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Hoarding Help Message Boards : Talk About Your Fears : What are your fears?
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What are your fears?

Posted: 01 October 2017 - 10:55 AM
Hello Rennie :)

Sorry it took so long for me to reply to you.
Been going through a rough patch myself lately.
Reading about your Daughter is heart breaking. (((HUGS)))
It can be impossible to keep a home neat & tidy when going through all your struggles.
Fortunately, there is always a way to get it back under control.
It's not easy, especially with health issues, but the rewards are well worth the struggle.
If you would like, come post in "The Daily Chat" and we will all do whatever we can to help you on your way.
Posted: 29 September 2017 - 01:56 PM
I am a child of an anxiety related hoarder who had been physically abusive to me. I always had organization issues as a kid because no one knew that I needed teaching; i.e. I covered it really well. But if you looked in my locker or desk as a kid, you could see me struggling. There is undiagnosed ADD & Dyslexia as well.

I am barely a level one on the scale, but I've been stuck for a long time, and i fear it may be getting worse.
In college, I began to teach myself systems, asked others about their systems and generally began to find my way. I discovered a love of planning, and received my MPA. My master's thesis/project was about the creation of a disaster preparedness plan for a small city in Ohio.

I met and married the love of my life, and together we overcame and broke the cycle of abuse.
I had four children with 2 miscarriages between the 2nd and 3rd children.

My oldest and only daughter died after a 3 year struggle with a brain tumor. She was almost 4 when she was diagnosed and almost 7 when she died in 1991. At that same time, in November 1989, I survived TSS (toxic shock syndrome), & had severe bilateral retina issues, culminating with one detachment and retinal tears in both eyes.

I think it was at the time of her diagnosis in August 1988, that the first junk room came into existence. Couldn't look at it, couldn't deal with it. The rest of our house was spotless.
There is so much more to my story, emotionally and physically. I need to take a break and do some mindfulness activities.
Posted: 11 July 2016 - 11:43 AM
Hi Lindsey :)
As long as you keep your home a safe and healthy place for the children now I don't believe your past conditions will cause you to lose them.
Keep up the GREAT job! :)
Posted: 11 July 2016 - 09:41 AM
My hoarder home is being forclosed. I have tried to clean it and have made a little progress, but I got overwhelmed and had a panic attack. During the foreclosure process I have moved and have been able to keep my house clean. My fear is losing my children because of my past mistakes. They have a safe, clean environment now.
Posted: 18 March 2016 - 11:26 AM
I started cleaning my hoard a long time ago. I didn't get very far. I gave away a couple of boxes of books, CDs and DVDs to my library for a book sale.

A year or more later, I still keep feeling that I wish I hadn't given them away. All the songs from the CDs and all the movies/shows from the DVDs can be found online anytime (I'm very computer savvy), which is what helped me to give them away. But I still keep going through periods when I wish I hadn't given them away.

This makes it even harder to let go of anything else! :(
Posted: 07 January 2016 - 02:11 PM
I'm actually starting to get somewhere. But I still have a ways to go - a lot of stuff in boxes and drawers to be gone through.

I try to concentrate on one box/drawer at a time, but every time I do, I get depressed and anxious, and scared for some reason. I can feel all the emotions that were stored with the items.

Some hoarders are empaths - this is one reason they hoard and one reason it's so hard to let go. I am cleaning out a drawer for the past few days. I have a knot in my chest and the shakes. I'm so depressed. The drawer is full of old Christmas cards, letters, and correspondence from family and friends. I want to throw most of it away. Not because I have anything against these people - I just need to clear out my head.

Just venting. It's hard, people. Just keep at it. I'm trying.
Posted: 01 November 2015 - 08:53 PM
Okay. According to the doctors at my HMO, I was not supposed to survive 2011. Obviously, I am still here. My major fear has been that I would croak, leaving my husband and children to clean up after me. However, even with that fear, I did not really get started on cleaning up my hoard until after I retired in mid June, 2015 -- a horrifying 4 years later! How thoughtless of me. Of course, during that time, I was dealing with an illness, but really, much of the time, I felt good enough that I could have done something.

This summer, the illness hit hard. I was very sick, sometimes sleeping up to 20 hours (maybe more) many days. Then I started feeling better and went to work.

I am not at peace with what is left to clean up yet. I had better not croak yet! My hoard is not yet ready.
Posted: 01 November 2015 - 08:53 PM
Okay. According to the doctors at my HMO, I was not supposed to survive 2011. Obviously, I am still here. My major fear has been that I would croak, leaving my husband and children to clean up after me. However, even with that fear, I did not really get started on cleaning up my hoard until after I retired in mid June, 2015 -- a horrifying 4 years later! How thoughtless of me. Of course, during that time, I was dealing with an illness, but really, much of the time, I felt good enough that I could have done something.

This summer, the illness hit hard. I was very sick, sometimes sleeping up to 20 hours (maybe more) many days. Then I started feeling better and went to work.

I am not at peace with what is left to clean up yet. I had better not croak yet! My hoard is not yet ready.
Posted: 01 November 2015 - 08:53 PM
Okay. According to the doctors at my HMO, I was not supposed to survive 2011. Obviously, I am still here. My major fear has been that I would croak, leaving my husband and children to clean up after me. However, even with that fear, I did not really get started on cleaning up my hoard until after I retired in mid June, 2015 -- a horrifying 4 years later! How thoughtless of me. Of course, during that time, I was dealing with an illness, but really, much of the time, I felt good enough that I could have done something.

This summer, the illness hit hard. I was very sick, sometimes sleeping up to 20 hours (maybe more) many days. Then I started feeling better and went to work.

I am not at peace with what is left to clean up yet. I had better not croak yet! My hoard is not yet ready.
Posted: 16 March 2015 - 02:30 PM
That's a great, sweet idea. Thanks Dave, I'll look into that!
Posted: 16 March 2015 - 08:32 AM
There is a book called Clutter Busting, letting go of what's holding you back, by Brooks Palmer.

One of his fun things he suggests when having trouble disposing of or deciding about something is to interview it.

David Reynolds in Playing Ball on Running Water, talks about gratefulness and getting it incorporated into our daily lives.

Bringing these things together, You might be able to help your feelings by expressing appreciation to the objects (and the people who made them) for the service and help they have given you but that you have to let them go now. Your conditions have become so crowded that you cannot make proper living and working space for all of you. Or, grateful as you are for past service, you are no longer getting benefit.

Courteously be in charge of your life with the things.
Posted: 15 March 2015 - 09:42 PM
I have a hard time throwing things away because in some way I feel like I'm hurting the objects feelings. It doesn't matter what it is. From papers to old clothes. I feel that getting rid of it will make it sad..
Posted: 17 February 2014 - 09:57 AM
Hi Lynn,

I'm going to copy and paste what you wrote here and move it to the Social Isolation thread just under this one that says What Are Your Fears. Remember to put your own name in the Name box so I'll know it's you. I'll answer you there.....
Hi Dianne
Posted: 16 February 2014 - 07:04 PM
Yes Dianne.
I was finally able to get a very good book by Dr. Phil from the library because the library just got it on the shelf and I had to grab it. Later after I get a job I will buy it so soon I can can it somehow and keep it digital and save space later (if I can figure how to get the scanner to work).

Music is the answer to my happiness as drawing, talking. For anger I must do strength training to much musclular fatigue to feel better.

It would be nice just to have a section for Children of Hoarders. Cory said in his interview that "alot of homes were of hoarders" he never said "every home" he went into for rescueing when he was a medic was a hoarder.

If hoarders are afraid of being judged why should Children Of Hoarders be judged the same by hoarders?
Childeren of Hoarders are not destined to be hoarders just because the parent(s)are.

I believe parents of hoarders only say that children of hoarders can't change because they themselves are afraid of living in the present and not willing to let go of the past and are afraid of change or living happy. They don't want to let go of their children and will sabatoge any relationship their children may get to keep them in their control.
"Cluttered house equals a cluttered mind." -Helen Buttigiegg.

The one hoarder that is on this site was young and dumb when she moved out on her own and uneducated of what to do besides collect things for hard times. All teenagers are yound and dumb on their own at the age of 16.
Those educated would learn to deal with their hard times by : talking, exercising, strength training, writing, drawing, painting, yoga, mediatating, dancing,etc. with positive things to do other than buy things and attach feelings to those things.
Posted: 14 February 2014 - 09:26 AM
Hi ~ you're Lynn right?

The link Tillie gave you is a very good one. Please call them.

Sweetheart, one of my daughter's sounds like you. Her physical and developmental disabilities prevent her from holding a job. I understand that you're not able to figure out paperwork and just pull yourself up by the bootstraps. But you are also keenly aware of your difficulties, which makes them even more painful.

Since social isolation sounds like it's your most pressing problem right now that's the one to work on. How about if we start a thread under this category *Talk About Your Fears* that can help you have some contact? I'd give you my email but I don't always have the time to reply. That's not to say I have such an important life. It just means that I have a lot of living beings dependent on me and they take a lot of time. With a thread here for you, you can talk and others can chat with you too.

You did nothing wrong. Believe that. In the other thread I'll look for what I posted before to remind you about individual strengths and weaknesses.

I hope no one will mind if we use one thread in one category that isn't used much to help Lynn. Since she is the child of a hoarder we have insights into her situation that other groups might not.
Posted: 13 February 2014 - 05:14 PM
I've never judged anyone here on this site or any other site nor named anyone anything either or stated any identity.

Almost all hoarders believe their children are supposed to be hoarders too like it is their destiny. "Must be a hoarder or else suffer the agony"
I truely believe I won't be a hoarder because I know the penalty of being one. (social isolation)
(relationship sabatoge at all cost)
I believe I may suffer from obsessive compulsive spartinism quite honestly when on my own for fear of hoarding. But not to the extreme extent with bare minimum furniture.

I've been unfairly judged on this site before due to my learning disability.
Why do people go to work if everybody can start and own their own business?

I personally don't have the ability to be a leader. I am and have always been a follower.

Hoarders fear being judged of other people right?
How is my learning disability any different than living with a hoarder?
You don't understand that not everyone is cut out to be their own boss.
If I could have someone do all of the paperwork for starting a business for me that would be totally awesome. I don't understand all the confusion of all the taxes, adn a boatload of papers that must be signed and which ones must be done correctly for tax purposes so that I don't end up with an audit.

I try my heart out to keep a steady job and wishful thinking that I can last a year with good money to be able to finally move out.
I've had 4 jobs last year just lasting about a month long, and now who knows this year.

I don't give excuses, it's the reality I'm forced to live.

Today's working world has completely changed. It's not 1950-1960 anymore.
No experience = not a chance
unlike baby boomers were granted.
Posted: 13 February 2014 - 02:46 PM
Hi :)
I am listening
and they will listen to you too

people who understand
Is My Life Worth Losing
Posted: 13 February 2014 - 02:19 PM
Is my life really worth losing? I wonder if the world would be better off without me.

I lost my job again and am not able to get a second chance to get it back.

My learning disability is really crippling me.

My parent is the hoarder but again I have to deal with the stress of her stuff.

I can't get a job with the lawn services because I can't be out in the sun due to my skin condition.

I'm trying again with some job agencies but not really successful either.
I am not able to keep a steady job and it is costing me my social life. No one wants to talk to me online, call me, email me, nor just talk in person because they are working.
If I was able to work too I wouldnt' be in this situation.

I have no relatives, or anybody to go to. Nobody is calling me for an interview. I've been applying for jobs for the past 6 months and still no reply. No money = no gas.

If I live on the streets I can't take my medications due to cost being able to buy them.
Because of my hoarder my fear is this which is coming true,
I fear social isolation from online and in person.

If I honestly knew how to get my job back I would shout out the answer to that but since I don't I suffer in isolation feeling worthless and ashamed.
I have no health insurance so I can't seek a counselor.

What ever I did to deserve social isolation I am truely very very extremely sorry.

Appologizing sometimes for me never works, nor talking on the phone seems to never work either nor any written letters of regret.

In my eyes that the world sees me I can never ever be sorry enough, nor can I ever repent enough.

My eyes are so sore from just crying every night because no one beleives I can't be my own boss. I don't have the smarts for that. I will never be able to get a degree. That is why it took me so long to get a couple of certificates in college from the fall of 98' to spring of 2012. I was only able to take a couple of classes at a time due to anxiety and falling behind with assignments and failing classes numerous times.

If this is the wrong site to post about someone you know who hoards or a child of a hoarder I'm sorry for posting. I'm not allowed to talk to anyone else about this problem. Truely I'm sorry. Veryy Verry sorry.
Pride comes before the pile falls on you
Posted: 05 January 2013 - 03:29 PM
I think military brats are at greatest risk of this. When moved around as a child the military forces you to get rid of things so that it is less cost to ship them. Boys collect rocks, those can't go along... you know, for an example. Men seem to like things that remind them of childhood memories like old cameras. They don't care to take a single picture of them but somehow think it's cool to have these antique mechanical items. Ebay is another problem. Hoarders can shop privately and it keeps coming to the front door - way too easy to add to the piles. Unable to organize and get rid of things because a man who is living alone doesn't have a woman to do that for them. Some men won't because they think it's woman's work. Even if there is no woman, it's somehow beneath them to do more than bring it in. The biggest problem is when potential mates find things are more important to him than people. Men don't seem to care if no one visits their home, this bothers women. Women tend to keep the problem at bay longer because they want family around. Men seem to be happy all by themselves. Keeping a pile full in their house is like a warm hug from a woman for a fellow who is so afraid of rejection and can't put himself out there to find a relationship. I see no way out from under the rubble for the poor fellow. I am thankful for people who service with cleanup and follow-up care. It's just so hard to get someone to agree to it until there are real health or legal issues to face. Men don't tend to be proactive but rather react only when things are broken. Small family = less peer pressure to do something. Just because you are not hoarding trash and do not have pet poo around your house, it is still a problem when you have a three car garage and it's full up to 36 inches deep and your cars are outside in the cold and you are scraping ice to go to work. Tornados and fire save a few, perhaps that is the good Lord at work for those who simply cannot pull it out on their own. Good luck and a clearer mind to you all who are seeking a way to understand and help yourselves.
Posted: 05 December 2012 - 01:55 AM
Wow, So I'm really not crazy this is fairly normal. Wow. ok so I am like a few people on this thread. I feel for the inanimate objects, and can't throw them away or get rid of them, they'd miss me (stupid I know). I take digital pics of everything I get brave enough to get rid of, I scan ALL my kids artwork before throwing it away ( I can't really throw away their art it's too special). I save all my receipts so that neat desk thing I think I will show my husband, thank you for that info. And I too started out with an overly clean house, my son had enough toys that when he trashed his room (this was the oldest before the other 4) his 12X18 room (different house) was knee deep. When it was clean there was only one 18 gal Rubbermaid toy box that fit in the small closet in his room and the rest was overly clean but you would have never imagined he had that many toys. My house was clean, and beautifully organized. I think I got to confidant in my ability to "make room" The house is puking. Something happened where I lost control. My two big memories as a child was one when I was 3 my dad loaded up a big truckload of my stuff, most of my toys and got rid of it. My skate wearing dog "Dotty Dog" just happened to be on that truck. She was my favorite. one of her skates were left behind and I have mourned over the loss of that stupid toy ever since. The other memory was when I was 7. I was going to clean my room, I took garbage bags and stuffed 3 full of things that I didn't want anymore. Yeah me, I felt good, then my mom wanted to see what I was getting rid of and I had to stand there as she went through the bags, and with each item it was no such and such gave it to you you can't get rid of a gift, oh but you've had that since you were a baby you can't get rid of that. But you love this so much why would you want to get rid of that. it went on and on until three large garbage bags turned into 1 small grocery sack, and I felt ashamed I had disappointed my mother by being so disrespectful for wanting to get rid of these things. hmm. now I'm sad. I just want my life clean but I feel selfish and rude for it. :/
Posted: 16 November 2012 - 06:49 AM
My hoarding is unusual even amongst hoarders I think. So too are the rituals that I must follow when adding new items. As such I'm not sure my input would be of help and would probably just muddy the waters.
Posted: 24 October 2012 - 10:32 PM
I am so scared of certain mail that I never open it. I set it down somewhere, quickly tell myself I'll get to it later this week, and then "forget" about it, ignore it, until it disappears under a new clutch of mail I'm scared to look at. I do something else to escape. I used to drink (I've been sober 23 years), now I play online word games that I'm really good at. Over and over. My heart and chest start to relax and my thoughts are less racing.

Mail is not my only problem...this is just one.

I was one of your customers about 3 or 4 years ago.
Posted: 18 September 2012 - 08:06 AM
Peggy, you are not alone in feeling that way about some objects. When I was a little girl, I felt strongly about my dolls and stuffed animals, especially when I got new toys and felt very guilty about "hurting the feelings" of the old ones by giving them away.

What made this worse was that my mother was a cleaning fanatic, and while I was at school she would clean my room and throw away anything she deemed old or that she hadn't seen me play with for a while. I would come home from school to find a beloved stuffed animal missing and when I questioned my mom, she was like "Oh, I threw that away" like it was no big deal. I would feel horrible about the fate of the toy since (like you described) I would prefer a ritual where I could say goodbye to it and thank it for all the good times before voluntarily donating it to Good Will.

Even now I feel sad throwing away something that has served me well, even though logically I know it is old, broken, and time to let it go.

Good luck with your cleanup challenges & congratulations on the progress you've made so far.
Posted: 15 September 2012 - 10:44 AM
Hi Peggy, :)

I can really relate to the paralysis you feel from anthropomorphizing everything.
When we were young my sister and I did that to the point that we could not even pick up a stone and skip it across the lake. That poor stone would miss all it's friends that it laid next to for centuries.
These strong feelings kept us from moving freely about in the world for fear of causing something grief and misery.

Unhappy with my life, I sat down and very seriously thought about what makes something alive with emotions and feelings.

Inanimate objects are NOT alive. They do not think or feel or love.
Some objects once were alive but are now inanimate, such as wood, flowers, cotton, leather, feathers or fur.

Together my sister and I overcame our issues by walking through our world identifying and strongly reaffirming outloud to each other what around us was truely alive with feelings, emotions and the capacity to return our affections.

Moral of this story, do not waste your love on things that cannot return it.

Peace, Tillie :)
Cory Chalmers
Posted: 15 September 2012 - 02:10 AM
Hi Peggy,
I too would like to congratulate you on your progress with shopping. It is difficult but you are doing great. Remember that half the battle with overcoming this disorder, like most others, is finding a new identity. The clutter has been such a strong part of your life, you will definitely need something else to fill that void. You have to find your passion, joy and happiness out of life that you probably have been missing for a long time.

As far as the second half of your message goes, you are in good company. Many hoarders give feelings and emotions to their stuff which greatly increases the difficulty in letting go. I worked with a woman who could not let go of anything with a face on it because that face made the item real. Another woman couldn't go past the items in the back of the grocery store on the scratch and dent cart without buying them all. Why? Because she knew that those items felt sad that nobody would buy them. This will continue to give you difficulty until you can work through it and will really impede with you making great progress on your home. Remember there are feelings that are more important than those of your "stuff...your own! Put yourself first above everyone and everything else so you can beat this thing. You can do it and you have already showed us. It all comes down to our own strenth and weekenes. Learn yours and work within your limits. Keep doing great!
Posted: 15 September 2012 - 02:00 AM
Thank you for the congratulations on not shopping. It IS hard and I feel that I've lost something I love to do. I've started taking an art class and that is one thing that will get me out of the house. But your idea of volunteering is very good. I honestly don't know if I can do it because I have social anxiety but I might be able to if I think of a cause for which I have I have strong feelings.


I decided to post something else that keeps me from throwing things away or giving them away. It's one of those "crazy things" -- I mean I KNOW it's crazy and that doesn't seem to make any difference in how I FEEL. I anthropomorphize almost everything. All objects have their own "emotions" and "feelings" to me. I feel as if I will "hurt the feelings of the object" if I give it away. Sometimes I can't even separate objects and put one in a different part of the house away from something else it's been next to on a shelf -- as I feel that the objects have become friends or companions and will "miss the other." I understand that rocks and shells and lamps and dishes and ceramic animals and ball point pens are inanimate objects -- but they FEEL animate to me -- with personalities and emotions. Sometimes I steel myself and put a worn out piece of clothing in the trash but I "thank it" first and then wrap it up in a bag before putting it in the trash can. Then I have to put something else OVER it so I won't see it again and be upset about how sad my worn out socks are feeling -- alone in the trash.

Does anyone else wrestle with feelings like these?

Posted: 10 September 2012 - 05:45 PM
Hi Peggy :)

You deserve a great big "WAY TO GO!" for stopping the shopping!.

What you need to do is to put a dollar value on your time, peace of mind and the space in your home and life that not having these things around will give you.

Find a charity thrift shop who's cause is something you strongly believe in.
Get receipts for your donations for tax deductions.

A good way to get out of the house and have fun is to volunteer.
There are dozens of places that need helpers. One suggestion is through the library reading to groups of children or people with vision problems.

Best wishes, Tillie

Posted: 10 September 2012 - 04:36 PM
I've spent so much time and money over the years buying vintage items at thrift stores and flea markets and garage sales that I want to get some money back. I got a lot of praise for "having a good eye" and people would say," I bet you're going to clean up on those antiques some day!" I do not have the time, energy, or skill to do eBay and I realize that a lot of things I purchased for fifty cents have a worth of maybe three to five dollars. I WANT to just let them GO and get them OUT of here . . . but then I think . . . maybe I should have a yard sale? It's paralyzing. I've done well on stopping shopping but now I just stay at home instead of going out to be tempted -- and I feel I'm getting more depressed.
Cory Chalmers
Posted: 06 September 2012 - 01:04 AM
On The Cusp,
So many of your thoughts as well as your reasoning is common amongst people with the hoarding disorder. Do not feel like you are alone by any means. I would love to talk to you about each of your items and just give my opinion.
I am curious how much of your graphic design work comes from the catalogues and junk mail that you keep. Do your creative thoughts come from within your own mind, or are they ideas you get from other materials. If you get ideas from other materials it isn't really a problem. I agree that perhaps letting go of the older items is a good idea, but the newer items, could you at least save some of the pages, then scan them into your computer and file them under different themes, names of categories? This way you keep the ideas, but they don't take up space in your house. This could be time consuming so I am not sure if this is a realistic answer but just something to consider. Neat Desk is a product you may want to look into if this interests you.

I think your eBay test was a good realization for yourself that the value of items isn't what you have built them up to be. Many people have unrealistic values placed on items and by attempting to sell the items, bring truth to their actual worth. One thing I do, is simply look at closed auction prices on eBay for items that I am unsure of on value. You can see what the market price is and what people are willing to pay. Please keep in mind the time it takes to take photos, write descriptions, design the eBay auction, answer questions, then ship the items. Don't forget about eBays percentage as well as Paypals percentage (if you use Paypal). Finally, ask yourself what your time is worth. Most people forget this part of the equation and it really is the most important. I would pick a dollar amount and only sell items that are worth more than that amount to make it worth your time.

Items inherited by deceased relatives often cause problems when considering letting them go. We simply cannot bring back our loved ones, but we can honor them in a couple ways. When my father died I only kept a couple items that really meant a lot to me. When I see these items I remember the times we shared together. However, just because I let go of so many other items, doesn't mean I am letting go of other memories. The memories are all in my head and there for me whenever I choose. With that being said, if you personally need the visual stimulation to spark memories you can again use a scanner as your friend. By taking photos of the items then scanning them into your computer, you can still have the visual of the item, the memory of the person or the event, but the items are not taken up physical space in your home. To keep items in the hopes that another family member will want them probably means you will have them forever. If a family memeber wanted them, they would have originally taken them, or you would have given it to them already. Ask yourself if your deceased relative would be happier looking down on you holding onto their numerous personal items causing a cluttered house, or living in a safe, functional home and using your mind to recall memories and good times. Most hoarders will say their deceased relatives would be mortified to know that their contents were causing a hoarding environment.

Your baby items are complicated by the memories of your sons infancy as well as your desire to have another child. Since you have been trying to have another child for some time now, the joy you would have if you were to become pregnant would probably allow you to go out and purchase new items. You are not giving up on your dream if you get rid of the stuff. You are allowing yourself to live while you are trying!

Clothing is such a commonly kept item. When I work with clients I typically tell them to keep one or two sizes up and down as all of our weight fluctuates. I agree that if you go down in size considerably, a shopping spree would be money easily spent. But by saving what you call your "fat clothes" is not only taking up space, but allowing yourself mentally to accept that you will most likely need them again. Keep yourself motivated to fit into your current clothes and promise yourself you will diet and excercise if needed, or even better a few times a week now. It does miracles for your mind too you know :)

It sounds like you are in fact making great progress. I really recommend your stop worrying about the future, as all of your "what if's" are preventing you and your significant other from truly living in the present. We can all what if the future, but by doing so we prevent ourselves from really enjoying what we have now. You owe it to yourself and your spouse, to take the leap of faith that all you need is each other, love, happiness and joy which you can't have when you are constantly worrying about the what if's in life. Good luck with your de-cluttering. You can beat this!

Cory Chalmers &
Posted: 05 September 2012 - 11:33 PM
My biggest problem is getting rid of things.
I am a graphic designer so I design catalogs and "junk mail" so I keep piles of mail, catalogs and magazines as examples to inspire me or samples of my work. I fear once I get rid of something, I will need it. I have recently (through a lot of pushing from my spouse) gotten rid of several piles because at some point they are outdated and I always get new stuff in the mail everyday.

I am also very cheap and save every bit of something and I can't stand giving something away that I know I spent "x" amount of dollars on unless I know the person and know it's going somewhere it is appreciated. I have various collections I started as a child and I fear I'm throwing away "big $" if I get rid of things. But again, I recently went on ebay and sold some of it and found that many things weren't worth anything so I was able to let them go.

Both of my grandmother's died within the last 2 years and I got as much as I could of their things so I could remember all the happy memories. I fear if I got rid of most them, I would forget those memories. These are the hardest to get rid of because I am very sentimental and treasure these things and I feel like someone in the family should have whatever it is and I would feel like I was betraying my family or something if I gave it away.

Another thing is tons of baby stuff. My son has outgrown many things but I always dreamed of having a girl and a boy. We have been trying to have another child for a while and I am keeping the stuff so my next child could use it. If I get rid of it, I'm giving up on my dream.

And finally clothes. I have them in every size. I have size 3 to 16. I finally got rid of the 3-5's knowing that'll never happen again but I've kept the other sizes. I want to pass my favorite clothes down to my future daughter that I hope to have though too. I also have memories attached to a lot of the clothes. I am trying to start to be more rational and clean out some. Really I know if I loose tons of weight I would treat myself to a shopping spree and I tried on my "fat pants" recently and they aren't flattering at all so I was able to get rid of those and tell myself if I gain weight I can go buy flattering "fat" clothes.

At least I am almost there. I am down to only the closets in 3 bedrooms stuffed with things and I can shut the doors so my house is completely livable but my goal is to be able to use the closets and walk around in the garage.
Posted: 09 May 2012 - 11:59 AM
This sound like my story
I am looking for a Suport group near Orlando.
If any reader us aware of such please contact me at
SheltonsCare@aol. Com
Posted: 02 April 2012 - 07:43 AM
My family moved for years and I never got to keep my things. I am afraid if I get rid of something I won't remember the person or place that is associated with it.

It wasn't too bad until my grandparents moved into a retirement community and I got their stuff. It was the only place we still had that had any permanence in my life and it was going. Now I have to get rid of so many things. They are being ruined where I have them in a standard storage unit that is too expensive. The storage is keeping my family from having any vacations.

I want to let things go and be rid of them, it is so hard. I am so afraid I won't be able to chose nice things on my own. I don't' even like the things my grandparents chose. I have been fighting this problem for years and my house is very cluttered, but not unhealthy. It makes me sad to have all of these papers and embarrassed. My kids don't invite people over and I hate the way the house looks. I am so tired. so very tired. Will this help? I very much hope so.
Posted: 26 February 2012 - 01:47 PM
I have always been a procrastinator and a collector of sorts. I like saving unusual things that can be used in a creative project. I also like to pile up newspaper articles and magazines that I plan to read, but never seem to have the time for the creativity or the reading.

I have to start getting rid of stuff because we will be moving out of state in the very near future. When I start working on the "piles", I do alright for a while. I recycle a lot. I give away things when I can think of someone who I think would appreciate them the way I do.

I want to make progress, but I am so afraid that if I get rid of a receipt, brochure, kid's toy, etc...that the memories I have attached to the item will disappear with the item. I know that this is illogical, but that is why it is so stressful.

I did start trying to take digital pics of some items and then get rid of them. I figured the picture would take up no physical space and would serve as a memory jog.

If I could just clear an area to sort in I think I could get started...but it is all so overwhelming. I am not a lazy person. Why is this so difficult?
Posted: 05 September 2011 - 05:07 AM
Fear? I will need it later. Someone else will.
The biggest culprit that keeps me from going through and getting rid of things are the painful memories that remind me of how my life was before the travail that happened in my life. I am in therapy to deal with that, but I find that when I address my hoard, it makes it hard to move forward, past my daughters abuse by my ex, the subsequent problems with her that lead to her running away....I am talking it out in therapy, but going through a pile of papers and encountering a photo from the time before the event, a notebook from my Masters work that I couldn't finish because of the separation and 5 year difficult divorce.....Dealing with my piles is like being in a room that yells FAILURE,FAILURE,FAILURE.....I hear it anyway....I don't need it screaming at me....
Posted: 18 August 2011 - 04:23 PM
I think hoarding/collecting can be a learned behavior. My father was a 'collector'. His mother was a collector (but everything had a place, and she kept the home spotless) My mother's mother was a clutter-er. She was into all kinds of crafts, and her home was spilling over with supplies. When I was first married, I kept our home so clean you could eat off the floor (I moped almost every day) My son's toys were organized by purpose, kind, etc. I would spend hours, HOURS organizing his Lego collection. I had several fishing tackle boxes and organized every tiny little piece. I think that is when I started to realize I had a problem. My best friend used to joke about the fact that I washed and rinsed my recycled garbage, and that I organized my garbage by color, type. I exercised 6 days a week, and threw up most of what I ate. About 4 years into our marriage, I had to have my Thyroid removed. Then I was diagnosed with severe depression. I have had several periods of extreme depression, attempts at suicide and years of psychiatric counselling. I have been re-assessed as clinically depressed, Bi-Polar Depressed, with no mania episodes (no euphoric high). I am normally in a depressed state, prone to have severe low points. I have been stable for the last few years, with medication that has worked out well, and a doctor that is fantastic. I have a few health issues that are tough to deal with. My grandparents (Father's) died within 3 months of each other in '98. We bought their house, and my parents lived next door. Insert family drama from all sides. In 2005, my Father passed away suddenly, and my grandmother (Mother's )passed away 3 days later. WOW, right? My mother has never recovered. It has been 6 years, and sometimes she still refers to my father in the present tense. Back to the hoarding. What my uncles didn't sell off from my grandparents estate (ie; all the junk) is still in the barn, along with my grandmothers' junk, and my fathers' junk. My mom won't get rid of any of it. And she accuses me of having the problem! ha ha. I've contacted other organizations/companies and inquired about their services. When I mention it to my husband, he refuses to consider it because it costs money. Back to the issue of him throwing everything away, and that is a free service. And that is one reason, excuse (lame justification) why I have this issue with my junk.
Cory Chalmers
Posted: 05 July 2011 - 01:10 AM
Thank you for giving us your story. It sounds like you are making great progress! I hope you will continue down this road to a clutter free life and PLEASE update us as it really helps those that see no light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you again!
bob from lowell
Posted: 04 July 2011 - 09:29 AM
First of all thank you for the show. Watching the show has helped me deal with my own problems with hoarding. I didn't realize what i was doing.

Thankfully i never reached the depth of clutter some of your clients have. But close. For example i have never been able to park a car in my garage. The mower barely fits. The basement was a winding path to a bulkhead you could not access. Overwhelming.

It began innocently when Sommerville lumber went out of business. During the liquidation sale i began buying things i needed. Things i would resell. bargains that were too good to pass up.

I had big plans that i kept putting off. I did manage to complete a bath remodel but the woodworking ideas, tools and supplies sat and collected dust. Too good to throw away. To expensive to give away. I still have an entire set of kitchen cabinets in the box. More than a decade old.

It continued with craigslist free stuff. Yard sales. Flea markets.

My house is still a mess. The expense of disposal. The procrastination but i at least now can let go.

I sold a lot of stuff on craigslist and e-bay. Gave away items to family friends and the salvation army. And try to keep up with breaking up junk and throwing it in the 64 gallon trash can we are allowed by the city.

PS: Habitat for humanity is opening a store nearby. I plan to give them my unused supplies. I have windows, a door, two shower door sets. They plan to use the store as a place for salvage from homes they work on.

I owe you my sanity. Thank you.
Posted: 30 June 2011 - 11:37 PM
I frequently find myself with a couple weeks worth of trash bags or a giant pile of recycling because my ADD makes me forget to put my bags out on time. Then my fear when I do put them out is that my neighbors are looking at how much I put out, or what I've put out, and are judging me.
Posted: 29 March 2011 - 02:11 AM
I have a variety of reasons that hit me. some come from things having to do with a traumatic accident I was in 14 years ago, not wanting to deal with them or not quite knowing whether I need to keep thing (documents mainly). I think part comes from having a lot of my personal possessions that went back east with my father destroyed by a negligent caretaker of his property.
Cory Chalmers
Posted: 23 March 2011 - 06:23 PM
We all know how difficult letting go of items can be. By annonymously telling us why really helps us when we work with hoarders. There are so many reasons people hoard, and many people never get the opportunity to talk about it. Now is your chance to let it all out and enlighten us so we can better understand how to help people who are struggling through this emotional battle.
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