Cheese 123

Clutter – although most people have a little clutter only 2 – 5% will have the debilitating form. Pathological hoarding (or Compulsive collecting), combined with an inability to discard these articles can cause severe problems. Filling an entire house in severe cases leading to risks from fire, poor sanitation, economic concerns, adverse effects on family and friends and other health concerns.

I come from a long line of hoarders. My father collected everything. In his entire life he had not thrown away one catalogue which had arrived in the mail. Luckily we had a huge house but it was a nightmare for my mother when she came to sell. Another of his many collections was the BIC biro. After cataloging when it started and finished and estimating how many writing hours it had done he would then reduce it to its components. The brass nib would go in on shoe box, the outer plastic case would go in another and the inner small tube would go in yet another. When asked why he did this he would reply “if there is ever a world’s shortage of brass I’ll be able to help out, you can  never have enough pea shooters and who knows when you might need a small piece of tubing.”

I did not think that I had inherited this family trait ( I thought my husband was just a whingeing pom)  and I like many with this disorder did not realise that I was afflicted. Not until I saw the television program “Hoarders” and recognised myself did I become aware that I was well on the way. I immediately made a huge effort to declutter – much to my husband’s delight. I now follow one golden rule –

Don’t buy anything without throwing something away.

  Although you may not have this hoarding problem there is one area in everyone’s life that is prone to excessive clutter. Photographs.

  Do you have photo albums galore, many shoe boxes full of photos that haven’t made it to the albums, tins of slides? I discovered on looking that many of my photos in albums were deteriorating and rusting. I decided to do something about it. 

  I am in the process of scanning all my photos into the computer. Putting them into folders named with the event. But can I find them when I want them? No, I can’t. Does anyone look at these thousands of photos on my computer? No, they don’t.  Will they be safe and last forever on the computer? No they won’t.

  The Solution – Cheese 123 or one of the numerous companies on the internet which sell photo books. I use Cheese 123 (Australia) because it downloads the software to your computer giving unlimited time to pick your best photos, arrange, put in text, choose page colours, photo frames and much more whilst not being connected to the internet. When completed a choice is given to post on disc or as I do download online. Approximately ten days later, voila, your quality photo book arrives. 

You store it on the bookshelf (it takes up much less space than an album) or on the coffee table for everyone to see. I then put my folder of photos into an external hard drive which takes up much less space than a number of shoe boxes. If I could seriously declutter I would discard them but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

Thanks to Cheese 123 my clutter has significantly reduced without having that mental anguish of the throw out.


About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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30 Responses to Cheese 123

  1. Roger Williams says:

    Great story. Can you tell us more about your father’s collections?


  2. Thanks Roger. Congratulations on being the first person to comment on my site. My father was a huge collector of many things (always very ordered). I’ll do another post and tell you about some of them. Cheers


  3. Reblogged this on Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist) and commented:

    Throwback Thursday this week as I wait for the cyclone to cross land just slightly to the north of me bringing the predicted half metre of rain in 24 hours, is a post I did about clutter. Perhaps, having reread my resolutions and possibly being stuck inside for 24 hours or more, I may have a day of decluttering. It has again become time.


  4. Uncle Spike says:

    I call my mother-in-law ‘Patron sincap’ (Turkish for Chief Squirrel).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. bkpyett says:

    This is a very timely post Irene. Thank you for this information. Chris and I both find it hard to declutter, inherited from both sides!! Today I spoke to the man who fixed the computer and he told me I should back up files, as the computer is not 100% reliable. We have boxes and boxes of photos and albums. I shall have to think long and hard about this…. It reminds me of my mother when she was dying, she asked me not to throw out her margarine containers. She had never thrown one away and they lined the shed, because they might come in handy. My father had a huge shed where he didn’t throw anything away either, and the boys had a garage sale, giving it away, as well as using skips.
    I know we shouldn’t do the same to our own children. It’s one thing knowing, another doing something about it!!


  6. Norah says:

    I really enjoyed this post, Irene, and I hope the storm you will be sheltering from won’t be too severe and you escape unscathed.
    I was interested to hear about your father’s collections. Some of them sound a little obsessive though he obviously had a good reason for the collections. Why the catalogues?
    Thanks for the tip with Cheese 123. I might have to look into it. I have made one or two photo books but there are many photos languishing in albums, boxes and on the computer. One day …
    I also love your bit about de-cluttering. I am trying to throw out at least one thing each week, which sounds okay until I realize that it’s only 52 a year. I don’t have enough lifetimes left for that slow rate! 🙂
    I also saw an idea of de-cluttering on Facebook before coming over here to visit you, so it is very timely. A 40 bags in 40 days challenge began yesterday. You may be interested in joining the team. it’s too great a challenge for me at this stage. I went back to the source and this is the link if you are interested:
    Stay safe in the cyclone. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you do it is found I think under 123 Cheese rather than the other way around. Find them and like them on facebook and when their specials come up that is the time to buy. Not at full price.
      Catalogues for no particular reason other than he was a collector of everything. He had a massive stamp collection and collected Cindarellas. When he died another cindarella collector (they are stamps which are not legal tender) published a book of his collection. The catalogues were sold at Lawson’s by auction and raised more money than his massive stamp collection which was full of first editions. Thanks for the link – I[‘ll look at it. Every bit helps. Roger today went through his shoes – that is one bag done. Good luck with yours.
      The cyclone apart from giving us 200mm of rain since yesterday morning has not posed us any problems so far. I hope those further north can say it was less than they were expecting. I guess it is better to be safe than sorry but it makes it difficult next time to do the same level of preparation. Hope all is well at your end also.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. pommepal says:

    Interesting post Irene. I do not consider myself a hoarder, BUT that is until you hit my Achilles heel, photos… wardrobe size cupboard redesigned with shelves full to overflowing with albums, boxes, folders etc of photos then of course there is the computer and 3 other external hard drives full of thousands more images… I really do intend to sort them, one day…
    Hope you stay safe and Marcia leaves you alone to do your sorting!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So far so good. We have had 200 mm of rain since yesterday morning but most of today has been good. Hope those further north are finding it less than expected as well. How are you fairing down your end?


      • pommepal says:

        Raining heavy now but still no wind. Poor people in Rocky are copping it. Not sure how much rain since 7am when I checked the gauge, it was 100mm then from over night. Would you believe I am sorting out my cupboards!!! Haven’t actually thrown any thing away yet, just moved things from one place to another. I will probably never find them again…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sounds like a productive way of spending a rainy day. All up since yesterday 9am we have had 210 mm but today contributed only 30mm to that. Most of the day has been grey with only intermittent rain. I think we are lucky here in that we are protected from the weather and even the sea although big for here didn’t look that rough. Hopefully when they look at the damage further north it won’t be too bad also. Wait to see what we get tomorrow as it moves south. Happy sorting (then hunting).


      • pommepal says:

        I see you are on an alert for storms today Irene. How are you? We had approx. 150mm of rain to this morning, but I think there is more to come today. Fed up of sorting!!!! Going to be playing with the computer and doing the weekly challenges, much more fun….

        Liked by 1 person

      • We had 260mm to 6am this morning and not a lot since. A few heavy showers but I think it has mainly passed. You are probably getting the last of it now. Yes there is only so much sorting you can do. Hope you had a nice day.


  8. Sherri says:

    Firstly, I do hope you are safe from the cyclone. And secondly…haha…’whingeing pom’…I love it!!! Thirdly, clutter. I sigh greatly here as talk about clutter. We still have a garage full of the kids’ stuff, my boys don’t own their own homes and are still fairly transitory in their living arrangements. Coming from a huge house in America to a much smaller English house was a massive challenge, as, like you, I have real difficulty throwing stuff away, but I have got much better. I read once that a good rule of thumb is if you have anything in your house that you haven’t used in a year, then you obviously don’t need it so chuck it, give it to charity or something like that if you can. But I’m with you on the photos. I have box loads, all planned at one time for photo albums. Quite a few are scanned in but your idea to make photo albums on the computer sounds briliant, so thanks so much for the heads- up. The only problem is, I still wouldn’t have the heart to throw the ‘real’ ones away! Still, at least you know they are safely stored in more than one way. And as for your dad, what a fascinating story about the BIC pens. I’ve watched Hoarders, a very real problem for some. Another great post, thank you Irene 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So true! You are very organized I can see. My photos are a mess, The computer keeps eating them,I have a hundred (not quite) albums which no one will ever look at, and the truth is that whatever was worth taking is safer in our memories! I was shocked years ago when a friend told me she never took photos when traveling because no one would ever look at them. But she was correct! I once fell asleep when a friend was showing a movie from their trip to someplace.


  10. Charli Mills says:

    Great idea to make photo books! The Hub is the hoarder in this family and it dries me crazy that he keeps every slip of paper or receipt. Hmmm…hoarders…might make an interesting prompt! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share 16th July 2016 | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

  12. macmsue says:

    I was very interested to read about the hoarding and 123Cheese, I’m not happy that the company I’ve used for several Photobooks is actually in the US and I pay excessive postage. I’ve looked for 123Cheese though and it appears they’re no longer operating. Am I mistaken about that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t know. I guess I was lucky that I was busy all last year and couldn’t devote any time to photos as I had planned on putting a selection of each event in photo books. That post was written 2013 when obviously things were good for them as after your comment I find they went into liquidation in 2015. I think their pricing was obviously too good to last. Now I’ll be on the hunt. If you find anyone you like let me know.


      • macmsue says:

        I’ve only used Blurb because the flexibility of layout suits me. They appear to have an Australian site but I’ve never managed to get anything to come from anywhere but the US which I find really frustrating. I also make my book then wait for a special deal before sending off the order. The last one was 50% off but still not cheap especially now that GST is added.


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