ROOM FOR A PONY

Exploring what life could be like if we weren't buried in clutter, burdened with too many possessions, and surrounded by chaos.

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Hoarder, Packrat, what’s the difference?

December 11th, 2012 · 1 Comment · Hoarding, Packratting

Have you ever watched the TV reality show called Hoarder? I haven’t, but I don’t really need to, because I’ve seen hoardiness in person.

During the Broke Era of my life, i.e. my twenties and thirties, I lived for a year in a sort of …. rind of a boarding house … where I shared a single room with only my pet frog, Bert — but wait, that’s a-whole-nother story. You’ll have to read my book for that. This is only my blog.

Getting back to my point, in a similar room across the hall from me lived a hirsute, pungent, and corpulent young male with a hefty repertoire of eccentricities. I didn’t know anything about hoarding until after he’d gone missing — rent-less-ly — for about three months and the building owner hired a friend of mine in search of odd jobs to clean out his room.

My pal reported back what he found: peach pitts…. pizza….. banana peels…. half eaten cans of soup…… tuna…… Chinese takeout seeping through its cardboard boxes. Potato vines holding hostage the building-issue chrome vinyl dinette set…

(This next part is super gross, so if you are squeamish, you might want to stop here.)

Ultimately, but not lastly, he found: dudu. (Yes. Go ahead, say it. It’s phonetic.)

And I don’t mean mouse poop. I mean of human origin. In other words, not left behind by unwitting rodent passersby, or a spiteful cat, but tucked away intentionally. In shoe boxes, in drawers, in flower pots…

To summarize, the difference between a Packrat and a Hoarder is as follows.

Packrat: Potentially Useful Stuff.
Hoarder: True Garbage.

Ew.

 

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