10 May 2020
My dad wasn’t a hoarder, but he was a collector. Of a LOT of stuff.
After he died and we eventually moved mum out of the family home into an aged care unit, we had two VERY large sheds full of his collections to deal with. This was supplementary to the smaller inside-the-house collections, of course (stamps, photos, slides, old coins etc!). In the sheds were old batches of tiles, lumps of wood that may come in handy one day, every hand tool he had ever owned and possibly every hand tool anyone he knew had wanted to get rid of, millions of screws and nails, random shotgun cartridges, enough power tools to keep men’s sheds everywhere happy, and sooooo much more.
In his local community at one stage they had a “collectors club” where they would meet at a different persons house once a month to view that persons “collection” – whether it be model cars, tea towels, orchids or whatever. The running joke on our family that the challenge would be to find something my Dad DIDN’T have a collection of. I thought I had struck the jackpot when I spotted an old toilet pedestal in the shed one day, and told Dad proudly I’d found his non-collection-collection. He quietly pointed out another one on the back garden.
This sad family history has become evident to me in the past few days as I started the clear out of our spare room, part of the long lead up to some house renovations and new carpet. Our oldest son and daughter-in-law have kindly made available space in their garage for contents of the first room to be emptied temporarily.
Holy cow we have a lot of stuff!! And I can proudly and confidently say WE rather than I, because this collection was not all my stuff.
Sure, there were lots of boxes full of stuff from every type of craft I’ve ever attempted, or planned to attempt. And many many many boxes of photos I’ve either scanned, have put aside ready to scan, or have completely forgotten whether or not they’ve been scanned and are in the too hard basket. (And when I say basket, it’s the equivalent of a 44 gallon drum, ok?).
But there were also in this room a bunch of Josh’s train stuff, and also the many many files of very important paperwork that have been carted around with us for decades. Because one day, the taxation department could very well ask us what we paid for our gas bill in August 1993. It’s important to have that sort of stuff readily available. Or so I’ve been told.
I estimate I have boxed up and temporarily relocated about a third of the stuff/crap/rubbish. And yes I know you are all very clever people and would have sorted through it all before boxing up…. but the thing is, we moved into this house about four and a half years ago, and I had a massive reduction of stuff before then! So this stuff is obviously stuff I considered too important to throw out then… 🤔
I did have a quick look through some of the collections – one of the boxes contained important historic paperwork I saved from my Dad’s study when we cleared that out.
So if you’re interested in how much my dad paid for electricity in 1971, it’s probably in a garage at my son’s house.