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Filled a 20 yrd dumpster just the start at my parents hm they couldn't throw ANYTHING away. They saved empty jars, had boxes of boxes, empty bags of bags, broken things to "fix" someday, bits and pieces of carpet, rags, etc etc etc. What is up with this type of hoarding? Why couldn't they throw anything away? When they moved to retire they UP sized. This is both my parents but mainly my dad. They were young kids in the depression but please this is loads of junk and broken items. What do you do with a broken & taped up 5 gal bucket?!! Junk mail not even opened from years ago. And really who saves carbon copy paper?!! This is just the tip of the iceburg. Can anyone shed light on this and tell me why all this junk was saved?

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My personal standards:

If I have not appeared on

MY 600 POUND LIFE

INTERVENTION

HOARDERS

I must be doing ok! (My bar is set a little low)
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And I might add AMERICA'S MOST WANTED to Windy's list.
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I think our elders who were small during the Depression were deeply affected by what they saw and lived. Both my parents weren't hoarders, but my mom still saves every empty box, bag and container if you let her. She wants me to give old, used, tattered clothes to charity, because "someone might be able to use it". It's a mindset that came from extreme poverty in childhood.

That need to save served my folks well, in that they started from NOTHING and amassed enough money to take care of themselves well during their lifetime, while leaving a nice nest egg for me too. So I respect that desire to save!
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GA and FF: At the parents house I will have to haul out 2 wringer washers out of the basement. (one working and one for parts) Mom did not give in to a modern washer until she was 75. I did all dad's laundry after she passed. I tryed to get rid of those wringer washers but they wouldnt let me. Anyone want one for their June Cleaver museum???? :) Ps; can I interest you in about 30 pounds of dried up ball point pens.....
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There's a difference between saving from living through the Depression and WWII vs. hoarding foods and living in filth.

Perhaps you might try to read more about what it was like during the Depression - living in cold houses because you couldn't afford heat, standing in bread lines and being embarrassed because you were so poor.

The cold weather is especially difficult. If you live in a cold area, try turning off your furnace for a few weeks this winter and see what it's like. You'll begin to search your house for blankets and anything to keep you warm. Then imagine that people who survived the Depression had to do this for more than a few weeks - it was all winter.

Have you ever gone to a food handout for poorer people? Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is for people to stand in line to get food?

Remember the social safety nets that are available now didn't exist then.

If you didn't save something, you might never be able to afford to buy it again.

The Depression and the compromises necessary during WWII are events that formed survivors' outlooks for the rest of their lives. Younger people today often can't even begin to comprehend the sacrifices that had to be made during those earlier periods.
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Please don't mention how much money it is worth if you sell it on line, that is part of the problem!! To those with a tendency to hoard it is all valuable stuff and they are going to have a yard sale "some day"or post it on line "when I figure it out". And if you think donating it is hard just try to mention getting a dumpster!
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Hope you get some offers for your pens, Mincemeat. Five years ago I couldn't find anyone interested in 30 pounds of rubberbands and used twist ties.
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And:

SEX SENT ME TO THE ER!

Or the latest show:

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES OF AGEING CARE .COM
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My parents were born around 1940. Their house has been rescued from the hoard and is finally on the market. They were mostly obsessive shoppers, but also kept piles and piles of paper. The main thing I learned from this experience is to buy only what I plan to use and display in my own home. If you buy stuff because you think it will increase in value enough to sell for lots of money "someday," you are very likely to be disappointed. We were lucky that some of my Dad's trains *kept* their value, much less gained. The hundreds of dolls & collectible toys in boxes, the "antique" furniture that didn't really fit into the house - we are still trying to get rid of some of that stuff. The market for all those things has softened considerably because everyone 70+ is downsizing whether by choice or by necessity.

The funny thing is the most valuable (for me) things I found were some letters and photos from the early 19th century from family members. I was able to fill in some missing pieces from my family history that I had been wondering about. How can you attach a monetary value to that?
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Not going to read through all the answers but I was born 9 months before the outbreak of WW11 in England so I remember the shortages. Everything was rationed so everything that could be reused was saved. Elastic , buttons, every piece of string. Even sweaters were unravelled and reknited, Woman's skirts were made into little boys short pants, the good fabric from a dress could be made into a pretty apron to give as a gift. brown paper bags could be turned into wrapping paper to wrap parcels. Christmas paper was really prized. The present was carefully unwrapped then the paper ironed and put away for the next year.
This was practical good sense which is very different from hoarding which is usually an actual mental illness.
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