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This is a question Hoarding

Willenium says: I had to bring some floppy disks into work which I had been saving for 10 years "in case I might need them". Tell us when your hoarding skills have come in useful (or not, as the case may be)

(, Thu 3 May 2012, 14:03)
Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

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Essential items
Shortly after my grandmother (on my dad's side) died, my dad hired a van to take some of her huge book collection down to London for storage, as London is where both his sisters live. I was about twelve at the time, and went along for the ride. After we had stored the books, we went back to aunt H's house (actually, they're both called H, but that's not important). H is an inveterate hoarder, and my dad is inherently not. He cannot stand to see anything that is obviously junk. As we were walking through one room (without H) he swept two used stamps and a paperclip off a shelf and into the bin beneath them.

When we went back through that room about an hour later, H had taken them out of the bin, carefully replaced them on the shelf, and removed the bin.
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 19:16, Reply)
I collect pictures of the queen
On various bits of metal and paper. It seems that this is a common collection to have, as I often find myself able to trade them in for things like food. Who said the barter system is dead?
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 19:09, 2 replies)
Mental hoarding.
An excellent way of using my long term memory- clog it up by having pointless snippets of trivia from many years ago at the expense of modern, useful, relevant information.

The name of the actor who played 'Monkey' from the original NHK series, errr, 'Monkey'
The theme music and lyrics to The Banana Splits/Cities of Gold/Captain Zep/Rentaghost et cetera
The plots and characters from most of the Blakes 7 episodes
Endless hymns from when my folks used to make me go to church/most of the bible stories/the Catholic church service even though I've not been for 27 years.
How to make a cat's cradle with a loop of string.
Stringing and tuning a violin with no pitch adjusters
All those knots I learned in cubs and scouts.

So, a lot of useless crud my brain really doesn't need to keep, if only I had an 'empty recycle bin' button. Except for the knots thing.

Just the one knot really, the bowline. The knot you need to know if you absolutely do not want a rope to come undone. Like if you've got to get someone's car towed off a dual carriageway with no layby, at night, in the pissing down rain, with dead battery so no hazard lights warning oncoming juggernauts that you're sticking out into the carriageway. the only tow rope they had was a nylon orange agricultural rope , no cast aluminium alloy hook on one end, no spliced loop at the other end.

2x bowlines later and I'm dragging them to safety.

So there was some point of value to my 16 years of childhood.
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 18:35, 7 replies)
220 penguins and assorted items of penguinalia.
These mainly included fluffy toys and statues. But I also managed to collect anything with penguins on it, including penguin beer, penguin condoms, penguin pencil erasers, clockwork penguins, penguin games, penguin ornaments, penguin badges, March of The Penguins on DVD (obviously) and a 7 inch tattoo of a penguin on the back of my right leg.

I've given the overwhelming majority of my horde to charity shops now, due to moving house a few times, so I've only got a few of the best penguins kicking about somewhere now.

And my tattoo, obviously.

But still, now, every Christmas and every birthday, what do I get?
More fucking cuddly toy penguins. And, as my girlfriend and stepdaughter also get given them as well, we now have THREE times the average amount of penguins coming in to the house each Christmas.

I'm a bloke, and I'm almost 40.
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 18:31, 10 replies)
Tea and Toilet Paper.

My Nan was a nightmare for hoarding (after she died, we found 183 bottles of Yardley's Liquid Soap in the top cupboard of her wardrobe). She'd keep bags and bags of paper clips and elastic bands and clothes pegs that were never used and never thrown away. If there was ever less than 10 tins of Corned Beef in the pantry, she'd be straight down the shops as soon as lunch was over to stock up. It was in her blood. And by God I loved her for it, beacause as a child it was a joy. You know when they make things on Blue Peter and your Mum says 'Oh, i don't have any old toilet rolls, sorry'?. Never a problem at Nan's house, there was a carrier bag of them in the cupboard under the stairs. Needed buttons for eyes on a sock puppet? What type? White? Blue? Black? Four holes or two? Or do you want these toggle type things? Maybe these tortoise shell ones?. 'Nan, can we bake a cake?' Not a problem, we were never going to go to the cupboard and find that we had no icing sugar, or baking soda, or chopped walnuts, almonds, hazel nuts, brazil nuts. Hundreds & Thousans or sugar sprinkles? or would you prefer silver balls and sugar daisies? Glace cherries or candied lemon and orange slices? There was never anything she didn't have to hand. But, and this was by far the best of all, as a 10 year old boy, there is no joy like you and your younger brother building massive dens out of 50 4-packs of Andrex Toilet Paper and 100 boxes of Sainsbury's own brand loose leaf tea at either end of the kitchen/dining room, before seeing who could be the first to knocking the other one down by rolling tin after tin of Heniz Baked Beans or Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup at each other.

Nan, for your hoarding tendancies and a childhood of such ridiculous happiness, I thank you.
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 16:55, 6 replies)
Oh man, I've got LOADS of stuff.

(, Thu 3 May 2012, 16:35, 3 replies)
Not hoarding, but the expectation thereof...
My Mum asked me the other day what happened to all the Lego I used to have - it was a whole biscuit tin full. I said I didn't know, so she proceeded to attempt a guilt trip by implying that I didn't treasure the things I was given...

... and that my kids would have loved to have it. I am forty-something. The last time I saw this Lego was sometime in 1984.
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 16:27, 11 replies)
Waiting for boot sale*
In our previous house, Mrs RWN got into the habit of boxing- or bagging-up stuff that the kids has grown out of (toys, clothes, books and so on) so that she could "sell them at a boot sale next year". It was quite a small house, so these containers would end up stashed in the attic until then.

This mythical boot sale, of course, never came to pass. Instead, the attic just filled with more and more indistinguishable bags and and boxes, piled waist-high from eaves to eaves. Aside from a narrow gangway to get to the boiler on the far wall, there was not a square inch clear.

Last year, we moved and I steadfastly refused to store any of the stuff in the new house. It took me two days and many, many car trips to empty the attic: about half went to various charity shops, the rest to the dump since it was, frankly, useless crap.

So far in the new house I have managed to keep to my rule of 'no bags of random stuff in the attic' but I know it's just a matter of time...

[*as in 'Waiting for Godot']
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 16:11, 1 reply)
Oh lord this is me to a ridiculous degree...
In my back yard I have a portable blacksmith forge, a large box of old neon tubing, a pottery wheel, a gas-fired kiln, and a shed stuffed with tools for just about everything. The side shed has about 150 kilos of stained glass sheets and about fifty traffic light lenses. Under the house are two oxy-acetylene torch sets that I sometimes use.

And why do I have all this crap? Because I think of something really cool to do with these things, but then get pulled away by other demands in life, so they just sit there.

I have to either get really busy building things or putting things into the dumpster down the road...
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 15:58, 10 replies)
Cum box
Stolen from /links:
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 15:55, 3 replies)
IT stuff
About a dozen optical drives, numerous heatsink/fan combos for Socket A processors, 4x35mm film cannisters full of PC case screws, 5 carrier bags full of various leads and wires (power leads, countless ribbon cables, parallel port printer leads), serial mice, old keyboards, one of which is badged "Acorn" and has an obscure DIN-plug connector.

And backup CDs going back 12 years. Remember when you first got the internet, and you start keeping funny pictures? I have a disk full of them along with sound clips from The Simpsons and Father Ted.

Also, disks full of warez going back years. I'm probably loathe to bin them because of how long it took to download them on dialup. Dreamweaver 3, Corel Draw 8, Windows ME (which turned out to be a Spanish version yet I still burned it to disk) to name a few.

However, the main thing I have kept for no good reason is an Olivetti computer a local school gave me in 1999. It's a dual processor 386, with 387 maths co-pro, a whopping 500Mb ST-506 harddrive complete with Windows 3.1 and Office 4.3, and an 18" long ISA RAM card stuffed with 30-pin SIMMS. It was given to the school by an accountants firm who must have paid well over £6k for it at least. And for that reason I don't want to get rid of it. It seems a shame to take it to tip. It's built from sturdy steel, I could probably get a good few bob for it if I weighed it in.
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 15:32, 1 reply)
Stuff in the dark
Like any right-thinking human, I fucking hate lofts.
Our loft is a terrible place. The house has been in my partner’s family for almost a century, and the loft bears witness to that. It is a black and cluttered affair, full of artefacts, spiders, fear and nonsense.

My latest and worst loft experience happened just two weeks’ ago. I was on paternity leave (we have a son!) and my recovering missus suddenly remembered that British Gas were coming round the following day to lay down loft insulation. This is free, with the proviso that you put down boards first, so that any stuff that’s up there has something to sit on. We’d bought the boards weeks previously, but now they had to be laid.

I was struck equally by nervousness and a crushing sense of duty. I sloped off outside, and returned with the stepladder, lamp and drill. My palms were moist, and my passive-aggressive muttering intense. “Dunno why we can’t just fucking pay someone to do it … fucking loft … full of shit … oh, NOTHING DEAR.”

Up the stairs, ladder unfolded, hatch unlocked and gingerly pushed aside, and in I went.

We live in a terrace – the loft is a shared space with our absent neighbour. He has chronic OCD, so the bits and bobs he stores up there are ruthlessly organised and scant in number.
Our side, however, is a fucking disgrace. Like the British Museum had a wank in a cobweb. Ancient chests jostle for space with stacks of 80s mixtapes and giant wicker seats. Binbags full of awful clothes block every rafter. And the only thing my shit lamp illuminates is what’s directly or imminently underfoot. And of course, there’s that eerie silent draught peculiar to lofts everywhere.

Let’s be clear here – I am a creature of the office. My hands are a running joke amongst my more capable friends, unsullied as they now are by the marks of labour. My fingers have become delicate, typing affairs; my slender wrists unencumbered by veins or gristle. In short, I have no place in a DIY situation, and certainly don’t belong in a pitch-black nostalgia dumping ground with 18 wooden boards and a drill I can’t fucking work.

Up drifted my lady’s voice – “Just be careful up there! And can you have a look for my breast pump?”


Inhaling great black lungfuls of dust and fibreglass, I began feebly disturbing the ageing piles of junk. Carefully, of course. I wouldn’t want to slip on all this shit and …


Before the intense pain and shame kicked in, my first thought as I plummeted through the ceiling with the grime from a century of bric-a-brac was – “So this really does happen to some wankers.”

Never found that breast pump, and paid a friend to finish the job. I’m through with lofts.

Pic in replies.
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 15:26, 27 replies)
Inadvertent floppy disk hoarding
My first employer back in 1988 was a company who wrote accounting systems for shopkeepers. It ran on a number of platforms including BBC Micros, Commodore 64s, Apricots and the Amstrad PCW8256's running CP/M and PC's running very early versions of DOS. No Speccy version though; shame.

Shopkeepers back then weren't particularly computer savvy but our software was simple enough to use (It was based on the SIMPLEX-D cashbook that they all used at the time). One of these poor souls was struggling with the concept of restoring a backup after a hard disk failure or something so our sales director went out to assist this guy and asked him whether he had a previous backup disk he could use.

"Oh, of course. I keep them all, but it's an expensive game this computing isn't it?" the shopkeeper cheerfully announced as he opened a double-fronted set of cupboards. Lined up in neat rows, each labelled by day, week and month were hundreds of 5.25" Floppy disks.

"Do you know you can re-use the disks, don't you?" Enquired our Director.

"You can?"

Feeling sorry for the chap our director bought most of the floppy disks back from him (at a bargain price, no doubt) and that was how I ended up spending 4 or 5 days formatting, re-labelling and repackaging hundreds of damn floppy disks.
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 15:24, Reply)
I collect computer parts!
I have parts from machines of all kinds, and a large collection of media. Remember Zip Disks, 5.25" floppy disks? 3" Amstrad disks? ISA Video Cards?
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 15:22, 2 replies)
I have one of the magazine cover CDs containing netscape navigator pinned to my desk partition thingamabob... I use Fedora.
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 15:22, 1 reply)
my younger sister used to run errands for an old man who lived locally. none of his family lived close to him, so he relied heavily on neighbours and friends for help.
one day, she asked me to give her a hand to move his bed downstairs as he was finding it harder and harder to climb the stairs at night. i agreed to help, so off we went.
his house smelled like old people, as you'd imagine. that weird biscuity smell, tinged with stale piss and tobacco.
as we moved his bed, he sat on a chair and smoked woodbines constantly. i noticed that, when he put one out in the ashtray, it'd hiss. i assumed that, for safety's sake, he'd put water in the bottom of the ashtray. a closer look showed me how wrong i was.
his ashtray was half-full of lung butter, with fag stumps poking out of it.
fuck, i feel sick just typing this.
i pulled my sister to one side and asked her about the ashtray. "oh, he's probably topped it up from one of his jars," she said. yes, he actually had jars of his old phlegm stored in the kitchen cupboard.
that was enough for me. much as i felt sorry for that old man being all alone, i just couldn't bring myself to go back there again.
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 15:17, 8 replies)
Student Hoarding
When we moved into our new house, we discovered the wonderful stuff the previous tenants had left.

Pride of the collection is a 6 foot plushie banana, wearing a pair of men's XL neon boxer shorts.

Seeing no reason to throw away this wonderful toy, we keep it in the attic and occasionally hide it in someone's bed when they're drunk. Imagine the scene from the Godfather, but... with a giant 1990's era banana.
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 15:13, Reply)
My grandma has two pet tortoises. She also has about 500 tortoise figurines, ranging from driftwood carvings to hat pins to quasi realistic ones.

My 4 year-old cousin got confused this spring and put about 70 of them in the garden, thinking they were also 'real' tortoises. One of the real ones was just out from hibernating and hence very still... she decided he was a model and put him on a shelf. He woke up VERY quickly, but thankfully didn't fall too hard and is fine.

It did mean that this easter, instead of an easter egg hunt, we had a tortoise hunt. We're still missing about 20. My cousin says they must have crawled away.
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 14:56, Reply)
Literally anything like comics, toys or indeed anything vaguely sci-fi
I have shelves and shelves of Transformers, Star Trek, Star Wars and Warhammer 40K stuff. Books, comics, toys, models, uniforms...you name it, I've probably picked it up at a car boot sale and stashed it away somewhere.

It does come in handy, as I've been prop master or producer on quite a number of short films now, and - growing out of that - our geek-porn site is just going from strength to strength.

The missus came home from work the other week with four medieval-style leather jerkins and a couple of Norman helmets. No idea what I'll use them for as yet*, but they've been added to the archive.

* apart from, obviously, wearing around the house while carrying a sword and pretending I'm in Game of Thrones or something
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 14:51, 21 replies)
not hoarding, as such
more just getting used to a thing being in a certain place.
like the lightbulb i had on one of my cabinets for 2 years. i put it on the shelf when i changed the bulb in the living room and kept meaning to throw it out. after about a week, i just got used to it and that became where the lightbulb "lived". my mate actually drew a face on it and called it bulbosaur. i still have odd things like that living on shelves and cabinets.
apart from that, i'm more of a collector. i collect dvd's(mostly horror), videos, books(mostly discworld), mugs(3 cupboards full) and knickers. i only have one arse, so i'm not sure how i managed to amass over 70 pairs of knickers.
still, at least it's not weird, right?
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 14:49, 9 replies)
I have 9 or 10 large plastic toolboxes
full of Lego, that I have collected over the years.

Includes 5 Mindstorm Robotics sets, at least a dozen various technical sets, pneumatic sets, probably 30 motors.

One of the boxes contains nothing but wheels. There's got to be 200 of them. Also at least 500 cogs/gears of various sizes, all of which are sorted into compartments by size.

I sure hope my 2 year old son gets into Lego, or I'm wasting an awful lot of shed space, and by conservative estimates about 5 grand that I could Ebay it all for.
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 14:45, 13 replies)
My Mum is a hoarder
My little Australian family recently paid a visit to ze fatherland (aka Kent). The weather was a bit chilly for my little ones, so grandma dug out a coat for her grandson:
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 14:42, 6 replies)
Shiny Tracksuit
I'm certainly not Mr Trebus from BBC's Life of Grime but I do keep hold of a fair bit of crap!

So glad I kept my circa 1987 adidas navy blue shiny tracksuit came in very useful for my friend's Jimmy Saville fancy dress outfit!
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 14:40, Reply)
Anything electronic or diy-related...
I have become my grandad, my shed is full of screws, fasteners, odd bits of things long since thrown away and so on. I have boxes full of wires, old floppy drives, serial leads, a Psion 3a, a Sega Game Gear, etc etc.
Once in a blue moon one in a thousand of these things comes in handy - but I daren't chuck any of it in case it's that one.
Definition of junk - that stuff you kept for ages, then threw away just before you really needed it.
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 14:31, 1 reply)
My elderly bleached blonde Grandmother
banged two buckets of pennies and pounds down in front a teller at the bank.

The teller, unsure how to handle so much loose change, called the manager.
The manager started to berate my Grandmother for hoarding so many quarters.
She gave him a long hard look and said, "I didn't hoard all of these. My sister whored half, and I whored the other half."
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 14:19, 9 replies)
Posh Carrier Bags!
All the cheap, creased ones are for mucky footy boots or when you empty all the sticky midget gems out of the car door pockets - but DECENT posh carriers, with big brands on - THEY'RE the ones u give to visitors if they happen to ask for one! "Here, use this 'Next' carrier, I have so many!" *gguffaawww*

It happens... sometimes
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 14:13, 1 reply)

(, Thu 3 May 2012, 14:09, 2 replies)
there was this one time I went to Amsterdam on a.........Oh hoarding :(
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 14:09, 3 replies)
I hoard software, just can't delete anything that I might need sometime in the future. And not just latest versions, everything I've ever used or downloaded! I have CD's with all the Windows versions from 3.11, Office, old DOS games etc.

I think I need help...
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 14:09, 1 reply)
aka "This thing cost £5000 (once), there is no way I can skip it." Especially because, as anyone who reads Slashdot (kill me now) will know, you can justify keeping any random piece of old hardware on the grounds it'll be useful in a Beowulf cluster.

So. Employer throwing out computers? I'll look after them. Local school throwing out computers? I can do something with that. Is that a computer in the skip over there? Shame if it were to go to waste.

That worked as a justification right up to the point I worked out exactly how powerful a Beowulf cluster of 20 Mac Classics/SEs, two Sinclair Spectrums, a Viglen 286 and a BBC Micro Model A would be. Not very.

It was the announcement of the $25 Raspberry Pi that was the final straw. Even I had to admit that this one tiny computer was (a) more powerful and (b) took up less space in the loft. So they're now all in the local tip. But I have a secret hope that someone came along half an hour later and thought "hey, I could build a really good Beowulf cluster out of those"...
(, Thu 3 May 2012, 14:06, 6 replies)

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