Collecting things is actually a form of mental illness. Many studies have been conducted about this topic. None of which I can recall at this moment, but I did study this idea as part of my formal museum training. My collections are vast, wide and tend to be quite faddish. I went through a phase of collecting mugs, animal bones (for my reference collection), jewellery and so on and so forth. However, I think they are actually broader than this, I think I sub-consciously collect clothes that I never wear, baby products, books and general stuff. I am a terrible hoarder and gatherer of other peoples rubbish. To the point where the husband has banned Freecycle in case I clutter the garage up further.
Last year, I attempted to tidy and chuck things out. It wasn’t all that successful. I did try though. The trouble is, I am also a bit mean. For example, I cannot get rid of the baby stuff. I desperately want another child, I don’t want to end up buying it all again. Anyhow, it’s a waste. I could find someone that wants it, I could attempt to sell it, I could recycle the material and give the stuff to Fifi to play with with her dolls. There are millions of justifications for keeping it. All of which are perfectly logical. None of which solve the problem of space and having too much stuff.
I could leave it to clutter up my free space, destroying any vestiges of Feng Sui that there might be in my house. I could leave it to drive me to absolute distraction with the fact that surfaces everywhere are covered and gathering dust at speed. I could weep at the mess. I am a confused soul.
Unfortunately, the children have inherited the same instincts. Toddler boy has probably over 100 toy cars, people keep buying them for him, he keep asking for them. He is different in other respects in that he lines them all up precisely, everything must be ‘just so’. It must be hard for him to live in this house. Fifi is a gatherer of clothes, she is like a little moving cyclone gathering more and more items from her wardrobe to stumble about the house with. She thrives on mess and muddle. Oh dear.
What is strange is that I cant stand a mess at work, a place full of collections and I need to make sure that they are all ordered and tidy and I set my mind to achieving that order above all else. At home, I sit and fret, I watch the mess rather than the television. It borders on some sort of OCD compulsion. I feel unable to sort it though. This is clearly some sort of mental-ness, I wonder if it happens to all mothers?