February 1, 2010

Buried Under Our Treasure

We all collect things some more than others. You’ve seen the women scrambling for Beanie Babies or the latest “it” toys. Then you have to store those treasures and what can you possibly do with five hundred miniature, stuffed critters anyway?

Some of our homes are bulging at the seams with treasures and we think if I just had a bigger house all my troubles would be over. That doesn’t work because no matter how big our space is we fill it up.

When my sons were babies we lived in a small two-bedroom nine hundred square foot house and needed more room. We moved into a 1700 square foot four bedroom with a very big attic and I thought to myself, “We will never fill this house up.” Now I only have a daughter left at home and we don’t have enough room. What happened?

I’ll tell you what happened. My mother and father in law passed away and we inherited some of their stuff. My husband’s grandmother died leaving us a few more heirlooms and when my boys moved out they left behind a lot of their stuff and that’s not counting all the great junk I’ve collected over the years.

I used to have a bad habit of frequenting estate sales, antique shops and tag sales for treasures. I collect jewelry and books. I used to collect tea pots until a cat we had helped me thin out my collection and I decided to put the best ones in the attic and let someone else enjoy the rest.

We reach a point when our belongings are no longer a blessing but become a chore. You have to find a place for them and keep them dusted and eventually they become more of a job than an enjoyment.

I saw a man on television that has collected Bart Simpson memorabilia since the shows beginning. It is an obsession with this guy; he has to have everything that was ever made. His house is literally a Bart Simpson museum. His wife left him because she couldn’t take it anymore so now it’s just him and Bart. I guess without her stuff he now has more room for his hobby. You can hardly move in his house for all his toys.

It’s no longer fun when your possessions have taken over your home. Some people even pay to store their things in buildings. What good does it do to have those things if you never see them or use them?

I’m just as guilty. When I go in my attic I seriously don’t know half the stuff I have up there. I’ve been known to buy something because I couldn’t find the one I have stored.

We don’t have cable but I’ve heard there is a show on television about this situation called, “Hoarders.” These people are an extreme case of this disorder but it makes us take a look at our own homes. I am nowhere near this bad. Good grief! They can’t even see the floors or kitchen counters. I would go nuts.