Friday, March 18, 2011

Clothes That Don't Fit Anybody Anymore, #2


Back in September 2009 I wrote about cleaning out my mother's house after her passing and my frustration with her inability to throw anything away. I actually found a box of clothes in the the garage labeled "clothes that don't fit anybody anymore". Now I've seen the reality show "Hoarders" and it was a revelation to me. To have a name for this.....condition. Mama was a hoarder and she couldn't help it. Just to know how many people there are out there dealing with this has made me feel better.

Now it's almost two years later and I am still trying to get the house cleaned out. Some other family members continued to live in the house because they had nowhere to go. Turned out they were hoarders too. I finally got everyone out in September last year then I broke my wrist and was unable to do anything, now the weather is nice and I'm back at it helped by my wonderful daughter without whom I couldn't do it. Hoping to get the house up for sale (finally) in a month or so.

This whole thing has made me take a long, hard look at myself. I mean I collect things too. But how much is too much and when do you cross the line between collector and hoarder. Do you not realize what's happening? When I was a child Mama was an immaculate housekeeper. At the end you couldn't walk through her house. So I've been destashing and selling tons of interesting little stuff on Etsy and taking tons of ordinary stuff to the thrift store to be recycled. I feel the need for an uncluttered life.

Here's something I found today when we were cleaning.

It's my grandmother's purse. And it's stuffed with ephemera of ordinary life in the 1930s - receipts and driver's licenses and wage statements and here's where Grandpa bought a mule in 1936 for $240 which seems like a lot of money in the thirties seeing as he paid $75 for his car. It's trivial and fascinating at the same time. And now as the eldest I am the keeper of the purse.

11 comments:

Wanda @ Just Vintage said...

$240 for mule. Now ain't that sumthin'? Those mules were important! Had to have them to plow the garden. I think it's so cool that nobody threw those papers and things away.

I'm sorry you're having to go through all this. My mother wasn't quite a hoarder, but she went to a lot of yard sales. Her thing was appliances and office supplies. She'd get a toaster or iron or can opener or whatever that she loved and buy every other one she saw just in case the first one broke. She'd have a spare. So when Daddy remarried, the new wife said all that junk had to go. We took away truck load after truckload. Had several sales and I made a good bit of money on eBay.

Honey at 2805 said...

What an interesting story & a treasure of a purse.

Thanks for following me. Stop back by to sign up for my Giveaway!

Patsy said...

Wanda, my mother's problem started with yard sales and thrift stores. Clothes were her obsession. For her, for the grandchildren; then it became just anything that caught her eye. I've sold a lot of it but i didn't make much or I would be paying someone to finish cleaning.

Honey, thank you for your comment and for following me! I will go sign up tonight.

Melony at Whimsy Daisy! said...

You have an WONDERFUL blog! I'm so glad I ran across it. I found you on the Etsy Vintage Team page and am so glad I hopped on over. You write beautifully and it's so interesting. I will have to come back later and read more. I SO don't want to turn into a hoarder myself. It seems in my family my Maw-Maw and my mother just seemed to find another storage building to put things in and I am trying to resist that urge myself by just enjoying looking at things but not having to OWN it all.

Patsy said...

Melony, that is exactly why I opened an etsy store. It does seem to be a family trait.

Rebecca said...

The contents of the purse are so interesting-I have a hard time getting rid of items too-but I'm getting better!

Rosie said...

How lucky to find that purse with all her paperwork. My parents were the opposite. They kept nothing. zilch. I grew up in a house with a basement with nothing in it. Great for roller skating in the winter. I wish now I could have gone through lots of stuff to find old treasures. Just think of it as treasure hunting!

(Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

Had the same thing with my mom's situation. Now I look around our home and think oh no, someday our children will have to do that. I truly have tried to keep clothes taken away and things out to thrift shops. Your post is so sweet and the purse is a prize VTT. Thanks for sharing.
QMM

LV said...

I enjoyed visiting you and reading your hoarder story. I know some people just like this. In fact, I hate saying it, one is in my family. She keeps everything as she might need it later on. I am not sue what the proper word is for someone like this, except maybe they have a compulsive disorder. I may need to dust or mop more, but my house will never be cluttered. I probably throw away too much. I definitely feel it is a sickness.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

What a great story, all the little pieces of paper tell a great story too.

http://inthehammockvintage.blogspot.com

Patsy said...

Thank you everyone for visiting. I believe hoarding is an obsessive compulsive disorder. It's very sad because it drives other people away. No one wants to visit because of the mess and no one wants to talk about it because they're embarrassed. And what few treasures I found didn't make up for the bags and bags of cool whip containers and mayonnaise jars I had to haul off.

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