The Cracker Problem

Tonight, an observant teenage visitor pointed out that we have a lot of crackers. There are six boxes of crackers on top of the fridge, and two more behind that you can’t see in this photo.

This is clearly a problem. Why does a small family need so many boxes of crackers? Is it because we fear a cracker shortage? Are we stocking up for a famine? Or does someone in the house just like to amass crackers?

I personally am not in charge of procuring crackers. We can’t blame me for this one. But I’ve just done an inventory of my nail polish and counted 35 bottles.

Hoarding leads to clutter, and clutter leads to chaos. If you take your hoarded clutter and relocate it, stacking it or piling it but not reducing it, you are just “churning,” in the language of hoarding studies. I keep trying to get the crap off the coffee table, but mostly I end up organizing it into neat groupings of crap.

I am thinking of getting a book called Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding.”   It sounds great. I like the title of the third chapter, “How did this happen?”

How indeed? My house looks more and more like a thrift shop. It’s a place of female hoarding and male hoarding. Meaning, tons of CDs and electronics, and tons of guitar magazines, along with tons of girlie shit. Tons of pop culture memorabilia. I can see from where I sit the vast collection of Little Golden Books that I read to my firstborn, 30 years ago. But they’re so cute! So full of tender memories!

I wouldnt dream of making a resolution or even a pledge. I just want to get this crap under control. Then I’ll feel better about acquiring some new crap.

I know I am not alone in this cycle of buying, hoarding, churning, and paralysis. It would be nice to know where “collecting” ends and “Hoarding” begins. Are they the same?

I will be praying for deliverance to Saint Marie, the new patron saint of Hoarding Crap. You can pray to her here. But don’t tell her that I just ordered a new pair of ankle boots to not wear with my leather dress. In fact, don’t tell anybody.

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13 Responses to The Cracker Problem

  1. Miroslav says:

    Chelo? Nail Polish Crackers is graffiti I read this one time in Gdansk ghetto. If only you could have seen me in Gdansk, heart of my heart! I was a young man then! My hair was magnificent! But yet there is time, when hoarding in your sunshining California is not an option no longer. My steppes have the space for you, wolf woman, heartbeat of my breast. This lunar year of 1430 will see us ride magnificent across the tundra, my Wolf Queen. It is starred to be.

  2. We are a family of world-class hoarders. It cost us $7k just to move all our crap an hour and a half away to a new house this summer. I think I need to get that book too.

  3. K-Line says:

    Oh, I can out do you with the cracker thing. My husband hoards english muffins. Seriously. You cannot see anything in our freezer (which we actually need) because he has a minimum of 15 spare frozen packages of muffins at any time. Just in case they run out at the grocery store?!?!? So he’s told me.

  4. Den Den says:

    I rarely have time to go out “thrifiting”, junking, shopping, or ordering-on-line; however, I’m drowning in mail that just keeps coming through my mailbox like a horde of wasps I can’t outrun. I have piles of bills, and statements, and notices, and official looking documents that eventually form into doric like columns here and there. What do I do with them? And why do they keep coming . . . Maybe because “they” know I never read them and that’s my punishment for ignoring them . . . I’m doomed to keep getting them month after month after year after year . . . . and yet I can’t throw them out because I think they have some hidden meaning attached to them that I haven’t figured out yet.

  5. Honeypants says:

    You should have seen my grandmother’s when we moved her out… 20 year old bags of sugar and flour crammed in cabinets. Jello mix from the 70s. Canned foods that expired long before the first great grandchild was born. Boxes of bags and bags of boxes, styro takeout containers, every piece of cardboard packing material she’d every seen. Fabric leftover from the 60’s when the shop she worked for closed in every drawer and closet in the house. It was incredible. I was at her (much smaller) condo last weekend and she showed me her new collection of bags and takeout boxes. But she was a child of the Depression. That’s her excuse.

    As a frequent mover/Katrina Survivor, let me just say STUFF really isn’t as important as you think it is, and the feeling you get from purging really is a weight-lifting, monkey off your back, sigh of relief.

  6. Mark says:

    I’ve made attempts to curb the number of stupid catalogs that come to my house with, but it doesn’t work! Fucking Restoration Hardware sends me a catalog biweekly despite my continued efforts to cancel it. Same goes for fucking Pottery Barn.

    For a while, I sold clothes on eBay, clothes that I bought and never wore, clothes that still had the tags on them. I missed every single article that I dropped in the mail. While I agree that stuff really isn’t that important–I know this logically–it pains me to think that some asshole in Indiana is wearing a really cool Levi’s RED jacket that I bought in 2002, or that some prick is wearing the coolest Junya Watanabe deconstructed flight jacket from 2006 that I paid way too much for and sold for much less. I want them back! Even if they don’t fit.

  7. I’ve been hording the crackers – I’m always in fear of a cracker shortage. Believe me it could happen.
    You sure you didn’t send that book to my husband. I swear he’s in league with the author. I asked him how we should decorate the house today and he said minimalist – I cried.

  8. Sister Wolf says:

    Miroslav – This poetry my heart makes skip the beat.

    Iheartfashion – I just hope we can find the book after it becomes absorbed into the clutter.

    K-Line -This is FANTASTIC news! We have the jam to go with those muffins: 12 jars when I counted them today!!!

    Den Den -Oh god, the bill towers! I know them well.

    Honeypants – My grandma also saved paper bags. Many years ago, she gave me one that turned out to be full of cockroaches that ran in all directions when I finally opened it. In my family lore, this is known as “Grandma’s Gift.”

    Mark – Very very sad. Get Ste Marie to pray for you.

    Make Do – MINIMALIST ?!?!? The horror!

  9. Your cracker hoarding post makes me weep. As I am a cracker hoarder, in more way than one.
    And god bless you for identifying “female hoarding” and “male hoarding.” Let’s not fuck ourselves over ladies and call it “just hoarding,” this shit is gender specific and I am ready to admit it if you are, boys.
    –from the fashion herald adult who has been trying to clean over the holidays.

  10. OMGGMAB says:

    Mark, if it makes you feel better, I can send you some stuff I bought while costuming shows, but never used. May not quite make up for the Junya Watanabe jacket. How great would your closet look when sporting a chain mail shirt?

  11. Ann says:

    Please bring your crackers to my house at once. I was cleaning out my fridge yesterday and found 20 – YES, TWENTY – varieties of cheese. Don’t embarrass me further by making me list them all, but suffice to say they ran the gamut from Kraft slices to $21.99/lb Humboldt Fog.

    Imagine the party we could have! Hors de’ouvers and constipation for days on end.

  12. Juri says:

    I don’t eat crackers, candy or chips, and I can’t remember the last time I bought any of those. If I weren’t a binge drinker and a borderline alcoholic I’d feel like a love child from a threesome between Buddha, Mother Theresa and Mahatma Gandhi by now.

    Of course, the real reason is my teeth were so bad for such a long time when I was young that I learned to live without snacks.

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