Diary of a Hoarder

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Katherine smiled brightly at the sun as she made her way down the red brick sidewalk. Today was the day she’d solve her problem- that thorn in her side, the bane of her existence. She was going to throw things away. She entered the store and bought a box of 64 trash bags, complete with duro-strength liners and easy-carry drawstrings.

Feeling accomplished already, she departed for home.

She had planned on conquering the garage first, as a sort of warm-up. Setting down her grocery bag, Katherine yanked up the garage door, creating a clamor that probably awoke the entire neighborhood. She looked around stealthily to check if anyone heard her. The coasts were clear.

Perhaps the garage wasn’t the most logical place to start, thought Katherine, backing away from the task ahead. It was the second-worst area of the house, you know. I’ll save it for later. Yes, the garage will be later, maybe after a lunch break. Food would certainly raise her energy level- and she was fairly tired from her walk to the store. She’ll begin with the hall closet, instead.

After she trekked inside, Katherine examined the hall closet. It was almost full, not completely, she noted with satisfaction, for the stacks of paper only stood three-fourths of the way to the ceiling. Taking a deep breath, she ripped apart the box filled with bags, letting them fall to the floor in an unorganized heap. She took one of them, breaking the seal so that both hands held opposite sides of the bag. It was open now; a giant monster-mouth ready to devour its prey.

Katherine picked up a small stack of papers, scrutinizing them briefly before tossing it into the mouth of the monster. They were not papers, she realized, but cards. Birthday, Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Hanukah, Earth Day, Anniversary, Thank You’s, Feel Better’s, and Good Luck’s. They were so beautiful all together, she thought, dreaming of the scrapbook potential the cards held.

Maybe she’ll keep them. What’s the harm in that? A card is a card is a card, but not really. These are better. Katherine placed the cards to the side. This was her “keep it” pile.

An hour went by, and Katherine decided to take her lunch break. Her shoulders were sore, her legs exhausted from standing, her fingers black with ink and dust. The “keep it” pile was no longer a pile. It was a mountain, and the trash bag had the grand total of two items in it: a broken baseball bat and a dust-spotted, torn picture of her first husband.

She surveyed the progress happily. The closet was now empty, a very rare sight indeed.

After lunch, Katherine decided to abandon the hall closet. It was complete; it was perfect. Now, the garage, she thought, because she’d promised herself earlier that she’d do so.

Two hours later, half of the garage was complete. Again, the keep-it pile had turned into a mountain, or maybe this time, a mountain range. Satisfied again, she neatly stowed away the leftover trash bags, saving more for another day.





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