This post is for all of those people out there who throw stuff away left and right, which sometimes includes, like, really important stuff belonging to someone else. Flowchart included.


I am no hoarder of anything but mismatched socks. I’ll hoard those suckers because how do I know his or her mate isn’t still looking for them? If I just toss Mr. Navy Sock With Yellow Stitching Across The Toe in the trash in frustration but then Mrs. Navy Sock With Yellow Stitching Across The Toe waddles up one day looking for him, WHAT DO I TELL HER? I threw your man away? I tossed the love of your life in the TRASH? How could I live with myself? You try telling a sock the worst news they’ve ever heard in their cotton-pickin’ life! You’ll lose sleep, man! You will lose sleep and I’m not willing to gamble with the zzzzz’s.

So, yeah, I’ll hoard mismatched socks like a squirrel hoards nuts.

But, other than that, I’m not really a hoarder. I am a not-putter-awayer, for sure. I have clean laundry that has been begging me to stick them in a drawer for a few days now.

That’s different.

So, you can imagine my surprise one spring day when I saw one of my most prized posessions atop a dusty card table at my parents’ garage sale. My husband had put it there. He asked why I needed it. He wondered why I would keep something I never use. It is likely that he quoted a famous declutterer from HGTV on the advantages of lightening our load around the house. The plusses to living life more simply mumbo jumbo.

But, he went too far when he stuck that thing on the table.

It was my Felicity DVD collection. My heart! Someone calm me down! My nerves are getting all revved up again! He really thought it was okay to try to sell for $3 or $4 pathetic dollars my most favorite show ever. Contained within those DVDs are stories of college love, heartache, happiness, tests, Dean & Deluca coffee, Javier, Felicity, Noel and, most importantly, Ben.

“When are you ever even going to watch that?”

“All I need is one good flu to knock me on the couch for a few days! When that happens, I’ll watch it!”

But, see, even if I don’t ever watch it ever again in my whole entire Felicity-lovin’ life, it is still mine, you know? Man, I sympathize with those hoarders on A&E.

Lucky for my husband, I know that he is not the only out-of-control purger of things that aren’t his belongings. Someone else in my family once sold something really valuable at a garage sale thinking it was just junk until someone else in my family informed that person that it was actually a prized possession. (Being vague on purpose. Trying to protect my life here.)

The other day I was talking to a friend at a baseball game and her husband is guilty of the same things! Her son had been sick the week before and required lots of different medications. She kept a tedious record of all of the medications he took and whatnot and put the paper on the counter. She went to retrieve it and…

“Where is that paper that I had just set on the counter? With the medications on it?”

“What paper?”

“It was a piece of paper with a long list of medications and dates and amounts on it?”

“Oh, I threw that away.”

“Why? I wanted to keep that!”

“But, he’s not sick anymore. Why do you still need that?”

“I want to reference it later, if I need to do that. It’s mine, anyway. You just don’t go and throw stuff away!”

An hour or so later, she returned to the kitchen to find it uncrumpled with food stains all on it and spread out on her counter. Dude was nice enough to dig in the trash for it. The thing is, he had a bad track record. He once threw away a calendar from 2004, the year her son was born, because it “was an old calendar”. This is the calendar that she had recorded all of her son’s milestones in during his first year.

In the trash.

Gone forever.

Perhaps a mini-guidebook is necessary for the anti-hoarder? Maybe a flowchart would be helpful? I thought so. Feel free to print this out and stick it on your refrigerator if you or someone in your family is fond of throwing, like, really important stuff away, like Felicity DVDs.

**This may be an appropriate time to confess that I was once discovered throwing away my child’s artwork. He discovered spaghetti sauce all over his creation right smack dab in the trash can and was pretty ticked. He was only 2, though, so I am pretty sure he forgot about it. I have since been more discrete about it and totally disregard my flowchart in those circumstances.**


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