The sentimental hoarder

The sentimental hoarder

T'is me. I am her. 

I have seen this book on pinterest before and thought, yep. This book could have been written about me. From a young age, I have kept things and collected things. From my Strawberry Shortcake dolls to my fragranced erasers! And this has continued through the years. Especially with books and teacups! 

I do love keeping things. I really do. And it does have its upsides. Like the feeling of remembering that Wedding Scrapbook I lovingly made, full of all my ideas, notes, photos and cards. Or the feeling of leafing through a box of old letters and postcards from friends and family from years ago. 

I loved saving my certificates from being younger, my programmes from the theatre trips, even my ticket stubs from the cinema. I would look back over them, remembering who I went with and what we watched. I do get a thrill from collecting things I love and am passionate about. I love Ilooking for them and finding them! This quote is fab. We are artists!

I have a box of old Christmas and Birthday cards that are so sentimental to me; they mean so much to me because the people who sent them are no longer with us. You really cannot put an amount on these precious pieces of memory. 

It was only in my thirties that I realised, after watching countless Life Laundry and The Hoarder Next Door programmes, I was a sentimental hoarder. Not on the huge scale as these programmes but it was there. I did what the programmes advised but struggled getting rid of a lot of things. I was the same at work as a teacher. Myself and this other teacher, when we had our general clear ups, we would take stuff out of others classrooms and add to ours! 

It is true that a tidy house is a tidy mind. I do get that. I have cleared much and given a lot to charity when we moved house last year but that was painful! Especially my vast collection of books and pottery over the years. But then, as a collector, you do continue your collecting. I am more disciplined now though when browsing antique shops and fairs. I really am running out of room!

I think it is about being caught between the feng shui of the tidied, simpler rooms in your house, to wanting and needing to be surrounded by lovely things that make you smile. I love my teacups, plants and books so much and they do make me happy. My living room, now though is slowly starting to resemble a second hand book shop! Think that has not been helped by me starting my own book club!

I have recently started reading about the hygge way of living and have covered it in a blog before. I do love the simple rituals of making a cuppa, lighting a candle and reading a book. Again though I struggle a bit because I do have things all over, things special to me but to others it can seem like clutter. I do try to tidy things away more but I love having them out, instead of hidden away. 

They say to 'use the fine china' and I am doing now, since lockdown number 1. But I also like it out in the open, not hidden away in a cupboard. I like to feel it is being reloved and appreciated. I love to wonder who had it before me and where it lived, over the years!

They also say, 'if you have not used it in however many years, pass it on'. This is something else I struggle with as I see this as a reminder to then use something! We do not know when we will need it next. I think everyone must have a 'For if' drawer or cupboard!

I have spurred myself on now to have another clear out tomorrow. Thing is, I will find my old photo albums, full of wonderful memories and spend all my time reminiscing. Most of my hoarding is my clinging on to the past. Memories are in our head and our heart but I do love that physical reminder too. I will then move on to my two cupboards full of papers and not be able to let go of my programmes from the 80s and 90s. Instead I will spend a few more hours re reading them! I maybe just need a Memory room! 

When I think about it really, my collecting has two sides to it. The joy of finding my pieces, looking at them and smiling, actually using them and appreciating them and sharing them with other pottery and book lovers. I love to see everyone else's collections too. However, I have to be careful to not get too much, like that contestant in Crackerjack where one more cabbage will overthrow all the pile in her arms! I still love browsing antique shops and fairs, galleries and bookshops but am more strict now when bringing things home. Really special pieces or rare, one offs. Or cup and saucer duos and trios, not the whole set. That ruling went out the window for the Red Domino Jessie Tait coffee set from the wonderful Cawthorne Antiques, as a Christmas prezzy!

Life is about finding a balance, going off balance and refinding a new balance maybe? Everyone's balance is different and personal to each other. A lovely  lady I follow on instagram posted her bookshelf and a Cornishware jug with the quote

'Minimal is criminal.'

It made me laugh as I love to take photos of my book piles and cups and jugs too! Some folk crave minimalism and others, like me a more maximal way of life. It is about whatever works best for you. There is a happy medium but I never seem to grasp that, in anything! I am all or nothing!

Being sentimental is something I have grown up being. I will always be sentimental. Soft and sentimental! Us nostalgic folk do like to wear our rose tinted glasses and take those trips down Memory Lane, collecting our physical memories is one way of helping us along these trips!


  1. Got stuff from over 50 years ago keep meaning to have a clear out!!😂🤣

    1. It is so easy to keep things that mean something!


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