Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Compulsive Hoarding in My Family.

Via Thomas in email comes this nice series of posts by the life hack guy at 43 Folders on decluttering. The first thing I like about it is that he takes this issue seriously. Its less Hints from Heloise, and more Therapy for People with Hoarding Spectrum Disorders. Today's post even links to support groups for full blown hoarders. I'm quite sensitive to this, actually, because for the last third of his life my Grandfather was quite a hoarder. Cleaning out his basement, I found day planners going back to 1970, thirty years worth receipts filed chronologically in a fireproof file cabinet, including things like bar tabs, as well as assorted household goods and other bric-brac that were just as old. Tellingly my first response to seeing all this was "cool!" I imagined Grandfather as Sam Pepys, and I wondered if I could reconstruct a month of his life from all of this mess. I began to scan the day planners into the computer, but didn't get very far before I realized that I was being weird. Here is the cover of March 1971.g-father march 1971_Page_01

Here is the day my brother was born. g-father march 1971_Page_04
Peyton James Loftis, 6 LB, 13 oz. It looks like he never got to "9 Ck 7/11 final plans" that day.

I took that day planner with me, and I'm sure I still have it. I think it is in the clutter of my office somewhere. I asked mom not to throw out any of the day planners, but I'm pretty sure all the receipts have gone away.

By the way, this is what Sam Pepys was up to this day in 1664
(Lord’s day). Up and ready, and all the morning in my chamber looking over and settling some Brampton businesses. At noon to dinner, where the remains of yesterday’s venison and a couple of brave green geese, which we are fain to eat alone, because they will not keepe, which troubled us. After dinner I close to my business, and before the evening did end it with great content, and my mind eased by it. Then up and spent the evening walking with my wife talking, and it thundering and lightning all the evening, and this yeare have had the most of thunder and lightning they say of any in man’s memory, and so it is, it seems, in France and everywhere else. So to prayers and to bed.

1 comment:

Orange said...

My mom is a hoarder. I linked to a few photos from her place in this old post.

Thanks for the links, Rob—it may be throwing money away to buy the Peter Walsh book that life hack guy likes, as my mom's as likely to misplace the book as she is to actually read it and act on it, but it's worth a try.