When is it NOT “Hoarding”?

A potential house-cleaner once came to give me an estimate, and gave himself a full tour of ALL the nooks and crannies in this 3-family home… which two of us now occupy. I had described what he would find, and the sound reasons for it, very clearly. I used to run a housecleaning business, so I thought I was speaking his language…

But our culture’s current media focus on hoarders overcame everything I had told him. He opined that estimating the job I’d requested (ground floor only) could only be done after we’d filled a large dumpster with our stuff.

Eventually, angel cleaners materialized, until my rehab allowed me to do it myself. But he left me in the lurch for the impending MIL visit.

The day he came for that estimate (I was not home), the LR held half a cargo trailer’s worth of packed containers for the next month’s trip to Ohio– as I had described. So yes, it did make the LR/DR look different from the “usual” pastor’s LR. The other half-cargo was on the porch (being the more cold-resistant stuff), waiting to be loaded. There was an open box I was still filling.

The REST of the house, as I described, was in the process of an eventual move to Ohio.

He was SO OFFENSIVE with his reaction that I decided to write,

“When is it NOT “Hoarding”?

1. It’s not hoarding if you can find exactly what you need in less than 5 minutes, blow off the dust, and use it within the hour.

2. It’s not hoarding if there are no obstructions between you and the sought item that need to be moved for you to get to it.

3. It’s not hoarding if there is no “science experiment” or evidence of vermin when you pull out the sought item.

4. It may be an unexpected warehouse masquerading as a house, but if you shop from it instead of spending money to purchase new, identical items– guess what? It’s not hoarding.

5. It’s also not hoarding if– every time you “shop” from your “warehouse”– you mark (as you go) those items for discard that you know (now that you have actually purchased a house) will not fit in your next home– and donate them or give them away to people who need them.

~Susan