An eight month old article in the Wall Street Journal called The Psychology of Clutter included this graphic which looked enough like a quiz that I took it, and I got 5 out of 6:
Here’s how I did; the ones in bold are the ones I got right (although my beautiful wife might disagree with my characterization of having these traits as “right”):
- The Way Things Were: As you know, gentle reader, I am a hoarder of personal relics. I don’t like to get rid of things I got from different eras in my life, things that my family gave to me, or things that belonged to members of my family. (Cue violin.) So many of the people, of my family, who knew me when I was younger have passed away, so I don’t have anyone to share memories with, to confirm that things happened as I remember them. So I hold onto the physical manifestations.(</violin>)
- Three Sizes Ago: Also true, although I’ve not ballooned three sizes, thank you very much. I do have a lot of pants with 34″ waists, which are just uncomfortable, thank you very much, and I might get down there again. I’m pretty sure I have a couple of adult medium things that I’ll never fit in again, but I’m saving them, for in a couple of weeks (or so it will seem), I will have boys that will grow into them (briefly).
On the other hand, I have piles and piles of clothing that I’ve gotten and inherited that are not in the current heavy rotation that I’ll continue to hold onto just in case my current crop of clothing fails and I can’t afford to replace it with similar Walmart apparel for ten bucks a throw.
And I’ll continue to hold onto the scraps of things that have worn out in case I become crafty or civilization collapses and I need the material to patch the remnants of our clothing to hold us on until one more failed growing season leads us to die of starvation. Or maybe we’ll eat the clothes.
One more thing: As to this last, I have been eternally justified in holding onto these scraps of worn out things as just this very weekend, my beautiful wife hand-washed some tunics that bled dye badly, and she needed a couple of old towels to use in drying them. “Do we have any old towels?” she asked. “My darling wife, dawn of the Ozarks, of course we have old towels. We have every old towel we have ever had during our marriage and some from even before we wed,” I said (or words to that effect). And if I hadn’t saved everything like that, where would we have been in our time of need?
- Buy Then, Pay Later: No, sir, this is not an issue for me; I am not a woman. I do not buy outfits because I might need them later. I buy things to wear now.
And to prove my point, I did buy a black button-up shirt a couple months ago (like $10 at Walmart, thank you, George), but I haven’t worn it because most of the slacks and khakis I own (and the ones I wear) are black. So I bought it, and it hadn’t gotten worn yet. So I put it on with a pair of blue jeans just so I could avoid any semblance of this sort of clothes-horse based hoarding.
- ADHD Storage: This is my garage and part of my office in a nutshell. Partially complete crafts, craft supplies (and note some of this “craft” stuff involves power tools). I also pick up raw materials at garage sales that sits around waiting for usage for years. Also, then there are the completed projects that I don’t know what to do with once I’m done with them, like this:
I don’t know anyone who likes chickens, but I had a piece of wood from a garage sale to use the chicken template I had, so I did this and used a couple of hanging hooks to cover a couple holes in it and a woodburned drawer pull at the bottom. So I don’t know who to give it to as a gift, I don’t have enough to fill out a full booth at a craft fair, and I haven’t tried Etsy yet. So I’m hoarding them until I do, I guess.
- I’ve Got It Here Somewhere: Indeed I do. Fortunately, we have a big enough house with adequate storage that I can generally lay my hands on things as soon as I want them. My twelfth grade elf D&D characters? Got ’em. 1984 Milwaukee Brewers cards distributed by the Milwaukee Police Department? Got ’em. A Commodore 64? You bet. I’m a little less organized with my books’ to-read shelves, though. So I might have a copy of Jane Austen’s Middlemarch. Or I might have two.
- An 8-Track Mind: Come on, you know me. Although to be honest, I did get rid of our only eight track player last year. But I’ve got spare cassette decks, old computers, videocassette players, DVD players, and so on. Although, in most of these cases, I still use the technologies.
So I got a five out of a possible six (and possibly six out of six).
I’m very proud of my score.
How did you do?