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How I Learned To Empathise With My Mother's Hoarding Habit

There’s a set of tiny rose gold pots my mum bought on sale last year. I couldn’t find a need for them, however, she convinced me that she would use them. I have the utmost respect for her for many reasons – one being that she works extremely hard and absolutely deserves to spend her money however she desires. However, months later and she has still not used the pots.

I have struggled to understand this habit of bulk-buying multiple items at a time when there was no clear need of them, as this could lead on to hoarding. Nevertheless, Covid-19 appeared and took everyone by surprise. Regular trips to the supermarket store to buy daily necessities became something of a mission. Toilet roll, anti-bacterial handwash and hand gel were either sold out or scarce in most supermarkets. This was a very humbling period for many; the shock of not finding frequently-used items and then, still having to queue up for them caused many of us to appreciate how accessible our necessities used to be. Fortunately for me and my family, my mum’s existing habit of bulk-buying became useful as we had a fair amount of toilet roll, handwash and hand gel at home already. We were blessed to have had a good supply and made sure to use them wisely.

Arguably, we are a large family, so items do tend to run out fast, but I never before saw the benefits of buying in bulk unless an item is popular and runs out quickly. I was used to doing a weekly shop and buying what would sustain me and my family for the week, but during this time that I was able to empathise with my mum and understand her mindset towards bulk-buying items better.