Oh, we're not hoarders, that's for people with serious issues. I mean, I am still working my way through a 2020 supply of paper towels, boxed blueberry muffin mix, and elbow macaroni, but that's different. Or is it?

I felt a strange phenomenon last year at the beginning of the lockdown and you might have seen it overtake people like me at the grocery store.  I was that girl giving people the side-eye as they loaded fourteen packages of toilet paper onto a pallet and wheeled it to the register, thinking they were nuts for hogging a two-year supply.  And then a smidge of panic wafted over me and I thought, "Well, maybe I should snag a little extra.  What if...."  And the next thing I knew I was headed home with three ultra mega roll packs that I didn't need.  It was peer pressure hoarding.

The definition of hoarding, according to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary should bring us a little comfort actually.  It defines hoarding as " the compulsion to continually accumulate a variety of items that are often considered useless or worthless by others accompanied by an inability to discard the items without great distress."  Whew.  That might put us in the clear because blueberry muffin mix is not useless, and making muffins gets rid of the mix without an accompanying feeling of distress.  In fact, those muffins can be a de-stressor.  None of the supplies we bought in 2020 could be considered useless, right?  Even the 6000-piece jigsaw puzzles entertained us for a while.

The pandemic has turned six out of ten people onto hoarders, according to Studyfinds.org, because as they put it, sixty-three percent purchased so much junk in the past year they have nowhere to store it now.  Most people say they want to clean, organize, and tidy up, and some are remodeling rooms and reorganizing their homes to make room for all the new stuff.  Eating through the supply of food that we stashed can count as organizing and tidying up if you look at it that way.  We're making room for other things.

It's not hoarding as much as it is an effective backup plan.

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