Why Hoarding Can Be a Good Thing

Posted: January 20, 2013 in artist's tools
Tags: , , , , , ,

You may have noticed in last week’s post that while I was talking about organization, I didn’t dwell on tossing things away. In fact, I am not entirely in favor of the anti-hoarding movement of the past few years. You know what I’m talking about; you’ve seen the shows on TV. Tiny houses filled to overflowing: some with actual, disgusting garbage (ugh, yuck), but some with a mixture of the usable and the unusable.  Enter “hoarding experts” (who are these people, by the way, and where do they get their certification?) who proceed to convince the owners to throw away most of their possessions, until the houses are left as bare as one of Jack Webb’s old Dragnet sets or a vacant motel room.  Guilt is used as leverage, i.e., if you don’t throw out your stash of beloved objects, it means you love them more than you love your family. Now, in some cases that may be true, but to act as though this bit of psychobabble applies in every case is just plain silly.

J at worktable

Here I am, happily working on a few small pieces in the small allotted work space at my work table. I’m using some of the chipboard that I’d acquired for cheap a few years back — hundreds of pieces of it, which I kept stored in a box, waiting for their time to shine.

I’d hung on to them because I was sure I’d eventually find a use for them. And I did. They’re great as miniature book-casings and as the foundation for the small purses I’m making here. The “hoarding experts” would without a doubt have torn these seemingly useless pieces of board from my hands, insisting that unless I threw them away I’d be proving myself to be both crazy and selfish.

To tell you the truth, I’m perfectly capable of loving both my husband *and* the chipboard, just in very different ways. My husband understands and does not feel threatened by the chipboard or any other materials I keep on hand.

At any rate, my point is simply that if you see a bargain and you are absolutely positive that you will have a real use for it even though the project might not start today, tomorrow, or even next week, go for it. Remember those swell vintage ties I mentioned last week? I have  now stored them neatly in a stackable bin with the rest of my fabric. I know I’ll use them; I even have a few ideas roiling around in the back of my head already. Those hoarding experts may consider this an affront to their calling, but I’m keeping them just the same.

PS  My husband, naturally, has been given first choice of any ties he might want to keep for himself.

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