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With these television shows shedding light on people who hoard things, I thought it appropriate to post something here on the subject. People who allow everything to collect in their homes, the stacks of newspaper, clothing that doesn't fit, bottles, cans and trash all stacked up to the ceiling, yeah, all makes for Good TV, right? And now there's a show about Animal Cops, where they seek out abused, neglected pets and often come upon 'animal hoarders'. The new issue of our local 'Humane Society News' publiished an article on the subject and, of course I read everything with woodworkers' eyes. So I wonder… am I guilty of hoarding? Welll, perhaps… I have a shelf full of un-assembled presentation boxes with lids…all cranked out for the sole reason of refining my handcut dovetail techniques. There they sit, all stacked up and ready to go, but they have no current purpose so there they sit. Ditto a collection of fences and miter gauges, some belonging to tools I don't even own any more. A milk-crate full of pulleys and v-belts…..another crate full of salvaged wire…a collection of shelf brackets… pillow blocks and ball bearings by the dozen, every nut, bolt and screw size you can think of, cans of paint and stain more than 10 years old, one rollaway toolbox full of cylinder-honing equipment and suspension tools that I've not used in 20 years…and 5 more rollaways full of tools I may probably never use again. A machinists chest full of calipers of every size and gender, and 12 micrometers and dial gauges. One small den filled with hardwood lumber. One corner of the basement dedicated to future furniture projects to be refurbished someday. I haven't even mentioned the garage!
Everything, however is nicely stowed, and sorted well enough that I can generally go right to it. Is that orderliness, or just another sympton? People come to me when they need a widget, is that scary? I always have one on hand… Perhaps…. hmmm, as an adolescent, my friends all had state-of-the-art slot cars. This was early-mid 60s. My slot cars were ones I made from salvaged tin or aluminum, or handmade chassis constructed from coat-hanger wire and GI Joe motors. Maybe that's where I learned to be resourceful, and addicted to that rush of fabricating something out of junque, and it is still a very gratifying thing today. Tinkering is almost as much fun as woodworking! But…this need to have all the giblets "in stock" is a bit of a problem! How's YOUR stockpile? Do you agonize over your backlog of materials?
 

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Hi, my name is Chip, and I'm a hoarder. :)

Actually, just about a week ago I went through the shop and got rid of a lot of wood scraps that "could be used for something." My son now has about a month's worth of wood for his fireplace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
hi, Padre!
I used to save all my small cutoffs for our camping trips… but ever since I got a book on segmented woodturning, I know I've gotta save all those small scraps…it would be crazy to cut into my big lumber to make small intricate parts now, wouldn't it? I'm just being practical, and it drives me crazy…...
 

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I am sort of a hoarder of wood. I never know what I am going to need, so I save even scraps. My "shop" (and I use that term loosely) is in the laundry room, so the floor joists of the upstairs are visible. I took 2×2's and put them up on the joists to hold wood in the spaces between them.
 

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I still have a piece of bois d'arc that my dad had when I was a toddler. I have walnut that he acquired when I was pre-adolescent. I have 36" wide cypress boards he acquired when I was teenager. I'm nearly 69 now, and I've been adding to the pile steadily ever since--wood, metal things, every tool imaginable. That's why I bought 12 acres in the country--to stash my stuff. I still harbor the illusion that one day I'm gonna use it all.
 

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I am actually guilty of hoarding certain things. I have been known to take scrap that just doesn't play nice like stuff that is checking, or twisting when you just look at it, we all know the wood I am talking about, and stuffing it in the BBQ pit to keep warm in the winter…

I have upgraded some of my older tools with newer models with more capacity, and have tried to sell / unload them with mixed success. I have a BIL that is working on building his own home workshop on more of a shoestring budget than mine, so I am seriously considering tossing some of the stuff his way. The $10.00 Ryobi BT3000 with bad motor (he knows how to diagnose and fix these motors), The like new Ryobi BGH616 bench grinder, an old Makita quarter sheet sander, 7pc PC forstner bits, B&D Firestorm router. FWIW my original intent for the BT3000 was as a donation to a vocational training / Habitat for Humanity project shop at my church, I ended up pitching in on an Emmerson built Craftsman contractor saw instead…

I think the thing I am worst about hoarding though is chemical stuff. I have more paint, car care chemicals like car wash soap, wax, wheel detailer, stain remover etc… than I can shake several sticks at. I have been donating this stuff to friends in need.

Generally speaking, I am trying NOT to be a hoarder, and the best way I know of to do that, is to sort, organize, throw away the junk, and either give away, or sell the surplus that I no longer need, but someone else may…
 

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Greetings all:...... NO--I'm not a hoarder. I keep nothing I can't use, burn, or give away. I hardly give anything away, though, since I have noone to give it to. I don't like any of my neighbors, so they get nothing. I have eveything in its place. Nothing extra. I burn all my scrapwood in the fireplace. I don't turn, so no since to keep it.
I keep only useable, workable pieces large enough to do some good ( furniture, drawer sides, etc. I'm too much of a neat-nick to hoard. My dad was the biggest "pack-rat" I ever saw. You couldn't get into his garage for all the crap he had. I always said " I'll never be like that"... and I'm not. Neat and clean is my motto, and that's the way I like it and keep it. It's not obsessive…. just a fact…. No… I don't hoard…............ later.
 

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I think it may have something to do with being raised dirt poor and saving everything you could, be it a penny or something that might be useful.
 

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I think that the last few months I nipped my hoarding tendencies in the bud with a big cleanup and organizational effort in the shop.

It seems logical to reason "I could use this for…"

But will I really use it? I had to take a good look at my type of work and work habits and realize that there are some things that I just won't use.

A lot of wood got burnt, nicer stuff was given away to another woodworker, old and duplicate tools found a new home with my step son and his family.
 

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I used to hoard everything i could get my hands on, but after having to move 6 times in 2 years, I learned REAL damn quick to break that habit lol
 

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I referred to my "inner packrat" in another post - I really do understand. Just to make things worse, when I got around to building a bunk bed system for my son, I found some hardware that I'd been hanging on to for 10-12 years which was PERFECT! So, in that case, I managed to justify those. I also keep every piece of hardware that looks actually useful - and sort them similarly to what you described - I can find the stuff fairly quickly.

About once a year or so, I go through everything mercilessly! It's the only way to keep it manageable.

I refuse to rent one of those storage places though - if I can't fit it in my house, I really don't need it.

Yours in "packrats anonymous",
 

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i completely agree with topomax, im 35 now and learned my packratting skills from him and all my biddys of the same age are also packrats learning from thier fathers
me and a buddy had discussed this subject awhile back while he was cleaning sparkplugs and wondering why when he could just go buy new plugs for a couple bux a peice, so it kinda hit us that that money was not rampant for our parents so saving that can of 20 sparkplugs was not unusual by any means to them, most were drafted and didnt exactly strike it rich there and of course haveing us shortly after coming back im sure didnt help thier wealth..lol so they kept what they could and made everything hopefuly work from the stash
kids as i call them but ill say under 30 is really tuff to find a hoarder these days unless there from the sticks or a farmers boy and such, city dwellers usually end up with ricks attitude
just my thought as a fellow rat ;)
 

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I'm in the same boat as Jei… Been out of College 5 years and have moved 6 times. I was down to owning two boxes of clothes, two boxes of random stuff, and two boxes of computer stuff.
 

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If you have to rent storage space, it defeats the point of saving:) WE rented one for one of our kid's furniture. It ended up being longer than planned. it would have been cheaper to buy new furniture when it was over and done with.
 

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I feel your pain Top! When my wife and I were married (Both had been married before), we had to try and combine two complete homes and ended up renting a storage building. 6 years later, we've managed to get rid of almost everything that started off in it, only for me to replace that stuff with the wood and plywood I'm not ready to get rid of yet. I'm up to 450-500 bdft of walnut, bubinga, padauk, ash, red oak, white oak, maple, beech, etc… in lengths from 10" to 8'. Not even sure what I have anymore. Keep saying I need to go through it. Maybe this weekend, if I don't get distracted. Wait a minute, I could probably use this wood being thrown out at work…......
 
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