I’m a Hoarder

What’s the biggest fear in your life? That you become like your parents, right? Well, I’m unhappy to announce that it happened. I became my mother. Not literally as in literally, but literally as in figuratively.

My mother is an old unpleasant lady—truth to be told—and she’s a hoarder. She’s been like this ever since I can remember. On her defence, the huge ugly multilevel cubical structure where we lived—and which we called somewhat inaccurately a family home—was a hoarder’s wet dream and ultimate temptation.

We had two garages—for one car—several cellars and multiple fucking pantries. Or cold rooms? What do you call the cool closet which is a room without windows primarily not intended for the storage of dead bodies but for the storage of food, though the usage is up to the user’s discretion? The cold room would be accurate.

So we had these cold rooms like we lived in a primitive agrarian society, grew our own food and had to store whole smoked pigs if we wanted to eat in winter. Actually, we did store cut-up pigs, in all seasons, in one of our multiple freezers.

The pantries were stashed with expired long-keeping food—but not long-keeping enough—pickled veggies, conserved fruits and jams. No one ate that shit, so it got periodically thrown out and replaced by freshly home-made batches.

Also, my mother grew up in the post-WWII austerity years. So let’s say that her food hoarding is an understandable deviation. Tell me this, though. Why do I hoard food? For fuck’s sake? Huh?

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Irrelevant picture—I hoard these too

I realised I had a problem when I brought in groceries the other day and realised there were too much groceries in the cabinet—I downscaled and own no pantry, thanks god—for it to fit more groceries. Okay, what is happening here? Why hoard food?? Am I insane???

Well, I am insane, officially certified insane, but I never knew it was so bad. What am I stocking up for like it’s a cold war? Though it is cold and there’s always war somewhere, so by a certain logic—if flawed—this is indeed a cold war era.

Am I stashing food in case I die, or what? The last time I checked, dead people didn’t eat. Except when they were undead, in which case they would eat live people. An eventuality I’m pitifully unprepared for.

But seriously. It’s not like I live in the middle of nowhere—well, I do, but there is a Tesco even. It’s not like I don’t have a car—well, I don’t, but the Tesco is within a walking distance, you know, when you set out with sunrise and are lucky, you’re back by midnight. Kidding. Also, it’s not like I have kids to feed.

I assume that my food hoarding is a pathological personality trait which reflects my obsessive urge to be in control, be prepared for any scenario and always expect that an unspecified disaster and gloom and doom—and no food—are impending. What do you make out of it?

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Author: Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

37 thoughts

  1. OMG Mara. I love your sarcastic wit and sense of humour. But seriously, just how MUCH are you hoarding? It may be it’s just ‘in the eye of the beholder’ aka you . But if it is so much you can’t fit into your home due to mountains of stuff then it is a problem! Maybe Ella can help you eat the excess. Or donate to the less fortunate in the streets. I am sure they would be grateful to have some food in the belly.
    I have 2 smallish pantry cupboards that have staple non-perishable foods but never really think of myself as a hoarder. It comes in handy to have some stock in hand for times when I haven’t shopped enough to last a week, or when I feel like making something but don’t want to run (=drive. I don’t do running…. ) to the shop for missing ingredients. I can usually find something as a substitute that works.

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    1. Ha! You are right, I think, that it is in the eye of the beholder. I like to use poetic licence, which means my posts are a bit overdramatised and exaggerated 😀

      I have one largish cupboard for food and it’s full 3/4. It did strike me as ridiculous when I realised I had 4 packages of pasta and some 6 packages of my favourite crisp bread. I obviously don’t hoard perishable food. On my defence, the surplus sometimes happens when the stuff is for a good price, so I take it though I’m not running out…

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      1. You? Using poetic licence and sarcasm? I never knew!!!
        I take advantage of specials too. It’s sensible budgetting. Stuff like crispbread and pasta does not go off. Neither do canned goods.

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  2. I watch a program on TV that’s all about hoarding. These people’s entire homes are literally packed to the ceilings and walls with every nasty rotting thing you can imagine. People lose their homes and families literally. to me, this is hoarding. I doubt you are that way, Mara. ❤️

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    1. I know what you mean, I’ve seen some of these people on TV too. Sure I don’t hoard that much, and I wouldn’t hoard nasty stuff! But I do have more food than I need at present. It’s not like it can get bad (it’s all long-keeping) but still…

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      1. I believe this derives from a serious issue or occurrence in their life that they just can’t handle yet fail to search for the help the desperately need. Very sad.

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      2. Agreed, it’s terrible, of course. But as John says, it’s likely rooted in a psychological problem. You never know what happens to you and how you might react. I’m not excusing the hoarders and I’d be pretty aggressive if I had to live next to one, I’m just sorry for them…

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        1. Yes, they that hoard garbage … that’s hard for me to fathom. But there are so many things I don’t understand. They become a sanitary hazard. You and I hoard a little spaghetti and toilet paper … we can still move around in our apartments and they are clean.

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    1. If I had a proper freezer, I’d do the same! But I only have a small one, you know, the kind that is actually one shelf in the fridge with a door. So to compensate, I hoard non-perishable food like biscuits, crisp bread, pasta………..

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  3. Ok–here’s the deal. I am a minimalist. Nothing is too precious that it cannot be tossed. Tesco has your photo on its wanted list. Set foot in there again and they toss you and all your canned jam into the parking lot. Truth be told: I love my freezer. Baked cookies? Freeze ’em. Sale on bread? Stock up and freeze it. No canned jam….

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    1. Oh I’m a minimalist hoarder actually! I do throw out stuff like receipts and papers — in case I didn’t need them. But I hoard non-perishable food like I’m expecting the apocalypse. Good that I don’t have a proper freezer. That’d be my end 😉

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  4. I can so empathise with you hoarding food. If there’s anything to hoard, it should be food. You just don’t know when you’ll have a spell of not wanting to and not having to leave the house. I have turned half my closet into a chip closet – half clothes, half where I store different kinds of potato chips and other snacks and candy. Yeah, a shelf in the kitchen is not enough for them. Thankfully no one minds 😁

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    1. Oh dear, you’re my double! That’s exactly my hoarding tactics 😀 Of course I don’t hoard perishable food, but I have supplies of pasta, rice, bottled sauces, dried fruits, nuts, crisp bread… You name it. I used to hoard snacks when I was a kid, now I think I’ve made progress and hoard real food. Snacks I can’t hoard because I’d eat them all anyway.

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  5. Thankfully, I don’t hoard. I have plenty of storage space, so when I go to Costco [wholesale big box store] I buy 4 kilos of spaghetti because I know I’ll use them up. Stuff like that. It’s okay.

    Last week I called up junk removal and two really sleazy looking characters showed up and carried LOTS of furniture ‘n stuff out of here. Now I have clean, open space. Still one room to go.

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    1. Hmm, I have two kilos of pasta, and that’s what I call hoarding… I will use it up of course, I don’t hoard it for hoarding’s sake, but I think it’s excessive to have such supplies for one person and one cat.

      Open space sounds nice – except, no, it doesn’t, I prefer closed-up space. Gives me a feeling of (illusionary) safety. I was thinking about you clearing away things, well, I haven’t thought up anything, I was just thinking how terrifying it is. But then, I’m terrified of everything.

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      1. I’ve lived with extreme clutter for many years and that does something bad to me. It doesn’t have to be BIG spaces … as long as there’s no clutter. I’m going to wash down the walls soon, and move my writing space. Not just yet, though.

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        1. Oh I see what you mean! I hate clutter and whenever I lived alone, it was in a perfectly clutter-free home. I don’t mind that there’s an inch of dust and cat hair on everything, as long as it’s not cluttered…

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