Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Where to draw the line?

I took D along with me grocery shopping today. I wanted him to experience first hand the three ring circus it has become since I started couponing.

The older four kids stayed home and promised not to burn the house down. We also made them promise not to kill each other and not to call unless there was an actual medical emergency. No blood? No problem!

Once we hit the store, the terrorist was on her normal behavior which meant we had a complete hissy fit less than 30 seconds in to to store. I left D to handle it and I pretended the family wasn't mine. If those girls didn't look so much like me, I just might have been able to pull it off! The terrorist even got under the skin of the cookie lady who made her promise to stop screaming if she gave her a cookie. While I generally refuse to negotiate with terrorists, I'll let the cookie lady do the negotiating and enjoy the benefits for the 10 minutes it lasts.

I made D promise to stick to the list and hold the coupons. Holding the coupons is one of the biggest reasons shopping has turned in to such a circus. I can't manage the coupons, the terrorist climbing out the cart, little miss standing up IN the cart even though I've belted her in, and get all the groceries on the list. I always forget something in my efforts to keep kids out of the emergency room.

This week was a big week of stockpiling. I bought 4-5 of everything on my list. D looked at me and asked "is this all really necessary?" The cart was full. As in I really should have gotten a second cart full. It took us a full 20 minutes to check out with all the coupons. I spent $50 and saved $75 (that's after taxes!)

Once we got home, the kids started unloading the groceries and putting them away. That's when it really hit me...I didn't have room for all the things I had purchased. I have a floor to ceiling pantry and it is packed mainly with food (there are a few kitchen items in it).

I had to make a run to another store and they had some crazy markdowns, as in 5 lb bags of potatoes for 97 cents. I couldn't stop myself. I had to buy a few bags.

When I got home again with more groceries, Leelee looked at me and said, "Mom, we have no more room for food! LOOK at the refrigerator!"

She was right. There was absolutely no more room. We have probably enough food in our house for our family of eight for at least 10 days, maybe more. That may not seem like a lot, but that's basically enough for a normal mom, dad and 2.5 kids for about a month!

It hit me right between the eyes that I've transferred my hoarding again. Before, it was crafting supplies. Then it was sewing and fabrics. I thought I was doing better. I really did. My house is clean and organized. But I'm still hoarding.

The good news: I can see it. The better news: I'm not able to hoard long term. I have a teenager who is depleting the supplies as fast as I can buy them. This leads to the bad news: That teenager is essentially masking my hoarding and enabling me.

I'm just not sure what to do about this. It's only recently since watching that blasted show on cable, that I began to recognize my hoarding tendencies. At this moment, it's not hurting anyone. But, at what point will it hurt? At what point does it take over? Where do I draw the line?


  1. i've been asking myself the same question! with baby #2 coming into an already packed 2 bedroom apartment next year, i think i'm going to have to try yet again to toss some stuff.

  2. My grandfather was a true hoarder. When he died they had to SHOVEL 4 feet of coins out from his house....from all the rooms! My mother has tenancies but we kids kept her in check. I think knowing is half the battle and that if you just stay aware of it, you can keep it in check. When it starts to rule your life, get help.


Thanks and have a great day!