keep-calm-and-clean-up-the-messIt’s all OTR’s fault. Last time he was here, he cut us to the quick:

This place looks like a hoarder house.

It stings because, well, it’s kind of true. It didn’t help when he grabbed up an armload of stuff and announced:

I’ll throw this crap away!

Only to induce what we barely had enough self-awareness to recognize as a “typical hoarder reaction,” to wit:

Worrauugghhh! There’s good stuff in there.

So, we break with hoarder tradition and Clean The Office today — after, that is, we deal with leaves and acorns, the Two Horsemen of the Autumnopolis in today’s ‘Shire woods (made so by the primacy of oaks, alas, after the die-off of the Elm, American Chestnut, Hemlock and now Red Pine, all slain by intrusive species just extincting the trees Americans won’t extinct).

The largest dead Red Pine forest was actually planted by the Daughters of the American Revolution in a state park in 1939-41. It was cleared out a couple of years ago to try to eliminate a scale insect infestation (whose brother could be occurring under the papers on our desk!). Massachusetts did nothing about the problem down there because, well, it was “all-natural” (ditto the papers….); they just let their state forests die off and the bug spread.

We’re dreading this, actually. But it has to be done.

Update 1900

The yard work got done… uh, the office got started. That counts, right?

This entry was posted in Administrivia on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

24 thoughts on “Sunday Sifting, Sorting, Scouring, Scrubbing


Hoarders leave decades old newspapers, years old bills and months old food laying about.

I imagine Hognose Office covered in tools, cool books and mags, and guns and ammo of course. Hardly the makings of a hoarder.

I’d love to dive that dumpster!

Hognose Post author

OTR sent me this afternoon, after reading this: “NO you are a hoarder. The only difference is the material.”


I’d say you are Not a hoarder. Yet. You might become one, if fate strikes and hits you hard you might become a true hoarder and senselessly pile up stuff. At the moment it sounds more like over eager collector. And a bit disorganized from the sound of the descriptions of your home.

So yeah, sort your stuff in tidy shelves. File the papers. Sort your library. Which from what you have described of your book collection it is a daunting task even for a professional librarian. But adapt and overcome as they say. 😉

Give away, sell, whatever books you won’t ever read anymore. Really. Those pulp paperbacks are not for long: term storage anyway. I have also piles of books (mostly science fiction) in the cellar in boxes and I seriously think of bringing the boxes to a used book shop specialising in SF and Fantasy novels. I haven’t looked in the boxes in the last two years. So I guess I dont miss a book.

The firera you can always bring to a gun buy back. *duck&cover* 😉

Hognose Post author October

Gun buy-back. I love it!


[monotone sing-song]

Hello sir I am from the police department department of gun buy backs and I am here to buy back your guns with this handsome Wal Mart gift card.

The card can be any amount you chose once you pay the matching activation fee at any local Wal Mart!

Hognose Post author

Another point — I dunno what it’s like in Greater Teutonia, but my mom owned a couple of used bookstores on Cape Cod when I was on active duty. The Blogbro knows better than I (younger and still at home, he got tasked with all the undesirable work shifts, I think), but two things we could not keep on the shelves were war (fiction and non) and SF/F. ISTR there was a higher payback or credit on them. On the other hand the market for used romance was characterized by imbalance towards oversupply; dunno why, except it’s possible romance readers never rip the same bodice twice. The whole used-book-store industry had some very hard times and at least one of the stores went defunct after Mom and Dad sold it off; the other was still fighting, last I heard.

I also think we only gave credit on books, not cash, but I might be mistaken, I was never that involved.


Around here in town I could only give the books to the church, some charity secondhand shops (run by caritas or Diakonie so church again actually) and such. And all would give me only a warm handshake.

Next shop that actually would give me some money is in the big city. the money eaten by fuel costs in the end. Living in a big house does not exactly pressure me to get rid of the books either.


Stockpiling, collecting, and hoarding are all functionally quite different — though disorganized can all resemble the same. Casually defined, yes — there’s not much variance in definitions.

Medically defined — if your stockpiling/collecting/hoarding doesn’t affect your functioning, then it’s not a problem.

Inventory and organization and proper storage are key to keeping collecting and stockpiling from becoming hoarding…

Heck, relative to much of the rest of the world with all of our “stuff,” nearly every American family, including those in poverty, are “hoarders” casually defined…


*That said, purging unused “stuff” and using those freed up funds and space to reinvest in the stuff you do want/need need is a prudent course of action.

And for books, it really doesn’t hurt to type them into amazon and ebay — some old books (and magazines) command premium $ and are well worth selling. And with scanning machines, etc, it’s pretty easy to save what you need and sell complete mags rather than clipped ones… With a collection like yours, I’m sure there’s just as many if not more hidden treasures as mass market dime novels.


I went through the exact same thing a couple of days ago, when a friend was helping me with moving my stuff out of my ex-wife’s apartment. Most of the stuff went into boxes to be dealt with later due to lack of time. A lot got tossed though. More will have to be later. Not my idea of a fun time


Been there. Done that. It’s a shit experience, but the passage of time helps.


Bugs coming your way that kill off Ash and Maple too, so enjoy those oaks (while you can). Ain’t nature and lax customs grand?

W. Fleetwood

One is tempted to do a Jeff Foxworthy riff. To wit:

If you’ve ever cleaned out your sock drawer, and found a Smith and Wesson….You might be a Gunguy.

If you have a box of 7mm Rimmed, just in case….You might be a Gunguy.

If you know the difference between 38 Super, 9mm Largo, and 9mm Mauser, because you own one of each….You might be….

And so on.

Sua Sponte.


If the difference between .38 ACP and .38 Super MATTERS, you might be a gun guy.


I hoard tools and leftover bits of projects in my garage because someday I’m sure I’ll need them. I can’t remember where I left my car keys, but I know where I put the leftover wood screws from the door replacement project in 1995 and now I need them, and go right to them. My garage is a reflection of my brain, a random interconnecting web that makes perfect sense to me, but no one else.

John Distai

My house looks like that. Piles of random crap everywhere. Unfortunately, the kids picked up the habit.

Off topic:

Tom Stone

The office counts double.


I make it a point to watch that Hoarders show on TV every so often. After one episode, TV gets turned off, I say, “F that!” and commence to cleaning and throwing everything away in sight. I need to do the garage next weekend before it gets too cold and the bunker needs a better than the usual once-over.

We’ve got those Ash borers here. I need to get the big tree sprayed in the front after winter to hopefully stave off the little guys.


OT, but the project is started. One of those, well, as long as I don’t do the whole thing…like opening the box of a new tool you bought, to look at it, even though you won’t need it for several days. Figured I’d spend 20 minutes on it, but no-o-o-o. Imported the chart whole into a vector editing program, put it on layer one, will make everything else on layers above that. The lines and boxes will be easy, the little graphics are more difficult. Not because they’re detailed, but because they’re so small and grainy.

Here’s the running guy, my version next to the original. This is only a -picture- of the vector, not the vector file itself. I’m open to any suggestions or crtique, because it just about comes down to opinion of what you’re seeing. (Is the guy’s head too rounded, should that intersection be a corner or smooth, etc.)

John M.

OT: I went small game hunting yesterday with my oldest and a friend of mine. We’ve noticed that rabbits tend to emerge when we’re not moving, so I decided to institute periodic listening halts per your post on same last month.

We still got skunked big time. Oh well. We at least got better at listening halts.

-John M.

Hognose Post author

Kwafty wabbits!


When Hognose lived in apartments, we called them “The Habitrail” because to get from one part of a room to another, you had to travel through winding pathways formed by piles of… well, everything. When Plaintiff #2 was in his house, she would bring home additional piles of crap she had picked up at the dump. Seriously. But my house is also a disaster, and the BlogBrother (me), BlogSisterInLaw, BlogNephew and BlogNiece are all equally responsible.

Hognose Post author

Yeah, the office has habitrail tendencies. So does the garage but that’s partly because it’s full of airplane wings in process.


Keep those old books!

They are old friends you should keep