Namicit Nanshall: Being a Hoarder Starts From Keeping things… ‘Just In Case’

dreamstime_l_55486620Look around your house, office, and general surroundings, what surrounds you? Six months ago, I looked around me and I spotted this sleek, petite, cute pack of Nokia 130 sitting on my dresser. It’s been three days since I started using the phone, so what was the pack still doing on my dresser? It is beautiful, I told myself. Beautiful and useless another voice said. I took it outside and burnt it, my heart melted to see the beautiful box burn, but it had finished its course, and it only cluttered my dresser. Yea! You might have guessed right by now “I am a compulsive hoarder!”

Research has shown that hoarding is partly genetic so I would blame it on my mum. She is a hoarder of life. Till date you would still find old newspapers in our house like Tell, Newswatch and Time Magazine, the one that carried headline stories like, (wait let me run and check) Life in the Valley, with a picture of Tunde Idiagbon and Mohammed Buhari on it September 28, 1987, N3.00 and many more (I actually had to suspend writing this for two hours, going through all those old magazines was actually enlightening).

She buys and keeps them so we can refer to it in the future, but dear Mother, we have the Internet! She stores plastic too; mostly souvenirs from many years back, old wedding invitations, wedding and burial programs, letters! She still has letters my dad wrote her before they got married, our immunization cards, our report cards from nursery to secondary school, broken water flasks-she would always say the flask is too beautiful to throw away, so she would replace the glass, two days after she comes home with another beautiful flask, “let us be using this one till we fix the other one,” she would say. Well, the other one will never get fixed, we will still break the new one, and it would join its colleague on the shelf in the store waiting for eternity to be fixed.

She is also very good at finding alternate uses for things; she saves her old pay slips inside weave-on packs, and I learnt from her and started storing my pictures inside weave-on packs when my album got filled.

My mum can blame the hoarding on her mum.  She could hoard for the world. She hoarded everything-plastic souvenirs from weddings that took place before I was born, ovaltine tin of those days, old but never ageing aso-okes packed neatly in boxes, old black and white TV that just sits in the cupboard occupying space and which she made us clean daily. There’s the old grandfather clock with a swinging pendulum and iron at the side.  Lets move to the books; her children’s old school books, old newspapers, old hardcover novels (I loved those), old pictures, an old freezer which was later moved outside and got fused with the ground on which it stood but which she still refused to dispose of.
With these few points of mine, I hope you are convinced and not confused that hoarding is partly genetic
Hoarding can be manifested in one of these three ways- acquiring things that appear to be of little value, inability to discard things that have outgrown their use and failure to keep these useless things organized.
We struggle with the need to keep things because we feel that we may need them someday, or we want to hold on to a memory associated with them. We feel excited when we acquired this stuff and distressed when we need to or are made to part with them.

True, some hoarded items can come in handy, for example, when my aunt moved into town sometimes back, she bought a stove amongst other household items, she wanted to throw away the carton but my mum suggested we kept it for “IN CASE” well the carton later served as a trash can or should I say trash carton until its demise few weeks later, mum pointed out the usefulness of the carton but the truth is that if the carton wasn’t there, we would have made efforts to buy a trash can earlier.

As a general rule, anything which I kept with the intent of using it later and after two weeks still haven’t found any use for it automatically falls into the useless category, and I throw it out!(This rule has exceptions though)
Bear in mind that Hoarding is hoarding whether the accumulated items are neatly arranged or lying scattered around.
Do you hoard? Do you know a hoarder? Kindly take some time out to evaluate your surroundings and throw or give out anything not useful to you.

My name is Namicit and I am a recovering hoarder.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

31 Comments on Namicit Nanshall: Being a Hoarder Starts From Keeping things… ‘Just In Case’
  • Ama February 1, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    I plead the fifth. I’m a HOARDER and I have no idea how to let go of stuff. I always have an excuse to keep something.

  • Clarissa February 1, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Great read! Love your bio!

  • maame February 1, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    I plead the fifth. I’m a HOARDER to a fault and I have no idea how to let go of stuff. I always have an excuse to keep something.

  • Tochi February 1, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Great article, Nammy!

    • clementine February 2, 2016 at 1:38 am

      Buhahhahhahahahahhahahhaha.I need to start doing something about all my useless possession. 2016 is my year.

  • Biola February 2, 2016 at 12:26 am

    Nice read. Hoarding is something a lot of people struggle with. However, you will bless your mom for keeping those immunization cards later—especially if you have to immigrate to the US or travel there as a student.

  • Nahum February 2, 2016 at 3:25 am

    My mum was a hoarder and my hubby is a big hoarder. I have never understood the concept of “just in case” and it has led to plenty fights. If we happen to need a blender, it will not be the broken one. It has been TWO YEARS since the fan broke, please there are newer models out there and No, Kabiru the driver will not appreciate a broken down fan. If you don’t want it, why should he??? Let go of the junk people!!!

  • Raphael February 2, 2016 at 3:41 am

    Great Josite!!! Great Naccosite!!! Who ever thought this loner could write like this? I want to believe that every writer looks angry. I dunno if it’s hereditary, but I know my grandmas had loads of hoarding to pass down that will be enough for five generations. Imagine my mum hoarding coolers and reminding us its for our wedding or Abo Ajashe… Really? I have broken free from those things. Wonderful write up. Thanks

    • Nammy
      Nammy February 2, 2016 at 6:09 pm

      Raphael, I am not a loner, you just didn’t get to know me better. We will meet again under different circumstances and then you’ll get to know that beneath that angry looking (that’s my default face) face is a cheerful, playful and mischievous, lady.
      Great Jossite!

  • Cindy February 2, 2016 at 6:32 am

    Guilty as charged. I can’t even let go of old panties. My phone has been stolen for almost a year, the pack is still sitting on my bed-side stool. I remember when my roommates made fun of me because I wanted to keep used hair attachment (not weave on) just in case and I’m not a hairdresser o. My dad is one too. I was still going through my nursery school exam scripts the other day. It definitely runs in the blood. *sigh*
    I should change?

  • Ivy February 2, 2016 at 8:47 am

    I really enjoyed your write up. Hmmm…I must confess…I’m a bit of a hoarder…

    -I recently found birthday cards from my 18th birthday, which is worrisome since I’m in my thirties now (I kept them back where I found them, telling myself that I would deal with them later. Later has not still come).
    -I had to force myself to throw out old magazines recently (Cosmo, Marie Claire etc) dating back to 2005. What was I keeping them for? I have no Idea.
    -I still have a teddy bear that I received for Valentine’s day in 1997…I’m not sure that I really liked the guy. The teddy is just too cute to discard.
    -I hold on to receipts, especially when I buy things on sale, mainly so I can refer to them again and congratulate myself on my successful shopping spree.

    Isn’t life more interesting with our various quirks? (This is what I’m using to console myself. I’ll wear my hoarder status like a badge…and probably hoard the badge).

    Ivy (

    • Simi February 4, 2016 at 12:23 am

      Nah, I did it again. Leaving comments as another person. Lol
      I’m trying to say you are so like me. Recently had to move location (like permanently). Try shrinking your life into two suitcases. The headache, ehn. Plus shoes that I kept cause you never can tell, yes birthday cards from my teens and I am in my 30s too. Like you, I have receipts from holidays taken 4 years ago (they have pouch sef) and boarding passes from even before that (it is possible that I’ll need exact dates of travel with those visa forms. You-never-know mentality, chai). I have a ‘Friends’ (the show) mug a friend gave me when we were leaving secondary school (mug had a crack for 10 years now and couldn’t hold water so I used in to store other crap I didn’t need). I have kept petals from a friend’s wedding bouquet for about 8 years. Letters, can’t even say how many. Those darn strips of cloth that tailors give back to you? Miss Designer, always thinking I will mix and match with something else. I never do. Mehn, I sound like a psycho. Will stop here.
      But then I have had to learn the hard way like I said and I’m super big on downsizing now. I’ll rather take the heartbreak now than if I have to move again.

  • Chic February 2, 2016 at 9:00 am

    I am not a hoarder. I love space in my house & hate to see things idling around the house. I clear my house & closet of all those loads periodically, except old photos. In my parents house, when you enter my room you’ll see heaps of bags and cartons all over the place, it’s contents……my scripts,workbooks, notebooks, & other books, and school materials from when I started nursery till university ( this is bcos of principle of returning home with everything complete, INCASE the younger generation would need them)… Not to mention my Dad’s old books and magazines from before I was born. Those things just making the room tight unnecessarily.. parents can be funny. LOL

  • Zeeebby February 2, 2016 at 10:21 am

    My mum’s friend got me a pack of panties when i was in SS2….. I still have one of them…. I FINISHED SEC SCH, WENT TO COLLEGE, GOT A DEGREE, GOT A MSC, DID NYSC, I HAVE HAD 3 JOBS, and I still have one of those panties. It is time to throw it away…..Same goes for the disc man……

    • Mayowa February 2, 2016 at 10:49 am

      Hehehe… you are sooo funny

    • Simi February 4, 2016 at 12:25 am

      Please keep that discman. One day, it will be an antique and worth a lot of money. Do it for your children.
      Chai, I don start.

  • True Talk February 2, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Interesting write up. I hoard incase and most time the incases come to rescue. My daughter finished primary school in 1992. In 2015 she was to go for a job interview one of the requirment was her primary school certificate, she sent her sister to the school to get it for her.All efforts on the part of of the school to prove she passed out from that school proved abortive due to some carelessness on their part.The principal of the school now asked for any result of her last year in the school, her sister called her and told her,she said she didnt have such thing anylonger. Both sisters were sad as the certificate was really needed and the school said only a result can help out. Frustrated, two days later her sister told me of the predicament. Oh! I the incase mummy just went straight to a box brought out a file and handed the needed result to her, she was shocked and happy. I have all their results.

  • Sweet Mother February 2, 2016 at 11:47 am

    I’m the opposite of a hoarder. I fling things away at will. Once I don’t wear a dress for 3 months I don’t consider it mine. I gave away some clothes recently and some even had the labels and price tags on them. Never been worn. I refuse to let my husband be a hoarder. I totally agree it’s hereditary. He’s mother still has my husband’s baby cot from almost 40 years ago.
    We hired a big bus to convey my wedding items and the only thing I picked from it was a gas cooker bought by my mum. Every other item was given away. I hate load.
    Recently my husband got really upset with me because I threw a mini oven and gas cooker away. They were in perfect working condition but I didn’t need them . I like new and shiny things.
    My husband keeps phone and TV cartons. Maybe I’m even the one that needs help sef for throwing things at random.

    • Cocolette February 2, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      Lmao….”i like new and shiny things”. Who doesn’t? But soup wey sweet na money kill am. I like you for liking new and shiny things jare

    • Simi February 4, 2016 at 12:28 am

      His Mom, though!!! Ah, does she plan to have another baby!!! Wow! Now, I am genuinely scared for all of us hoarders oh. My deliverance must be complete

  • Nonamespls February 2, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    I am a hoarder, but i am aware of this so i periodically detox and throw things out. My mum is too, visited my oarents recently and the house just looks a mess things have certainly gotten worse since we all left home.
    I hardly buy toys for my son so yeah i keep empty boxes and shiny wrappers for crafts we sometimes get round to.
    Things must change

  • Ozyy February 2, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    We are like that kinda in my family but we have gotten much better over time. Just this morning, I had breakfast on a plate given to my parents on their wedding day in 1988. beautiful piece i must add. Things should be kept if they still serve their purpose or keep beautiful memories alive.

  • Nanfe idoko February 2, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    interesting piece, an eye opener too. i hope your next piece will be on clothes. DO WE HOARD CLOTHES TOO? I WILL LIKE YOUR VIEW ON THAT.

    • Nammy
      Nammy February 2, 2016 at 6:02 pm

      Nanfe, my sister, I do not know of WE oh but I used to hoard clothes too, it was convenient cos I kinda stay the same size wise, when I love a particular piece of clothing il rarely wear it and it’ll stay with me for years. Now what I do is that il just buy material in the market and give to my trusty tailor oga yony to sew for me, when I have a replica then I can willingly dispose of the old one.

  • Africhic February 2, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    I might be a hoarder. Find it really difficult to get rid of things

  • Apostle ‘DNA Foreverr’ Matthews February 2, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Interesting Nammy. Real life issue. Still wondering where and when you picked up writing. Keep it up. Nice bio.. 🙂

  • D February 3, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Nice article! I’m a recovering hoarder too- my sister and I spent part of our Christmas break throwing out stuff from waaaayyyy back, including some of my baby clothes that I never used (I’m over 30 now)! I have scheduled the next ‘de-hoarding’ session for the Easter break and hope to throw out and give away more then. True, hoarding is genetic- I know who I got it from!

  • Wizzy February 3, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Grt piece. I ll say no to excessive & compulsive hoarding… come ooooon! But I ll say yes to strategic hoarding which shd be a time based hoarding ‘incase ‘ … & when d ‘case ‘ doesn’t happen, kindly let go b4 u get shackled by hoarding.

  • Messiah Okpe February 3, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    Nice piece Nammy, love the “just incase theory’ it answers it all guess hoarding has a lot to do with lovers of historical artifacts and those who want to avoid the regret of “if we had not thrown it away” anyway sweet write up I learnt a lot.

  • Jesusnative February 6, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Help! I’m a guy and i hoard. Hmmm about your bio, i hope you know we’re colleagues?;-)

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