My Son The Garbage Man (Support Group For Parents Of Hoarders)

As a rule, I don’t usually clean my children’s rooms for them. It is their personal space, their mess, and their responsibility. For reasons that are not pertinent to this post I have decided to break that rule.

I am sitting, at this very moment, inside the confines of my son’s tiny closet trying to decide whether I should be proud of his attempts to save, recycle, and/or reuse absolutely everything or if now would be the perfect occasion to decide I’m OCD and just start hyperventilating in here.

Fortunately, OCD has never been my thing and I find this too funny not to stop what I’m doing and share immediately.

I am only on the third shelf of the closet and already I have found a strange and varied assortment of odd things my son has viewed as worthy of occupying the meager amount of space available to him.

• 1 empty glass bottle
• 2 empty plastic bottles (all bottles grouped together neatly on one shelf, set upright, and ready to be used for purposes unknown to me.)
• 3 separate assortments of broken glass (one of which happened to be a vase I loved. I expressly told him to throw it away. I just cut my finger on it. *evil eyes*)
• One decorative jar that was once upon a time sitting on the mantle above my fireplace. It now has stale bread and what looks like dried toothpaste inside it.
• Dental floss of all kinds. The roll out floss. The floss on plastic sticks that are packaged and sold for ease of use. Used floss. The only thing that saved me from throwing up my supper is my ability to tell myself, “well…at least I know he uses floss now.” We just have to work on the throwing it away part.
• 1 gallon jug of soapy water which I can only assume is in preparation for the apocalypse.
• A tree. Okay…so it wasn’t a tree. It was just a branch from a dead Christmas tree.
• 2 cheap plastic drinking glasses from Carnival Cruise Lines. We’ve never been on a cruise….
• A wide assortment of rocks & batteries
• The skulls of both a deer and a cat that he found in the yard and my husband cleaned for him so he could keep them. *evil eyes again* I don’t think those have a very good chance of surviving my clean up. We shall see.
• 3 love notes. In one of them he is asked if he can marry & kiss his then-girlfriend. His initial answer? “Maybe.” But I remember this day. He came home and asked me if kissing was appropriate for someone of his age (10) and I said perhaps it wasn’t. He responded again on the back side of the love note saying, “I love you too hunny but I can’t kiss you yet.”
Thank. God.
• 4 hats that he never wears, one of which is just advertising for Jay Auto Mall. ?? Another looks like it may have belonged to an Uncle Sam impersonator diagnosed with a severe case of dementia.
• A license plate literally hanging from a clothes hanger in his closet. I don’t even know why he would want to keep it, but apparently it’s important because it’s hanging up. His clothes aren’t hanging, but that license plate is!! 🙂 At least now I know he does, in fact, know what hangers are and how to use them.

This is just the closet. Only God knows what resides in his dresser, under his mattress and inside the toy box he never opens anymore. May the force be with me as I continue the pursuit of cleanliness.

What weird things do you find in your kids’ rooms (or anywhere else: your car, purse, refrigerator)? Am I the only one whose offspring is an aspiring garbage man? Please tell me I’m not alone…


2 thoughts on “My Son The Garbage Man (Support Group For Parents Of Hoarders)

  1. Your older sister, Michele, kept an Easter Egg for a whole year and then decided to “squash it” or “Eat it” not sure which but thankfully she did not eat it. It smelled so bad once she cracked it opened that it took a MONTH to get the smell out of Granddaddy’s trailer. You and Michele wanted a pet so bad that you had a baby rat for a pet, kept in a lunch box, outside, no air holes – we found it after granddaddy followed the two of you taking it some bread. Ryan kept all sorts of things – Everything electrical he got he took apart and put back together, “fixing them”, “seeing what it was made of”, etc. Sometimes they even still worked. It is amazing the things I have forgotten about. I so wish I had written them all down.
    Be careful clean/exploring my grandson’s room. I love you very much!!

    Stella Ann Reid
    Program Associate

    Roosevelt Warm Springs
    A Division of the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency
    6135 Roosevelt Highway | P.O. Box 1000 | Warm Springs, GA 31830
    O: (706) 655-5120 | F: (706) 655-5122

    GVRA CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This message, and any attached document(s) and/or file(s), may contain confidential information that is protected by state and/or federal law, and is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s). If you have received this message in error, please contact the sender by reply message and destroy all copies of the original message (including attachments). Thank you.


    • I’ve discovered why he often can’t find school clothes and chooses to alternate between only two pairs of pants: he put all his clothes in his toybox and covered the toybox with boxes of junk & a basket full of dirty linens. Good job, son. Good job.

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