This weekend the YouTube algorithm kept suggesting that I watch a new channel. I clicked on the video and found myself watching a multi-part series involving an antiques dealer who bought the entire contents of a hoarder’s house. He paid $10K and has 10 weeks to remove everything in this house. And should I mention that he could hardly walk through the space?!
I was riveted! This was the content I didn’t know I needed. If you’ve watched the TV show Hoarders – this house is different because it wasn’t gross. I mean, there obviously were mice (there’s always mice). But it wasn’t a filthy hoard – it was a fairly organized, though overstuffed, hoard.
The previous owner, who it later was revealed had no surviving family members, packed her home with hidden treasures. I watched the host pull money out of the strangest places – he said hoarders often ferret away valuables anywhere, so he checked inside books (money!), glassware (yes), under the mattress (oh my word!), inside a boot (jewelry!). This was exciting!
Mostly, the house was completely stuffed with clothing. The host, Alex, sold all the clothing to a vintage clothing dealer, who had to get an additional warehouse to hold it all. Racks and racks, bags of clothes, Tiffany, Coach – the previous owner had very nice taste. Alex said at one point that there were 10 racks of fur coats alone. After that, in later installments I watched them uncover even more racks of fur coats. I can’t even imagine how much this all cost. He said back when they were purchased these coats were major investments. You don’t see many fur coats these days, but back then they required a lot of money or even installment plans to pay for.
It looked like the owner didn’t get rid of anything. Everything she owned at one time or another was boxed, bagged, and filed into any open space. Eventually, all the space was filled up and the beautiful home was stuffed to the gills. So sad. So ugly. Because you can imagine the whole house slowly being filled in with stuff like shovelfuls of dirt in a grave. The team of people working on the home wore masks because the dust was unreal. Often, the video footage looked like it was snowing. Just from all the dust.
I’m telling you this lengthy synopsis because it profoundly impacted me. And I’ve helped clear out filthy homes after someone has passed. This was different. The vintage clothing dealer estimated at one point that the owner spent a million dollars on clothing. And I believe he said that even before he got to the basement rooms.
I can’t help but think about the legacy left behind. I don’t know anything about the estate or where the house funds, or remaining equity are all going. This is judgey of me to say. Bear with me. If she had sold it all herself, or acquired less, or let things go after she tired of them, she could have chosen a worthy cause to contribute the funds towards while she was alive. That is a nice warm blessing to think about.
See what I mean by judgey? It’s easy for me to say. The lesson I’m taking away is one in not hoarding things for myself. I have enough. I always have more than I think. If I’m not using it, I should pass it along, now. Before it’s out of style. Doing more with less means I can be more generous towards causes I believe in.
In 2 Corinthians 9: 6-8, it says, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
Sunday’s sermon discussed striving and sowing. Where should we strive, where should we sow? Where should we keep showing up? The pastor said that we don’t often know what our seeds will produce; we need consistency and to keep showing up.
I love this verse the pastor mentioned in Hosea 10:12, “Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.”
The fruit we seek as followers of Jesus is not something we can physically own. Our salvation is not based on the clothes we wear or how we do our hair or something we hold on to – it’s all internal, and it’s the only thing that can’t be taken away from us. So why is it so hard to let go of the need to keep accumulating stuff that doesn’t matter?
There’s a new episode available on the YouTube channel, because this house clear-out is going on right now. I’m definitely going to watch how this whole thing plays out. And I’m decluttering. If you decide to do the same here’s a pro tip: don’t tell your family because they don’t realize you’re getting rid of too-small jeans and extra coffee mugs, they will think you’re parting with something they want.
I’m looking around at what I have in my crafty stash. Maybe it’s time for a no-spend challenge. Mostly so that I use up the great stuff I already have. Because I already have some great things. And the companies will always keep making cute things. There will be more to buy when I run out.
And I’m looking ahead at where I’m sowing. I need to use all my seeds with a cheerful heart. I need to use what I have to make beautiful things, share, and give generously. Because the giving doesn’t leave us empty. The blessings keep coming. The end of a good life doesn’t look like a giant hoard. That doesn’t give our loved ones nice feelings towards us. Love is considerate of others.
I need to wrap this up. I started this blog because I miss reading blogs. And at some time, if I decide to leave the old ‘gram, I’ve got a place for all the words that matter. Thank you for reading this today. <3, Cristin