Sunday, June 20, 2010

My name is Kristina...and I'm a hoarder

Simon & I are making a trip back to the US in mid-August to pick up the engagement ring and take care of some wedding planning.  For every trip I've made back to the US since I've been here, I've made a 'grocery list' of items I want to pick up while I'm there.  Some of the items are simply 'American' and I can't find here (like grape jelly or Kraft Mac & Cheese).  Other items are simply waaaaaay cheaper in the US (Aveda products), and I'm all about saving a few pennies.

While beginning to contemplate my grocery list today for this upcoming trip, and giving *serious* thought to getting not one, but two jars of jelly (I plan to start taking my lunch with a bit more frequency to save some $$, and even at my age, I still love a good PB&J), it dawned on me:  I am a hoarder. 

To wit:  there's currently a jar of jelly in the fridge now that's not quite half full, plus a new/never opened jar in the garage as backup.  And, I'm contemplating buying two more?  Oh, and Q-Tips.  They sell them here (even the brand that I prefer), but I only buy them in the US.  I've currently two boxes (750 count, each...) sitting up in my closet.  That's 1500 Q-Tips.  Even at my current usage of 2 a day,every day, it will still take me 2 years to use all of them!  And, I'm contemplating picking up another box in August?  I need help.

I was never like this when living in the US. Yes, I'd stock up on things if there was a sale, or if it was something that I'd run out of with regular frequency, but I never once kept a stash of anything that would last more than a year. Muchless two years!  At least not intentionally.

I know we all have things we can't live without, but the way that I've started hoarding makes it seem like I'm not going to be back in the US for at least a year-when in reality, that's not happened yet, and isn't likely to happen for a while.

Sadly, it's not just jelly and Q-Tips that I seem to be this way about; I won't list everything I've hoarded since I've been here though-it's just too sad, and you'd seriously believe I had a problem. Which, I guess I do.

Well, admitting I have a problem is step 1.  I think I need to go figure out what step 2 is... :)


  1. I used to be the same, having moved from the UK to Lapland. I had things I'd brought back that i didn't even use but I *needed* to have them in my cupboard. Some of them went out of date i had them that long. things that were home I guess. This is my 6th year here bnow and I'm not like that anymore, I've chilled out about the whole 'this isnt my home' thing and things dont seem so foreign anymore

  2. If it fits in your suitcase I don't think it's a problem. You are thinking ahead which is a good thing in the end. I'm moving to London from NYC in August and I've already put together a nice collection of "things from America" that I have to bring over. I'm sure I could buy them all there but I feel more comfortable bringing them from "home" so I feel your pain. My boyfriend currently lives in London and whenever he comes back I always have Kraft mac & cheese waiting...$3/5 boxes are walmart. What else is on your list?

  3. I used to do this but I have found that "letting go" a little is actually quite cathartic. After a while I made a concsious effort to find an American equivalent to whatever Brit thing I was hankering after. Obviously some things just don't measure up here, like the sausages. But I've found a nice young man who supllies the most delicious pork sausages so I'm happy. I must admit though, I'm popping into Marks and Spencers for a look at the shoes when I'm over in a few weeks.

  4. I found your blog the other day, and I think I've scoured through most of it D: It's been ridiculously helpful with mentally preparing me for all this business, especially some of the stuff you've said in reference to banks, renting, and I guess just life in general :] I actually had a quick question! I believe you said you shipped your furniture and much of your belongings over on a cargo container, or something to that effect? I've read all kinds of stuff about the actual moving, and there seems to be little, um, up-to-date information.

    My mom said when she moved over to Hawaii, it cost her $20k to ship all her belongings over, and the same on the way back... I think we'll just end up selling our furniture and sending everything over in boxes due to costs (which terrifies me, because god knows what will get lost and I'll never see again and it will plague me for the rest of my life causing me to worry in run-on sentences for lines at a time), but I just wanted to know how your experience actually involving the moving went.

    thanks :> and again, I really enjoy your thoughts and stories !

  5. We've just moved to London a month ago from Southern California. You CAN get Kraft Macaroni n Cheese! (Waitrose's delivery service) sells it. No grape jelly though. Hope that helps. Also, I believe I saw it at Costco here in London as well so you can really hoard! Your US Costco card works to get in as well!

  6. There is a plant nursery called Longacres (address: london road, Bagshot, Surrey GU19 5JB) that sells Mac & Cheese, canned pumpkin, Goober and real dill pickles (not sweetened) - in fact, they have a whole shelf of American food. Sadly there is no miracle whip. *sigh*

  7. Asda and Tesco carry Kraft Mac and Cheese.

  8. Thanks everyone for the suggestions about where to get some of the good 'American foods'! :) Once I run thru the current stock of Kraft Mac & Cheese, I'll put it on the list for my next Ocado order! :) hehe.

    @Sara...Sorry I've been so slack about a response. This new job is *crazy*. I'll email you seperately and answer your questions...


  9. OMG! How I relate to this! I have been living in Spain for sometime now and every chance I get to bring over or order stuff from the US I go crazy! Love your blog by the way!

  10. I just found your blog and I have to laugh because as two Americans living in Oslo, Norway the hoarding has become a major issue. Case in point- we have about 3 years of deodorant and shaving cream for each of us. And yes, we did bring back 3 Costco size tubs of salsa last Christmas. Sigh. We will soon be moving to London and your blog has been a great read :)