Hello – My Name is Debi, I’m a Hoarder

Illustration by Matt Muhurin

I don’t know exactly why, but I’ve always been a hoarder – I mean you never know when you’re going to need 378 twisty ties, or 73 rubber bands, or all the little scraps of fabric from a sewing project, 4 1/2 inches of elastic, plastic yogurt containers, pieces of old hose, extra screws from a project…

One of the odd aberrations I adopted early on is to hoard things I really like, and never use them. I mean I can remember as a kid having a favorite dress, or watch, or jeans, and never wanting to wear them in case something special came up and I would need them. I still do that????
So this morning, as I was cleaning out the fridge, I realized things are out of control. I make sauces, I buy sauces, all types of sauces, I never make just enough for what I’m doing, there’s always extra. Condiments, we have loads of condiments. We have jars with teriyaki, chimchurri, pesto, salsa de chili arbol, guajillo chili paste, yogurt dill sauce, several mustards, jalapeno jelly, spicy conserva, a jar with bacon grease for cooking with, there’s fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame seeds, miso, balsamic vinegar, cider vinegar, tarragon vinegar, olive oil, avacado oil, canola oil, sesame oil, molasses, maple syrup, the list goes on and on. I mean I will go look in the fridge and declare to Tom “There’s nothing to eat”, we’ll peer into a nearly full fridge but can’t find anything to grab and eat.

So this morning I managed to get rid of about 6, maybe 7 containers of stuff, but look at this, this is what’s left.   I mean I kept one container with about 2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce, it’s good sauce, I might need it.

Hello, my name is Debi, I’m a hoarder!
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About Debi in Merida

I moved from Colorado Springs, Colorado USA to Merida, Yucatan, MX in January 2006. I love to read, garden, travel, and hang out with friends.
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14 Responses to Hello – My Name is Debi, I’m a Hoarder

  1. Peg says:

    OMG I am the worst hoarder too… I fill your pain! In my refridgerator I have ketchup, mayonaise, regular mustard, dijon mustard, horse radish mustard, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, fish sauce, sweet chili sauce, thai peanut sauce, lemongrass sauce, not to mention four or five kinds of vinegar, habanero sauce, green sauce, tomato sauce, mole, UGH!! But I just cant get rid of anything. How do you do it?

  2. Jim Cook says:

    I'm with you, Deb! I save the extra screws that come with stuff that you assemble out of a box, the ties that come with plastic trashbags, odd pieces of hardware that I removed to replace them with something newer, t-shirts that I haven't worn for years, etc., etc. You just never know when these things are going to be just what you need. Of course, that need seldom arises, but what if it did? Fortunately I have a wife that throws stuff out regularly, to the sound of anguished howls from my end of the house.

    Love your blog!
    Jim, of Jim and Carole's Mexico Adventure

  3. Anonymous says:

    Debi, You're not a hoarder honey, you're a gourmand. Those jars of sauces are essential to any tri-lingual palette. Why you have a treasure trove of “necessary” ingredients for that perfect Pad Thai or Tortilla soup or even lasagne. god knows how many varieties of cuisine could emerge from that refrigerator! Tell a chef to limit HIS ingredients. I say they will tell you what to do with your hoarding labels. Just remember to leave room for the actual food! As sometimes happens with me, there's no room left for all of the sauces! Hey wait! could I be a hoarder too?

  4. Anonymous says:

    So nice to see Hoarders “coming out of the closet!” I am one as well. I quite frankly believe that my own father's USA depression-era thrift, coupled with my mother's reaction to feeling “deprived”, (because my father was rather penurious) triggered the whole thing with me. But believe it or not, there was a recent post somewhere about the genetic basis that just may be responsible.

    Anyhow, I'm struggling to make my life easier. When I see some “thing” that I do longer like, or don't even REMEMBER acquiring; OR if it is food past it's expiration date, I toss it.

    But I have a long way to go. These decisions are not easy.

    Thanks for starting this discussion, Debi.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Deb,
    Maybe we were in different concentration camps together?

    ~eric.

  6. Steve Cotton says:

    While I was in The States, I saw a television show about coupon users. Or coupon addicts, in this case. One woman had a mini-warehouse of multiple items she had purchased with coupons. She didn't need them. She was simply pleased she got them for so little.

    Count your habit lucky. It can be worse.

  7. Suk – It's not easy – especially when you equate having all this stuff to being thrifty!
    felipe – inconvenient???No, just messy!
    Cheryl – Oh I just hate opening something and not having any memory of it, or recognizing it!
    Nancy – I need to become of the mindset that the only condiments needed are salt and habaneros!
    Barb – Hoarding is Hoarding, use it or lose it! Now if I could just follow my own advice – Do as I say, Not as I do!
    John and Alan – welcome to the club of 'Opposites Attract”, Tom is always asking me 'What's this?, Do you need it?' YES!!!!!
    PQ – oh it is so much easier to find things now than it was 5 years ago. That's part of the problem, I can find and make so much stuff…..

    Thanks all for your feedback! I think I'll save it!

  8. PQ says:

    I can see that I will have the same problem when we are in Merida full time… Finding stuff can be difficult so you have to keep what you may not find for awhile! Add that to CQ being gluten free, Puerto Rican and loving Thai food… sheesh I can see it now!

  9. Hello Debi- My name is Alan, we might be soul mates.

    Hello Felipe-My name is John, we might be soul mates.

  10. Barb says:

    I'm a hoarder, too, but my main vice is craft supplies. I did do a big purge a couple years ago, but still…

  11. Nancy says:

    Debi, don't feel bad. I love to cook, and I make a lot of my own sauces and condiments also. I like lots of variety in my eating/cooking. Salad dressings for example. I use several, depending on what we're having. I make my own jams & jellies so I have strawberry, elderberry, jalapeno and sometimes others going at once. You need to store things in the fridge that I don’t. So my cupboards are just as full, with the vinegar, molasses, and other things I saw in your picture. I often wish for a refrigerator that's five feet wide and one foot deep.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Ah, I feel your pain. We used to wish for a refrigerator that had a disposal in the back so that the oldest things would just quietly fall out the back and disappear. Now I don't cook as much so not much of a problem. I have however started the process of lightening our load in making our life simpler and getting our ducks in a row to come to the Yucatan. I believe like Felipe that it will be liberating.

    Cheryl (Yucatan hopeful)

  13. zapatatales says:

    Wow! It's so inconvenient being a hoarder. I'm just the opposite. It's liberating. I throw away stuff willy-nilly. Takes no effort whatsoever.

    — Felipe

  14. suk says:

    My goal is get rid of my old stuff. Make life simple but it is not easy. But I am going to try.

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