Tag Archives: hoarding

Sensory overload and a naked man.

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We found a very, how shall I say? ….unique antique store last week.

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It was an old Victorian house with elaborate overgrown gardens and more stuff than I have ever seen crammed into one place at one time.

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Yes, even more than my husband has in our basement. And trust me, that’s saying something.

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It was a veritable jam packed maze with room after room of … stuff.

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Advertised as an antique store, it was also filled with arts, crafts and assorted holiday decorations.

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I’m hoping the hand was for Halloween.

I really am.

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We had a long conversation with the owner who astoundingly told us it only took him 10 years to fill the place. Honestly? It could take a person that long just to go through it.

He also reiterated what my husband heard at the flea market. No one is buying. Anything. Lots of dealers are calling it quits.

Proof positive there is such a thing as too much stuff.

We discovered he lives upstairs and he told us that area is just as heavily populated with his personal collections. The mind boggles.

As we were leaving my husband said that made sense because he thought he saw a naked man on the balcony when we walked in.

Whaaat!

How do you not lead with that observation?

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Flea market miracle – the results.

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My husband came home hot, tired and grumpy after his 14 hour long adventure at Todd’s Farm flea market in Massachusetts. (Why did he feel the need to travel two and half hours out of state to divest himself of treasure? Because we’d been there years ago and it was an impressive array of antiques with lots of wealthy buyers.) He had visions of selling everything for big bucks and coming home with an empty truck.

This did not happen, much to his… and most certainly my… chagrin.

From the start, the crowd was small. And those who were shopping didn’t seem to be buying.

Anything.

From anyone. The husband was set up next to a veteran antique dealer who agreed it was a horrible day. Interestingly enough, he also said it was a horrible week, month and year.

Wouldn’t you know it? Just when my crap collecting spouse finally decides to get rid of some crap… the crap market bottoms out. He spoke to a dozen dealers as well as a large cross section of pickers making the rounds and they all said the same thing. The secondary antique market in New England is sick, dying, and pretty much dead.

Don’t get me wrong, hubby managed to sell probably a quarter of what he took… but he didn’t get anywhere near the prices he asked, and was surprised that it was all the low end items that sold. The nice, unique pieces returned home with him.

As did the beast. That 200 lb monstrosity of a scale I had to help him move… again.

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And damn it, now it’s right alongside my car in the garage.

Husband was disappointed, but not quite ready to give up. He plans to try again at a flea market closer to home which is probably a good thing…. because since I refused to let all the crap back in the house, the table he set up to store it in front of the Harley is making parking in the garage a bit tight.

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He did surprise me with one item though.

The wicker love seat his sister left in our barn 12 years ago. She didn’t want it and told him to get rid of it over a decade ago.

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He finally did.

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The essence of innocence.

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There’s only one part of our house His Lordship is not allowed to enter and that’s the cellar. Naturally it’s the one place he’s dying to go.

Our cellar is a 2,000 square foot nightmare of my husband’s crap treasure. There’s so much stuff down there you can barely navigate the space. It’s dirty, covered in dust and cobwebs and has been known to house the occasional mouse. For this reason, I laid traps and poison bait blocks. And for that reason, it’s off limits to Dudley. I make sure the door is securely closed every single day.

My husband? Not so much. I continually warn him Lord Dudley Mountcatten is a clever beast and will pry open the door if it’s not shut properly. In typical male fashion he scoffs at my worry.

You know where this is going, right?

We came home from shopping the other day, after my spouse had been in the cellar that morning, to this:

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A cobweb and pink insulation covered cat standing close to the partially open cellar door.

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Who… me?

No, I didn’t go down to the off limits cellar. Why do you ask?

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These are sure to start a bidding war.

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I stepped outside to this a while back.

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Because when the husband disappears outside for long periods of time with no contact? I know something is being torn apart.

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This time it was the woodshed, which over the years has become an outdoor repository for everything I want to get rid of but he’s determined to keep. This includes a large amount of bricks, mismatched pavers and random blocks.

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Which he started stacking until he came across a batch of tapered arch building bricks left over from the previous owner. Yes, they’ve been there for 20 years because my spouse is a hoarder and you never know when you’ll need to build an arch.

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He moved them to front of our garage and I rejoiced, thinking the next step would be the dump. I was wrong.

After looking them up online and seeing that new tapered arch bricks sell for $6 a piece … he made me list them for sale. 40 (and 1/2 because he wouldn’t even throw out the broken one) used, dirty, slightly mortared bricks – $80.

It should come as no surprise that after 12 days we have had no offers.

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It’s really happening!

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The miracle I’ve dreamed of for nigh on two decades has finally happened. My husband, crap hoarder extraordinaire…is going to sell some of his junk treasure at a flea market.

Be still my heart.

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Pieces were chosen, collected and researched for current market value.

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Okay, that last part was all me. But I hope to recoup some of the tens of thousands of dollars he’s probably spent on this stuff over the years and don’t trust him not to give it away.

John Maddock English chamber pot circa 1870? Lidless, but still deserving of a $70 price tag. Hey, if nothing else… it will make a great planter.

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And I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see the last of this beast.

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Circa 1903, it weighs an utter ton and yours truly has dragged it from the truck to the cellar to the garage to the second floor of the barn and back down to the truck…. hopefully for the last time.

Yay!

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Old doorknob, hammered aluminum tray and non working Xmas lights from the 50’s?

Bye bye!

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A truck packed with things I hope to never see again is a beautiful sight.

But I almost forgot the best part!!!

I didn’t have to get up at 1:00am, to leave at 2:00am, to drive two and a half hours out of state to help him unpack, set up, sit in the baking sun and heat for 8 hours, pack up whatever he didn’t sell and drive two and a half hours back home. I didn’t! Because he had a friend who actually wanted to.

Life is good my friends. Very, very good.

Of course I’m a supportive wife and filled a cooler full of sandwiches, fruit, cold drinks…

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And a big bowl of freshly made broccoli salad.

It’s got a pound of bacon in it… what’s not to love?

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It’s spreading like a virus.

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A fungus is currently taking over Casa River and it’s all I can do not to scream.

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It multiplies.

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It jumps from room to room…

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It’s covering every empty space and driving me crazy…

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But I’m not saying a word.

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I’m not nagging, I’m not bitching (out loud) because something miraculous has happened. I’m not sure I should even mention it lest I pierce the magic veil from whence it came… but here goes.

My husband… hoarder extraordinaire, the man who never saw a piece of junk he didn’t want to own… said he wants to sell some of his useless crap treasure at a flea market! Believe me when I tell you I almost passed out from the shock.

When … or even if …. this unheard of event will take place is anyones’s guess. But I’m doing my best to keep quiet and tiptoe around the plethora of rubbish that’s being vomited up from the cellar. If there’s the slightest chance some of it could disappear, it’s the least I can do.

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Please, just finish something.

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You’d think with all the free time my husband has since retiring projects would be finished in no time flat. Hell, 10 years ago he built a two story barn on nights and weekends when working full time, but now that there’s nothing definite on the schedule? Everything gets started and nothing gets finished…. which drives me absolutely insane.

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Last week he started redoing the back yard stone wall.

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He squared one corner and then stopped, leaving my rose bush dangling precariously.

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It’s hard to tell from the photo but the rose that our neighbor gave me in honor of my mother when she passed, the one that’s bloomed beautifully for years… now has a channel of air on the right side where the dirt and mulch used to be. I keep threatening to fill it back in but the husband hollers he’s not done with the wall.

So finish it!

We have a small home office with two desks. Mine is free and clear and organized, his? Not so much.

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It’s cluttered with stamps he started identifying, first day issues he started researching, price tags for a yard sale he’ll never get around to having, random old coins and airworthiness directives from a job where he is no longer employed. And while I try to ignore that mess, it’s a bit harder to ignore this one –

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The strategically placed pile of boxes, bags and packing material that accompanied the multiple loads of crap he belched up from the cellar two months ago. He says he’s still sorting and going through them, but he’s not and probably never will.

Sigh.

I’m too type A to work this way. I start something, I see it through and move on. It really makes me wonder how I’ve let him live this long…

🤣

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