Service of Hoarding III

September 24th, 2020

Categories: Hoarding, Memorials, Pandemic, Retail, Shortages

I can see everything in my freezer–it’s no longer overstuffed–I have three rolls of paper towel and of TP and love that it all fits under a sink. In the small cabinet in my diminutive kitchen, for the first time in six months, there’s room for a few more condiments, pasta or other non-refrigerated items.

The space in which I stored the overflow in my apartment last March is taken. It’s my home office since I no longer rent elsewhere.

We broke a record with 200,000 dead from Covid-19 and there’s already a new spike of cases in Europe. “Europe Passes U.S. in New Covid Cases, Returning as Hot Spot,” Thomas Mulier reported in 10 days ago. Earlier this week the UK increased restrictions for six months in an attempt to quell an alarming rise in cases.

We anticipate a resurgence in winter that will exacerbate the usual flu season.

“Currently, travelers from 35 “hotspot” states and territories must quarantine for 14 days after arriving in New Jersey, New York or Connecticut,” according to on Tuesday. On September 22 New York Governor Cuomo added Arizona, Minnesota, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Wyoming.

So am I taking a chance by not stocking up on the brands I like or do you think the country has overcome its shortage challenges? Have citizens here controlled their tendency to hoard? Is this an issue that only impacts people who live in compact spaces?

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10 Responses to “Service of Hoarding III”

  1. Debbie Kunen Said:

    Debbie on Facebook: People shop emotionally, not practically (most of the time) unless they are consistent taking inventory and making a list. The news loves DRAMA Drama strikes an emotional chord, which impacts behavior.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    When I had a house upstate, I would check to see how much salt I had when ice was in the forecast and would often find shelves bare if I waited too long to replenish. There would inevitably be a shortage of shovels with snow predicted. An illustration of drama-purchasing.

    But end was always over the horizon and someone usually had a little extra salt they could share or a shovel to lend if need be.

    The difference now is that we don’t know how long we may be quarantined again, if at all, whether it will cause shortages and how much is the prudent amount to have at home until next spring. Unlike the storm, neighbors will need their supplies for themselves for a longer open-ended term and most likely won’t feel comfortable to share.

    My shopping list, before pandemic, would include paper towel and TP when I had one roll left, a habit I don’t think I should count on these days.

  3. Lucrezia Said:

    I collect bulky things w/a long shelf life for the winter months. This way, there’s no running out of essentials in the event of storms. Same applies to freezable items. Less shopping in the cold is for me, virus or no!

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I see a visit to Home Depot in my near future. In NYC I’ve found that store to have the best prices for TP and paper towels. While we have this delightfully warm spell, I’ll take advantage.

    I have time to refill the freezer. Unless we get a horrendous snowstorm I can get out of the apartment in NYC though between the cold and the virus I might not want to!

  5. Lucrezia Said:

    Beware the Home Depot! I belonged for several years until observing favorable prices at the local supermarkets. Nearby stores prices were comparable, and often favorable, so I quit. It pays to have a memory along w/an ability to count!

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    When I was upstate the grocery stores were good but Home Depot often better. In Manhattan, the prices are over the moon at grocery and drugstores. I saw 4 rolls of Charmin for $11.99 at CVS. Even with a coupon–I have a 30 percent one having already used a 40 percent one–it’s nuts. We used to bring such purchases to the city. Rents are high here for retail. Can’t blame the store owners. And these items take up a ton of real estate Homer used to point out.

  7. Helen Rabinovitz Said:

    I’m going to talk toilet paper and paper towels. I have a friend who lives in senior housing. We are talking small space. She’s accumulated almost 200 rolls of toilet paper and around 100 rolls of paper towels. Not to mention she bought a small extra freezer which is full of food! I love her but I think she’s a little crazy. She’s always reminding me to stock up at Costco. Also if I
    Run short of anything she will bring me some. She lives 45 minutes away. I told her we should build a toilet paper/paper towel castle and take pictures and post them. I pretty sure it won’t happen. My local supermarket has plenty of everything so I don’t worry. I just listen and smile. However I do have Georgie my parrots bird food on auto ship in case we have a really bad winter.

  8. MarthaTakayama Said:

    I am living surrounded by an excess of myriad things I thought were desirable. The Pandemic has made it necessary for us to work from home. I feel overwhelmed by the clutter in my apartment of work materials, art, decorative objects, cherished and other books, records, CDC’s, electronic equipment, clothes, accessories, framed photos and other miscellany. I have lost my interest in or attachment to many things since the social scope of our lives has been reduced by the pandemic. I worry about shortages only of things of immediate need like disinfectant, soap, medicines, toilet paper, hand towels and foods. At the same time it has become difficult to eliminate many things even through giving, since not all charities are even open for pick up or receipt of items. I think a minimalist environment is a desirable goal. I am also reminded of the phrase “Less is more.”

  9. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Wow. 200 rolls. Hoping she never has a fire at her home. What an investment!

    My nearest supermarket is a ripoff good only for heavy items such as milk and seltzer. Another market some 10 blocks away has sales of OJ for as little as $2.50 for the large 1.6 quart size while the one two blocks away always charges $6.00. It wants $17 for 6 mega-rolls of Charmin. A person must be strategic. And some items you can’t hoard!

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Each time I moved–too often in the last 10 years–my husband would suggest we store things. I’ve written about storage in a much earlier post. In our case, knowing there was little chance for our moving to larger quarters, I nixed the suggestion as we’d never take advantage or use the things again so we might as well “toss now.” And so we did.

    But yours is a different case. You are faced with a pandemic and two working people incorporating work essentials in one apartment with no preparation time. Storage seems to be a perfect answer to your dilemma. Your home work situation will become manageable and you can deal with the items in storage from both home and office once the pandemic is over. You might even move some of it to new office space. I don’t know about Boston but my guess is it’s not different from NYC. With so many in work-at-home situations landlords will welcome tenants paying modest rents.

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