New Age Hoarding…

I receive a daily email from a website called Hometalk. Hometalk is a site that hosts a collection of home and garden DIY projects. Their daily emails have a collection of a dozen or so DIY projects that they have collected from crafty folks from around the world that have repurposed everything from coffee stirrers to pennies. The depth of the creativity and vision of some of these projects is simply amazing. It is clear that creative genius abounds in the land of Internet.

I cannot imagine ever looking at a package of clothespins and seeing a chandelier or a Christmas tree. I lack the vision – yet another gift I did not receive in my DNA (add it to the long list of things I did not get – the ability to carry a note, a metabolism that allows me to eat anything without gaining weight, a sense of direction, the ability to tolerate spicy foods, the virtue of patience, etc., etc.) Thankfully, all the projects on Hometalk provide easy step-by-step instructions for those of us with quite a bit less creativity and vision. And if you happen to be sitting on a collection of old egg cartons, socks, wrapping paper, or any other item you might think has a one way ticket to the trash (or recycle bin), just type it in the search bar at Hometalk and you can see all the ways in which others have repurposed that item. In the world of Hometalk there is little that does not warrant reformation by someone.

I must say Hometalk does deliver a daily dose of the possible and it is quite inspiring to think about all the inexpensive DIY projects I can do. Unfortunately, it is also terribly overwhelming. When everything is possibly in play for a DIY do-over, it makes moving about your life an exercise in distraction. Going in the bathroom, well then, think about an innovative wall treatment, a re-purposed item for a towel rack, a thrown away old hall mirror that can be upgraded for a one-ok-a-kind vanity mirror, a sink made out of a favorite old bowl, a shower curtain made of old family clothes, homemade soap, non-toxic bathroom cleaner, wall decor out of toilet paper rolls, a discarded cabinet as a vanity, a novel light fixture created with mason jars, a tree to hold the toilet paper – it goes on and on and on until you forget why you went into the bathroom to begin with.  Every space in your home, yard, car, and life presents a plethora of potential DIY projects.

After a few months of getting Hometalk, it came to pass that I realized that I cannot open the daily emails except on days when I am fully prepared to fall into the abyss of DIY possibilities. But I simply cannot bear the thought that I might miss something great, so I store them all in a special email folder that I can go to when I am in the mood for some DIY inspiration.  With busy days and other priorities, the folder has grown full. I fear that the backlog will soon be insurmountable, but still I cannot bear to delete a single one.  I also cannot allow myself to be sucked in – I am simply too busy right now to break out my Mod Podge and glue gun.

It occurs to my more rational self that I need a DIY solution for my DIY hoarding – something along the lines of a right click, delete folder move.  But I just cannot get there because I may need those ideas some day – you never know. And don’t bother telling me I could always search in the moment for DIY options for any given project, I know I could, but it just isn’t the same. I do not know what I do not know and Hometalk emails expose me to things I could never conceive on my own given my limited abilities.

So this is my life as a new age hoarder. I am probably not far enough gone to warrant a television show intervention, but I do somewhat intellectually understand why folks hang on to stuff that others think is nonsensical. Folks often ask me what I will do when I retire and while I am not entirely sure of all the things I might pursue in retirement, going through hundreds of old Hometalk emails seems like one likely activity. I imagine that will lead to an endless list of DIY projects and more time spent seeing the possibilities for making old things new again – to include myself.  One never knows where the choices of today will take you tomorrow. 🙂

Another day in the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

1 Response

  1. tim haering

    Wow, MS. C, such genetic deficiency. You didn’t pick your parents very well. Yet you earned ostensibly a PhD. Win some, lose some. I cannot sing a note either. I can only hit notes that don’t exist. Same as my artistic ability. I can only draw things that don’t exist. So no one can tell me, “That’s not what it looks like.” The Internet has done this to us. The virtual life is alluring, possibilities endless. I have been blessed with piles of smelly exigencies I cannot turn off by tuning in. There is a cure, or a preventative, for new age hoarding. Mine look like a Boston Terrier and a brindle Chipugua.

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