Enough

fullsizeoutput_5d20It’s finally feeling like Autumn, with cooler temperatures, gorgeous foliage and pumpkins galore.  There’s something about Autumn that makes me want to “hunker” down” in my warm house, cooking substantial meals and making sure my cupboards are well-stocked with supplies.  But this year, I have to admit my urge to stock up has gotten just a teeny bit out of hand.

I’ve never understood what motivates hoarders. My theory has always been, “why have two of something when one will do?” But then the pandemic hit, and in the early stages that sometimes meant empty grocery shelves, making it hard to find basic necessities. And although I can almost always find what I need these days, those memories seem to have stuck with me. Because now I find myself wanting to stock up supplies like a frantic squirrel storing nuts in anticipation of a really, really, bad Winter.

My usual minimalist tendencies have disappeared. Now I wander the aisles of the grocery store, tossing things into my cart whether I need them or not. My kitchen cupboards are full, and so is the cabinet in the basement I use to store extra groceries and paper goods. I have a small bin full of cleaning supplies, disinfectants and face masks. And yet sometimes I still wonder, “do I have enough?”

The problem with always wanting more is that nothing ever seems to be enough, and that’s a horrible way to live. I know that my desire to keep adding to my stash is a reaction to the uncertainty of the times we’re living in, but I hate feeling that I’m somehow dropping the ball if I don’t have enough supplies in my house to see me through at least 2022. It’s time for me to stop the madness.

It’s true that no one knows when, or how, this pandemic will end. It’s also true that there may still be shortages, and I can’t always count on running to the grocery store to pick up something I need. But I think I’ve gotten to the point where I’d rather risk doing without something for a little while, because that’s preferable to constantly worrying about whether I have “enough.” And I think I’d rather trust that friends and family would step forward to share what they have if necessary, just as I would gladly share my supplies with anyone who needed them. And I know this is true, because they have shared, and so have I.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of choosing how I want to live. Do I want to live in an “everyone for himself” world, or do I want to keep a little faith in the people around me? Do I want to be a person who compulsively buys things out of fear of the future, or do I want to once again be happy with a reasonable amount of supplies in my house?

This pandemic has changed many things in my life, and in many cases there’s just not much I can do about it. But I’ve decided that it is a not going to turn me into a hoarder, and that’s something I can control.

102 thoughts on “Enough

  1. I love this for so many reasons Ann! First, your writing is something I enjoy. Secondly, I believe so many would benefit to read this. Living in my R.V. I don’t have much of a choice on how much I hoard. But I share the same thoughts as you. Even as minimalist as I have to be, I’m finding I have way more than I need at times. This year has indeed changed so many things from our shopping to our thinking. And you clearly exemplify the grit needed to just say no to hoarding~to have faith in those that love you and surround you. Thank you and bless you!

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    • Thank you so much for your kind words! And I think it does take grit not to hoard in these days, because the memories of when we couldn’t get what we needed are still fresh in our minds. (I had just run out of Clorox wipes right before the pandemic hit and the shortages began, and I was so mad at myself for not buying more as soon as I had run out!) But I’m tired of giving in to the urge to over-buy…it’s not who I am and certainly not who I want to be. So it’s time to work at being my best self!

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  2. I tend to be a “just in time” shopper but my husband is a big pre-planner. He always has to remind me to buy enough for the next while as opposed to the next week. We have plenty and aren’t too worried but, like you said, no one knows when, or how, this pandemic will end… or what crazy twists and turns it will take. I guess we are all doing the best that we can.

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    • We are, and some “stockpiling” is necessary, since we never know what restrictions are going to be imposed and for how long. But I have let myself get carried away with it, and I don’t like that. Feels too much like living as a “survivalist” and very unnatural to me. From now on, just a reasonable amount of the basics is what I’m going for!

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  3. Love this post, Ann. I too am a minimalist but for a few months if it was on the shelf and I thought I might need it, I bought it. Then I said, okay girl, cut this out! My shelves were overflowing and I didn’t even think I would/could use it before it expired. So, I went through my pantry realistically considering it all, then I went through my paper goods (that was a little scarier!), loaded up my car and went to the food pantry! Problem solved and head reprogrammed not to panic purchase. I’ve even been cleaning out drawers, closets, bins, and donating “stuff.” Feels so good! I was amazed (and sad) at how easily I allowed the panic to consume me.

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  4. We are about to embark on a house wide effort to clear the clutter. 43 years together and 29 years in this house and we have a lot of stuff, we just plain don’t need and do not use. The toughest part is getting started, but I am convinced we will do it. We will be facing a huge task when our one remaining parent leaves this mortal coil, as at 89, he still continues to buy “stuff”. We do not wish to put a similar burden on our kids. Lets wish each other luck. Cheers Ann. Allan

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    • Thanks Allan! You know, before Covid even hit, my husband and I were determined to clean out our house, because we had to clean out my Mom’s house when she moved to a small apartment in a retirement community. And like you, we didn’t want our kids to have to go through that. We had just gotten started when everything changed, and I spent the first three months of the pandemic babysitting my 2-year old grandson because his daycare was closed. Then my husband got cancer, so it was deferred again. But his treatment will be over soon, and we are tackling our basement!

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  5. Ann, just when I think I’ve got it together, another aspect of the pandemic smacks me in the face! I actually went out and stocked up on baking supplies for my husband’s holiday baking “in case” we happen to have that lock down again and everyone goes back to baking. Of course I don’t have room in the pantry. They are sitting in bags in another room. Crazy! Thank you for the reminder that I will share with a neighbor in need and suspect they would do the same.

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    • Oh, I know! I bought the red sprinkle sugar I’ll need for sugar cookies this year just a couple of weeks ago….for the same reason: “what if it isn’t available in December?” And while buying a few things that way is okay, it so easily gets out of control. And I felt that my shopping had gotten out of control, which is not who I am at all, and I didn’t like it. So, yes, I think we need to buy sensibly, and trust that if we have a problem, someone will help. And honestly, that’s been my experience so far: people are willing to share what they have with others who need it. That’s so much better than hoarding, I think. It’s good to know you understand exactly what I mean!

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  6. I laughed at your impulse to have enough to get you through 2022. I don’t have enough room to store that many supplies, let alone the money to buy them! Still, I do understand the hoarding impulse, especially as a response to anxiety. And being well-supplied is often reasonable; it’s why I make sure in the beginning of June to check the hurricane supplies and fill any gaps. But there aren’t many things I can’t live without, and there have been plenty of times, especially living and traveling overseas, that finding sustenance was a daily challenge. But I’ve never done without, and honestly? I don’t expect to. If the day comes when I don’t have money, or things to buy aren’t available even with money, I’ll deal with it then. There’s no sense worrying about it now.

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    • Yeah, I know! But every time someone says, “This isn’t going to be over anytime soon….” I think, “OMG, I need to go buy more!” I have to stop listening to voices of doom and gloom. Yes, I need to store necessary supplies in reasonable amounts. No, I don’t need enough to keep me going until 2022! And even more importantly, I don’t need to waste the emotional energy worrying about it!

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  7. ‘hoarding’ is now classified as a mental health issue in the DMV – the professional manual for diagnosis. Having worked with those with real hoarding issues, often triggered by a trauma such as you’ve explained … none of us want to go there.

    It’s a real disease with long term consequences and most difficult to climb out of! While I was chasing loo paper at the beginning of this others would offer me one roll, and then another roll until I finally found several in a very remote little general store!

    I never went without although it came very close several times … I also remembered that I travelled in Asia before they stocked loo paper and I survived that! We can cope without many things … we are blessed 🙂

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    • You know, this is the first time I’ve ever understood the hoarding impulse. My guess is most hoarders went through some kind of trauma and began to look at stuff as something that would protect them. The shortages we experienced at the beginning of this pandemic did show me the need to keep basics on hand, but not in the excess quantities I was beginning to think were necessary. As you say, we can cope without a lot. And we can share as the needs arise too!

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    • The good thing is that most stores have learned to limit the buying of anything that is in short supply, which will prevent the panic buying. In the early stages of the pandemic, I would see people with shopping carts full of toilet paper, and they were allowed to buy it. Now stores seem to reevaluate it each week. We’ve not had limits for a long time, but today I did see a sign in a grocery store that said toilet paper and paper towels are now limited to two packages.

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  8. Well, there’s hoarding and then there’s practicality in a very unsettling and unpredictable time (or so I tell myself lately). I rarely if ever “store up into barns” but this year, my thinking has extended into what-ifs because of all the possible food businesses’ shortfalls and or closures, slashed trucking deliveries, etc. I could store a ton of stuff; I haven’t, but I’d feel better to do so in this house of 8 souls, just now heading into northern New England weather in flu season.. I think I just admitted to getting old.. 🤔 ♥️

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    • Sometimes stocking up is a practical thing to do for sure! Especially if you have others who depend on you. My point was that I had gotten to the point where stocking up wasn’t enough…whatever I had, I was afraid it wouldn’t be enough. And that’s not good! So, time to get back to practical living, which will also make me happier…I hope! PS: If you’re old, so am I, because I understand exactly what you’re talking about!

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  9. Great post. Here in southern Australia we are embracing an amazing Spring, with a greenness and vibrancy not seen in many years. A blessing after the horrible fires of only a few short months ago, and a calming for the soul, as the dust and dry of three years of drought are replaced by growth and a season of plenty.
    But this time last year I was carving a pumpkin for halloween with my newest gradchild and sharing the harvest bounty from a farm garden as the first snow reminded us all that winter was approaching in the northern hemisphere.

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    • I’m so glad that Australia is getting a great Spring! You deserve it after all you’ve been through. And it’s a beautiful country for sure. Isn’t it odd how much change a year can bring? Were you in the Northern hemisphere last year?

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  10. I’ve always bought one and a spare, perhaps a reflection of parents who lived under occupation durng WWII. So while I’ve never run out, empty shelves are kinda anxiety producing.
    Working on a bit more chillax…nice to read another perspective on how to let go a bit!

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    • Nothing wrong with “one and a spare,” Liz! Especially if you were raised by parents that understood what hard times really were….I can think of few things worse than living under occupation. My problem was that I was buying one and a spare every week, until I had about ten. And would worry that wasn’t enough. So for me, it’s time to let go and trust that things will work out! But each of us gets to handle this in his or her own way, for sure!

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  11. I am afraid our perspectives have been skewed by the pandemic. Hopefully, it will taper down with the vaccines fast under development. I am not aware how the governing machinery is acting or reacting in your part of the world, but out here it has exceeded the boundaries of absurdity. Everything is data to be managed in a manner to reflect a golden light on the system, the so-called fight against Coronavirus.

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    • I agree, our perspectives have changed and not for the better! At least I know mine has. And the government isn’t helping much, especially during an election year. It’s hard to trust the figures or know the facts because most everyone has an agenda. So, it’s time for us “common people” to simply exercise our common sense, I think!

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  12. I think we’ve all been a bit guilty of over stocking but fundamentally we always have enough and we always make do, don’t we. Having faith, a bit of planning and trusting in the bigger picture too. It’s all a question of balance. Enjoy your Autumn Ann. xx

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    • Thanks, Miriam! I agree, it’s all about balance, and that’s what I’m trying to find. A little stocking up is a good thing when the future is so uncertain, but I’ve begun to do it out of fear, and nothing good happens that is motivated by fear. I heard Australia is having a beautiful Spring! I hope that’s true, and that you are enjoying it!

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  13. I haven’t really hoarded, but I’ve had the opposite problem with my mother. For example, at the beginning of the pandemic, longlife milk was almost impossible to get and I stocked her up every time I could. Fresh milk never ran short, but I was worried that if we got ill and couldn’t take food to her she’d need things like longlife milk. But she just kept using it! I still can’t get her to understand why she needs to keep it aside along with cans of veg etc for emergencies. I almost wish she could be a hoarder …

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    • I can relate, Anabel! My mom lives in a retirement home and has no car, so I provide her with groceries and paper goods. And she just tells me she needs “a little bit of this or that” whenever I ask her what I should get her. She doesn’t want a dozen eggs, just half a dozen. And a pint of milk, etc. She doesn’t understand that having a little extra is a good thing for someone in her situation. My guess is our mothers would get along just fine……

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    • You hit the nail on the head, Michele! I think the balance between being responsible and having a bit of faith is what I’m searching for too. And I also stock up when I go to Target, because they sell in large quantities and are cheaper than the grocery store. I’ve always done that, and always will. But my purchases at the grocery store are going to go down for sure!

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  14. I’ve stopped panic buying as well. You’re right..the minute you start worrying if you have enough is a problem. I’m buying what I need, and no more. Now, I admit, if I’m down to 3 rolls of tp I will make sure I buy some, and not wait till I put the last roll on, but you get the idea. I’m just thinking ahead slightly more

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    • I think it’s sensible to go buy more when you’re down to three rolls, because there are times when it takes you a few days to find it. But yeah, when whatever amount you have is not “enough” then that’s a problem. Which is what I finally realized!

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  15. You are such a sweet soul! Your ‘stocking up’ was your way of providing for your family…to show your love and concern. You are not a hoarder! I know the point you are getting at, but there is a real difference between being prepared and hoarding. Also, I bet you have a few extras, so if someone is not that well prepared, you can help them!!! In the snowstorm of Covid 19, you probably have some supplies for weary travelers! 🙂

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    • I hope so much that we don’t shut down again too! I don’t know if our collective psyche will survive that, not to mention the economic devastation, which is bad enough already. But the numbers are climbing again, and it seems the only way we know to deal with it is to go on lock downs. The problem is, lock downs can’t last forever, and as soon as they end, the numbers go back up. It’s happening all over the world. I’m just praying they come up with better treatments and/or a vaccine soon!

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  16. The pandemic dramatically exposed one flaw in human behaviour. We believe that we can solve our problems by acquiring more instead of being content with less. We often forget that there many people in this world that could survive on the food that we throw away. Your post is a wake-up call for all of us who live in abundance to share with people who are less fortunate and need our help. Thank you, Ann, for providing food for thought this morning!

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    • You’re so right, Peter! We absolutely can live on less, and sometimes we have to. Instead, we’re busy trying to hang on to our abundant way of life even when the situation can’t support it. We do need an attitude adjustment, I think. Thanks for pointing that out….I hadn’t thought of it that way!

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    • I think I will too, Ellen. It’s easy to be afraid of not having enough, but I don’t want to make that a motivating factor of my behavior, or how I look at things. Thanks for your comment!

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  17. I hear ‘ya. I’ve found myself doing the same over-shopping behavior at the grocery. With so much uncertainty in our lives now it seems prudent. But I admit that for me, a woman who usually decided meals on the fly, all this planning ahead is daunting.

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    • Yeah, a little over-shopping in times like these is normal. But I was taking it to an unhealthy extreme and even then worrying that I didn’t have enough to last me. With so many voices of doom and gloom all around us (the election isn’t helping one bit), it’s easy to be reduced to a state of anxiety and fear. Still, that’s not how I want to live, so I’m going to make a very intentional effort to think differently. Take care, Ally!

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  18. Amen, Ann! I, too, can remember those early days of the pandemic when it seemed that nothing was stocked on the grocery store shelves and people were all panicked they wouldn’t have enough of this or that. Sadly, the longer this thing goes on — and the more frightened people become — the more chances for the ‘haves’ to hoard and the ‘have-nots’ to go without. Even now, going to the grocery store, when I find they’re out of something I think I ‘need,’ I find myself getting that fluttery feeling of anxiety. Crazy, huh?! Seriously, how many cans of Lysol and disinfecting wipes does one household really need??

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    • Oh I know what you mean! I react badly when I can’t find what I need too, getting very annoyed and anxious. A few weeks ago I was deeply unhappy because no store in our area had Minute Rice Premium. I mean, Minute Rice! I can certainly live without Minute Rice. And I agree that the longer this goes on, the more frightened people become, and frightened people behave very badly. I also agree that the gap between the “haves” and “have nots” gets wider as this goes on too….some can afford to survive the pandemic, some cannot. A good example is education: some can afford to hire tutors and have plenty of computers for online learning, while other children are simply missing out on months and months of schooling. Here’s hoping for a cure soon!

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  19. Balance, Anne. There’s definitely a difference between being well-prepared and hoarding.IMHO, much of what we think we need is really a want. Last spring my dentist asked how I would access cauliflower when the supply chain was interrupted. I said I would do without and eat the preserved vegetables from the garden and the foraged berries from the freezer. Sometimes shortages give rise to innovation. TP isn’t the only thing to wipe a bottom with and there are other ways to sanitize a surface than with prepackaged wipes. I have faith in the integrity of the human spirit to survive as best it can.

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    • I like the way you think! And as Peter said above, we need to remember that people in some countries routinely exist on the amount of things we throw away. We can make do when we have to, and we can be innovative when facing big problems like this pandemic. I think we will figure this out eventually, and in the meantime, we just have to resolve to treat each other well and be our best selves!

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  20. A timely post, Ann, and one that makes me examine my own responses this year, especially around issues of control. Hubby is the hoarder of the two of us, but with stuff, not food. I like to have “enough” on hand so that we never run out. By this I mean when I open the last bag of coffee beans, or open the last litre of cream, I add the item to the list, even though I might not need that item for another week or so. I consider it a personal failure if I run out of something.

    As for hoarding during the pandemic, during phase one, I bought rice and lentils in large format packages so that I’d be ready for the winter should we have another round of shortages in phase two. Also large format jars of olive oil – we heard that crop failures in Italy would mean higher prices or no olive oil. That might have been a bad idea – I expect the oil will go rancid before I use it. And that, too, I will consider a personal failure.

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    • Yeah, that’s one of the problems with stocking up…some things just don’t last. But it really isn’t a personal failure if you can’t make sure your house has enough of everything all the time. It sounds to me as if you have a great system for making sure you have the basics always on hand, but sometimes circumstances you can’t control will interfere with even the best-laid plans. Hang in there!!!

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  21. I try to buy enough so there will be fewer visits to the grocery store. Other than that, I have no need to shop. The CEO of our local chain said at the beginning of this pandemic there will be food, just maybe not the exact thing you are used to buying. He kept his promise.

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    • Aside from the first few weeks of the pandemic, that’s been true here too. (Even then we had food…not all the shelves were empty, just some basics like eggs and milk not available). But now, we can’t always get exactly what we want the exact moment we want it, but if we’re just patient, we can get it eventually. And it helps to remember that! Actually, I’m rather proud of how the food industry has kept up in very difficult times!

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  22. I thought it was just me. My thing now is toilet tissue. It doesn’t matter how much we have at home, during our weekly grocery shopping, I’m always like, “don’t you think we need some more toilet tissue?” I’m sure it’s come type of psychological brain thing.

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    • Believe me, it’s not just you. I have a stack of toilet paper and paper towels in my basement (the media is now informing us that paper towels will be hard to come by) and yet I still think, “maybe I need just one more package!” It is a result of anxiety about this pandemic, and remembering the shortages when it first hit. (Which I honestly think were the sole result of hoarding, especially since the stores didn’t limit the quantities people could buy back then.) But I don’t want to live like that, so I’m making an intentional effort to lighten up a little. Or a lot!

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  23. Thoughtful post, Ann. I’m not a hoarder because my father was one. I watched how crazy it made my mother and vowed to never be like him. Ironically, I’m living in the same home where I grew up and my parents have passed. I know my mother would be amazed at how different this place is without my father’s junk!
    Hoarding might represent a way to cope with fear and perhaps I am hoarding in a different way. I have been baking and eating too much during this pandemic. I am holding onto pounds. So now, my closet is filled with clothes that don’t fit and I’m not planning to go shopping any time soon!

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    • True hoarding is a very real problem, and my personal response to this pandemic is the first insight I’ve ever had into the mentality that creates it. Sadly, the stuff a hoarder accumulates rarely makes him or her happy, and it makes life miserable for those they share their home with. I don’t blame you for being so careful not to follow in your father’s footsteps! No matter what motivates us to accumulate more than we need, it’s not a healthy or practical response. As for baking and eating too much, I think many people are coping that way. It’s something we can do at home, and it comforts us. The trick is, as with most things, doing it in moderation. Easier said than done for sure!! (As my stuffed cupboards bear witness to!)

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  24. Great post, Ann! During the second wave here in Ontario, again there were empty shelfs of toilet paper. But after two weeks into the second wave everything was stocked again and there was plenty of everything. I think in the countries we live now, more good food is going to waste than consumed or bought. But I did get nuts and coconut oil just in case…

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    • Our second wave is here too, and I am seeing a few shortages again. But just like in Ontario, they are short-lived. I think we all learned our lesson the first time, and stores aren’t allowing people to clear the shelves of necessities anymore. Plus people are realizing that if they are just patient, whatever they are looking for will eventually be restocked. I hope, for everyone’s sake all over the world, that this pandemic is over sooner rather than later!

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  25. Well stated, Ann! In the beginning (March/April) I did the same thing, particularly with laundry detergent, pasta, spaghetti sauce, and cream of mushroom soup. Ha! But I live in Henry David Thoreau territory, where his mantra is “Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.” Before the pandemic, I followed this thought, and found it so freeing. Then after March, my coat closet shelf got filled with the extra pasta and paper towels and I berated myself. So I’m back to simplifying.

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    • Yes, I think the pandemic caused too many of us to abandon our usual ways of thinking and acting, and that was understandable for a while. But as it drags on, and we are all adjusting to living in different circumstances, we’re beginning to realize that we don’t want to fundamentally change who we are and how we look at things. And we really do get to choose to be ourselves, even in these weird times. So, I choose to dial back the “hoarding impulse” and also the fear and anxiety. I trust that the strides we’re making in treatments, vaccines, testing, etc will eventually mean we can stop letting a nasty little virus rule our lives.

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    • We’re sort of the opposite here, with numbers rising and people panicking in many areas. But we’re also a few days away from a national election, which doesn’t help at all. Some parts of the country are more open than others, but I don’t think any parts are living in the kind of almost total lock down we saw in the Spring. And I’m really hoping we don’t come to that again, as I think it would put most people over the edge! Personally, I just wear my mask when I’m around other people, don’t have close contact with anyone outside my “bubble” and rely on plain old common sense to get me through! I’m glad to hear that things have improved in India! Best wishes for you and your family to remain happy and well!

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  26. This pandemic truly threw many people for a loop. We all did things we never did before – and some of us still do. In some ways, we became like little children, afraid and clinging to whatever helps us to feel a little safer, overstocked cupboards probably being one of them. I believe that as we learn to handle this thing, as our coping skills strengthen, our insecurities will diminish.

    One day, we will be wiser. And we will be free.

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    • That is my hope too! I know that as the numbers here in the States rise, people are getting nervous again which could lead to more panic buying. But I also think that we have figured out how to handle this, and have learned from the mistakes we made in the early days of the pandemic. I know I am not as nervous about it as I was in the first few weeks of lock down. Wisdom comes slowly, but if we allow it, it does come!

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  27. Hi Ann – I missed out on the opportunity to hoard last spring and we did okay anyway. We didn’t always get the brands we wanted, but sometimes the subistitues were better (I think we are about to convert from Puffs to Kleenex, for example – but of course those are 2 good brands. Often the things we had to buy were off brands and they were surprisingly pretty good) and sometimes we learned that we didn’t really need that thing in the first place. I may stock up soon, but I’ll stop before it is too much. Great post!

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    • Yes, I think lots of us are preparing for more restrictions, but the true panic buying that we saw before probably won’t happen. For one thing, store are restricting purchases of things that are in short supply, and for another, most of us have learned what you did: that even during times of shortages, we can get what we truly need. It may not be our preferred brand, but as you say, sometimes that lets us find a new brand that we like just as well, if not better!

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  28. This resonates so much, Ann. I, too, have never been a hoarder. I have never been one to go to those big box stores and stock up on items as if an apocalypse is coming. I typically purchase what I need for the week and don’t even like to freeze meat, preferring instead to make a couple trips to the store each week to get it fresh and cook it that day. But I also need to be smart. The craziness of last spring prompted me to have a stash of tp, paper towels, napkins, cleaners, detergents, sponges, rubber gloves, and masks. They are in my basement and I’m pretending they aren’t there – just in case. I also stocked up on flour and yeast because I remember not being able to even find a loaf of bread. This weekend, I cleaned out and wiped down both my fridge and pantry, and I have a list of items I’m getting this coming week to stock up – just in case – including meat that I plan to freeze and frozen vegies and fruit, because those were also hard to find. Covid cases, as you know, are reaching new records in our country and I don’t want to be unprepared if there’s another lockdown. Though I do think we have all learned what we truly need and what we don’t, and that stores, hopefully, have learned and are better prepared.

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    • Yes there is a line between hoarding and simply preparing for hard times. Preparing is a good thing, but panic buying is not. Luckily, I do think that most of us have learned not to do that, and the stores have learned to limit it as well, which will help a lot. The food industry has done a terrific job of keeping the supplies coming in a difficult situation. Personally, what I worry about most about the possibility of long-term restrictions is the mental and economic effects. So many people are just barely hanging on now (especially the elderly, who are SO isolated), and I think that their financial and emotional reserves are about empty. Hopefully, we will get more creative as we go along, and science will come up with solutions as well. We are making huge strides in the treatment of this virus, and I take a lot of comfort in that!

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  29. Interestingand thought provoking post Ann. I think that peer pressure is what makes many of us over buy or overstock. We see or hear others panicking and we follow suit. Personally I actually get anxious when we have too much stuff, too much food.. I so prefer to buy as we need it. Yes, these are strange times…

    The thing is we can also say to ourselves, so what’s the worst thing that can happen.. I might run out of oats for a few weeks and the reality is that of course we manage, and as you say, it gives an opportunity to have a sense of community and of giving and sharing, which in these times is just as important as actually having a stock of stuff.

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Peta! You’re right, there are very few things we can’t actually live without for a little while. Too much stuff can be just as hard to cope with as too little. Hope all is well with you in Mexico!

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  30. Panic buying is, in part, about control. People feel they can’t control the virus or their lives so they do the only thing they can: buy stuff to make themselves feel safe. At the start of the pandemic I didn’t panic buy. I knew that there will be supplies and we can order online or, even better, use the things we already have in our cupboards.
    I did buy more than it was necessary before going into shielding (I wanted to shield for the last 2 weeks, before an exam I take in person in a few days). I also saw that I am buying more when I buy online because I want to reach the “free shipping” threshold, so I need to space out the orders I’m placing. Your post is a good reminder to do that. Maybe I can bake a bread this week and place the next order a few days after that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. It is very unsettling to have so much of our lives completely beyond our control…not just the anxiety of getting the virus, but also trying to cope withe restrictions that keep changing and that rarely have a definitive end in sight. So, we cope by stocking up, so that we can at least feel secure in our own homes. I think having enough supplies for two weeks makes perfect sense, since that’s the amount of time we have to quarantine if we test positive for the virus. And I’ve “rounded up” when I order things online as well (even though they don’t always give me the free shipping anyway!) I think balance is the key, as if understanding that stocking up only provides a limited amount of security. Ultimately, we have to live our lives in a way that doesn’t cause us grief.

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  31. A very timely post Ann. Just as we are trying to come out of the hoarding mode and get back to the normal buying patterns. I was never a hoarder and whenever I tried to buy in bulk, I ended up throwing stuff out. I enjoyed my weekly farmers market visit and buying just what I wanted. Pandemic changed everything. I am yet get back into my old routine completely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me, too! And it doesn’t help that many places are going back on stricter restrictions again, which is making people try to panic buy again…. But I’m still not giving into the urge. Thanks for the comment, Deepa!

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    • Thank you! The pandemic has changed most everything, and very rarely for the better. But we will get through it. I’m doing well, just impatient for this to be over. I hope you and yours are well! You take care too!

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  32. How important it is to focus on who we want to be and the things we can control. I haven’t understood that hoarding behaviour, the loo roll hype etc, at all.. had people seen too many disaster movies? Here there was no risk of shortage.. shops would be stocked up. No need to panic but I understood that people did that anyway, in the early days of the pandemic. I do buy extra of my baking stuff though (I’m coeliac and bake all my bread myself) but only because it means I don’t need to go to that shop so often.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Personally, I think the toilet paper shortage was started by the media, because when this pandemic first started, it was based in China, and our media helpfully pointed out that most of our toilet paper came from China, and that they had shut down their factories. Which wasn’t even true, but it prompted people to panic buy large quantities of it, creating shortages. Now there is plenty (of everything, almost) and when supplies get short, the stores limit the amount one person can buy. So I’m really hoping the hoarding is over! Thanks for your comment, it’s always good to hear how others are handling this situation.

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  33. Ann,
    You have brought up some valuable questions to ponder, “How much is enough?” “What kind of world do I want to create?”
    So many people around the world live with so little and seem to find gratitude in what they have. I am inspired by them and by your questions.
    Take care,
    Ali

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I know–where to draw the line? And I have animals, so I stocked up on not only people food but chicken feed, dog and cat kibble, and a shed full of hay. Plus tp and things like shampoo and deodorant. And vitamins.

    But early on, I bought too much. I live in the country, and I had no idea if I was going to have to help family and neighbors get through this.

    So, I’ve decided that I’m going to do a big food donation, one before Thanksgiving and one before Christmas. That way the extra will still go to help out.

    And I’ll get some of that food out of my garage. A win-win. : )

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is such a smart decision! With so many people recently out of work, you know that the Food Banks will be glad to get your donation. And I don’t blame you for stocking up so much in the early days, because the news was full of stories of empty grocery shelves and food shortages. I even had container of frozen milk in my freezer! But now, even though the numbers are climbing all over the world, we have more confidence in the food supply and so it is time to rethink what is enough, for me any way. I do think, though, that each of us has to make that decision based on our own personal situation, so I sure don’t judge anyone else if they’re still over buying!

      Liked by 1 person

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