Laughing Dog Arts

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I watched the TV show "Hoarders" the other night.  Man, what an eye opener that was!  There is a house in my little town where the people are hoarders.  The yard is full of plastic boxes stacked up against the house and the people that live there hang out in their cars in the driveway because evidently there is so little space inside to sit down.  It made me look around at my place, all the crap....I mean, valuable items I have.  I could hardly wait to go clean out my closet, and began the next morning.  Above you see two lovely bird related tapestry things.  They are rather large, would mostly cover a twin size bed.  I don't remember how I got them, probably people gave them to me because I used to have peacocks.  They have been folded up in my closet for years now.  Pretty enough but I put them into the pile that is heading to the thrift store.  If any of my readers want these items, let me know and I will send them to you and you can hoard them for awhile.

These next items were harder.  The green knitted afghan on the left?  Not something I would really want to keep Mom made it for me.  Just before she died.  It is made from acrylic yarn.  It has been in the closet for years now.  I put it back into the closet, it's a keeper. 

The dark brown thing next to it?  That is a piece of fleece that was the top of a cozy throw that my Grandma Bee made for me.  In high school.  A hundred years ago.  The back side has long ago disintegrated and fallen off, so this is just a piece of fake fur fleece.  But it brings back memories of Grandma, and I did use the heck out of it for years.  I put it in the wash and it will go back into the closet too.  Maybe I will put a new lining on the back and put it on my bed.  Or not. 

To the right of the brown fleece is another acrylic yarn crocheted afghan, one that I made.  I gave it to my Step Mom when she was dying, and my Dad gave it back to me after she passed.  It is in brand new shape, but it has resided in the closet ever since I got it back.  I decided to put it into the thrift store pile.

Next I found this gold colored fringed silky thing, I think it is for putting on top of a dresser and I think I did have it on top of one for awhile, it has fade spots on it.  I rather like it.  It doesn't take up much room.  I'm keeping it.  The folded up white thing next to it is an embroidered table cloth from my other Grandma.  Mice got to it, it has stains all over it and is chewed on the edges.  The embroidered design is a cool Celtic knot thing.  I like it.  I put it in the studio and hope to use it in my art somehow.  Might have to (gasp!) cut it up but that's okay.  Better than moldering in the closet, being eaten by mice.

The pale green thing is a rather nice satin table cloth.  I like it too.  Will I ever use it?  I never have dinner guests over, it would be too much trouble to clear all my art stuff off the dining room table.  I'm putting this one in the thrift store pile.   It doesn't have chew marks or stains even!  I'm trying to be realistic.  I like it but will I ever use it?  On the TV show Hoarders, they asked the hoarders why do you want to keep this thing?  It is valuable!  I paid good money for that! they said.  I have no idea where the green table cloth came from.  I might have paid a dollar for it at a garage sale or someone gave it to me (Grandma?), let someone else use and enjoy it.

Another tapestry/rug thing.  I think I had this hanging on a door for years.  I have a couple other tapestry's too, not the painted velvet variety but ones that are old and nice.   Yes, they are going back into the closet, but they are my hoarded things and I'm keeping 'em!  Bury me with them!

Some old clothes carry such stories, like this old tie dyed (by me) shirt.  I specifically remember meeting a certain special person while wearing this shirt.  Haven't quite decided about it.  I had a pair of new pants that my mom gave me.  They never did fit but they were the last thing she gave me before she died.  I kept them for years (Mom has been gone since 1993) but finally put them into the thrift store box.  It isn't like I need the pants to remind me of my mom.  Not going to forget her!

Anybody still with me?  Do you know what these are?  I had a Doberman once, Tasha.  She had been hit by a car and her front left leg was broken, the vet fused the joint and for the rest of her life she had to drag that leg around.  She would get a sore on the top of her foot from the friction, so a friend gave me these booties for her.  I can still see in my mind, Tasha trying to lift that foot as high as she could, as though to step out of the boot.  We were all doubled over with laughter.  Occasionally I put the boots on a dog just to see them try to walk in them, it is hilarious.  But I think these are going into the thrift store box.  Enough of torturing my poor doggies!  I better clean the cobwebs off them first.

So there you have it, my personal life stories pulled out of my closet and either tossed out or put back into hiding.   I might tackle the attic next.  There is a lot of crap up there, I have been here for 35 years after all.  I will leave you with a cute animal picture, squirrel versus elephant.

Be well, and clean out your closet.
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artymess said...

yes i too am sentimental about clothes and fabrics that may have precious memories woven into them ...i put things in the charity bag then i go through it and take out stuff again ....i find it so hard to prt with stuff..we watched a hoarding programme the other night too a man had newspapers everywhere as he had to keep articles to read ........he did sort it out at the end
my workroom i'm afraid looks like a hoarders den ..i try and keep the door shut if we have visitors !! ha ha ...they wouldn't understand ....but i know where everything is where did i put my fabric scissors ..........xx

Patty said...

Ha! Your comments hit home! That hoarders program IS motivating. I'm doing the same thing daily, filling a bag a week. If I pick up an object for the third time without using/wearing it it goes into the
charity shop bag. I love your comment that you don't need an object to remember people you've loved!

audrey said...

HAHAHAHA Great post, Jan. I enjoyed your stories that went along with each item you pulled from the closet. It is definitely hard to let go of some things. I think you did a GREAT job!!
That Hoarders show is scarey! What if we ALL kept everything we ever had???jThere has to be a story with every item.
I've been getting rid of things, too, for months now. I am leaning toward minimalist living.... Only my studio does NOT count ~ that will always be filled with all kinds of things ~ needed or not!! (:
♥ audrey

Lisa Criswell / Indigo's Beads said...

yes, i like the show hoarders too. just to remind myself that although i may be messy i am definitely nothing like those people. sad, really, that they can have their entire lives consumed by "stuff". i'm convinced my mil is a hoarder. my dh prays they move at least one time before they die so the crap can be thinned. he's not looking forward to it. it's important to remember that the "thing" doesn't hold the memory...we do. i think if people don't want to part with the "thing" for fear of losing their memory, they should make videos of them telling the story behind the thing, then get rid of it. a cd is so much easier to store. anyhoo. our rule is if we haven't used it in a year, it's gone.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

If no one has claimed those two bird pieces..... :-D
I don't even want to THINK about my hoard, though I have tried to get rid of some, it seems twice as much comes back in.
I occasionally watch hoarders when DH is not here (he won't watch it) and usually it inspires me to CLEAN, at leas a little.
It is amazing how we hold onto things that no longer have any use for us (speaking strictly of myself.....) and how hard it can be to send them out.
I would say it's a good thing to do on a hot day, but mostly read and lay about has been my routine!


maddyrose said...

When I moved to this area I got rid of most of my personal property. Everything I kept fit into 30 boxes that could be sent UPS. Now 19 years later it's worse than ever. I think I need to move again, or at least go through some closets. I can't even get into the closet in my studio as there's too many valuable things blocking the doors. I can't even remember why I'm hanging onto most of it except that I know if I get rid of it then I'll need it a month from now.

Heloise said...

Good luck with the next de-cluttering session. It is hard, but one feels so much better afterwards.

Carol said...

I love those bird pieces. I'd take them in a minute! But I'd never use them either.

I have recently be cleaning out closets. You have to do that every 6 months or so again and again to get it to a manageable 'hoard'. Each time it gets easier to put things in the thrift pile.

Karen S said...

I watch those shows too -- they always make me get busy cleaning and tossing stuff from some area of the house. I always feel so virtuous after I drop off a load at St. Vinnie's.

Robbie said...

Well, I don't think you're a were able to get to the closet! Love your banner picture! I'm behind in blog surfing and just saw it!! Your hearts look wonderful in that format!

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

How did I miss this post. You have phantom posts that show up on my computer a couple days after you write them, don't know why??? Hoarding is a scary thing. I certainly have clutter, but can't imagine that life. I have a turtleneck that I finally relegated to the future fabric creation pile. The neck is frayed, the sleeves have elbow holes, the mice in the basement chewed a hole in it and I kept it for 15 years.....and wore it! I hated to give it up though....why are some pieces of clothing so meaningful and give us comfort? Great post. xox Corrine New header is FAB!

maggi21 said...

I daren't even start or I will still be sorting things this time next year!

Elena said...

I'm really late coming to visit but enjoyed your closet tour. And those were just a few things! I can only imagine the stories with all the rest. Header and play list are great! Now I need to go visit the whole hay process. Fascinating!