Stockpiler, Hoarder or Waiting for the Zombie Apocalypse?

When you consider there are just four of us in our household (myself, The Husband and two cats), we have a lot of pantry products on hand.

What’s a lot, you ask? Not a garage worth, or a bulging basement full. More like a room lined with shelves that are pretty well packed with everything from tissues and tin foil to tea bags and tuna. Frankly, we could eat pretty well from that stash for the rest of the year, and although we would be bored and nutrient-deficient, we certainly would not be hungry.

Yes, I’ve seen the TV shows, like Hoarders and Extreme Couponing. I’m shocked at the mess and waste of homes and their owners in crisis, and wonder how and why people can collect and keep so much, lose track of it all and disrespect their surroundings, yet still live like that. I also applaud the folks who can get a $900 grocery bill down to $1.90. I love it when they donate their purchases to food banks or use it to cook for others, but I’m pretty impressed with some of their ingenious storage systems, too. Keeping 500 bottles of ketchup rotated and used by date is no picnic. And then there are the folks who store their hoard in odd and inappropriate places. Wonder what it’s like being their kids?

“Mom, can Johnny come over and play in my room?”

“ARE YOU KIDDING? You have no room! We needed the space to store Spike’s dog treats, Muffin’s kitty litter and 300 boxes of cake mix. You’ll be sleeping in the bathtub from now on…oh, wait. Never mind. That’s where the shampoo and spaghetti are stored.”

I’m not on the extreme end of coupon shopping by any means, and I don’t consider my stash a hoard. I buy on sale, donate for a good cause, and keep non-perishables around to prepare for natural disasters. In my mind, there’s a fine line between a stash and a hoard. A stash is something you can keep track of on paper or an Excel spreadsheet. A hoard is out of control and products are out of date. A stash contains items you would and will actually use. A hoard has stuff you wouldn’t touch on a bet, but bought because of low price or freebie status.

Parked next to a hoarder.

Parked next to a hoarder. (Photo credit: Aric McKeown). You know it’s bad when you are stashing stuff in the car.

Most of my multiple items are countable in single digits (OK, except for the 12 cans of tuna fish, but hey, that stuff is expensive), 10 jars of tomato sauce, 30 cans of soup, 27 chocolate bars…but it’s OK. I’m in contr0l of it all.

I’m not expecting a zombie attack anytime soon, but natural disaster is always possible. And people who need food donations are always going to be out there. So, whether you call it a hoard, stash, stockpile or zombie protection device, it pays to keep extra on hand.



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Filed under consumer products, donation, food, shampoo, thought

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