The Superduper Collector

Super Duper Collector

There are not many books that I could re-tell from memory. That is not the case for “The Superduper Collector.” My mother bought me this book when I was just a wee little one, and I read it over and over again.

It is full of lessons that I still use today, 30 years later. In the story, a young squirrel collected everything from nuts, to buttons, to yarn. She collected so much, that after awhile she and her little brother could no longer fit in their bedroom. So she came up with a brilliant idea; to give her entire collection away. Once she had given everything away to her friends, she looked around at her empty room and got another brilliant idea. Now, she could start her collection again!

How often to do we collect ‘junk’ that we don’t need? I have stuff in boxes and in various drawers around the house, that I haven’t used or even looked at in years. Why then, do I still have these things?

We organize our house, get rid of all the clutter, and then what do we do? We get more stuff. There’s a part of me, that would love to get rid of everything (except the necessities), just like the squirrel did in the story. The only difference is, is that I wouldn’t want to start another collection.

My son is a collector too. Even though he keeps his belongings very organized, he has all sorts of things that I see no use for.Β  For example, arms broken off of toy figurines, wrapped in string. Bubble gum wrappers flattened neatly for display, on his desk. Then last night, I saw a dirt covered toothpick on his nightstand. It must be important to him, because he placed it right next to his bed.

Then, there’s his pencil collection that I just discovered.

For the past couple of weeks, there have been a handful of pencils sitting next to his school id. Every day, I kept thinking that I had put the pencils away, but each following day they would still be sitting there. So I figured that I was just being forgetful, as I often am.

This past Monday evening, I put the pencils away again. Yesterday, my son came home from school and as I went around the corner, what did I see? Another handful of pencils! So, I went over to the drawer I thought I had placed them into and low and behold, there they were. Lots of them.

“Where are you getting all of these pencils?” I asked him. He answered, “From school. The classroom, where no one uses them.” When I asked him why he’s bringing them home he answered, “I’m collecting them.”

“No son, that’s not collecting. That’s stealing.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. His intentions were pure. After all, he was just collecting them. So today he headed out the door with two pockets full of pencils to return to school, and that’s only the first half of them.

As for me, Spring cleaning is coming up real soon. Maybe I can even convince my son to throw away his prized toothpick.

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24 Responses to The Superduper Collector

  1. Doobster418 says:

    We recently moved from a large, Victorian house to a condo and were forced to go through all of our “collections” (i.e., accumulated crap) and get rid of so much of it because it just wouldn’t fit in the condo. To my horror, there were unopened boxes of stuff we had packed and moved with us 18 years early from our previous home to the Victorian. I decided that, since I hadn’t opened any of those boxes in 18 years, there was nothing that really needed to be saved, so I tossed whatever was in them. Even doing that, we still had too much stuff to fit into our new place, so I rented a self-storage unit and put the excess there. Now I have to go purge most of what’s in that self-storage facility so I don’t continue to pay to store things that I obviously don’t need. It’s a never ending process.

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    • mewhoami says:

      18 years? That’s a long time to have stuff packed up and unused. I try to stick to a 3 year rule. If it hasn’t been used in 3 years, then it gets tossed. Sometimes it’s successful, but most of the time I forget to go through all the stuff. You’re right though, it is a never ending process. Buy, store, purge and buy some more. Plus, it’s hard to get rid of things because we never know when we’ll need them. Side note – I love Victorian homes. My mother lived in one for a while and it was absolutely beautiful.

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    • Oh how I wish I could have gone though those boxes! I definitely have a bit of hoarder in me… Child of partly Scottish background, and whoo boy did they suffer in the depression. And after! When your mother wore clothes made out of chicken feed sacks, you can tend to save anything and everything just in case!

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      • Doobster418 says:

        I was sort of a hoarder as well, which is why I had all those unopened boxes stored in the attic. But when you’re downsizing and there’s just not much room for anything beyond the necessities, there’s little choice but to toss out what’s not needed.

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  2. suzjones says:

    My goal when I finish work is to spend the first couple of weeks simplifying my life. That will mean that I am going to be ruthless. There are many things in my home that I never use but that have sentimental value so those will stay but I intend to have a massive cleanout. My biggest fear is that after I dispose of things, I will need them again.
    I’m not a hoarder – but I do collect πŸ˜‰

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    • mewhoami says:

      Just typing the words “simplifying my life”, must be rather soothing. I’m so happy that you have this opportunity, and the time now to do all the things that you really want to do. I have the same fear of needing something right after I throw it out. It’s happened before, but the thing I try to remember is that normally I can go to the store and buy it again.

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  3. I’m a collector. My kids are hoarders. Fortunately (for who, I don’t know), when I am PMSing, I ABSOLUTELY HATE clutter. It drives me bonkers! So I have my once a month clean fest. But this once a month clean fest can’t keep up with collecting and hoarding all month long. It’s a never ending battle!

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    • mewhoami says:

      It’s not often you hear positive aspects of PMSing. That’s definitely a plus side. Kids can definitely be hoarder and then trying to get them to get rid of anything, is like pulling teeth, but harder. Luckily, my son is usually more than willing to de-clutter his room every few months and give his nice/unused stuff away. Now my stuff is an entirely different story.

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  4. DailyMusings says:

    I am a collector too- but have begun to weed out… it reaches a point where enough is enough!! That is too funny with the pencils and your son.

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  5. I joined in your laughter! I do have too much stuff. I have every intention of downsizing it all. I’m just not able to find the time to do it! Now that I don’t feel the need to have it, I don’t have the time to dispose of it (give it away).

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  6. hahahahahaha – that’s not collecting, that’s stealing! Greatness! And a good lesson πŸ˜‰

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  7. I have been getting rid of STUFF for the last year and I feel like I still have so much to give away! If I buy something on a rare occasion, two of the same things must go. Stuff wastes our time. Sometimes I wish I just lived out of a suitcase…Thanks for your excellence post!

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  8. It’s sooooo true! When we clean things out, we see MORE ROOM…now I can go get ___ I have always wanted because I have room for it now *groan* I think we are all guilty! I am a collector. I collect thimbles from all over the world. I collect koala bears (which are very difficult to find now) and I collect dust! HA HA! Love the story of your little guy…he sounds like a delightful child! Rock on~ (and stay cool) πŸ™‚

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    • mewhoami says:

      Exactly. We make more room, just to fill it up again. That dust…it gets on everything! It sounds like you have a very interesting collection. The thimble collection would be neat to see. I never would have thought to collect thimbles. Oh yes, my son comes up with some interesting things. He is quite delightful though. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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  9. April says:

    Oh. I’m going to clean out my “collections” before someone else has to clean up after me. What a difficult job that is for someone to figure out what to do with your collections. It’s better I decide.

    Funny story about your son, but a good lesson as well. πŸ™‚

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    • mewhoami says:

      I agree with you there. It’s not often than we think of what others may have to clean up once we’re gone. We could be gone any day, so I suppose today is a great day to start cleaning up. πŸ™‚

      Thank you. He’s a funny one.

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