Hoarding Plastic and Glass Containers

Credit: mst_b at sxc.hu
I have a terrible habit of saving every plastic container that comes into my house. My mother had the same affliction, and every holiday when I would come home to visit, I would go through them, match containers with lids, and toss the ones without lids. She would invariably get angry, but how many plastic containers do you really need? One year, my son and I tossed all her plastic containers and bought her a huge Rubbermaid set. The next Christmas when we came home, the cabinet was full again of plastic containers, and the Rubbermaid containers set stacked neatly in the pantry, unused. She said they were too nice to put old leftovers in. We gave up.

I promised myself when I left my old, cluttered, hoarding-filled house that I would not do that again. It's a compulsion, I know that. I can find a million reasons to keep them but not many to recycle them. For a long time, I would buy any decent plastic container with a lid that I could find at thrift stores. When I moved, most of them had no tops so I tried to give them away. When no one would take them, I recycled them all, but not without trepidation. I didn't bring a lot of plastic containers with me. I figured the less I had, the less crap would sit growing mold in the back of my refrigerator. I was right about that, until I started this new hoarding of the containers my food comes in.

And now I've started something new...hoarding glass containers. Not much comes in glass anymore and I lost my two dark brown glass bottles to breakage. Apple and Prune juices used to come in dark glass bottles, but no more. In fact, I haven't seen much of anything but pickles in glass jars for quite a while and nothing in brown glass bottles. So now I have this compulsion to collect glass containers. Crazy, I know but it is a compulsion, after all -- not something I can control easily.

What do you collect that you know you shouldn't? Do you feel like your hoarding is getting out of control, and what do you do to fight it?


  1. I used to do the same thing with my Mom! She loved her plastic containers AND plastic grocery bags. When we were cleaning out her house after she passed away we found those darn plastic bags stuffed everywhere, and so many containers with no lids in her cabinets. This post made me laugh...thanks.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it, Mo. I think we all have a relative like this, especially if they lived through the Great Depression. Unfortunately, we and our children will probably be like this too.

  3. I've got Rubbermaid, glass (Pyrex), plastic, and jar containers but the difference is that I use all of them. I like to cook ;- )

    In fact, I just wrote an article about it a couple of days ago and am waiting to hear back from YCN.


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