by Jeff

Nowadays, we all own too much stuff. I’m speaking for everyone. Storage units are a thing because consumers can’t stop consuming. And Storage Wars is a show because of course that’s where all this consumption leads: defaulting on debt. But for all of those who can’t afford the storage units because we’re too busy spending our money on things to store, we need to learn from another show, Hoarders, on how to keep those things safe. I’m speaking to you in TV because it is our official language.

There are few observations you can make immediately from watching any episode of Hoarders.

First: you can’t find anything in that goddamn hell-hole. Valuables, perishables, people—they’re all piled into piles of piles. Try finding something worth stealing. Enjoy your dysentery.

Second: no one wants to go in the hell-hole. You have to pay people and promise them 15 minutes of fame to get anyone to cross the threshold.

Third: living like that opens up your calendar. This point has nothing to do with keeping your stuff protected from burglaries. But with all the time you don’t spend on cleaning or entertaining, you can dedicate yourself to pursuing your life’s passions. Like bingeing on Netflix.

If you’re like us, this is all welcome news. Because we were heading this way anyhow. Now we can claim it was purposeful. All my Hoarders brothers and sisters rejoice.

So for all of those of you who have been wasting your time cleaning, I have very simple advice:

Toss your house. Turn that place upside down.

If you aren’t enjoying a Hoarders level of accumulation and chaos just yet, you can take your cues from detective shows. Ever see a detective show? Of course you have. I watch Dexter. As Elsa’s dad, I’m sort of required to. Anyway, on these shows, the crime scenes are always a goddamn mess. After someone’s been bludgeoned or robbed, the criminals usually pull out drawers and dump them on the floor, or overturn the couch, or sweep vases and such off of shelves, causing them to shatter everywhere. If a burglar walks up on that mess, they would just turn around thinking that one of their union members have already serviced that home. They’ll go across the street and get those people with the nice lawn. The ones who are always judging you with their perfection and mouths full of teeth.

The quickest way to toss your house is to live in it and then fill it with children. Children instinctively know how to stage a bloodbath. They’re MacGyvers of messy. Give them a spoon, a hairbrush, and a half-eaten doughnut and they will render any room unlivable. All you have to do is leave it like that. Boom. No one wants your stuff.

And burglars are lazy, they won’t be able to find a damn thing and they won’t want to work at finding anything worth finding.

These next tips are only for the really advanced. Don’t attempt until you’re ready:

Leave your door completely unlocked. All the time. In fact, once you’re well established, just throw the door wide all day long. Burglars will assume that no one is that stupid. And if they do approach to take a peek, your master work inside will be all the convincing they need that this is a home to be left alone.

Let mail and newspapers pile up. Paired with the above tip, this screams neglect and indicates that the homeowners are long dead.

Get that yellow “caution” tape and string it everywhere like streamers at a goddamn child’s birthday party. Genius.

But I don’t know how far you want to go, you’ll have to find that line for yourself. If you make it look too abandoned you’ll attract squatters. I don’t know how to deal with squatters. Maybe make them watch your kids? I’ll work on that next.

Hope you found this helpful. As I’ve written previously, these tactics are also effective at deterring paranormal activity.