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Hoarding...not just on TV
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# 4161
Jojo the Tightfisted
Old 04-12-2012, 7:19 PM
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Originally Posted by oldtractor View Post
I really dont understand hoarders. I think it must be [sadly] a mental illness and they need help. Why else would anyone hang on to cheap tat, packaging,newspapers and so on? Its utter trash cluttering up their lives.
My late MIL hoarded. Utter rubbish, old clothes of her deceased husband were kept old kids toys you name it she filled the house with it. Was miserable and selfish all the time. What a way to live a life.


It is, IMO, a mental illness.

Yes, to someone without the emotional investment (or illness), it is utter trash. And yes, it does clutter up lives and relationships.

And yes, people who hoard can be miserable and selfish (and outright mean), just as people who don't hoard can be. Or kind, sweet and caring (the type we have here, ). Many will have a trauma they can relate to, some, there's no apparent reason for it.


Your MIL may have been horrible - but those clothes may have represented the one person she was happy and kind towards, and cuddling up to him when he wore them. The toys may have represented the days when she had a small child playing. Or not. They could represent a shopping compulsion.

****

I saw an English language show made in Japan a couple of weeks ago, where they looked at bedrooms belonging to a particular subculture's followers. One young woman's bedroom was perfectly normal and clean.

But the others were absolutely jampacked with things, where they had to squeeze through rails of clothes to get in through the door, where every surface was covered by at least five things on top of each other, even food packaging was fixed to the walls and ceilings and there were triple sets of curtains with bits of ribbons badly attached to be able to glue loads of different things onto the shabby ribbons, so much so, at least one said they could never open their blinds to let sunlight in.

One of the presenters said something along the lines of 'Wow. You'll never be alone in that room'.


*****

I'd rather have people in my life than boxes and soft toys to make me feel I'm not alone. But to some people, the Stuff is a substitute for company. For some, it's better than company.
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# 4162
VJsmum
Old 04-12-2012, 7:40 PM
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Originally Posted by GreyQueen View Post
When we moved to that house, we kids were 6 and 4 but Mum was pregnant and lost the baby, largely due to the stress of the move, we think.
How sad.

I don't know if this makes you feel better or worse - the intention is better, and, of course, I don't know medical details and am not medical but.. few, if any, babies are lost due to stress. They are resilient little things - even when unborn. I miscarried my first pregnancy, and there just are no answers. Sometimes pregnancies are lost, but babies are born in the most awful of circumstances and are strong and survive. People in concentration camps had, maybe not healthy, but live babies. My OH's friend lost her baby at 37 weeks - no reason, it just died. Tragic for anyone to lose that hope. What a shame your parents didn't try again. My aunt lost her one and only baby during childbirth - we think now due to the negligence of the midwife, but my uncle said "never again" as he'd been so afraid that he might lose her too.

no de-Richarding for me today - though my spare room could do with something going. I might just go and find 3 things, just cos..
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# 4163
suzitiger
Old 04-12-2012, 7:50 PM
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Originally Posted by oldtractor View Post
I really dont understand hoarders. I think it must be [sadly] a mental illness and they need help. Why else would anyone hang on to cheap tat, packaging,newspapers and so on? Its utter trash cluttering up their lives.
My late MIL hoarded. Utter rubbish, old clothes of her deceased husband were kept old kids toys you name it she filled the house with it. Was miserable and selfish all the time. What a way to live a life.
Perhaps the people on this thread are here because we want to change the way we are? It is a mental condition and it is very hard to recognise it. Not all hoarders are like the famous Mr Treebus. I don't really know what you hoped to achieve by posting this, and as this is a supportive thread may I suggest that you don't post anything negative again
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# 4164
lostinrates
Old 04-12-2012, 7:53 PM
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Originally Posted by RAS View Post

And lir, I learned to ride on a 33 year old; fat as butter and as sleek as anything, in much better condition than her slightly younger companion. They were respected and loved by their owner but neither would have "earned their keep".
Some just go on and on. Very old girl has had a stay of execution twice this year. I know one day soon it will be the last day, but she bucks, she gallops....it's not today.


I don't have the photos of competing, I don't think I have any rosettes or sashes or any paraphernalia ...but I do have two of my old friends......others keep the rosettes, but I would rather these retirement years.


My point is though, that tat is in the eye of the beholder. I 'know' why others would make other decisions than I and have walls full of their winnings and only fit horses in their fields. It's just to me the old and ugly horses aren't rubbish or tat.

What I have to do is disassociate memory with the objects I am prepared to feel differently about.

E.g, Yesterday I found a child's bag that used to have a doll in it. It was mine, I don't remember the doll, but I do remember the bag. I often used to take it on short haul flights i did weekly with my snack, my books and something to ay with. I don't have pictures of anything from that period of my life, but I have the bag. But the bag......it's......worthless 'tat' and I can see that now is time to put it in a rag recyling bag. But it's not an easy decision. I have carted that thing around my neck (well, it's been in storage but it's been part of. 'my chattels' since I was knee high to a grass hopper, It's hard to accept it has no worth to me.

If I had had a little girl maybe I would have found another little doll to sit in the pocket and it could have been hers (I LOVED stuff that had been my mother's or sisters before it was mine). But I haven't and the cats prefer flashier things.....and the dogs don't carry bags.
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# 4165
suzitiger
Old 04-12-2012, 8:19 PM
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Originally Posted by GreyQueen View Post
Hello and welcome, suzitiger. Good to have you aboard. I'm impressed that you have taken ownership of your stuff from your parents' home and are working through it, and recognising that maybe you have generational tendancies to hoard.

I consider myself someone with tendancies rather than a full-blown hoarder but it could easily get out of hand, I suspect lack of space is a limiting factor. I should add that I am extremely ingenious with space, so if I say I haven't room for X, you can be sure that I've really tried to squash it or something like it, into my home in the past.
Thanks again for the lovely welcomes, I did join this thread a little while ago but I only posted when I joined and I hadn't since.
Yes Greyqueen I thought I would just forget all about everything if I left it at home, so easily done! Not fair on my parents to keep it at theirs, they have enough of their own hoard to deal with With my mum it is mainly clothes and magazines, with my dad it is mainly paraphenalia he has collected and keeps, I seem to hoard both these things but not much else so I guess it is probably to do with the environment I grew up in, it makes me feel comfortable to have things but not as good as it feels to have a clean tidy house so things are slowly going. Its a long hard slog isn't it?
Today I managed to clear alot of the living room, every surface gets cluttered so quickly with paperwork and other junk. Over the weekend me and the OH made good headway on the bedroom. We had to clear everything out to put some underlay down and it made it so much easier to sort things out by bringing them back in slowly. the bedroom works really well now with the rearrange.
Next room to be done is the hallway but that will have to wait until January methinks, at least the living room is almost done and the bedroom is sorted
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# 4166
suzitiger
Old 04-12-2012, 8:21 PM
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Originally Posted by lostinrates View Post
If I had had a little girl maybe I would have found another little doll to sit in the pocket and it could have been hers (I LOVED stuff that had been my mother's or sisters before it was mine). But I haven't and the cats prefer flashier things.....and the dogs don't carry bags.
Me too, its great to give hand me downs that have a nice story, I'm keping some things for my kids when I have them. Do your cats carry bags then?
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# 4167
lostinrates
Old 04-12-2012, 9:05 PM
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Originally Posted by suzitiger View Post
Me too, its great to give hand me downs that have a nice story, I'm keping some things for my kids when I have them. Do your cats carry bags then?
Yes, one of them does. Pink Whistley has a penchant for sparkly evening bags with long chains or straps. She drags them around the house, sometimes even takes them outside. She has been known to carry her toy mouse in them.. She is a particular creature. She also answers Skype or the old Amstrad phone we used to have if she could see it was my mother. Which was especially annoying if I had also seen it was my mother and was not answering!

Last edited by lostinrates; 05-12-2012 at 8:55 AM.
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# 4168
cyclingyorkie
Old 05-12-2012, 8:52 AM
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Having spent most of yesterday hunting for DD2's file which contains her birth certificate, passport and the like (eventually located on the desk in our bedroom which is covered with OH's clothes!!!) I can safely say we are in urgent need of some de-Richarding.....

I have decided that I really want a big sort out before the Christmas decs go up next week..... so here I go!
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# 4169
idristhedragon
Old 05-12-2012, 11:06 AM
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8 items put on ebay, bathroom cleaned, sitting room being cleaned, oven on for xmas cake, fruit been soaking overnight for cake, dog walked, list written for the rest of todays chores. House in chaos due to furniture shifting BUT I feel very in control. One item I puton ebay that has been in a carrier bag in the back room for OVER A YEAR has 17 watchers within 12 hours of listing it!!! I need to go to Ikea and buy some storage boxes so at least all the piles of stuff I turfed out of the drawers will be hidden in neat boxes, and not where they currently are which is in hideous piles all over my bedroom that are making me hyperventilate everytime I look at them! Also on list CS run this afternoon........
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# 4170
lostinrates
Old 05-12-2012, 1:51 PM
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Grrr....I wish sorting out etc didn't make such a mess. .

Edit to add...

I am finding I am picking up threads of organisation which dropped earlier this year and which have been a challenge for some time. I am trying to balance the 'getting back to a normal happy organised life' with not becoming trapped my perfectionism.

Last weekend I noticed I was trying to time and motion manage our brief shopping outing by suggesting different order in which to make our shop visits and I turned to dh and said. ' you know what....they way you suggested is the least practical and time efficient, but gives us the most time walking along holding hands. Let's do it'. He laughed for about half an hour on that one. .

Last edited by lostinrates; 05-12-2012 at 3:14 PM.
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# 4171
Goldiegirl
Old 05-12-2012, 4:20 PM
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Originally Posted by GreyQueen View Post
Welcome aboard, hun.

I'm sorry to hear of your bereavements and I think you were so right to take your time about handling their belongings. It's generally recognised that for a year or so after a loss, people should try to avoid making big decisions as their grieving will impair their judgement, and maybe cause regretable decisions.

I think things need to be worked through at their own pace.

I had a LBM moment about something I found in my parents' attic; the cot, dismantled in pieces tucked under the far side of the eaves.

When we moved to that house, we kids were 6 and 4 but Mum was pregnant and lost the baby, largely due to the stress of the move, we think. Parents decided not to try again. It was ages afterwards that the penny dropped and I realise that when she'd packed the cot at the old house, she expected to be using it again in a few months, for my younger sibling who never was. No wonder she was in no hurry to drag that particular item into the harsh light of day and process those emotions.

I had a bit of a guilty moment when I was looking through old photos of my Grandma, who died when I was still quite a young girl. I saw a shelf behind her chair in this one picture and on it was a little patterned jug, which we'd kept and I'd decluttered to a charity shop. I hadn't realised that it was hers as I was too young to have remembered seeing it at her house.

Anyway, I felt like a barbarian for getting rid of one of my lovely Grandma's things then I paused and got some perspective. Imagining if I died tomorrow and my family cleared my flat; would I expect them to have a deep emotional bond to anything and everything I owned at the moment I died, for them to demonstrate to themselves and each other how much they loved me?

It seems silly when it's put like that, doesn't it? My love for Grandma is in my heart and mind, not in a small pottery jug or any other knick-knack. I wouldn't want anyone to hoard any of my stuff as a shrine.

.
Thank you for your kind thoughts.

I have kept some things that belonged to my parents, as they have memories for me or simply because I like them and/or use them or have them displayed as ornaments. Those are things I'll never get rid of

But it is so true that you don't need objects to remember your loved ones - you can remember them any time you want to.

The process is ongoing, I'll be looking at their belongings again in the new year, as there are some more objects that I feel I can now let go.

Letting go of objects seems easier than letting go of paper. I think to myself that my mum and dad kept papers for years ... who am I to get rid of them?

There's lots of photos. I will keep all the family ones, but there's photos of friends that I have no knowledge of. But I can't just throw them out, they are images of people who had a life! I've noticed on eBay there is a market for old photos, so I may put them for up for auction, so at least someone will appreciate them.

Also, my mum had a boyfriend before she met my dad who emmigrated to Canada. My mum felt she couldn't leave her family so they split up. It was amicable and they parted on good terms. They both went on to marry and have families, and for many years they exchanged Christmas cards. My mum kept them, so theres a small pile of Christmas cards from the 50's and early 60's. I never knew this man, but they've been kept all these years. Again, I think eBay may be the answer.

Not so easy are lists and thigs like that. I have my mums Christmas present shopping lists from 1955.... I don't think ebay will be interested in those. Maybe that's a keeper.

I'm not even a hoarder, but it's very difficult. For someone who is a hoarder it must be impossible to make these decisions.
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# 4172
idristhedragon
Old 05-12-2012, 5:05 PM
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I have a problem with starting to get organised then tailing off. Just this week i purchased a file, a refill pad, dividers and spots (stickers) My theory was to print out calender months and work out my finances once and for all in the new year. HOWEVER the printer has decided to stop working, the file and spots etc are still in a bag going pillar to post round the kitchen (churning) and have just become kipple. My finances are no closer to being sorted as I cant print the bloody calenders. I go round in circles. I have managed to clean the bathroom and the front room (which was then trashed by 3 small people this afternoon) and and vac and mop the kitchen and make my xmas cake! Bedroom still an epic disaster BUT may persuade the Mr to Ikea sooner rather than later to rectify that because of the state
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# 4173
idristhedragon
Old 05-12-2012, 5:06 PM
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Oh and if anyone wants to make friends with my dog on facebook he is
Elvis Lechien and he is VERY witty..........
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

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# 4174
GreyQueen
Old 05-12-2012, 6:44 PM
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Thanks, VJsMum. Brother and I are exactly 2 years apart (to the week) and she lost a baby between us, nearly lost Bro several times and had to take to her bed, couldn't do the same for Number 3 due to the move, 2 young children and just losing her own (foster) Mum to cancer. These things have a way of happening all at once (the move wasn't planned, it was a case of finally getting an offer from the council). Heaven knows where we'd have put Sibling or how there would have been enough money to go around, we were v. poor back in those days.

Goldiegirl, it's hard with photos, isn't it? They've often been in the family so long and no one knows who they are anymore. About 15 years ago, after a gap of nearly 50 years, Mum tracked down her family of origin, only to find the the woman who was her bio mum's SIL in the 1940s and 1950s had recently decluttered the only photo of bio Mum known to exist. All we know is that she had black hair, brown eyes and was pretty, like Mum.

Needless to say, that particular pic would have been priceless to my branch of the family, but I think when the time comes I shall be able to release pix of the family dogs from the immediate post-War years. It's a case of thinking is there anyone who might want these and the answer is often going to be nope.

We have an old Mrs Beeton with some handwritten recipes, on old envelopes, with Grandma's writing on them. They're not festishised, they just live in the pages of the cookbook, but it's nice to bump into them from time to time. Grandma was well OS; she thought Mrs B was a bit overpriced for everyday cooking.............

LiR, I love it that you cherish and keep your old horses. It says a lot about your quality. As a teen, I learned to ride on an old lag of a riding school horse (29) who was a fly old so-and-so. He was gently used but used to specialise in heaving the most enormous put-upon sigh when his rider mounted, so much so that you felt you should apologise and dismount immediately.

He also used to amble along with his neck virtually-horizonal and a suffering mein until we got into the woods and then he'd take off with horses a quarter of his age and run like the clappers. Stagey old s0d, I loved him to bits.

I have been very whacked out for days, due to being out around friends' places socialising. Not boozing, not late hours, but with ME even hanging out can take the stuffing out of you. I have been gently sifting through the kipple-layer on my small table. Tis mainly comprised of paper, mostly small bits with memos from me to me on it. There may be recipes and receipts in there, I have to be sure before trashing stuff.

When I hit paydirt, or tablecloth, I shall try to not reload it so that the surface is instantly usable not a de facto shelf.

Ooooohhhhh, isn't breaking the habits of a lifetime hard work?!
Our life is frittered away by detail.....simplify, simplify.
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# 4175
Jojo the Tightfisted
Old 05-12-2012, 8:40 PM
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Originally Posted by idristhedragon View Post
Oh and if anyone wants to make friends with my dog on facebook he is
Elvis Lechien and he is VERY witty..........
Which one of the eight on FB is he?




The one currently employed as the Dark Overlord of Canine Deviance?
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# 4176
sjprmc01
Old 05-12-2012, 8:45 PM
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I've been trying to think about why I 'hoard'

I don't make a conscious effort to keep stuff, I'm good at throwing away packaging and knowing when stuff needs getting rid of, however I have a serious amount of disorganisation in my life!

I think I must have felt deprived when young, even though I technically wasn't, I didn't have all the 'in' things like all the kids I aspired to be

I've never been a tidy person, never ever!

I don't actually like mess and clutter but when I do something it has to be done to perfection however when I try to sort the place out I flit from thing to thing and never actually finish one thing I've started

Smetimes I just think there is more to life than housework (I know what I have to tackle is so much more than just 'housework' but you know what I mean)

My mess however does get in the way of things, it means I can't find a lot of things when I need them (despite them supposedly having places to be) and means a lot of the time I'm rushing around and chasing my tail


Today I've done no de richarding I wrapped some Christmas presents (after pulling all of them out) and then had to find hiding places for them again!
No more unnecessary toiletries Feb 2014 INS: 24 UU: 13. Mar 2014. INS: lost count, naughty step for me! UU: 8
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# 4177
suzitiger
Old 05-12-2012, 9:55 PM
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Originally Posted by lostinrates View Post
Yes, one of them does. Pink Whistley has a penchant for sparkly evening bags with long chains or straps. She drags them around the house, sometimes even takes them outside. She has been known to carry her toy mouse in them.. She is a particular creature. She also answers Skype or the old Amstrad phone we used to have if she could see it was my mother. Which was especially annoying if I had also seen it was my mother and was not answering!
OmGeeeeeee your cat sounds amazing and I want her!
Plus i want your kitchen, if you ever need a cat/house sitter i will bring round some evening bags

Quote:
Originally Posted by idristhedragon View Post
8 items put on ebay, bathroom cleaned, sitting room being cleaned, oven on for xmas cake, fruit been soaking overnight for cake, dog walked, list written for the rest of todays chores. House in chaos due to furniture shifting BUT I feel very in control. One item I puton ebay that has been in a carrier bag in the back room for OVER A YEAR has 17 watchers within 12 hours of listing it!!! I need to go to Ikea and buy some storage boxes so at least all the piles of stuff I turfed out of the drawers will be hidden in neat boxes, and not where they currently are which is in hideous piles all over my bedroom that are making me hyperventilate everytime I look at them! Also on list CS run this afternoon........
IM ON A MISSION
Woooooo go Iris the dragon, its great once you get started isn't it? :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyQueen View Post
We have an old Mrs Beeton with some handwritten recipes, on old envelopes, with Grandma's writing on them. They're not festishised, they just live in the pages of the cookbook, but it's nice to bump into them from time to time. Grandma was well OS; she thought Mrs B was a bit overpriced for everyday cooking.............

LiR, I love it that you cherish and keep your old horses. It says a lot about your quality. As a teen, I learned to ride on an old lag of a riding school horse (29) who was a fly old so-and-so. He was gently used but used to specialise in heaving the most enormous put-upon sigh when his rider mounted, so much so that you felt you should apologise and dismount immediately.

He also used to amble along with his neck virtually-horizonal and a suffering mein until we got into the woods and then he'd take off with horses a quarter of his age and run like the clappers. Stagey old s0d, I loved him to bits.
Greyqueen the cookbook sounds great, my mum has my great great aunts cookbook and the recipes are priceless, it is just one my gg aunt had compiled herself and I love looking through it.

I am loving all the stories about the lovely old horses, keep them coming, they are chicken soup for the soul

Today I have done a bit of decluttering, I put a few things on freecycle and one person even brought me round a box of chocs to say thank you, how sweet! Much better than having clutter!

Oh...btw do we not say clutter on here, is it kibble or richard that I should be saying? Where does richard come from?
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Last edited by suzitiger; 05-12-2012 at 9:56 PM. Reason: adding info
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# 4178
sjprmc01
Old 05-12-2012, 10:05 PM
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I normally say clutter but used the term Richard I think, for the dirt time today.

Clutter sounds like a mess, and whilst my house is a mess, it's more than just clutter if you get what I mean.

Richard is the guy from the ch4 documentary who is an extreme hoarder and can barely move in his house, who couldn't bear to get rid of ANYTHING
No more unnecessary toiletries Feb 2014 INS: 24 UU: 13. Mar 2014. INS: lost count, naughty step for me! UU: 8
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# 4179
lostinrates
Old 05-12-2012, 10:06 PM
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You can say Richard, kipper or clutter.. Or anything else ypu like!

My animals are cards, I will give them all that. Cat sitters are welcome, but there are the dogs and the chickens and the geese and whatever else is passing through too ( no hedgehogs this year though, phew!)
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# 4180
blossomhill
Old 05-12-2012, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldiegirl View Post
There's lots of photos. I will keep all the family ones, but there's photos of friends that I have no knowledge of. But I can't just throw them out, they are images of people who had a life! I've noticed on eBay there is a market for old photos, so I may put them for up for auction, so at least someone will appreciate them
As a minimum please at least write "friend" in soft pencil (always pencil) lightly on the back, in case you don't get around to disposing - this will save anyone in the future from anguishing over which family member they might be

DD has old photos of B/W people she has bought at bootsales - she "rescues" them and keeps them cherished

Well done on the listing idris! I was shocked at my 3-figure Paypal balance, then realised it was in credit - too used to bills!

Watched an auction end tonight for a tatty old rare item - went from £28 to for £47 in the last second - I'd just managed to list one of my own so it was suggested to the unsuccessful bidders and got an immediate bid of £20 - PS thanks for the tip of doing 5-dayers

suzitiger - choose whatever word suits you - carp is quite popular too - to me clutter is something in use/recent like unpacked shopping after a supermarket trip, my hoard is say my un-disposed-of-because-I-may-repurpose packaging or bargain toiletries while kipple is the layer of catfluff that descends on either of the above/pile of small objects that prevents anyone sitting on the sofa the important thing is to let it see daylight, not worry what you call it
You never know how far-reaching something good, that you may do or say today, may affect the lives of others tomorrow
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