A hoarder vindicated

The downsizing continues.  We’ve become accustomed to discarding ancient birthday cards, messages sent to us to our last day at work, and even our school reports from the 1950s and ’60s.  We’ve come to expect gales of laughter from friends who don’t share our hoarding instincts and who observe our inner struggles with astonishment (yes, that’s you, Kalba).

So what happened this week?  I thought it was time to get rid of my sewing box.  I thread a needle maybe twice a year when a button falls off or a hem comes adrift.  So why do I need about three dozen reels of cotton in every colour you can think of, miscellaneous hooks and eyes, multi-coloured embroidery thread, a clutch of thimbles, a box of rusting pins and two darning mushrooms, all inherited from my mother?

All the same….  those reels of genuine cotton from the 1950s – no polyester mixes here ,  those cards of thread in various shades of tan , all the better to darn your stockings with, and even those hooks and eyes are all pieces of history.  I thought the friends I keep up with on Facebook might like to see them.  I posted these photos:

And within minutes I had an urgent request from that militant non-hoarder, Kalba, that I should give them to her, swiftly followed by a similar request from another friend.  Daughter Number 1 weighed in, as I knew she would, swiftly followed by Daughter Number 2.  Son has been strangely silent, but daughters have agreed to share custody of the cotton reels.  Three more people joined the conversation,  and started waxing nostalgic about darning mushrooms.  Then someone else pointed out that the factory producing the hooks and eyes had been part of her childhood neighbourhood, but had been closed for decades, and more people joined in to celebrate the almost-forgotten skill of darning.  A further request for the contents of my sewing box came from America, and a school friend whom I’ve not been in touch with for years made contact.

One way or another, my battered old sewing box has awakened memories, provoked recollections and conversations, and generally livened things up.  Just as well I didn’t dispose of it years ago.  There’s no chance of its being discarded now.  Apart from anything else, you just look some of these items up on eBay.  I’m sitting on a small fortune here.


18 thoughts on “A hoarder vindicated”

  1. It’s funny, I am not a hoarder in the slightest BUT I have to agree there’s no way you can ever get rid of that sewing box. I even went a bit misty eyed (and slightly green eyed) when I looked at those photos.
    It’s an heirloom!


  2. Well, as we’re all so interested in your downsizing process, I’m eagerly awaiting the photos of your school reports on Facebook so that we can dissect and discuss 🙂


  3. Your photos on Facebook may very well rekindle memories for many of us of the family sewing box that seems to be going the way of the dinosaur! Hang on to those treasures!


  4. Set up a stall at Mirepoix market – sewing items are so expensive! We got a shock at the haberdashery shop under the arcades in Revel when our small handful of items came to 21 Euros.


  5. Sorry Margaret this isn’t a hoarder vindicated – just someone with a well organised sewing box! But I do agree about the cotton thread. My sewing box contains reels from my grandmother & mother-in-law (as well as buttons you may remember!) and they are definitely preferable to todays polyester.


  6. Oh thank goodness, I thought this was going to end horribly with the sewing box being put in the bin. I came out in cold sweats. I am glad that there are so many interested parties in looking after it. May it end up with your daughters and may they love it for many more years, with best wishes and relief from a terrible hoarder. x


    1. I think in fact that even if my daughter hadn’t fought over them (see what delights you have in store!), I would have kept them. It was good to reappraise these old treasures.


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