Confessions of a secret hoarder

Confessions of a secret hoarder

Didi yeh phek doon?’ (Shall I throw this?) queries the maid pointing at my stash of old jam jars. It’s Diwali and the cleaning frenzy is on.

Thanks to the children’s exams I have managed to turn a blind eye to it all. Each time my conscience knocked at the door nudging me towards cleaning, I quietened it with a self-righteous stare that said, ‘Can’t you see how stressed I am? Cleaning is so not a priority.’

Now with the exams over and done with and less than a week to go for Diwali, the knocking has turned rather insistent and I have nowhere to hide. My conscience stands right there staring at me, broom in one hand wash-cloth in the other. No matter how hard I try to hide behind my books and my laptop there’s no escaping her steely gaze.

Come Diwali my conscience stands staring at me, broom in one hand wash-cloth in the other. Click To Tweet

And then there’s my maid…
Somedays I feel sorry for her. She’s constantly puzzled with the things that classify as ‘DO NOT THROW’ in our house. Normally she turns a blind eye to our quirks and the things we hoard. However, with Diwali, she cannot seem to hold herself back. She has a conscience too after all.

For the past week, each day she has tackled a new part of my house dragging out things which she thinks need to be thrown – jam jars, used up tissue rolls, wine bottles, dried twigs, pine cones, big and small cardboard boxes, bits of coloured tiles and oddly shaped stones. And she asks me the same question over and over again ‘Didi yeh phek doon?’

The sane part of me says, ‘Yes, Yes Yes get rid of it all’ and then there’s this other part that says — ‘ooh that red stone’s the one we picked up at Vetal Tekdi, the day we spent an hour waiting for peacocks, it’s so pretty. I need those twigs we picked on our morning walks for that DIY project I’ve been planning for ages and the tissue rolls were to go into the making of a grand castle. As for the jam jars, they are such a DIYers delight, they certainly cannot be thrown.

So then, I fake a nonchalance I’m far from feeling, and I shake my head in a No, pretending not to see the maid’s incredulous look. She sighs in exasperation, satisfies herself with sweeping out the dust and replaces all my treasures where they’ll be safe till next year’s cleaning.

And now I must go for she’s at the shoe rack, picking out my favourite yellow canvas shoes, the ones that were gifted by my sister years ago, the ones I love to death even though they’re faded beyond recognition to a dull ochre. But they are such a perfect fit with not a scratch on them. I fully intend to refurbish them, paint them over and stencil them with a butterfly design – I’ve known the exact one for years now. I just haven’t gotten around to it. So ‘No’ I tell her before she can ask me that question yet again, ‘Wapas rakh do’ (put them back).

Disclaimer: The purpose of this post is not to glorify hoarding or procrastinating either, those are serious ailments of the mind, I understand that. The idea is:

One, to go soft on the children when I find them hoarding unexplained things. I’m sure it makes some kind of sense to them.

Two, maybe putting it out there will push me to some kind of action and I’ll put at least one of my DIY ideas in motion.

And lastly, maybe someday, years later, I stumble upon this post and if I still haven’t gotten around to painting those yellow shoes with that butterfly motif, maybe I’ll realise that I really need to throw them away.


Linking up with the Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge #writebravely #writetribeproblogger

49 Replies to “Confessions of a secret hoarder”

  1. Hehe I’m a hoarder and don’t like throwing anything until that day when the sane part of me is able to take over completely. I have clothes from when I was in college and there is no space in my cupboard but I don’t want to throw those away! The husband, on the other hand, is quick to throw things but only which we have no need for. Sometimes it’s annoying how easily he can decide to get rid of things while I keep sulking!

  2. Oh my this sounds like me a few years ago Tulika! Now in my clutter free avtar, all of this goes out without any guilt at all!! More power to you to paint that butterfly and flaunt it! 🙂

  3. I used to be the same till I moved in a smaller house. Now I mercilessly chuck if I haven’t used in a year. Still, I do hoard small things of sentimental value for a bit.

  4. Hahaha! You are so cute and this post is hilarious. I can relate to this coz have seen few hoarders in our circle of family and friends. I was a hoarder once, but that has changed over the years and now I just cant keep anything extra in the house. You will not believe, I have taken out some 70 books from my cupboard to be donated. The two big bags are lying in a corner in the store room and every time I see them, I want to give them in raddi instead so that they are out of my sight. 😀

    1. Ooh don’t even get me started on the books. The thing is I want to give them away to someone who will appreciate their value, which is why I even have two copies of the same book which I don’t know what to do with.

  5. Hehehe! This year I threw a lot of jars I had saved since last year. Out went so many old bedsheets (the silky ones you can never sleep on, but are gifted by family)…and also some old dresses. Tshirts were cut out to make rags for dusting..ah, I am sure my home feels lighter this year! I can so relate to storing all those cardboard stuff for ‘future use’ for DIY projects! 😛

    1. Since this post I have been trying to consciously throw things. One problem is I often don’t know what to do with stuff, who to give it away to and then it just seems easier to put it away inside.

  6. Me n my 9 year old had a great time reading your post. The room was filled with giggles and chuckles. And then she stated, we have the same story at our end too, isnt it Aai!
    Ur post made my day!
    -Anagha from Team MocktailMommies

  7. Hasna band kaise karun? It is amazing how you turn everything into humourous accounts. Those shoes have sentimental value, how will the maid know na? And the material for craft and DIY work? Completely understandable. Cleaning the house is serious business, a fact that I know from cleaning a part of the house a few weeks ago. The day I cleaned the kitchen, I decided aaj to sab kuch fek dungi. After all, I had been hoarding for the last 2-3 years with many food packets reaching unrecognizable states. I wish I could throw the torn clothes also like this to clear up the cabinet shelves but this is not how it is done.

  8. You are just like my mom. Though our house help doesn’t care much, I am the one who is forever on a lookout for things to get rid of. Yeah, my daughter and mom complain am on an all year ‘diwali-ki-safai’ mode.
    I love the idea of redesigning your canvas shoes. Come on, go ahead, do the makeover as your New Year gift 🙂
    P.S.- Loved the disclaimer <3

  9. hehe This was hilarious. I can so understand the dilemma in what to throw and what to keep. While I am more ruthless in giving away/throw stuff, it is the husband who often finds it hard to throw anything away. I have to coerce him with all my might. I can so relate to those DIY projects etc. that I know I will never get around to doing. And pray what to day with their projects and craft things. I am always in two minds about those. Just yesterday, I sat and shredded a bunch of documents that are no longer needed.

    1. Oh yes. That’s a huge problem – their craft projects. How many things can you display or frame and keep. That is something I’ve learnt to throw away.

  10. I luckily aint a hoarder, but the rest of the family is and i have to get into this spring cleaning mode frequently to ensure they dont pile up way tooo much. Much to their irritation, I discard stuff without their knowledge.

  11. I totally understand! I’ve been doing the same. I keep things with the hope that I’ll make some DIY someday but that someday never arrives! And mom keeps scolding me. Even when I am staying in PG I tend to accumulate a lot of things – mostly things that look like thrash to the maid!

    1. When I was in the hostel we had such little space – we were two in a room – there was no scope for collecting stuff. Yet I managed to keep away half-done embroidery pieces and a collage that I worked on for ages.

  12. Tulika, sentimental value makes even a twig or stone valuable. Love your ‘wapas rakh do’ I have tons of stuff that is waiting for my attention in the future but for now it just sits in an imaginary box marked ‘miscellaneous stuff for the soul’

    1. Aw I love the sound of that ‘stuff for the soul’. Crafting is actually stuff for the soul. It makes me so happy, the only thing is I need to find time to get to it.

  13. You are like my husband. While I want to throw everything that we do not use. This feeling that we may need that particular thing in near future. Sigh.

  14. Ha ha! I’m not a big hoarder but I can understand. There are still a few things in my house that I can throw away. The only difference is the fight to hold back or give is in my mind. My help hardly cares and never checks if she can take a call 😉
    Fun post, Tulika and I’m sure all readers here will be able to relate to.

  15. This is so lovely! And I can so relate to this! I have so many of these odds and ends and absolutely no time to do the things I plan to do with them. Nevertheless, I am really happy you put this post out, because now I know, I am not the only fool still keeping the wonderful glass jars in which ready-to-drink chilled lemon tea had come on the day we shifted out home 🙂

  16. I understand your feelings toward those items high can be deemed unworthy in someone else’s eyes. I am a hoarder of a few things too which I probably would never use but can’t throw them away because of the sentiments attached to it. But, poor your maid! And the whole narration was hilarious. 🙂

  17. I can relate to this post. I have stored bottle caps for around an year to do some craft. Atlast thrown them all this year as i couldn’t do that. It will be tempting to keep them for a few more days and give a chance for the craft project.

  18. Aww I can understand. Gy is a hoarder while I’m the thrower of things. I do have a sentimental attachment to some things but mostly my desire for less clutter wins. I’d like to see the butterfly motif before I die, if it’s all the same to you, so get cracking already!

    1. I think this is the longest we’ve stayed in one house. Earlier each time we moved I;d discard things quite heartlessly – better throw than pack, right? But now we’ve been here for for almost 8 years which is why things are piling up.

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