The TV show, Hoaders, makes me really uneasy.  For a while I couldn’t figure out why but I was likely in denial.   I am concerned my parents might be hoarders! 

On an episode recently, a lady who has a hoarding problem said, “It started downstairs…” and something went off in my head.  I recalled visiting my parents at Christmas and going down to the basement to get something for my Mom….I was utterly gobsmacked at the pile of useless stuff.  I’m talking broken lamps, old TVs, old computers, old furniture, old toys from when we were kids (30 years ago)…it was just shocking. 

I’ve always known my dad is terrible for getting rid of stuff.  He has old, broken tools, items that were his dad’s, and tangled up old fishing gear he’ll never use again.  When my dad needs something like a toolbox or a cooler, he’ll go out and buy a brand new one because his old one is stuffed with junk, OR he can’t find the old one in his piles of mess.  Again, I’m talking in the basement. 

But I think my mom is an enabler.  When I get on her case for not throwing out Dad’s junk, she rolls her eyes and says something like, “your father would have a fit”…but then I remind her that Dad really has no idea what’s in the basement because you can’t MOVE when you’re there.

Apprently the attic is the same.

What worries me is that my parents are getting on in age, and they don’t seem to be interested in downsizing or simplifying their lives, which means there will be one very sad day when my sister, brother and I will be left to clean out a giant house stuffed to the rafters with memories.  Truthfully, the task will require a dumpster.

Until I became familiar with Hoarders I think we washed over my parents’ problem by calling them “packrats” – a cutesy way to describe hanging on to things.  But I’m now seriously wondering what I should do to put a stop to it before it takes over the whole house.