We are all hoarders. Whether or not you intentionally gather miscellaneous items in large quantities over time doesn't really matter, because to some degree, every single one of us is a hoarder — no matter how organized you are. If you have the space, you will fill it with stuff you don't need. It's the American way. And you can't really dismiss it as a "collection," because if it's in a drawer you haven't seen the bottom of in years and not in a display case on a shelf, it's not a collection.
Since this is a common thing for most people, the things we hoard are also similar. These are the things we can't bring ourselves to throw away. And the reason for that could be: 1) it's small enough to store, 2) you have no idea if the item has really expired yet, 3) what if you need it again someday?, and 4) it's useless to you now, but does it really belong in the trash?
The act of throwing something in the garbage is not one you can take back. It's a relatively big decision to make, and not one you ever want to regret. So don't feel bad if you've become a hoarder of the following items — because at some point, we've all been guilty of doing the exact same thing.
What's the rule with batteries? They can't go in the trash, so they have to go in some special bag so they don't leak and kill the Earth, or something. Whatever the actual disposal procedure is for batteries, it's not easy enough to remember, or follow through with regularly. So in the junk drawer all of your dead and rotting batteries shall sit for eternity.
2. Hair Products
If you buy full-size hair products, it will take you forever to actually use them up. Between the time you buy just one and the time you might actually empty the bottle, new products are released, your hairstyle, texture, and hair needs may change, and you decide to switch to something else for a bit. And what happens to all those unfinished bottles? They pile up in the shower or underneath your sink.
3. Bobby Pins
Bobby pins are extremely useful, versatile, and sometimes they can save the day from a miserable, frizzy coif. You always find yourself needing a bobby pin when you don't have one on you, so when given the chance, you stock the eff up.
4. Takeout Menus
Takeout menus hold a strange amount of power for just sheets of colored paper with obnoxious font choices. But hangry times are desperate times, and when you come home from a crappy day at work and the only thing that'll make you feel better is a plate of processed, artificially colored orange chicken, you'll be extremely thankful you held onto that old menu.
A lot of us forget that condiments have expiration dates too. We know to check our milk cartons and our yogurt containers and our meat and cheese, but condiments seem to be consistently forgotten. Maybe it's because these are mostly bottles of salt with hints of other flavors. But just because that three-year-old bottle of relish is not yet turning blue doesn't mean it's still OK to eat. Check those dates, friends.
6. Hair Ties
You always wear one on your wrist for those "just in case" hair scenarios, so why do you need 500 more? Well, because those hair ties on our wrists break and get lost, and it's imperative that we have an immediate replacement. That's why.
7. Instruction Manuals
You no longer have that cheap DVD player (because who still owns DVDs??), so why do you still have the owner's manual? Because Mom and Dad instilled in you a healthy fear of defective electronics and the importance of adhering to return and warranty policies, so you MUST keep these manuals on hand forever and ever.
8. Phone Chargers
You have no problem getting rid of the old phone when the new phone arrives, but then one day you stumble upon a massive cord orgy in your desk drawer, and your head is filled with a thousand WTFs. Where did these cords come from? What does this one even go to? Is this a charger for my old Nokia? The one that now looks more like those '90s cordless home phones? Shed that cord weight, and get rid of the obsolete chargers.
9. Frozen Food
Because it's frozen, it can never go bad, right? Wrong. It's easy to pack your freezer with stuff you probably won't eat and keep adding more and more stuff in there, but it might be a good idea to purge those freezer burned Brussels sprouts. Come on, you know you weren't going to eat them anyway. Not while those tater tots were blocking their path.
They come with every Asian takeout food order, but since you eat those meals in private, you use a fork because it's easier, you're hungry, and because WHY WOULD YOU EVER CHOOSE CHOPSTICKS OVER A FORK? If you have the opportunity to shovel grub into your mouth rather than carefully eating one piece at a time, you'd choose to shovel, yes? Then you end up with a ton of chopstick sets in your utensil drawer that you'll probably never use.
At what point is it OK to toss a towel in the trash? If they start to smell, then you obviously should upgrade your towels. But most of the time, they look the same, smell the same, and might just get a little nubbier and stringier. They still work, because they can still dry you off after a shower, so it's hard to justify buying new ones. Especially if you're living in a studio apartment and eating ramen most nights.