Sometimes it pays off to be a COH, grand-daughter of self-affirmed packrats, and from a family of collectors. Today I was advising a student about types of assessment he can expect will studying in Switzerland, and as I pulled out a file from a history course I took in 2001, I caught sight of printouts from my research that year in France. Low and behold, I had kept all of the hard-copies from programs I attended and that happen to be relevant to a paper I’m writing right now. I was convinced that I would never be able to verify the historical point I was trying to make in the paper, and suddenly references are in front of me dated 15 October 2001. Thank you to whichever ancestor who also taught me how to file things.
Tag Archives: research
Thank you iPad for making my hoarding less visible, more organized, lightweight and convenient. I just cleared off a big chunk of real estate by recycling the articles I now have in my iTunes library.
The room around me is emptying out, but how does my desk look this week? Well….
In my defense, I’ve started two new research papers and need a few things within arm’s reach. The other part of the issue is the growing stack of tax documents.
It surprises me a bit that I feel defensive about my desk which is still relatively
in under control, but perhaps even more that those piles of books make me (not-so) secretly happy. My brain is working and that means a lot.
Although I started this blog anonymously, not sure where it would take me, it has quickly become a public conversation piece when we go out. I am currently on a research sabbatical and when I see colleagues out in the open, so to speak, they want to know what I’ve been working on. Telling them about the painful editing and staring at notes and computer screen does not make compelling conversation. Telling them I’m battling my hoarding tendencies does.
We accepted a rare invitation to a cocktail party on Saturday. When I made my way into the kitchen to refill my glass and talk with a different group of people, one of my colleagues said, “So I heard about your blog…”
“So you know about my hoarding?” I asked.
“Sure, I heard all about your bags of bay leaves and sumac that sat in the cupboard for years.”
It is both an entertaining and startling conversation starter. Last week at lunch two people went into a long dialogue about the worst hoarders they had ever seen. I believe they were talking about television programs, but I was drifting in and out of their words. Perhaps they were talking about their own homes? Unlikely.
The ability to share what I’m confronting elicits a strong reaction and sometimes a grotesque fascination with what’s in the hoard. It’s also a bit of coming out and making myself accountable for what I bring into the house. The fact remains, though, as much as I have collected, stored, and forgotten, I am not living in a pile of clutter in 80% of my living space. For as much as I struggle, I know I have largely succeeded. If I’m able to talk about my tendencies, it’s largely because I’ve already won.