Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Okay.  It's official.  I may be 'a hoarder.'  I suspected as much when I was overwhelmed with cleaning out a closet filled with research notes, files and stories of family history, genealogy and biographies.  The closet  contains a paper trail accumulation of forty years.

Family genealogy requires thousands of hours of reading, research and writing - just ask any genealogist or biographer.  Additionally, I spent weeks and months mindlessly transcribing data from the 5" floppy disks of the 1970s to 3.5" floppies - which are now outdated as well.  Fortunately, I retained binders of hard copies.  Transferring all 250 of my (now obsolete) 3.5" floppies to 'flash drive' will be time consuming, frustrating and overwhelming.  So, I give up.  It's either update or clean out my genealogy closet.

I'm not a hoarder in all aspects of life or home, thankfully.  I can clean out a dresser or a clothes closet in one day.  True, with piles of 'keep' 'toss' and 'donate,' I have been known to take back a jacket or scarf from the 'donate' pile.  I say with confidence, however, those things earmarked for 'trash' are trashed.  So, a day in the clothes closet is a simple task while a year in my genealogy 'stacks' hasn't yielded an extra inch of space.

I now have some degree of sympathy for hoarders depicted on that popular television show.  I hear myself using their same excuses and explanations: All these files are important and usable; I will need each of them - eventually; I didn't realize they were getting out of control; I am overwhelmed with trying to organize and downsize; and especially, I don't want help with my files because I need to review every scrap of paper and make painful decisions about 'keep' 'toss' 'or 'donate.'  I don't plan to write any more biographies but that may change if I can get organized because there are at least three more fantastic people with great life stories - worth writing.

When all is said and done, my mess still fits back in the closet.  It doesn't necessarily overflow into other rooms or impact other functions of my house.  Maybe, if I hide it and don't acknowledge it, as the hoarders on television do, I'll move to the next level of hoarding or, perhaps, I was never 'a hoarder' - just a writer with too much bibliography research. 

Do you stockpile stuff?  Tell me about it.  I'd like to know.

Nancy yTe \


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