Or I could blame a latent gene that kicked into effect out of nowhere. Both of my parents were collectors and savers-of-stuff. No, they would not have been featured on an episode of "Hoarders" as they were both quite tidy about their treasures. But Dad enabled Mom by building houses for her that had PLENTY of storage and Mom didn't fuss too much when Dad kept that motorcycle that didn't run... or brought home that gargantuan-sized piece of furniture... or that Pit bull puppy. Dad was a plumber for many years and would occasionally do work for barter rather than money so he often came home from work with something unexpected, like the puppy! Mom had collections of bells, fabric, greeting cards, jars, and much more. Perhaps needless to say, we had a BIG job of clearing out their house after they passed. I brought home some of their stuff, so maybe that's where it started.
Perhaps my husband is to blame. He is a pack rat extraordinaire. We've had some of our most heated discussions about his disorderly collections! I've even gone so far as to tell him that he is not allowed to die before me because I don't want our kids to blame me for "this mess"! No matter how much I try to keep him organized he manages to clutter up the place <sigh>, but he is a decent sort of fellow so I'll keep him.
Blaming the kids comes in handy, too! Both of my children are collectors. Zachary (23) has always been meticulous about keeping tabs on his collections. He's been collecting action figures since before he could say "action figure" and still has every tiny little phaser that goes along with them. Amelia (21)... not so much. But she has progressed past saving used tissues so there is hope!
Since we moved around a bit when I was a teen I would often get the response "It is packed away" when I'd ask where this or that was. I vowed that I would NEVER have a land called "Packed Away" at my house, and so far I've made good on it.
Visitors have even remarked on my lack of "stuff".
Bare surfaces are comforting. Empty rooms invite me in. Even the slightest bit of clutter registers to my brain as chaos. OCD-level panic sometimes strikes when the few things I have are out of place. The weird thing is, even in my current "Collect Mode", it still does! All this stuff is driving me bonkers! But I am learning to work with it rather than against it and it is somehow making sense.
So now that I have made this short story long, I will tell you about my husband's and my Junking Day yesterday. It started last week when my daughter and I stopped in at a flea market about 45 minutes from our home. I saw something that I wanted but couldn't purchase it since it was too big to fit in my car (see **Note** at bottom of post) Hubby said we could go back with the pickup to get it and we finally got around to it a week later.
Even though it was cold and raining, and I was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, my husband really, really wanted to look around for awhile. So we did, and I found more stuff. Of course! I found several small items for re-purposing but the best find was something that just needed a bit of cleaning...
Isn't it a beauty?!? Turquoise, aqua, and teal shades are very appealing to me right now for some reason and this 9-inch vase practically leapt off the shelf into my hands. No, really, it did! It had rainwater and gunk on the inside, and dirt and scuffs on the outside, but I knew it really, really needed to come home with me. I didn't know how much it cost, still don't, but I brought it in, cleaned it up and now it is doing its job...
The reason I don't know how much it cost is because the lady who runs the flea market likes to price smaller things as a group. She priced a couple of larger purchases separately but the vase was grouped in with the other small things that asked to come home with me. If I had to guess, I'd say it ended up costing me about 75 cents to a dollar.
When I arrived home I discovered that I truly did need this vase. A couple of stems from my beloved peonies were bent over with the weight of their huge blooms and rain and had to be cut. A perfect pair, don't you think?
Now that I've discovered how much fun junking can be, what is next? Yard sales? No way am I getting up at zero-dark:30 to look for stuff! But you never know. A year from now I may be writing a post that tells about a new fondness for it. Of course if that happens, enormous amounts of coffee will likely be a factor.
What are some of your favorite junky finds?
**Note** Some of my finds will be featured in an upcoming 31 day series in October. The item that we went back to pick up will (hopefully) be one of them, if it works the way I plan. So excited!