Are hoarders sentimentalists?
I think they are and it’s the reason why they often struggle to get rid of stuff.
When my grandpa passed away in 2015, his home office was at last unveiled to the family. His home office has been a mystery for as long as I can remember. I think I might had sneaked in just the faintest glance when I spent my days there as a child and even then, I didn’t get to see much of what was happening in there.
My imagination would go wild as I would spend my time wondering about the mysterious space.
It turned out, there wasn’t much going on there. What came to light was the fact that my grandfather had been hoarding newspapers since god-knows-when. Stacks upon stacks of old newspapers pile from ground to ceiling in the small space. It was a miracle nothing caught on fire in there.
My mom’s sister is also a hoarder of papers. I don’t know what’s the deal with paper hoarders. My aunt mostly hoards grocery store ads – you know, the weekly ads you get in your mail? Each time I visit her home, I would see the piles of ads grow bigger in the garage. Honestly, I don’t know what she does with those and why is she hoarding that.
I’m ashamed to say, I also was a hoarder of paper. I say “was” because I’m not doing that anymore. I used to keep every piece of paper from school – elementary to college – in a box and I would struggle to let them go. “They are useful.” I’d say each time Mom is stuffing them into a garbage bag. Then, I’d cry like I’ve lost big bucks.
In my mind, those papers were useful. Those papers allow me to reflect and relive the great and fun times like looking back at the essays I wrote back in middle school let me see how awful my English was back then and how my handwriting has changed over the years. “The Evolution of my Handwriting,” I’d call it.
In the summer of 2020, when I decided to re-decorate my room – swap out the Queen-size bed for a full-size, tossed out the old dresser from who knows how many decades before, and got all new furniture from Ikea – it was then I decided I must get rid of all the piles of paper occupying the drawers. Slowly and painfully, I shredded the papers that needed to be shredded and toss the rest into a black garbage bag.
It felt so difficult tossing out my old college homework papers, which I devoted so much of my time to completing them. It felt like I was kicking a child to the curb. I had to curse so many times “darn this sentimentally” because I truly didn’t want to get rid of anything.
After cleaning out the papers, I appraised the state of my closet and dresser. No more paper. Now, I just have to have the courage to get rid of the old stereo and all the junk occupying my closet.
Theme: Of all the things I am
Click here to see all the #AtoZChallenge posts so far.
For more information about the #AtoZChallenge, check out this link.