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Confessions of a Hypocritical Hoarder

on January 22, 2013

embarrassed-chimpThere was a time in my life when I considered becoming a professional organizer.  Seriously.  I just think that way so it seemed like it might be a good profession for me.  I am not typically a “keeper.”  The general rule at our house is that if it doesn’t fit or you haven’t used or worn it for a year it needs to go out the door.  I like things to be neat: a place for everything and everything in its place. (Yes you may start to feel sorry for my family now.)  Then I started watching episodes of Hoarders on A&E and decided I wasn’t “called” that direction.  I haven’t got enough patience to be that nice to people.  I also have a fairly low gag reflex.  Yeah.  I couldn’t walk into some of those places.  So I set aside my grand dream of professional organizing and continued to watch the show, fascinated by how crazy (and gross) people are about keeping their stuff.  It’s just stuff – right?  That’s what I always thought in my analytical little brain anyway until  this past weekend.  That’s when I discovered that I may, in fact, be a hoarder.  And maybe a hypocrite. Wow!

As I have mentioned compulsively  a few times I have been going through our belongings and downsizing as much as possible before our move this spring.  This weekend was another “sort and purge” weekend at our home.  We successfully attacked my husband’s side of the closet and removed a 33 gallon trash bag full of clothes for donation. My mantra to him was, “If you aren’t going to wear it then get rid of it.”   We finally got rid of the dress clothes that have been hanging there from twelve years ago when he had an “office job.”  Out the door. Yeah! I discovered my husband doesn’t like crew neck sweatshirts – who knew?  Well….I guess he knew.  He just never said anything.  We sorted and tossed and bagged.  Then I turned my attention to my side of the closet.  I am usually pretty good about getting rid of stuff that I no longer wear so I was confident that this would be a quick job.  Since losing weight I had already gotten rid of a lot of my clothes.  As I was sorting my husband looked at me and said, “Why are you keeping that sweater?”  I responded, “This is a great sweater.”  His reply, “It is a great sweater.  It is also at least two sizes too big for you now.”  Busted.  I’m a hypocrite.  The more I looked I realized that I had been keeping back some of my “big” clothes….you know…just in case I decided to go on a binge and gain that fifty pounds back.  After my husband’s reassuring, “Honey it has been two years.  You aren’t going to gain the weight back” speech I let that sweater go.  And some other “fat clothes” I had hidden in the back.  I am happy to say they are all gone now.  Mostly.  Who in their right mind gets rid of a really warm cozy sweatshirt that is three sizes too big?  That’s like heaven on your back.

Later that day I decided it was time to go through my collection of cake pans.  I used to love to decorate cakes when I had the time but I just don’t have much time any longer.  I knew in my head that I needed to get rid of some of those pans. We are downsizing after all.  As I started in on the shelves I discovered pans that I used for my kids: Pooh, Blue’s Clues, Barbie, A Bug’s Life, Tweety, Wall-E….you get the drift.  Suddenly my head was full of images of my children when they were young and their excitement over their  cakes.  Here are a few memories:

Youngest Daughter Lyndsie with her Teddy Bear Cake

Youngest Daughter Lyndsie with her Teddy Bear Cake

 

Oldest Daughter Brittnie and her Tweety cake.

Oldest Daughter Brittnie and her Tweety cake.

Oldest son Erik with his Flick Cake

Oldest son Erik with his Flick Cake

Youngest son, Jakob, with Wall-E

Youngest son, Jakob, with Wall-E

Before you ask – yes those really are two different boys. (Scary – isn’t it?)  And – no – I have no idea why I don’t have a picture of our oldest daughter with a cake.  I made her a Blue’s Clues Cake 3 times for her 5th birthday. (One for school, one for her family party and one for her friend party.  Yes.  I was nuts.)  There has to be a photo of that some where. **UPDATE – I couldn’t find Blue’s Clues but I did find Tweety!  YAY!

As I was standing in our storage room staring at those pans my husband walked in.  Instantly he understood my mother’s heart dilemma.  “You know,” he said, “You could save those.  We might have grand kids some day.”  He threw me a life line. Whew!  Okay.  I packed those. Who cares if my grandchildren won’t know who Wall-E was? They might need a cake some day!   I moved on to the pans that used to belong to my grandmother.  Surely it would be easier to purge some of those.  And it was.  At first.  And then I stumbled across this:

cakepan1

and this:

cakepan2

Suddenly I remembered the cakes that my grandmother made for my younger cousins in these pans.  And the cakes she made for me in different pans.  I remembered birthday parties and family and fun.  Suddenly I couldn’t get rid of these pans that are connected to my childhood.  At the very least I should offer them to my cousins’ wives but I don’t even think I am going to do that.  Nope.  I’m going to pack them in a box and some day make a Bert and Ernie or Cookie Monster cake for a grandchild.  Yep. That’s what I’m going to do.  Yep. I’m a hypocrite.  I intend to find a group for cake pan hoarders soon so that I can join.  I kind of understand where they are coming from now.

hoarders

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14 responses to “Confessions of a Hypocritical Hoarder

  1. OMG! You have the BEST cake pans ever! I am a HUGE Bert fan and my car is called WALL-E. You rock! And, yes, if I entered any of those hoarders’ homes, I would upchuck for sure. I don’t know what would get me first–the stuff or the smell. ACK.

    • wedelmom says:

      I thought of you when I found the Bert and Ernie pan. If ever I decide I can part with it I’m sending it to you. 😉

      I’m afraid I would just throw a match and run away. I can seriously de-clutter and organize but some of those places – EWWWW!

  2. You made the right decision! You can not possibly be expected to part with those pans!!! Those cakes are amazing and your grand kids would definitely be missing out if they didn’t get one of these!!! I remember us discussing the pans before…I had no idea you had so many!!! And that is really scary how similar your boys look!

    • wedelmom says:

      AW – thanks! I figure if nothing else my girls might want them some day. Yeah – I have a lot of pans. Enough to fill a four shelf, roughly 4 x 6 foot shelving unit – stacked. (And I only got about half of my grandmother’s stuff or it would be worse.)

      At Erik’s graduation party one of my friends asked, “Why do you have all these photos of Jakob out here?” 😉

  3. javaj240 says:

    I need a professional organizer! I have actually been toying with the idea of hiring one.

    I’m glad you didn’t get rid of the cake pans. There are some things we shouldn’t throw away (even those of us who are professionally organized)!

    • wedelmom says:

      My sister and a few other people have offered to pay me to come and organize for them. I always warn them that if I do it they are going to have to sign a contract first to not hate me for the rest of their lives because I made them get rid of junk. So far no one has gotten past that point, lol.
      I’m glad I didn’t either. You are right – there are some things you just have to keep. I guess if the worst thing I hoard is cake pans from my past I have a good chance of not ending up on a television show.

  4. Valerie says:

    “just in case I decided to go on a binge and gain that fifty pounds back.” ROFL! Isn’t it funny how we think? 😛

    • wedelmom says:

      We are funny aren’t we? I think that because I was heavy and on an unsucsessful diet for so much of my life I’m just conditioned to see myself that way. Even though I made lifestyle changes that have stuck there is still that little voice that says, “It won’t last.” 😉

      • Valerie says:

        I felt that way after losing 25lbs (and I didn’t quicky drop it); the changes have been permanent but I didn’t KNOW if they would be!!

      • wedelmom says:

        That’s exactly it. It took me close to 8 months to lose the weight because I didn’t focus on what I weighed but how I felt because of the changes I made. I know how weak my flesh is….who knew it would last. 😉

  5. Janelle says:

    Love this. Sometimes I’ve gotten rid of things I’ve later wished I’d kept.

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