Maybe most of you know what the house of a hoarder looks like. My mom, who worked outside the house, still had time to dust and organize our home. So it wasn’t until years later when I saw a TV show about this problem that I realized what I’d be facing as a stay-at-home mom.

To me, a hoarder’s house is one that not only has all surfaces covered in a random assortment of items, but also items separated by layers of dust. It’s the kind of place I joked to my junior high science students about. I used their bedrooms, thus outfitted, as an example of digging down into layers of earth in order to reveal geologic time. One digs through layers of dust to find fossilized things from the past.

Not being a very organized caretaker of wifely duties at the home front, while son and hubby went out and did REAL WORK (of course I’m kidding–writing is the only real work!), I had to find a way of arranging my day so as to save time to write.

I want to change this blog into one in which other authors, if they want to, can chime in with the tricks they’ve learned to avoid the hoarder syndrome, opening up time enough for writing their next great novel.


If you can afford it on your budget, invest in buying tons of paper and plastic at a discount from Cosco. I keep my plastic silverware in Snapware dispensers (see below). And, of course, I always RECYCLE.




8 thoughts on “I DON’T WANT TO BE A HOARDER

  1. YES

    It’s time to take a writing break and take another truckload of career clothing to Goodwill (they might have forgotten my truck…) , I HAVE 12 CLOTHING RACKS ——I live in Pajamas

    bag the jackets (my son died 11 1/2 years ago – it is TIME) for Burlington’s coat drive

    and call Menswear for suit and jacket – dress shirt recycling (ditto) – not like he’s coming back for them. (I unfortunately remember shopping with him. Every piece has a memory. But – he’d be the first to scold me for being a packrat.)

    Why do I have so many coffee cups? they took me off coffee……

    Three sets of China – mismatched – I did get rid of 4 sets of tableware – kept 3

    It comes from being raised in the early 40s post war and post depression (shortages, hang onto everything in case you might need it, etc etc etc. )

    • Yes, Donnamaie, it’s easy to forget that keeping things is many times associated with a connection to someone who has passed on–wanting to preserve our relationship with them. It’s hard to let go. And I’m not sure we always have to let go. When I lost a boatload of electronic images of my father just after he died, I came to realize the real connections to my dad had, and would always, exist inside me. I wish for you to have similar epiphanies. But, just in case, there’s no sin in distributing a shrine or two about the house.

      Thanks for sharing, Donnamaie.

      I hope through similar

  2. Irene Vartanoff
    1:23 PM (1 hour ago)

    to me
    Susan, I would comment, but your comment system seems to require a mysterious log in. Even though I have a WordPress site of my own, it doesn’t recognize my name or password.

    So, good luck with your plans. Remember that true hoarding isn’t a little dust and some messiness here and there. It’s 50 loads of dirty laundry piled high, unopened food in the bedroom and unopened office furniture in the kitchen, and of course, something completely non-washable in the bathtub.

    I think I have some anti-hoarding tips on my own site, too.


    Irene Vartanoff

  3. Irene,

    Sorry about your trouble in posting this comment.
    I’ve had to play around with the various options given me on WordPress as well.

    I purposely didn’t go overboard in describing true hoarding behavior, because I realize it’s a disease and I’m ill-equipped to analyze such behavior. Also, I’m only afraid of going overboard into chaos and that’s what fuels the discipline I seek.


  4. For those having trouble replying. Note that a comment box should appear at the end of the post where the words LEAVE A REPLY are found.

    Your contribution won’t post right away, since I first need to approve your post.

    I’m not familiar with a password requirement, but if you click on the follow button or word, then you may be asked for a password. I’ll check all that out, and I apologize for the confusion.

  5. Hi Susan,

    Great idea to talk about this. I feel the same way, especially since I stay home with my toddler. The house is a mess, I’m always cleaning up after her which is pointless, and trying to get in some writing time. It’s madness. Heavy sigh…

    • Alice,
      I don’t anticipate solving all household problems for writers, but I’ll endeavor to explain how I get around my inner critic and judge that tells me I have to perform my household duties to a specific level while writing the next great novel.

      Thanks for sharing,

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