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Why Do You Hoard?

Posted: 28 January 2017 - 07:51 PM
Hi I go by the name pain here .
I thought about the alias I would use.
Considering everything. I've been in chronic pain for 41 out of 48 years.
Sometimes surgery would alleviate the the pain away . But whether is been an accident or arthritis of something. Gout, I have had many unlucky run ins with pain.

Currently I'm not in any pain . Not for the last 3 years. I got a job in warehouse only because I feel I will do more exercise if work in the warehouse than to be a courier as I've always have. Making use of the lack of pain to work.
NOW I'm so tired I just go to work and Co.e home and sleep. I try make the others accountable for their messes. But it just gets worse.

The the difference between accumulation of mess and hoarding. .
Things I hoard.
Matchbox cars
Bags with bags that have secret bags with hidden pockets with a bag in it that might have a special marble in it..
Old note books , and pictures. Atari game cartridges.pens and pencils, all my teeth that have fallen out. Birthday cards, quarters from 1968.
Oars, hats , tools, books about architecture, books about survival . Every radio over owned working or non working, hairs from all my past girlfriends. Lol how weird to admit that :)
Every remote I've ever owned ???.
All of my dad's wallets and all of mine and the I'd that I carried in it. All my Lego's. Every deck of cards , every paystubg, 20 fish tanks that leak.
Ammunitions . And almost every lighter .

God I think that's probably the tip of the ice Berg. Thing is

The thing is I keep this stuff out of the common areas. I won't keep this stuff in a kitchen,bathroom,living room,dinning room, or hallwAy. I keep it in a basement , attic, or garage. Currently in a storage unit. No trash. Just packed so tightly that I turn it into a giant mess. About once a decade I go through every little piece with scrutiny. And barely purge.
Because when I do it's like releasing a spring that uncoiles leaving my entire environment layered with my useless junk.

Then I pack it all up again.

After watching many episodes of hoarding burried alive .
I saw myself in another person. He was married to someone e that acted like my wife.
It was enabling . I gained some sorting skills.
If keep wife stuff separate, every person's stuff separate. I can focus on prompting them to purge.

If been purging more of the ridiculousness.
Worthless and useless.
Things that have no consequences if I put them in box with a year on it . Like a time capsule. Remember what's in it . But if I go 5 years without opening it . I toss it when the year has passed.

At some point in time the people I live with started putting clutter in the common areas. And even some trash. Uneaten foods and unclean things.
Too disgusting to tell about.

I have more to say . But usually say too much.
My battery in phone is going dead.

I lacked purging and sorting skills.
Ive been too exhausted and let it slowly creep in on me. First just a single spoon in the sink. Then a nightmare kitchen too rancid to touch.

I get no help.
Wife refuses to help or allow others to help.
I'm isolated and feel too often it's not worth fighting over. I've had frying pans thrown at me.
Sometimes it's better to walk on the egg shells.

Then my mother tries to purge her clutter by sending it to me. Or others in my home.

I don't wHy this to keep reoccurring.
My wife is so ill she's not going live long after 3 year battle with cancer.
I'm not feeling sympathy for her here now on this post or thread.

Trying to help relate. This so others can maybe see it from point of view for whatever reason.

When I pick my next roommate.
It will be a Felix unger type. Clean freak.
That might not make happy. But my hoarding will not keep me so isolated ever again. If I feel overwhelmed I will call a Felix. And fill his ears my stories of dirty hoards of old.
Posted: 02 December 2016 - 08:37 AM
I had a therapist who said she thought I hoarded because I'm a perfectionist. If it's not just perfect I will abandon the project or not even get started. She said it is ironic but messy people are often messy because if they can't have it just right they stop caring.
Posted: 04 November 2016 - 12:54 AM
I am so sick of being a hoarder, collector whatever you want to call this meager excuse for life. I hate my stuff , I love my stuff I trip on my stuff I find mice crap under my stuff I freak out, I get angry and I take it out on my young daughter. I feel sad I feel like a failure. I am changing this , it's so easy to say but I really am going to do it. I am just bagging everything I can live without up and either putting it in the trash or taking it to goodwill.
All of you can do it to. Why are we punishing ourselves ? How many times have you thought about everything catching fire and being gone? How about when you die and thinking about how nobody will want your stuff. We really don't want or need it either. The freedom that will come will be as wonderful as the feeling a fat person feels after loosing all their weight. I wish it was that easy to loose weight. It is easy to get rid of everything, really just get a big trash bag and fill it up maybe even two a day and take it directly to a thrift store back door, a dumpster or donation box. Don't let it stay in your house overnight if you can help it. I am guilty of going through the bags a month later looking for something, usually some clean clothes as I don't have a washer or dryer. We can do this. If you have a camera or app that can do time lapse film yourself cleaning a space it's amazing. We can achieve the space and freedom we long for. We just have to do it. Bag by bag box by box just pretend you still have it all in storage. You never will need any of it once you have the freedom of time and choices

I'm trying really hard to gain control of my life so I can enjoy the time of my daughter's youth and really concentrate on her and being creative and having the freedom to walk into my house and be comfortable.

Right right now the opposite is what I have but I promise I am going to follow my goal and let's all do it. Tomorrow start even if it's just a grocery bag full just fill it up and toss it.
Nan weaves
Posted: 14 April 2016 - 11:19 PM
I never thought I had a problem until I watched a TV show today. I would say I have a milder or functional hoarder. That is, most of my house is habitable. But the garage is not and one of the upstairs bedrooms I call "the pit of despair" because everything is shoved in there. And I identify with many of the comments posted; I hate to toss anything I spent money on (in case I need it some day) and also possessions give me memories. I think of myself as a pack rat. My mother was a pack rat too but my father was a neat freak. They both grew up during the depression so they saved EVERYTHING. I can remember my mother telling us to clean out clothes that didn't fit, or that we wouldn't wear, only to cry over them later about "why are we getting rid of this. . ." So we would put it back in our bedrooms. Obviously, this did not help down the road. I don't have problems with perfectionism or making decisions. My husband is pretty understanding - but sometimes gets upset and tells me to just "pitch my junk" and threatens to get a dumpster. This makes me feel panicked. I literally freeze. Or, if I do tackle a space, says something along the lines of "is that all you got done? I want it ALL gone". I finally told him this is the exact thing I need him to say to me: "I know this is hard for you. You've done a good job so far. Keep going". I recently got quite a bit cleaned out of the garage. The hubby said it went from "Mount Everest" to "Mount Kilimanjaro" ie. it's less stuff but still a mountain. Now I've had a tough time getting back to it.
Posted: 13 April 2016 - 11:23 PM
Hi, Darcy and welcome. I'm at least a 2nd generation compulsive hoarder. My grandparents passed away when I was young, but for sure the hoarding tendencies run in my father's side of the family. Can totally relate to feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to even begin.

Don't know if this will help you or not... what helped me get started was not immediately sorting and purging, but making a habit of clearing and cleaning my kitchen sink every night before I went to bed. This allowed me to build some confidence by seeing some improvement in my home, and it didn't require difficult decisions every day.

I made a little video about it. Perhaps starting with something small like this will help you build some confidence and motivation.

This disorder is not an easy one to tackle, but please don't give up ☺

Start with Your Kitchen Sink
Posted: 12 April 2016 - 02:37 PM
I am a hoarder. Wow! I just said it. I think I might be a 3rd generation hoarder too. I do have a bad habit of buying the great deals I see. Then I can't find them. It probably has been 15 years since I've let someone inside the home because it is so bad. I don't know where to start. I do live with my mom and neither of us are happy, but we seem to counteract each other. One of us will get on a kick to do something and the other one isn't which frustrates the other person. Lately when I want to try to do something I am so overwhelmed and don't even know where to begin. In some ways seeing that something is ruined is easy because I can throw it away. I don't have to figure out if I should keep it, sell it, or give it away. I can't live like this anymore. It is so bad. I don't even know where to start.
Posted: 25 January 2016 - 01:12 PM
I am a "functional" hoarder, like others have described. That is, my front room and dining room aren't too cluttered, but my family room, bedroom, bathroom, dressing area, as well as my garage are.

I have always had a problem with clutter. One time when I was a child, you couldn't even see my floor in my bedroom because of all the stuff. My mother told me I had to clean it all up, which I did. After that point, I always had a neat bedroom.

My mother was a hoarder, of sorts, though the house was kept neat and clean. She collected all the old magazines, margarine containers, etc. She never threw any of our toys out, nor her or her mother's old clothes. Our house was large, so there were a lot of places to store her stuff.

As I grew up, and on my own, I tended to keep things fairly neat, though not always. For instance, at work, my desk was usually messy. My managers would finally tell me to clean them up. At home, I usually had a "junk" room which was messy. However, the boyfriend I had before my husband made sure that the house was clean, and held a garage sale for all my stuff. He cleaned out my garage, and I maintained a fairly neat house while he was there.

Things changed when I married my husband 15 years ago. He hasn't worked, staying at home, and not doing any cleaning. He always kept his stuff around, and accumulated a lot of stuff. For me, I bought a lot of stuff, including a lot of gadgets. I know it was compensation for having to do everything in the house, giving myself "presents", and also it being too easy to just order things from the internet. Consequently, my house and garage is full of stuff I have even forgot buying. I find that it's gotten so bad, but I don't have the energy to do a thorough job in cleaning. When I clear an area, I ask my husband not to fill it back up, but it's too much of a temptation for him.

I know I'll need some help in doing the cleaning, now. Unless I need a repairman to come over, I won't let anyone in my house.
Posted: 31 October 2015 - 01:11 PM
Oh, RavesAK, I wonder if you know how encouraging you are. Just reading your post and seeing how you are so determined to do this, in spite of the circumstances, encourages me, too, that I can complete and mantain this.

Thank you!
Posted: 27 January 2015 - 08:51 PM
Watching hoarding shows, the drama aside, has really helped me understand the root of my own problem and to take firm steps to begin the cleanup process.

I know I come from a family of hoarders. My great-grandmother never allowed anyone into her home; when she passed, my oldest brother did the cleanup and discovered she was a hoarder. My grandmother had an attic and two garages STUFFED with things; while the rest of her house had cluttered collectibles and stacked-up things, she kept her hoarding manageable. My mother keeps her home clean, but she has a room no one can enter because it is too full with magazines and miscellaneous things.

When I was a child, I received many toys and was never expected to clean my room. The floor was littered with toys and game pieces, until one day when I was 7 and at school, my older brother took every single thing off the floor, stuffed them into seven thrash bags, and threw it away; I was DEVASTATED, and I know this was an early mark for me.

I was lazy as a young adult because I didn't like to clean, but I still kept my home presentable. Until my "first love" cheated on me with my best friend, of all trite stereotypes. I spiraled into undiagnosed depression and threw myself into garage sales, online shopping, anything in the name of "I'm a collector." I stopped allowing visitors into my house. My hot water heater went out because I couldn't allow a repairman in. I was so embarrassed. But I didn't know how to stop.

Now...after watching these shows and gaining some insight into my own problem, and pulling myself out of my depression, I have begun the cleanup process. It's almost overwhelming, and I'm still too ashamed to let anyone help me or even know about it. So I'm trying to do it alone. I live in an isolated community without cleanup resources for this kind of problem. It's so hard, but I have to do it. I won't live this way anymore.
Posted: 06 January 2015 - 04:22 PM

I think it's because I'm an empath. I just found this out recently. Please take the test (link above) and see if it applies to you. I think empaths and highly sensitive people may make up the majority of hoarders. We also have a high incidence of depression, agoraphobia, fibromyalgia, and other mental disorders. There's nothing wrong with us - we're just sensitive to everything and most of us don't know how to handle it and blame ourselves for it.

Please take the test and good luck!
Like Smaug On Treasures
Posted: 19 December 2014 - 02:44 PM
Hi, I'm new to the board. I'm a hoarder. I'm rather successful at it despite having no job, no credit, and no home of my own. That's all about ready to change so I really have to get this under control before it gets much worse.

I think I hoard for many reasons.

First of all, I'm cross addicted to shopping. I haven't used meth for over 4 years, but my abstinence doesn't equal recovery. My shopping addiction even worse now that I've discovered extreme couponing. I'm currently in a month fast from shopping.

My problems started in childhood. I've always been socially isolated so I thought that if I could just have cool back to school supplies people would like me. I never talked to anyone so I didn't know what the status symbol items were.

As a teen I was diagnosed with OCD and Bipolar. I was also the Scapegoat in the family of my alcoholic father.

I had great loss and trauma in my life including loosing custody of my son when I was 21.

My therapist feels that my hoarding might be about control. Now at 39 I find myself living with my parents in a relationship that just gets worse in dysfunction and codependency. I feel like I have no control in my life, but I can build a mote of books around the couch where I sleep because my bed is covered with stuff.

I'm currently working with Voc Rehab to find a job and I might be able to get into disability housing even though I've been denied disability. In other words, if I don't nip this hoarding in the bud now I'll be in a position for it to get infinitely worse. Living on my own and with income.

It might not be a good idea to apply at Goodwill though even though they're hiring. I've applied twice before and I they always mention how I over-dress. I guess they don't hire divas.

Anyway, I just thought I'd intro myself and add to the discussion.
Posted: 14 December 2014 - 03:04 PM
I think there are a few reasons why I hoard. Some of it I think is genetic, my grandma was a 'hoarder', plastic bags, napkins, all kinds of 'treasures', she wouldn't throw anything away without taking useful things off of it, like buttons, zippers, etc. When we would go out to eat somewhere, she would stuff her pockets full with sugar packets and jelly, creamers, ketchup packs, etc. My mom is a hoarder as well. My sister and I used to share a room and then later in my early teens we built on to our house and I had my seperate room with a walk in closet. It didn't take long for our closet to become overridden with stuff, mostly Christmas decorations. But she still does it. Every closet is so packed and there's years of stuff in them. I don't even think she knows what she has. Similar to my hoarding, my house is functional, cluttered in areas, but functional. I think another reason I hoard is traumatic experiences. When my parents divorced, I think that started it off and it manifested from that. Then some years of bad relationships and the death of my father contributed to it. In ways my stuff makes me Like people in my life leave me and etc but my stuff won't unless I make it? To my husband he sees it as a wall I've built around myself. I go through phases where I'll try to go through it and skim it down but I always keep more than I purge and the thought of purging items I like or might need makes me crazy. I don't just hoard for myself though, I hoard for my family as well. I would like a nice and organized area, but I want my stuff too. Trying to get myself past the two not being able to coexist though is hard.
Posted: 23 November 2014 - 09:45 AM
Hi Marlena,

I think Hoarding Housewife was referring to an online friend she had met thru another website, probably not a hoarding one if they *admitted* to each other they were hoarders.

On this website we know (or are beginning to suspect) we are hoarders and help each other thru the boards and chat. You can check out the chats by clicking the red box next to posts that says Online Support Group.

We have wished we were nearby to help each other in real life but it seems most people are scattered far apart.

Read some past posts here to get some ideas for working thru your boxes. And of course jump with posts anytime. :)
Posted: 21 November 2014 - 07:18 PM
How do we get in touch with each other??? I have so many boxes to go thru it is overwhelming and seem to have trouble diving into the boxes to decide whether to keep or donate.
Any advise? I am in Atlanta, GA. Anyone else nearby????
Posted: 18 November 2014 - 06:30 AM
Hi Hoarding Housewife,

Your online friend seems like a good person to share with about all the frustrations of being/living with a hoarder. And, of course, the people who post here are very familiar with your struggles.

It is a terrible feeling when we finally admit, even to ourselves, how horribly our lives have spun out of control. We post in the Daily Chat section about everything we're going thru and how we're digging out a little bit at a time. Some of us can afford help, some not. Regardless, we all deal with the emotional side of it.

As overwhelming as it seems you are not powerless. When I take breaks from work it's encouraging to go over past posts on this site. There's lots of good advice and sharing that is encouraging.

You can get out of it Hoarding Housewife. It's not easy or fast and it involves lifestyle changes and inner head work but you can do it. That hope holds us up when not much else can. I hope you'll take baby steps with us.

take care ~~ Dianne
Posted: 18 November 2014 - 02:34 AM
An online friend, who I have never met, recently admitted to me she has a hoarding/clutter problem. After talking to her and letting her bare her soul to me, I admitted that my husband and I are in the same situation. I used to chalk it up to my husband being lazy, sloppy, and/or depressed, and while I have bipolar and anxiety disorders, I have always been a neat & organized freak. When I had a breakdown and was diagnosed with the mental disorders, then was left alone to my own devices while husband worked, and never got any help cleaning or taking care of the house, the hoarding and clutter began in earnest. I wondered for a long time if it was just laziness on my part, or if I was making all this up in my head, but I'm not lazy by nature. I'm sick. I can admit that now.

I can't stand living like this anymore. I'm tired of the clutter, the filth, not being willing to invite people (even family) to my home out of sheer embarrassment. I've also been screamed at for the state of the home the last time my parents were here and I had to throw them out of the house and tell them they weren't welcome anymore.

There's no one I can turn to about this - not for help, to vent, nothing, because everyone judges me. We are financially struggling and I can't even pay someone to come in and fix, clean, or help declutter. The very thought of getting rid of things, or allowing someone into my home, sends me into full blown panic attacks.

I'm absolutely miserable and feel powerless to dig may way out.
Posted: 29 October 2014 - 02:50 PM
The Psychology Behind Messy Rooms:
Why The Most Creative People Flourish In Clutter

my daughter sent me the link to this article...
getting to some kind of balance would be so great... having a "housewife" would have been helpful(?)

the article is interesting but some of the comments are full of truth too...
Posted: 23 September 2014 - 12:12 PM
Hi James,

First, do what Bitsy said. You can talk and get feedback and best of all it's free! Honestly some of the advice you'll get would be the same as from a professional. (Although if you can find a therapist who will take your insurance definitely do that too.)

Tillie's advice about *Buried in Treasures* and CBT is excellent. You can work at your own pace and get support here.

About being scared crapless ~ we get it. All of us have or are living in fear to some degree. We've had or still do have strained relationships with family members. We've kept people out of our homes for years. It will be time consuming but if you can, go back over the old posts here. You'll find a lot of stories and heartfelt emotions that you will connect with.

Please join us in the Daily Chat threads. Just talking will help take the edge off your fears.
Posted: 22 September 2014 - 12:43 PM
Some good places on this site to just talk and get support and encouragement are:
1. The online support groups that are scheduled on Tuesday and Sunday nites. Just click on the second box down on the right.
2. Or some of us aren't real comfortable on chat so we "talk" mostly on two or three other of these message boards.

Pretty much every day several people post on the Daily Chat Board.
A couple of the most popular and current threads are.
Today is a New Day A place to discuss plans for the day
What are you doing today
Phase two

So, go on over there; read a few posts; and then join in.
You will be welcome
Posted: 22 September 2014 - 10:30 AM
is there anyone out there that just wants to talk?
Posted: 19 September 2014 - 10:55 PM
Hi James :)

Sorry the clinician isn't covered by your insurance.
Please keep trying to find someone who is.
A good book for you to read is "Buried In Treasures"
It uses CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy to help people understand their thought processes and gives ways to change them.
Also, at the top of this page is a link to "National Resources" click on that link then click on your state to hopefully find more resources in your area.

Good luck and best wishes.
Posted: 19 September 2014 - 01:37 PM
first I am scared crapless.I am about to loose my fiancee due to my hoarding. My Hoarding is around books magazines and sporting goods and survival goods. I look at all the stuff I don't use and know I could sell it on eBay and make a nice amount of money. So Why am I terrified to get rid of my stuff? I am terrified to loose my fiancee. I am fortunate that I do not have the food containers and the rotting food. But my house is barely livable. So many things I have in case i need them. Redundant copies of books and magazines even equipment I have duplicates. I know I should sell them but the fear is what if I need them. No one has been in my house in years. Even my fiancee. I have PTSD. I am afraid of losing her. I don't want to wake up. I am trying to stop accumulating things. Trying to sell things. I do not understand why I collect them. My loses have been pets and family.Every time a pet dies it seems to get worse. The more scared I get the worse it gets. It is not about immediate gratification. At times I am preparing for adventures I will never have. Lots of great equipment but I know I wont use it. Or at least I won't get to. I am trying to get in with a clinician that specifically works with hoarders. Can someone out there talk to me? Help me understand this mess. I do not want to loose her but I feel out of control. I am divorced and my ex was abusive. Now I just found ot the clinician does not take my insurance.
Felicia AB
Posted: 30 July 2014 - 03:48 PM
I hoard because my things will not leave me. I have suffered a lot of loss and hardships. Somehow, my things make me feel wanted.
Posted: 18 May 2014 - 11:26 PM
Hi, Rae. Welcome.

If you are free to do so, join us on Sunday nights and on Tuesday nights for the online chats. (See the "online support group" button at the right for times.)

Many of us help one another through the online chats and also by posting here on the message boards. If you look at the part that says "The Daily Chat," you will find a number of people who talk daily about their plans, their struggles, their suggestions, their successes.

Many of us have bought a book called "Buried in Treasures." It helps explain a lot about our problem, gives us exercises to work, helps us learn about ourselves, and actually helps us make progress. It's not the only book that's out there, of course, but it's one many of us recommend.

Please keep posting! There are a lot of people on this message board who have been "at this" longer than I have and can give you lots of good suggestions. You are not alone. And there is hope . . . there really is!
Posted: 18 May 2014 - 10:10 PM
I am a hoarder. That is very difficult to admit. I divorced my 1st husband and lost everything except the children. Out of sheer loneliness I started hoarding, my mother is also a hoarder so I've always had the tendencies but managed to tamp down the urges until my life started spiraling out of control. My children grew up and left, I remarried out of fear of being alone, it is not a happy union. I have gained a lot of weight and am now depressed. I don't like the way medication makes me not feel in control of myself. Yesterday, I decided to clean.....after 2 hours I became sad and hurt and laid on my bed, woke up 7 hours later. I am absolutely at my wits end. I don't have money so hiring a bunch of professionals is out of the question. I would be appreciative of any self help advice.
Posted: 24 April 2014 - 07:21 AM
I don't know if the way I'm writing this makes sense, but here goes . . .

I have noticed that one type of thought that goes through my head when debating about discarding certain things is this: "So-and-so will be so impressed that I saved this thing that he/she gave me so many years ago (gave me, wrote me, this article that got published about him/her, etc.). The person will feel that I really value our friendship because I kept this item so long and still cherish it. The person will feel that he/she is important to me (and therefore the person will be reassured that he/she is important, period)."

In part, I find myself believing I can "fix" other people's feelings in a positive way by "proving" that person's worth to me simply because I kept xyz.

There is a lot of fallacy in that way of thinking. For one thing, by now, I have saved so many things and for so long (and now have so many things to juggle) that I really don't feel the freedom to get out and spend time with that person, whomever he/she is. The person is not likely to think I value the friendship, because I stay hidden away so much and out of his/her life . . . out of many people's lives. "Oh, but I saved the cute calendar you gave me in 1988" isn't likely to do anything positive for the person or the relationship if the "friend" has heard very little (if anything) from me in ages!

I would do better to chunk the old calendar (that and many other things) to free me up to spend time on the actual friendships!
Posted: 29 January 2014 - 03:31 PM
I wish I could touch your life in some way and make things change for you, but I can't.

Perhaps as you start making changes again and making empty spaces, something will show up or happen that you can't even begin to imagine now.

Please continue posting on the site as a way for support, the people here understand the difficulties you are facing.

In one of the threads Tillie was talking about meditation. Since you are unable to use medication for your depression, perhaps you would be able to look into meditation as a way to help with your mind.
Posted: 29 January 2014 - 01:17 PM
I used to think that it was a waste of time to figure out the "why" for what we do. However, once I started to understand why I hoard I learned to be more forgiving of myself for how I got "here" and also, more important, I learned the triggers of backsliding. Without boring everyone with details, for me, the initial trigger was trauma and loss... family loss, loss of home, friends, what I always knew. Each loss thereafter seemed to deepen the void. Once I experienced my third miscarriage I went from 0 to 90. From not hoarding at all to full scale "collecting" supplies for a business and then things spiraled from there.

Most recently, I had theft from within my home (housesitter) and then two days later, identity theft (and I have to wait six weeks to MAYBE get money back after investigation). Chronic illness, pain and social isolation only make it worse. My life cyclicly presents the "perfect storm" for hoarding and losing the will and strength to purge. Life will always present loss and sadness... on top of a chronic illness and chronic pain it is hard to get and keep momentum.

The most difficult emotion that comes up when I try to purge is that I *sniff* just can't accept that I will never have enough family and friends living close enough to ever have another Thanksgiving meal or holiday meal at home. My only friend who lives three hours away is always too busy with her two children at holidays to have time for me. I can accept that but have a hard time accepting that she doesn't ever invite me to join them (I have been friends with her for 42 years). One time I asked if it was ok if I dropped by and that I would get a hotel so as not to impose and she seemed obligated to say ok. It was a harsh realization that I really don't have any friends or family to share holidays with. So, all the table linens and decorations don't make any sense. I need to just suck it up and let the dishes, serving ware etc. etc. go
Posted: 14 January 2014 - 08:40 PM
For those of you nerds like me who are trying to understand hoarding from a psychological perspective, here are the changes written in the DSM-5 manual. (the manual mental health professionals consult when diagnosing and treating recognized disorders)
Posted: 29 December 2013 - 04:14 PM
Wow! I'm having trouble thinking this through. I just looked at a time zone converter-it says Sydney is 19 hours ahead of L.A.

So it gives 5 PM Sun in L.A. as 12 PM Mon. in Sydney. (and I think that is with a Sydney summer time difference, I suppose that could change an hour at different times of the year.)
Posted: 29 December 2013 - 02:02 PM
Hi Nic :)
Please read around this message board and join us here.
Tonight is our online support group starting at 5:00pm PST, that is California time and I don't know what time that is for you.
If not too late for you please join us. The link is to the right of this page, just click on it.
Posted: 29 December 2013 - 01:14 PM
Hi Nic.
You are welcome to post in the daily chat thread.
Australia or US, doesn't matter, people and things-we have the same kinds of difficulties.
Posted: 29 December 2013 - 04:03 AM

stumbled on this site. I know I hoard have done for years. Probably not as bad as the tv show but I always have a designated room for "stuff".

If someone offers me clothes I take them, if they offer me something useful I take it. Maybe because we grew up poor and Im afraid of throwing away something that I'll have to pay for again later.

I had toys in the shed that I was going to sell sitting there for the last 6 years! I finally took them to a donation place. Even then I was apprehensive about parting with the items.

I also hang on to MOUNTAINS of paperwork. Perhaps I'll need it one day. And of course Im not organised when storing the paper work, so I can't get rid of it. Although one small step was to just collectively put a bunch of years "stuff" together and bundle it "up to year 2007". I know after next year I can safely throw away THAT bundle as far as tax is concerned....

I hate being a hoarder, I try hard to throw things away - you should see how many electronic cables I have that belong to some sort of appliance although I don't know what!

The other week I threw away a calculator that had no battery. I've had it for 30 years with no battery, constantly putting it aside, with the intent of getting a battery. I knew it cost a lot of money back in the day - being a scientific calculator and all - one that I'd never use again!

Ugggh! Hate this part of me.

I'm in Australia so don't know what kind of support is here but would love if someone could help me.....

Thanks for letting me vent.
Posted: 21 November 2013 - 08:14 PM
That's a fantastic start!
Posted: 21 November 2013 - 06:36 PM
Thank you so much for your suggestions! After I posted, I started clearing up the myriad of empty boxes that are all
over the place! So, I did make a dent in the mountain! It may
be a long climb to the top, but I can do something each day
instead of just throwing my hands in the air.
Yes, the mask is a good idea for both my daughter and myself
as I tend to develop mild wheezing when near dust! She will
gladly help me with heavier items.
I have am glad to report I can acknowledge movement and
going forward.
Thanks for your quick response~ I truly appreciate that!
I hope my small story can inspire someone to start on what
seems like a hopeless task. it is not! it is do-able!

Happy Thanksgiving to All! 😃
Posted: 21 November 2013 - 04:28 PM
Hi ZuZu :)

No matter what the reasons are why you hoard there is a way to dig out and get clean and organized.
Even people who are limited physically can do this.
It takes time to declutter all on our own.
There is no one perfect method that fits everybody's lives.
We would love to have you join us in the "Daily Chat" and in the "online support groups".
For the bigger heavier items that need to be moved, your daughter could safely do this for you if she promised to wear a face mask while in the dust.

Hope you join us and let us help you get uncluttered. :D

Posted: 21 November 2013 - 12:47 PM
Help! I have no idea why I hoard. I do know that since I have
no family in this state, and many are deceased..I feel close to
them when I read cards, letters, etc! This brings me much

I also save things that I rationalize will be useful one day? So
I amasses stacks of things. I further feel overwhelmed by the
piles of stuff that I will use "one day." It drives me crazy to see
all of it. Then I mentally beat myself up for being so very
Clothes that are way too big take up space, shoes I never wear, and purses I rarely use add to the list!

I am also somewhat disabled re: balance, and strength.So I
cannot haul things out of the house. And now the dust is
affecting my breathing so I know I cannot go on in such a state. My daughter offers to help and I refuse it as she is an
asthmatic and I do not want her besieged by dust.

I simply do not know where to start. I am familiar with 12 step
approaches to recovery. I think if I applied these to my case--
It would work. I seem to have a mindset that there is a perfect
way to do this. I feel inferior to those who are neat and have
dustless homes. I allow no visitors in my house, ever!
I know I am not alone..but that idea will not clean my house nor rid it of useless stuff. I rarely open my shades anymore!
Any suggestions would be appreciated,
Happy Holidays! Love, ZuZu
Posted: 16 September 2013 - 07:47 AM
i HOARD because I have been Traumatized continuously for a long period of time. I am very pro-active, have gotten away from toxic people in my family but the abusers seems to follow me. Most are from agencies that are supposed to help me. Then the secretaries become abusive and have attitude problems and make me late for appts because they never tell the provider that I am waiting in waiting room or are sharp or swear at me and if I put a complaint in or grievance in because of poor treatment from Staff, I get terminated. I treat these people with respect but it seems that they get sharp and say things like, "Just sit down!" or "NO I won't put this letter in their mailbox!" or swear or "No I won't help you!" on a Job Site Agency. The Rudeness out there can be pretty bad and it has affected me as far as the trauma goes. There is a lot of personal family trauma with rejection and ostrasized and estranged by family and kids for things that I had no control over like sickness, gossip that is not true and family refuses to see the paperwork of what really happened. Trauma, trauma, trauma....and no one really deals with it at the counseling agencies I have been to. They say yes, but then terminate me when they realize how much I have and then the insurance companies get on my case because I put a complaint in for the terminations that were not warranted. Now my insurance company will not let me follow up with my complaints regarding the unwarranted provider terminations and complaints put in writing with proof of why they were not warranted and cannot get anyone on phone and I am not allowed to go in person to office. It never ends.

All this Trauma, get me collecting because I have no support system and no Family----so I collect items to "Create a sense of Homey and Family" and I collect serenity things like candle holders, practical useful things but I have too much pretty useful things and they get disorganized.

Paper things are the worse. Went to a lot of school, so I have a lot of Notes I won't get rid of and a lot of Court Papers I won't get rid of so I can prove to my Son what happened if he ever wants to know the truth and not Judge me based on Here say. I just want to love him and have a relationship with him but he wants no communication with me and cannot figure out what to do, so I collect to ease the pain. He is swayed by my vindictive sister and they use the Police to keep me and my son apart. This is awful! I love my son and lost him due to sickness when he was young but still saw him every chance got but he was poisoned against me to put it bluntly. Now as an adult, my sister is poisoning him against me. I am very giving and help everybody and helping myself and I am open to work on myself but the trauma is overwhelming and the clutter seems to be my security blanket in a sense.

I started a Hoarders Support Group in Buffalo and using a Book called Buried in Treasures. It is at the Mental Health Assocation in Buffalo NY, the 1st Tues of Month from 1-3 pm and it began in August 6, 2013 and is at 999 Delaware Ave.

There is no other help that I am aware of after much searching in Buffalo NY, so I started one here. Perfect location and is quiet and confidential. Encourage others to come. All Welcome.
Posted: 01 August 2013 - 01:36 AM
Thank you Roxie :)

I get nervous posting because I am a perfectionist who is no good at formatting in here hahaha. I posted something in the Motivation where and the part I formatted was way huge! Silly me.

Also I am afraid I will post too much, say the wrong thing... I will get over it maybe.

I am very happy to have found these forums, too wonderful for words, eh? I used to be more active in other forums but I burned myself out.

I will be back! Also looking forward to the meetings so will be attending those as well.

I feel so much more positive and motivated today, too, having found some support and understanding here.

I am thrilled with the new August Challenge, too! What a great idea. So I will be keeping track and doing the daily reports faithfully.

I started my diary again as well, and have some realistic goals.

Tally Ho!
Posted: 31 July 2013 - 06:33 PM
Hi, Mare, and welcome. Please feel free to post as you like, and to join in on the chats when you can. I don't do chats, but I blab a lot on these threads. You've found a good place for support and information!
Posted: 31 July 2013 - 04:48 PM
Hello... I am new to the forum and busy reading this topic.

I am a newly self-acknowledged hoarder so I found this site in order to be in touch with others who share this problem.

I would love to chat in the live area,so look forward to others coming in there (no one at the moment is in).

I will post again after I catch up on the reading!

Posted: 15 July 2013 - 03:21 PM
Hi, Kazzy. I can hear your frustration. You have a great deal on your plate and that would frustrate anyone. But you can only change yourself and how you deal with things.

Reading on these boards, perhaps attending some online support group chats, posting and sharing may all help you. One hopes so, at least.

Some of our regular posters are living with or married to hoarders, not themselves hoarders. So you can gain some insight through them. There is also reading you can do in books on the subjects. I'd recommend Matt Paxton's book "The Secret Lives of Hoarders," because it talks about how to approach and deal with a hoarder without making things worse.

If you can get support for yourself in tending to your mother and son, I encourage you to do so. You need some "me time" and some breaks, too.
Posted: 14 July 2013 - 02:36 PM
Hi Kazzy :)
Welcome to the message board.

There will be an online support group meeting today at 5:00pm PST.
Just click on the link in the red box to the right to join us.
Posted: 14 July 2013 - 01:42 PM
Today is the first day I have read this, why do you hoard, it is terrific, thanks for being so honest. Not sure why we get to the point where we are finally ready to let go of stuff, but I am mostly there, still some problems with letting go of clothes and crafts, but can see more and more floor!!!
I was very poor and compared my clothes to the others new clothes. I only had 5 outfits, so if I wrecked anything, too bad, no fun play clothes, just junk from church. So clothes was my big thing for many years. Then about 20 years I bought this trailer with a big garage and extra little tacky rooms for storage, so there was no limit on my shopping. I became addicted to the high of shopping at thrift stores and garage sales, rarely missed a weekend of gsales, now haven't been going, am amazed it took up every weekend. I would often go to thrift stores on my lunch and after work. When not working that was my go to entertainment, shopping.
Many failed relationships and work situations, made me more and more fearful of relationships and failing again, so filled up the garage then the living space, goat trails only. No one has been allowed in at all, I have repaired everything myself, too shameful for repair person to see. I finally got high speed internet so I could get help, after trying therapy and failing. For some reason this site has been all that I needed and I am grateful every day that I have this resource and all of your wisdom and kindness. Life is getting better.
Posted: 14 July 2013 - 01:08 PM
MY name, not frustrated with a house full of hoarders. I'll figure this out yet.
frustrated with house full of hoarders
Posted: 14 July 2013 - 01:06 PM
I have one with dementia, my mom. I have my son who is Autistic. Then my husband has a room and the back yard full of stuff. He sees all this as treasure.
My son I am working with, he is not as bad as the rest. But my husband I showed him the show Hoarding Buried Alive and he walked out of the room ten minutes into the show. I am sick of arguments over it. This mom is frustrated.
Posted: 07 July 2013 - 08:55 AM
As much as I love psychology, the why's of things and suggestions about change I've learned one main thing.

Until a person is ready to DOwhatever work needs to be done nothing changes.

I love to read self-help books, listen to tapes in the car, get into new age work with crystals, use Bach flower remedies, delve into therapy, get all spiritual and religious, pump up with inspirational sayings tacked up.

Not to say any of that is worthless. But for me I can get all caught up in the planning and preparation and trying to *understand*. And nothing actually gets done.

I think back to other generations. They had problems of different kinds but it seems they just got their work done. They were a hardier breed, more basic, more simple in their needs. Those needs meant life or death for them. Not every individual was strong but the ones who were got it done and the weaker ones filled in with the talents they had.

I can think and churn in my mind for years and I love listening to others' stories as well. But at some point, for me, I need to just kick my ass and say ~~ just do something....and then do a little more....and a little more....discouragement is ok, frustration is ok, breaks are ok but then get back to it.

Posted: 07 July 2013 - 08:29 AM
Fascinating reading, Isabella, thank you. I copied and pasted here a portion. This is from David Tolin, Director of Anxiety Disorders at the Institute of Living, a mental health center in Connecticut.

Together, the insula and anterior cingulate cortex form a network that helps people decide how relevant and important things are, Tolin said.

"For us to make a good decision, you need a certain amount of activity in that network," he said. "Too little and you're not paying attention, you're under-stimulated. Too much and you're overwhelmed."

That's what seems to happen to hoarders, Tolin said. They're under-stimulated when confronting the vast amounts of junk and clutter that fill their homes. But when faced with a decision that matters to them, these brain regions go into overdrive, overwhelming them to the point where they can't make a choice at all.

"They avoid it because it's too painful," Tolin said. "And the clutter continues to build."

Posted: 06 July 2013 - 09:13 PM
Must Read! New News on Hoarders' Brain Patterns, found on NBC:

This brain pattern is another key piece to the puzzle, I think! But it doesn't necessarily mean our brains cause our hoarding, since everything affects everything else. (For example, if I think depressing thoughts I can grow depressed, depression which worsens if not interrupted - making less and less blood flow up to the neocortex [high level decision making and thinking areas].) I think everyone in the clutches of hoarding - and in the field of studying hoarding - has a hard time knowing correlation from causation. While it's true my thinking is disorganized and I have been depressed and my house is a horrible mess, which came first? How would I know? Certainly each makes the other worse: it's hard to think clearly surrounded by chaos; and in insolvable circumstances anyone gets increasingly depressed. Often there's a clear event triggering despair and hopeless depression, but was I great at making swift decisions about sentimental objects before? Let's see hoarding clearly by acknowledging the interaction of a complex set of components, rather than just naming "a" cause.
Posted: 06 July 2013 - 06:40 PM
Thanks, Janie, for telling us your story.

I'm really glad you found this site too.

Keep up with your excellent work!
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