Help Me With My Hoarding Problem: Pusheen Subscription Boxes
Posted on December 12, 2022 Posted by Athena Scalzi 32 Comments
As some of you may know, I have a bit of a hoarding problem. I’m slightly addicted to online shopping, regular shopping, and subscription boxes, and don’t have room for everything I buy. So a lot of stuff I acquire just sits around in the boxes it came in, never to be opened, as evidenced here:
I’m trying to work on my hoarding problem so I finally went through all the subscription boxes I’ve gotten over the past two years! There’s more behind these ones. In total it was like 13 boxes. Now I have a bunch of cool stuff I can actually use cuz I took it out of the box! :) pic.twitter.com/h3VoSAJble
— Athena Scalzi ⭐️ (@AScalzi98) August 19, 2021
I had these unopened boxes sitting around for literally months. Not just one or two months, but like SEVERAL. Do you see how many boxes are in that photo? There’s boxes inside all the other boxes!
I’m like a dragon, sitting on my hoard of random stuff in boxes. Shiny, new, unopened, expensive things. I’m not sure why I have this problem, but I do!
Anyways, earlier this year I subscribed to the Pusheen Box. It’s a quarterly box that sends seasonal themed Pusheen merchandise! Most of which is exclusive to the subscription box. I have loved Pusheen ever since she came into existence, so I knew I wanted to get at least one of the boxes. But that’s the thing with subscription boxes, they just keep coming! Before I knew it, I had an entire year’s worth of Pusheen boxes. And I had yet to open one.
So, I figured the only way that I could bring myself to open them all, was if I had an audience to do it for. You are now helping me in dealing with my strange issues, so sit back and enjoy looking at all that the Pusheen boxes have to offer!
Here are all four of the boxes together:
For some reason, the Spring one is larger than the other three. It’s also the one we’re starting with, because it was the first one I got!
So here is the Spring 2022 Pusheen Box:
The theme of this box was gardening.
While I myself am not much of a gardener, as I hate getting my hands dirty, I will admit that these adorable gardening gloves, trowel, and gardening apron honestly make me want to give it a shot.
The watering can, while adorable, is certainly impractical with how small it is. The mini planter is nice, but again I don’t grow plants because nothing survives me, so the sign to write a plant’s name in Expo marker on is also fairly useless to me as well, but still cute.
Behold, the world’s most wrinkly t-shirt! I would wager it has something to do with how long it was left in the box, so that’s probably partially my fault. I will say the t-shirt is probably the thing I will actually use the most out of this entire box, though the hat is not without its merits.
And finally, this totes adorbs figurine of Pusheen watering her vegetable garden.
Time for the summer box!
For this one, the theme seemed to be sort of like snacks/baked goods/picnic-y, with some cafe-core thrown in. So, totally my style.
Starting strong with this super cute color-blocked t-shirt with the pun “catpusheeno” on it. This will definitely be a new fav t-shirt to wear.
And here’s some of that picnic-y stuff I mentioned! A super cute picnic blanket and a picnic tote that I adore the print of (it says it’s insulated but it’s very thin and I would not trust it to keep things cold). I folded the picnic blanket in a way that it would fit on the table and in the shot, as well as so you could see the Pusheen part of it, but it is fairly sizeable. Not huge, but definitely enough for you and a friend to sit comfortably on.
And to go in your picnic tote, a bottle opener, a reusable ice pack, and a collapsible silicone food container! I don’t have much use for an ice pack or a bottle opener, but they’re both still adorable!
Okay, I think I might like the gardening figurine better, but you gotta love the “meowchiato” pun.
I had to hold this plush because it wouldn’t stand on its own. Also, the whiskers are for sure permanently flattened.
So, yeah, I much preferred the theme of the summer one! Moving on to Fall:
(Also, the quality of lighting in the photos is about to drop for the next two boxes because I was racing against the sun when I was taking all these. So I had to switch from natural light to my kitchen light which is not ideal.)
What I expected from the fall box and what I got were very different things. I was expecting an autumnal theme, with red and orange leaves, and pumpkins, but if it isn’t clear from the box design, it was all spooky Halloween themed stuff.
I wasn’t sure what this was until I read the tag. It’s a “vampire cape”, with a hood that has vampire Pusheen on it. It’s basically a blanket you can drape around yourself.
This was called a “treat tote”, but more likely it’ll just be a reusable grocery bag. I suppose the groceries could be treats, depending on what I buy.
This sticker sheet, bullet journal, and bookmark are more my speed, I think. Though I never really handwrite anything.
This trinket tray, while conceptually cute, is too small to really hold anything, and the hard plastic feels sort of cheap. It is the only product that I’ve been disappointed by so far and I would not buy this one if I saw it in a store.
I was a bit confused by this figurine because on the side of the box, she is shown eating the donut with no angry eyebrows.
Alternatively, on the top of the box, she is shown with the eyebrows, but not eating the donut.
Either way, yet another excellent pun with that “vampurr”.
Unlike the trinket tray, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of this goblet. It’s a thick glass that feels pretty heavy with a solid base. I also enjoy the color.
Finally, the Winter box!
Again, I was expecting something festive, like snowflakes, pine trees, or hot chocolate, but it was actually gaming themed.
This zip-up hoodie looks kind of grey in the photo but it’s actually pastel blue.
This design is on the back of the hoodie. I always find it unfortunate when such cute designs are on the back of my clothes because my hair covers it.
Up next was this velcro device-sleeve. This thing would definitely not fit a laptop, but you could fit an iPad or a Switch. Not sure how protective it is, but it’s a cute design.
Okay I actually love this mousepad because I am chronic button masher in every game I play, especially Smash. Also I like pink.
This wrist rest was a little meh, as its not very plump like the gel filled ones are. I don’t think it would actually be all that comfortable to use this one, and it’s kind of on the small side.
I was happy to see at least one winter-y item in the box! A beanie! Everyone likes beanies!
And an ornament! Sadly, my tree is totally full of ornaments already, so I have nowhere to put this.
They put Stormy in the figurine this time!
I was curious if the controllers were just flat plastic, or if the controllers had buttons.
I was surprised to see they actually had a D-pad and little buttons!
Finally, there was also a cable bite in the box:
Okay, whew! That was a lot to get through. A whole year of Pusheen merch!
Thank you all for going on this journey with me! I am glad I finally opened everything, but now I don’t know what to do with what’s inside. I will probably put it all in a tote and put it in my storage locker and forget it exists.
Which box was your favorite? Which item would you most like to have? Let me know in the comments, and have a great day!
Ummm, Athena? I think you might need an intervention… ;-)
About the trinket box – if you turn it over, it might (I can’t quite judge dimensions) make an interesting cookie cutter. Also, you are doing amazing things and I love reading about them. Go you!
I think you should realistically assess which items you will actually use, like maybe the T shirts, hoodie, hat, and goblet. Put the clothes with your other clothes and the goblet with the other glasses, and start using them on a regular basis.
Small items that you don’t think you will use can be stocking staffers for friends and relatives who do not live in the same house as you.
You can also start a newsletter and every month you can have a random drawing and mail a surprise grab bag of unused items to a lucky subscriber.
Does your father mail out those piles of books people send to him? If so, maybe Pusheen themed items can be included as a free bonus.
Just brainstorming here.
In the spring box, you might use the mini planter inside, for some kind of fresh herb.
And I LOVE the cookie-cutter idea!
You didn’t say if you are still subscribed to this Pusheen stuff. If you are then I think the first thing you should do is cancel the subscription because it obviously wasn’t important enough to actually open plus very little of the items are going to be put to use. Does the world really need more plastic drek? And instead of putting the items you won’t use why don’t you donate it to some worthwhile charity shop? I’m Canadian so I’m not sure what is available where you are but I think Value Village, Goodwill and Salvation Army should be.
Thanks for the Pusheen extravaganza. I love the Vampurr Pusheen and Gaming Pusheen figures.
That brings back memories. Admittedly my junk was different, but I had a lot of junk. My last place I lived in for 27 years. A handful of friends died and I inherited stuff. For a decade my parents were elderly and very high maintenance, during which time I just tossed stuff into piles, which grew and grew. When my parents died I got even more stuff.
My solution was to move. I had had lots of practice in emptying my late parents and friends apartments. So I got ruthless on my place, and I did not want to move that junk. About 1/3 of my stuff made it to the new place – it should only have been 1/4, trust me.
Think of one day having a wonderful place of your own to live, but it is not too big. Do you really want to move all your stuff, by yourself, and unpack it, rather than have boxes, and boxes, and boxes, laying about your kewl new pad???
There are support groups like ‘Spenders Anonymous’ and ‘Debtors Anonymous’ out there. I’ve known people who got hooked on forever buying more ‘stuff’ and ended up in serious financial trouble. Sometimes it helps to ask, ‘Do I really want this?’ and ‘Do I really need this?’ And then ask ‘Why?’
there will come the day when you’ll ask yourself “why?”
the less I buy, the fewer things I gotta scrub-fold-shelve-agonize-over
if you were looking for a cultural anthropology research project, there it is… clutter… not just clutter but what motivates folks towards extremes…
could be written up seriously or as comedic horror series… x-files by way of hoarders with a side order of world saving upcycling
My husband also has the ability to not tear into a box as soon as it comes. I don’t get it! I always must know.
Agreed on canceling your subscription boxes except the ones you need for blogging.
Not having space is what ultimately changed my mindset about acquiring things. Not having money I still wanted but not having space cured the acquisitiveness.
If you think it’s actually a hoarding problem that sounds like something to discuss with your therapist for a check. They probably would know if it’s actually something to worry about. (It’s hard to tell if you are concerned or if you were making a joke.)
I have a similar problem with kickstarters. Several of them got backed up due to shipping issues (thank you COVID) and now I’m trying to find room for them all.
In response to your specific questions, all the stuff is cute, but quite honestly none of it would induce me to give up space in my house for it. I own a very small house, and I really, really like having space to move around and do things, so I work hard to limit the amount of stuff I bring into the building.
I will say that is a mindset that I’ve only reached in about the past couple of decades (I am in my 60s), and when I was younger, I was much more of a magpie than I am now. Having gone through the experience of clearing the detritus from the homes four deceased parents (mine and my spouse’s) who were raised during the Great Depression and who NEVER THREW ANYTHING AWAY (including boxes!) was a real wake-up call, and ever since, I have embraced a minimalist approach to the acquisition of stuff.
I can’t quite tell if you are seeking ideas for ways to tackle your backlog of acquisitions, but if you are, one possibility would be to see if there are any charities in your area that are collecting toys for underprivileged kids. Those types of events generally get tons of cheap plastic stuff donated, and I’ll bet that both the organizers and the kids would be thrilled to have beautiful items like these as gifts.
I’m easily drawn in by your food subscription boxes, but this didn’t sway me at all. One of the reasons I cancelled my Sakuraco subscription was because every month they included ONE tchotchke. I would never sign up for a whole box of tchotchkes.
On the other hand, I already own a house packed with my partner’s and my decades of hoard. So YMMV.
To echo @Dr Kat Barber’s comment, I also think the trinket tray could possibly make a good cookie cutter. Washed and heavily sprayed with non-stick, of course. And you might need to rinse it and reapply the non-stick during use. Vampire bat sugar cookies for the holidays!
I, too, have something of a hoarding issue…at least it’s a bit specialized (mostly tools and aircraft parts, and occasionally I actually find a use for a hoarded treasure)…and don’t even get me started on books.
That said, two ideas that have been helpful for me:
1.) When I’m considering acquiring something, I try to examine not only how much I want / need it, but how I can pass it onward when I’m done (charities, etc).
2.) I try to remind myself that “the best things in life…aren’t things.”
So many cute things that would be loved by others. Have you considered donating your items to people or organizations who could use them as prizes or rewards or comfort objects? I used to work in a Library and money for reading prizes is almost non-existent. What about hospitals, schools, homeless shelters? I think so many children and young people would loves one of these items.
Reminds me of my 40 year New Yorker weekly subscription which I finally had to cancel because I couldn’t keep up. Donate and cancel. Just once. Or ask Dad to do it when you’re not looking.
I’m in no position to offer advice. I have a fear that if I subscribed to a box service, that I’d end up buried in them and never be able to drop them. So I witness your unboxing. There were some cool things. And some less than cool things. For me, it’s the empty boxes. I have a collection of cool mailing boxes. Luckily I am able to use them, sometimes, for mailing things to others.
Over the years I’ve given a lot of surplus stuff to Goodwill. They’ll take almost anything. If I think something might be useful to a friend, I’ll offer it… but tchochkes like the ones in your subscription boxes are not things I’d burden friends with, who will force a smile while thinking “Oh, god! Where am I going to put this?” Give them to Goodwill and let them be picked up by people who really want them. There are two Goodwill stores in Darke county, both in Greenville. They’ll be happy to take whatever you have to offer.
That will help you clean out your accumulated piles. Then you need to stop the hoarding habit. You’re smart to tackle it now, when you’re young. If you don’t, it will likely get much, much worse as you get older. Like other commenters here, I’ve seen that happen, and I’ve had to deal with the results. Talk with your therapist, if you haven’t already. Good luck!
I totally do the same with boxes. In my case, things come in, I don’t deal with them immediately, and then my cleaning people pile more things on top of them and they are locked up forever.
This is how my new microwave sat in the corner of my dining room for A YEAR before a kind friend came over and helped me unearth it and set it up.
I have found the only way to fix this is to not order new things. Just none. Zero. Cold turkey. And then set myself the task of cleaning one little area. It never takes as long as it looks, but it’s very hard. I’m lucky if I hit one spot per month. But I have very slowly gained a little ground.
I had to google what a cable bite is—that’s adorable! I think I need some…
I love the bottle opener. I mean, I already have two bottle openers and they don’t get used often, but I like the catssant. Croiscat. Whatever, croissant kitty is adorable!
If you were looking for any suggestions on what to do with some of this merch, you could always package it up for a White Elephant Gift or Pirate Gift Exchange or something. Enjoy! :)
When we buy stuff for ourselves, we’re generally looking to solve a problem or address a felt need. Unfortunately, sometimes that is “I will get a small dopamine hit from ordering this item! and then another from getting it in the mail!” but then the stuff itself doesn’t serve your life well.
So when you go “huh, this isn’t working for me” then figure out what’s driving the bus, and figure out another way of addressing that? Sometimes it’s fine to let a sub-optimal bus keep on trucking; like, I am about as anti-smoking as you can get (so many relatives died from tobacco-related cancer), but if you’re getting off heroin, by all means keep on smoking if that helps; but a lot of the time, the more you can turn in a habit that isn’t serving you well and replace it with a habit that does serve you well – something that Future You will be glad about – the better things get.
(that said: cute Pusheen!!! But also no more things to sit on shelves for me, for behold I have magpied myself into too much stuff already.)
If you want social credit for donations, re-evaluate that feeling when you find that a lawyer will be necessary to protect you. Goodwill, Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, etc. and the link back to you is cleanly broken, and the stuff will get used (so be satisfied with that). Great article by the way. You caught me by surprise as I kept scrolling, scrolling, and scrolling! :)
Requesting a picture of you in the vampire cape. Or perhaps your father in the vampire cape.
You can always use the time-honored approach of replacing one compulsion with another. Have you ever noticed how satisfying it can be to cut up a pile of cardboard boxes with a knife appropriate to the task? Forget box cutters and look up “canary knife” on Amazon or the world-devouring merchant of your choice. These yellow-handled knives work far better than box cutters and are much safer. True, you’ll soon be scouring neighbors’ trash for boxes to cut up, but one problem at a time.
I’m not going to go into the dopamine hit from buying stuff, but does your town have a Buy Nothing Facebook group? If so, that’s a great way to get rid of stuff that you don’t want or can’t use, while benefitting your community. There’s probably people around you who can’t afford holiday gifts, but would be thrilled to be able to share the stuff you don’t want. Post them on your community Buy Nothing, they will pick up, and everyone is happy. You will get the same dopamine hit from helping others without the pile of stuff making you feel guilty.
You could perhaps order charity items instead. You know, give the gift of whatever to a needy family, that kind of thing. Or a cause.
Now I know Pusheen boxes exist. This is dangerous knowledge.
You could do what I did with the plushies I got in my Lucky Bag from JapanHaul: donate the plushies to a pediatric unit of your local hospital. Some kids need something soft to give them good vibes.
I agree with the small dopamine observation. The first pleasure was thinking, goodies coming, but then they came, and meh. It seems not so much like hoarding, but impulse-control, issues. Agreed, therapist time. But also, maybe thinking whether the pleasure is really great enough at first, and every step of the way. Counter the impulse with the pleasure question. Demand more pleasure from your purchases.
[Deleted because the only this jackass shows up is to insult people. So now he’s in moderation until he learns not to be a complete dick all the time — JS]