If your mom uses her limited cabinet space to store 50,000 supermarket bags, she might run out of room for normal household items. If you look under the sink and find grocery items nestled beside caustic chemicals, heed this simple warning: do NOT try her homemade salad dressing.
Here’s another tableau from under the sink of a covert hoarder: spray starch, cooking spray, bug spray, furniture polish… sure, that makes sense. If your mother seems to organize by “type of nozzle,” you might want to see what’s taking up undue storage space elsewhere.
If your mother has lots of containers to store leftovers, yet ironically, keeps no food in the house and appears to subsist on biscotti and rice crackers dipped in whitefish salad, she might be a covert hoarder.
If you find a collection like this, your dear mother might be a covert hoarder. Then again, there could be another explanation. The Smithsonian might one day express interest in displaying racks from every toaster oven she’s ever owned.
And clearly, the old microwave plate is handy in case she and her friends want to play the world’s most dangerous game of frisbee.
One last question: does your mother have a used wrapping paper collection? Does she save boxes from department stores that went out of business during the Truman administration? Does she actually own a roll of 50-year old wrapping paper that you have never seen used to cover a present in your entire life?
If so, I’m sad to report, she may very well be a covert hoarder.
The question then becomes:
What the hell are you going to do about it?
I strongly urge you to cart all that stuff out of her house while she is at the podiatrist, getting her nails done or sound asleep at whatever horrible Harry Connick, Jr. movie she used her senior discount to nap in that Saturday afternoon. Oh wait, that’s my life.
I think if you are in the same boat as I, you should do everything in your power to clear out the ridiculous load of crap she’s got hidden in her closets as soon as you discover it. That way no one will ever stumble upon the forgotten cache of embarrassing items from your own past you find lurking in a dark corner.
To wit: I lay bare my own horrifying discovery to save you from making the same mistake as I. (Cue strings from Psycho)
Daughters of covert hoarders, I implore you to take action. Your mother’s house might look tidy on the surface, but delve deeper. Look under the sink; check out those bottom drawers.
It isn’t easy for me to admit I bought a Rod Stewart picture disc, but if I can help just one family, it will be worth it.
Don’t let this happen to you.