseat boxes stored flat in my garage.
Dh decided to continue my attic box removal and brought down perhaps 10 more. We also had 2 large boxes sitting in our living room that held dd’s new bedside tables. I so wish I had a window open when the recycling guy came by to pick up all our boxes. The amount of cardboard sitting on the curb was epic, but I do feel better recycling it rather than throwing it away like most of my neighbors. Next we’ll be getting rid of all of our ancient computers that have long been broken and sitting around the house gathering dust. I might have to make artwork out of the hard drive platters—they’re actually quite beautiful when you take the drives apart. But that’s for another blog. Just remember, it’s not an obsession—it’s a collection.