Pandemic Journal

Pandemic Journal Day 8: The One With Too Many Boxes

April 17, 2020
Pandemic Journal Day 8

April 14, 2020. We decluttered a bit at the flat. Sorted out five boxes and threw out a half. There are too many stuff that are just too difficult to discard.

I remember starting numerous room clean-ups in the past only to end up with just too many stuff lying around the room for days, leaving me no space to sleep, and I had to return everything from where they came from.

And always like a puzzle, some things could no longer find a place so I had to find another space to store them.

I remember my late mother who hoarded a lot. Though in her defense, she kept our home tidy. Just stay away from opening cabinets and drawers.

On paydays, she would rush to Villalobos St. in Quiapo, a local bargain shopping destination, and come home with a sparkling new set of kitchen utensils. We had an entire stockroom full with china and silverware, casseroles, and an array of Tupperware products that we only used for extremely special occasions.

One rainy reason, my brother used one of her large stainless steel casseroles to catch water dripping from the roof. Imagine what transpired between him and my mother. Chaos!

When she lived with my sister for six months in Japan, she came back with a bag full of plastic clips (the ones you find sealing plastic bread bags). Which reminded me of my own three-month business trip in that country. My sister had to help me pay for extra luggage when I filled a box with old Japanese manga I collected from a garbage disposal area.

Like mother, like son.

I read somewhere before that war survivors, people who escaped holocausts, or survived pandemics are most likely to develop hoarding disorders. People tend to collect stuff, despite showing no potential use at the moment, in fear that they may not be able to find those things the moment they actually need them.

With the current scarcity of toilet papers or the more serious matters such as the limited capacity to buy food as they deem necessary, are we expecting today’s generation to develop excessive hoarding in the future?

Earlier studies revealed no direct correlation between material deprivation early in life and hoarding. Closer examination strongly associated compulsive hoarding with having experienced a traumatic life events.

Therefore, the answer to my previous question is “NO.”


While Marie Kondo suggests to only keep stuff that sparks joy, I have once kept stuff that sparked rage. In a commemorative box. I’m old enough to realize that like love and friendship, anger too shall pass.

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