Sunday, November 05, 2006


Just about anyone who knows me, knows that I sometimes claim to be the child of Sanford, married to Son.

My Mother & hubby have this thing about 'stuff'. They collect it, gather it, bring it home, often smuggling it in. They pile it up, they paint it, they fix it, change it, take it apart and/or forget about it.

They want to keep it, give it to someone or sell it.

Mother fancies herself to be an antiques dealer & my hubby, a handyman. That's when they are out & about. When they are at home, they are the ones that keep bringing 'stuff' home.

My father & I have discussed it many times... The cluttered home, the tripping over piles of stuff, the overflowing storage areas, the feeling of being physically squeezed out.

My mother has so much crystal, that it spills out of her china cabinets, covers the dining room table, the sofa, coffee & end tables, the mantle, the dressers, nightstands & chests. Ah, but the crystal is only the beginning. There is also antique textiles, lamps, pottery, silver, books, baskets, furniture & so on. There is a narrow pathway through the house & everyone must walk single-file.

My husband has saved all of his childhood toys, so there are boxes & boxes of GI Joes, StarWars action figures, Matchbox Cars, Tonka trucks & Little People Villages. He also collects baseball caps, beer bottles, wine boxes & anything with chilli peppers. Being a handyman, he uncovers & removes 'trash' from other people's homes. This is what lead to 7, yes seven, sinks being piled up in our backyard amidst all of his other 'collectibles.' In the backyard, he also has 7 grills, 2 smokers, 5 bicycles, 3 park benches and that's just the beginning. We have 2 extra dining room tables, broken down & laying on their sides in the house. We also have 5 old wooden doors, laying on their sides, in our house. Should someone pay him to replace, repair or remove anything... part or all of it seems to make it home. It makes for clutter, creative storing and about twice a year, massive garage sales.

Working on some Christmas gift projects this week-end, I had to access my bead collection. Elbows to the ground & rump in the air, I took to pulling boxes out from under my bed... boxes of paint, boxes of lace, boxes of thread & I realized something. I too, am a packrat, a collector, a harborer of other peoples scraps & I always have been.

I started collecting wooden cigar boxes, old glass bottles & Matchbox cars(fire trucks specifically) as a kid. As a teen, I started collecting coins, stamps, Zippo lighters & old beaded pocketbooks.

I have cigar boxes from the 50's from Cuba, trunks from the Red Cross during WWII, pill boxes, hat boxes, cardboard boxes, wooden boxes, laquer boxes...boxes of boxes.

I have enough firetrucks to decorate my Christmas tree with them, old pharmaceutical bottles & bottles shaped like fish, coins & stamps from eras gone by, the worlds tiniest die(as in dice) & die made of clay, wood & bone.

I have Zippos from the fifties with poodles on them & zippos with my initials on them. I have seashells galore... each one plucked from the sands for its' own unique qualities & now lost in a blur of abundance.
I have salt & pepper shakers from the 30's, shaped like pigs, people or pieces of art.
I have pottery from Rumrill, McCoy, Roseville & local artists.
I have dragonflies in my garden, in my kitchen & in my bathroom.
I have unbeleivable windchimes. Some are mongolian tuned, some are made out of elephant ears, bamboo, spent bullet casings, spoons & tin cans.
I have heart-shaped rocks & seashells. I have hearts made of glass, marble, stone, concrete, pewter, silver, aluminum, gold, wood, paper....

I am one of them... a Sanford & Son person.
Because I collect smaller items & boxes, my collectibles are stored more appropriately than my Mothers or my dear hubby's.

But I am one of them.

Houses are kind of like glove compartments & pocketbooks. No matter the size, we chunk it full... at least, in my world.

**Additional photo of shopping cart full of wine bottles added after original posting. This photo shows that in fact, we DO have a shopping cart in this house... compliments of DH :). Umm, the buggy was overflowing just a few months ago & yes, those bottles are full! i figure once they're all gone, we can start yoga or something.


vicci said...

Oh my God!!!!! I can RELATE to this sooooo much!!!!!! My Dad who is 90...has NEVER thrown anything away!!!!!! The garage is no longer a "garage" it is a junk antique store museum....I counted 9 bikes down is my old Schwin bike from the 50's...some 10 name it! it's down there...nobody goes down there anymore because they can't get in...much less walk thru it! Yep!!!! my Dad is the original Sanford...and of course "I am my Dad's daughter"...I collect books...(spilling out from nooks and crannys everywhere)...paper (stuffed in boxes..everywhere)...trinkets that are sentimental..because I AM A SENTIMENTAL FOOL!!!!....old dishes...oh Hell! anything OLD....old stuff...fabric...hankies...hearts...(especially rocks shaped like hearts)..on and on....we need to put all our stuff together...sell it....and take vacations!!!!!! LOVE THIS POST Paiger!!!!

vicci said...

Oh PS.....I want the Zippo lighter with a poodle on it....or anything with poodles...I collect those too!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!

mist1 said...

I collect stuff that I don't have room to store. Sometimes, I am sure that I have a grocery cart in my future.

Anne said...

Yikes! I totally see myself here! You're motivating me to clean. Now i just need to find the trash bags.

Enemy of the Republic said...

Me, I toss it all out. My husband and son are huge collectors, as was his mother. They have come across some valuable stuff in their hauls (my husband is a handyman too!), but I lack patience.

Fuzzylogic said...

I come from a family of collectors.My dad has an old worn out bike,a useless moped,a totally run down car and he adamantly refuses to sell it.My mom is another collector as well with loads of magazines from all yesteryears not to mention her china and utensil collections and every possible item under the sun.Me well I have to keep on the tradition won't I?I have inherited the trait as well but not to the extent of them but it still is there.I'm quite sentimental about things now the latest possessions being my baby's clothes ranging from the newborn to the latest which I refuse to throw!Grt post and I hear you!!

slaghammer said...

Hey, I’m out of room over here. Do you mind if I store some stuff at your house? ;)

singleton said...

ummmm....Mist1....for the longest time I had a grocery cart at my house! Skinny, Annie and I were on one of our "projects" and I think it had to do with shopping for Men, or the likes of that!

Behind Blue Eyes said...

I'm not too bad. Only about my kids toys. I don't like throw the stuffed animals away for some reason. I still have Claudia's first toothbrush too and one of her baby bottles. I have my son's first teddy. He named it Micheal. I save some of the funnier school papers. Oh...and books of course. But other than that, I'm not too bad. I'm not patient enough for yard sales either. It just goes in the trash.

Baron Ectar said...

I collected Budweiser frog stuff once - then everyone thought I collected frogs - I hate frogs now! Nowadays I find collecting money is a good thing!

Mel said...

We've combined two lives--his from England and mine from Iowa.

He shipped minimal amounts of his life......only one basement storage room, thank goodness. The other was chalked full of mine!

I can't even put clothes in the spare room's closet.

Little kitchen sinks!
*hanging head*

OMG....I think I'm a packrat.....

skinnylittleblonde said...

Vicci~ Oh I bet I have some stuff you would really like. I have a box of one-day useful but totally unnecessary items that has your name all over it! LOL, you could turn that little box of junk into some serious art!

Mist1~ your comment cracked me up. I had to grab the camera & throw another pic up. I didn't mention that we have a wine collection that puts bars to shame. Buggy is overflow from the wine boxes & wine cabinet. We could live a year without water.

Anne~ If you don't really feel like cleaning over there, feel free to come by here! LOL.

Enemy ~ If I'm one of them & I sometimes get over-whelmed with the 'stuff' brought home, I can only imagine how hard it must be for you. I hope your DH brings home smaller items than mine :)

Fuzzy~ It's in your genes, like mine & as I age, I sometimes think it grows over the years. I think it's great to save sentimental stuff... My nephew made these 'dinosaurs'(two little rocks wrapped in paperclips) for me when he was 2 and they are worth more than any number of collections listed.

Slag~ Anything stored here is subject to
being taken to the Habitat Re-Store or Goodwill,
given to a neighbor, co-worker or friend,
being sold on ebay or the semi-annual garage sale,
being taken apart & used for scrap, being traded for something else... that is of course, is if the neighborhood kids don't steal it or the 5 dogs don't destroy it.
LOL, bring it on.

Singleton~ ISLY... my mind is drawing a total blank on our buggy escapade, but I do know we have certainly had some wild times. LoL

BBE~ LoL, you sound like you have a bit of it in you too!

Baron ~ LOL. I remember in HS, a friends' mom gave me a unicorn for Christmas. Before I knew it, everyone was buying me unicorns. WTF? It was insane, I probably had 30 unicorns by the time I graduated. When I moved out, I just left them. When I was about 30, Mom had of box for me ...

Mel~ It was really insane here, when he first moved in. I had this house full before him...and he came from a full house.:) For a few months we lived with 2 kitchen tables, 5 sofa's, 2 loveseats, 2 twins, 1 full, 1 queen & 1 king size bed. We were hesitant to get a storage unit for fear that it'd still be sitting in storage 3 yrs. later. So we gave TVs, sofas, tables & such to our friends, family & neighbors...then we had a garage sale & what was left at noon went to Goodwill & Habitat Re-store(they like things like sinks, doors & ceiling fans:) I thought it took DH a lifetime to amass all that stuff & now I see he can amass critical amounts in about 6 mos. time. LOL

singleton said...

ummmm, Skinny, long before you take up Yoga, DH is gonna restock that buggy! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

skinny, took me a little time to figure out "...blossoms". Yes, I carved the mermaid. Thanks for your visit, which I appreciate. You are welcome to post some more, if you like.

melanie said...

I used to be this way... until i moved 6 times in two years!

now? less is more. I was surprised at how quickly I have already accumulated so much stuff again!

i say, have a yard sale! then start all over again.

Nihilistic said...

I collect nothing...I keep nothing...The amount of stuff that I had 5 years ago would fit into my car trunk at this point...What's wrong with me? ;)

JustRun said...

I, too, am a collector. I justify it by buying those pretty [huge] plastic totes and storing it all neatly away but it's all there, packed in to my little house. :)

singleton said...

Sweet Collector,
Thank you for collecting for me today! You are a LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Deepak Gopi said...

:)Good day
I could save only my chidhood photos

skinnylittleblonde said...

Piktor~ TY for allowing me to bop in. I find your artwork to be expressive and very intriquing. You are an exceptional artist. I'll be back, that is for sure!
Melanie~ Ugh...six times in 2 years... that sounds like something I'd never want to do.
Nihilistic~I love it & admire that quality very much. You bring balance to this packrat society we live in.
JustRun~ You with you plastic totes & me with my boxes & trunks... stuff to store our stuff in.
Singleton~ ILY & You collection is on it's way to you!
Deepak~Those are the most important & valuable things of all!

Kilroy_60 said...

The heart collecton reminds me of the suns of this kind and that they show on the CBS Sunday Morning program.