The good side of hoarding

Jimmie Batchelor


There are blessings hidden in your junk, just waiting for you to go on a treasure hunt and discover them! Forget those awful hoarding shows on TV, which is not what I’m writing about. I’m speaking of those swatches and tidbits of your life you could not let go of and stowed here and there, in the attic, a drawer, perhaps in a box under a bed.

It may be a fault of mine that I am rarely able to let go of items from my past that bring my long-gone loved ones to my side again or the memory of a now-grown child that once was attached to my side.

Many photos are among my treasures, too many to count. After assembling a memory photo album for each of my three children, you would not think any were missing! Reorganizing and downsizing my albums is high on my to-do list. I will never be a photo CD fan or of saving all my pictures to the computer. They may cross through those processes at one time, but I definitely am a hands-on person. That is why I prefer a book in lieu of a Kindle. Just simply cannot do it!

I have such a hodge-podge of hidden memories; it is a good thing that I like changing things up around my house. What a delight to come across a long forgotten item, bringing happiness and newness into my life. I free my long imprisoned treasures, to be viewed and admired again, to be savored every day within my sight, maybe pause for a moment or two to contemplate the memory they evoke. Priceless.

This experience has been one of my joys in retirement; finding my treasures and making little changes in my surroundings. Today I came across some magazine-type books from my dad’s service in Japan. One was “Tokyo in 1945.” The books are now on my living room coffee table to coordinate with a few other Japanese possessions my mother passed on to me.

A small brass easel was found among the magazines; just perfect for holding up a small blue glass dish I recently purchased to catch the morning sunlight.

My most beloved discovery was a simple, wire bound notebook. The same as those we purchased for school long ago. Amazingly, this would have been thrown out had not someone looked inside and found it was a hand-written journal by my grandmother, started in 1969, and ending when she could no longer see to write. This was evident from the slanting and spacing of her sentences. I do know after having lost her vision; she recorded a few tapes of her life that are stowed among other tapes I have, waiting to be discovered again.

You may not think you have as much stashed away as I, but I am willing to bet you do, somewhere awaiting you. Go, explore and bring back some good memories. You would not have kept them in the first place, if they had not been. It will be a good time to weed out those items not worthy of saving, pass them on or toss them! Have fun with your exploration!

Jimmie recently retired from Henry Co. Senior Services in Stockbridge, where she managed Hidden Valley Senior Center and resided for 38 years. She plans to use her new found time writing (for The Times) and enjoying life!