Help Me! I’m Living With Hoarders!

I am a tidy and organized individual. My daughters, on the other hand, are total hoarders! Yes, just like on the A&E television show. They are obsessed with collecting junk and they refuse to throw anything away. Their ‘junk piles’ and purses filled with ‘neat stuff’ are driving me crazy!

My middle daughter is the worst offender. She has three or four special purses in circulation at any point in time. Stuffed inside the purses you will find old marker caps, broken toys, mismatched puzzle pieces, old junky baby toys, wash clothes, slips of ripped paper from school and random wooden blocks. The picture below highlights the typical junk pile she attempts to bring to school, to the grocery store or in the car whenever we are running errands. In this picture you can spot a special purse, broken tambourine and an old necklace with the beads falling off.

Junk, junk and more junk!

As much as their hoarding tendencies drive me crazy, I appreciate the creativeness and ingenuity that they bring to creative play. My daughters infrequently use toys for their actual purpose. For example, this enormous bowl filled with mismatched puzzle pieces is a magical soup that will help the princess save the prince from the evil dragon. (We carried this bucket around for weeks before it magically disappeared.)

Magical soup…and look, you can spot shirty too!

So, the obvious question I am sure you want to ask me is, “Why don’t I throw the junk away?” Well, I do. On a regular basis. Every night when we are cleaning up the toy room I syphon scraps of paper, broken toys, old socks and broken crayons from the toy room into the garbage. It never fails, the next morning, my oldest daughter will appear from behind a mountain of junk and ask, “Hey Mom, where is that piece of paper from last Valentine’s day that we put those stickers from Christmas on, and tied around that hard piece of play dough we got from summer camp? I really need it for the new restaurant I just opened!” To which my middle daughter will reply, “It was right over there near the wooden block wrapped in tissue paper from my last birthday, holding down the naked Barbie that we colored with the purple sharpie!”

Really? You have got to be kidding me! I guess I need to stop focusing on the junk and start appreciating the fact that my daughters seem to be developing photographic memories.


12 thoughts on “Help Me! I’m Living With Hoarders!

  1. This was hysterical! I love that they can find even “junk” special, and how great that they are developing imaginative play! I’m sure many kids just don’t know how to do that.

  2. Thanks Dena, I’m glad to hear that it is not just a girl thing. I have asked the girls’ teacher to limit the amount of paper and art knick knacks they are allowed to bring home. 47 pieces of paper with one tiny little doodle gets tiring day after day after day…plus, the number of trees!!!

  3. This cracks me up! My kids are not hoarders but that’s only because I don’t let them be. They are TOTALLY the same about saving crap and giving it such importance. I throw it out and months later they ask where it is. I’m (usually) honest about it: “I threw it away because it was garbage” or “I gave it to another kid who needs toys.” They pout for a little bit and then give up.

  4. Oh, this is not just a girl thing!!! Miles is SUCH a hoarder, I could have written this post- ha! He mostly collects rocks, shells, and other interesting, yet dirty, things he finds outside. We have rocks everywhere, including in the washing machine when miss a pocket while emptying them. I have offered his teacher money to stop letting him collect so much stuff on nature walks… she politely declined. He also has a million broken toys and knick knacks that he remembers months later (after I have thrown them away)! Great post!

  5. Funny and true! In the past, I’ve tossed toys when my son has outgrown them…only to be confronted with,”where’s my _____? I left it right over there, now it’s GONE!” Now, we go through the toys together and put them in a bag in the basement – if he doesn’t ask for them in 3 months, they get donated.

    1. Good rule! I try to remove toys that the girls have outgrown and put them in the basement…but I can’t let the girls go down there, because all of a sudden it’s, “there’s my favorite…” “I love that…” No-you haven’t used it in months, it’s not coming back upstairs! I’ve tried to make a commitment to have one lawn sale each summer and use the money to put toward my daughter’s savings accounts 🙂

  6. I wish I could say my daughter was the culprit in our house but thankfully she’s not, my husband on the other hand hoards everything!!!From little nik naks that collect dust (yet funny enough he refuses to clean) to huge great paintings he did for GCSE art, yes they’re good but they’re the sort of things your parents keep in the attic, I don’t need them scatered all over my house!!

  7. I laughed out loud at their little dialogue!!! What is it about little girls and hoarding?? My two nieces are HUGE offenders of that!!! They collect EVERYTHING.

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