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Posted: 28 June 2014 - 06:17 PM
Re the survey and your answers from March 13 2014
The survey questions and your answers were very thought provoking. I am not making any real progress. (yet) your answer to question 22 seems (almost) perfect! And I want to re-post it.

22. What types of things would you want others to know about hoarding? We are not uneducated, stupid, lazy, uncaring people. The tendency to hoard is a continuum and all people fall somewhere on that continuum. Life events can push us into the extremes. Shame and guilt and blame does not help. But with the right resources and support we can turn this around. We can regain control of our lives.

.also I am trying to remember what was going on in my life when I was 60 and the years since then. For one thing, this site was not here then.
Posted: 03 April 2014 - 12:01 PM
Hi Mark,

I too am having to find ways to deal with little things. I have put that off some by dealing with bigger things to start with.

There are probably some questions I should ask, but for the moment, just to meet you right where you are, let's try something.

I'd like for you to pick three of the small things that are giving you grief. I'm going to assume you have at least a small open space somewhere. am edge of a table, a couch, something. Set the three things out in that space. Give each one a turn, asking yourself if you can let it go. If the answer is yes, put it in an outbound spot. If the answer is no, keep it somewhere you can get back to it.

Post back and say what each of the 3 items was and the feelings or emotions or thoughts that allowed you to get rid of it or that are causing you to keep it or be indecisive about it.

No guilt, no I shoulda done this, just an exploration to find out "how I act now" and "how can I change"?
Mark C.
Posted: 03 April 2014 - 11:36 AM
Hi everyone this is my first visit and from what little I have seen it certainly looks like a great forum.
Well I am 49 yrs old, single and work full time as an electronic repairman at a large steel mill. My hoarding started many years ago and I really feel like it is going to cost me everything including my house. I feel so overwhelmed!!! I have tried to start and I have made some progress but now I have stopped once again.
What is a person to do with all of the little items that not only take up space but I "always" get stuck when I try going through and organizing paperwork and all of those little items. I am so desperate!! Can anyone please help before I just finally give up? Thanks to all and I look forward to meeting you all!
Posted: 13 March 2014 - 03:51 PM
Barb your amazing!! I can not tell you how much I appreciate your time to answer my load of questions. Thank you also for being thorough and opening up within the questions. I have read and done so much research but sometime hearing personal stories makes it easier to understand. I wish you all the luck!! Thanks again!!
Posted: 13 March 2014 - 01:11 PM
WOW! That's a lot of questions. Here goes:
1. How old are you? 60
2. How long have you been hoarding? I think I always had tendencies, but it became a problem when I went into severe depression 7 years ago after the traumatic death of my husband.
3. What types of things do you hoard? Books, dog training supplies, teaching materials
4. Why is it difficult for you to part from these items? I love to read and learn new information; I used to compete in dog activities; i have taught many subjects and age levels
5. Has hoarding affected your relationship with family and friends? If so, please explain. My family does not visit me. I have to travel out of state to see them.
6. What does your family and friends say about your hoarding? They don't know the extent to which this has become difficult to manage.
7. Are you married? If so, what does this individual think about your hoarding? I am widowed. Both of us had a tendency to hoard things, especially books, but worked together to keep a clean, orderly house for 24 years. We had a great supportive partnership marriage.
8. Does your hoarding affect your ability to go into certain rooms of your home? If yes, please explain. I have closed off his office and have avoided clearing it out. When I have other thing that are difficult to deal with i put them in there and shut the door.
9. Does your hoarding affect your ability to sleep? If so, how? I sleep in the living room on the couch.
10. What do you enjoy doing on your leisure time? Has this been effected by your hoarding? I used to enjoy having a home where people felt free to drop by and visit. I can't do that anymore.
11. Do you cook? Has this aspect of your life been effected by your hoarding? I do like to cook, but it is much more difficult to cook for only myself. There was a time last fall when I could not cook or eat in th kitchen because of the clutter---dirty dishes, empty containers, etc.
12. Do you have visitors come to your house? If no, is it due to your hoarding? See number 10
13. Is your hoarding contained within your home or do you have storage units outside your home that your store items in? I have a storage unit for Christmas and seasonal items. I have no attic or basement in this home. The unit is only 1/3 full.
14. What do you do for a living? Are there any aspects of your job that are affected by your hoarding? I retired from teaching in December. Teachers spend, on average $1000 a year on supplies for classrooms that school budgets do not cover. I purchased craft items, games, bulletin board materials, books, etc. Since I taught K-12 and different types of classrooms, I have a huge variety of materials. Most are organized in tubs by subject and age level.
15. Do you care for any individuals? Has your hoarding affected your ability to take care of them? I live alone with 2 dogs and 1 cat.
16. Have you ever had complaints from neighbors because of your hoarding? How has this made you feel? No. My yard is neatly maintained.
17. Have you ever been treated for hoarding? If so, what was the turning point and what did you take from the experience? I was treated for the depression and am receiving periodic followup care. I have had to educate my counselor on hoarding. Since she has worked with me, she is more aware of the behavior in some of her other clients and is more conscious of what questions to ask in order to discuss the issue. Many clients avoid bringing up the issue and keep it separate from their mood and relationship issues.
18. Are you a part of any support groups? If so, how long and have they been helpful? I am presently working with the mental health association in my county to try to start a support group.
19. What do you find is the most difficult part of your day as a result of your hoarding? Losing things.
20. Are there things you are unable to do as a result of hoarding? If yes, how does this make you feel? See number 10. I feel lonely, isolated, and sad.
21. Are there any parts of your home you are unable to use due to your hoarding? If yes, please explain. See number 8.
22. What types of things would you want others to know about hoarding? We are not uneducated, stupid, lazy, uncaring people. The tendency to hoard is a continuum and all people fall somewhere on that continuum. Life events can push us into the extremes. Shame and guilt and blame does not help. But with the right resources and support we can turn this around. We can regain control of our lives.
Posted: 12 March 2014 - 10:46 PM
The website is wonderful and has me learn so much about hoarding. I completely understand and do not want to make anyone feel uncomfortable regarding privacy issues. I wasn't sure how else to approach the interview because I have several questions and I only need one interview from one individual. I will post them on the forum in the hopes to get them all answered by at least one individual. Thanks for the tip.
Posted: 11 March 2014 - 12:34 PM
Hi Lauren,
I applaud your effort in wanting to understand more about hoarding.
I hope that you have taken the time to read the wealth of information on this site. Understanding what hoarding is, why people hoard, and how to help and NOT help a hoarder is the first step.
Browse through the message boards. You will learn what we are like and what we struggle with; what works for us and what does not.
Emailing you in private correspondence may or may not be a good plan. Perhaps it might be better if you had a thread on the message boards where you could ask questions. I am concerned about privacy issues. If we email you, you can access our names, addresses and other personal information.
This message board is monitored daily to protect our privacy.
Posted: 11 March 2014 - 07:21 AM
Hi All,

I am studying to be an Occupational Therapist and I'm looking for someone who would be willing to answer a few questions about Hoarding. I am doing a presentation for school and teaching my fellow classmates about the subject so that we can use this knowledge to treat patients in the future. If you are interested please email me at

Thank you:)
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