Calling all hoarders out there......why?

(917 Posts)
muriel76 Wed 10-Aug-11 17:10:49

My DH is a bit of a hoarder. Some of his family are the same but particularly his mum, she seems to keep everything. They both like to also display pointless things ie books that will never be/never have been read etc.

Don't get me wrong, it is not a big deal or anything but I do want to understand why. It's hard to understand as my mum is the complete opposite and I am the same. DH and I have agreed to give the house (another!) big clear out and it would help me to hear a hoarder's view!

(Obviously I have talked with him about it many times BTW, I am just looking for other people's more neutral insights)

Thanks for any replies.

LilRedWG Wed 10-Aug-11 17:13:01

I really don't know why but I become very emotionally attached to things and DD (5) is turning out the same. She is regularly in tears if something needs to be binned - this morning it was a cup that is broken. We both drive DH distracted and I hate clutter myself but can't seem to get past it.

Sorry, no real help at all.

cyb Wed 10-Aug-11 17:13:43

Well I'm like you, an anti hoarder and a ruthless chucker outer. I dont see emotional meaning in 'things' (although conversely I LOVE shopping)

My H willl keep ticket stubs for things he's been to, football programmes he NEVER refersback to, books he wil never re read. I dont geddit eithr, but its my lifes mission to help him with his 'problem' grin

Warning though- lots of Mners feel getting rid of books is on a par with leaving your children out for the dustaman wink

muriel76 Wed 10-Aug-11 17:17:27

Thanks for the replies and for the warning Cyb! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE books and always have one on the go. I read loads, but my books go to the charity shops and then I swap for some more......DH reads the paper and magazines but likes to display Oliver Twist etc in the book shelf because it's a classic and he's had it for years! Alongside some old records although record player is under our bed and unplugged!!

I am a hoarder! Things might come in useful one day, or they remind me of something or someone nice, and that doesn't leave much over!

muriel76 Wed 10-Aug-11 17:18:31

Ps LilRedWg, funny you say you hate clutter cos my DH says he does too and get can quite cross about it!

LauLauLemon Wed 10-Aug-11 17:19:11

This thread just reminds me of my MIL and is therefore making me angry.

<<has issues>>

peeriebear Wed 10-Aug-11 17:19:53

I get too emotionally attached to a lot of things, and find it hard to part with other seemingly useless tat because a small part of me says that in a few decades it will be vintage and worth something grin Case in point, the three rare boy My Little Ponies in my attic collection of childhood toys. Sold for a total of almost £90 a few years ago, and the money went directly towards Christmas that year.
I have bags of clothes that no longer fit from my teens/early twenties for my DDs to look through in years to come. Some nice things in there!

cyb Wed 10-Aug-11 17:21:21

My H likes to show what kind of personality he has through the stuff he keeps and displays, unlike me, who actually TALKS to let people know what I'm like grin

thestringcheeseincident Wed 10-Aug-11 17:23:45

My FIL is terrible. He has a very large house so you never really see all the crap he keeps, but wander into one of his utility rooms and you're swamped by broken toasters, 35 year old cans of paint, magazines etc. MIL believes having a very frugal childhood has made him this way. Weirdly my dad grew up super poor too, but he can't abide any hoarding whatsoever.

cyb Wed 10-Aug-11 17:25:30

I think hoarding broken stuff and not being able to walk through rooms properly because of all the crap can show hoarder has some issues other than just hanging onto stuff 'in case'

Its different to sentimental keeping

Adversecamber Wed 10-Aug-11 17:44:26

Books? fine, unless you can't walk round a room. My MIL has most of her Mothers clothes, her Mum died 30 years ago.

There is an urban myth that my DH told me, when his Grandad died his Mum scooped his last turd out of the commode and put it in a zip lock bag to keep. I dread finding a mummified 25 year old shit if I ever have to clear out her house. She also tapes radio 4 programes all the time and has hundreds. I also found a Christmas card list from 1974 a couple of years ago, she keeps a record of what type of card she has sent people. Things like Robin, nativity scene at the top and the name and then a grid so she doesn't send the same card or type of picture more than once.

You cannot say a word, I find being near her exhausting for many reasons.

You have to move stuff to get to stuff.

LoveBeingAtHomeOnMyOwn Wed 10-Aug-11 17:46:45

[watching to discover why I am like this]

slowshow Wed 10-Aug-11 18:31:38

My FIL is like this. I actually think he's mentally ill. The dining room has no less than three dead PCs and monitors (despite the fact he's never used a computer in his life), there are shelves floor to ceiling with VHS tapes with stuff taped off the TV, and in the last couple of years he's moved to recording from TV to DVD. Bought an expensive DVD recorder for the very purpose. I guarantee he's never re-watched a single thing.

Have no idea why he does it, other than he's a bloody weirdo grin

EuphemiaMcGonagall Wed 10-Aug-11 18:50:18

shock grin @ turd in a ziplock bag!

My dad is a hoarder and I dread dread dread clearing out his attic. He wants DB and me to do it now, but it's going to have to wait til he's dead because if he's kept the staff handbook from his first civil service management job c.1974 he presumably has some emotional attachment to it and would not be pleased to see me toss it in a skip. angry

TanteAC Wed 10-Aug-11 19:00:38

OMG this could not have come at a more fitting time! I am literally sitting in my pants and bra (too hot! Aggravated!) surrounded by all the stuff Ihave tipped out of various boxes/bags/little hidden piles from every shelf and cupboard in our house, trying to 'sort things out' and 'throw things away' (you will notice my commitment by the use of 'these')

I am such a hoarder! Keep every card, ticket stub, train ticket (I know, I know) not to mention all the shitty 'You are not only a daughter, but a friend' magnets I would NEVER display.

WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHY???!

I do need to be surrounded by my things, and I totally get the DH who displays his personality around the house, but I also feel a horrible guilt about this...

SO I have decided to compromise. This stuff is supposed to make me feel secure, not totally disorganised and ovewhelmed. I have bought a lot of lovely boxes and labelled them Cards, Tickets, Diaries, Hotel Toiletries (I coud open an entire salon for little people), etc.

That's the best DH is going to get, I'm afraid grin

In answer to your question, tough, I love 'finding' things from the past (all sentimental) and have a beat-all argument of 'for the grandchildren!'

PS I don't even have children blush

I have to be careful not to get like this.

Think in my case it's because we've had quite a few child deaths in the family, I find it difficult to part with anything of the dcs in case it's the last thing they do, I have to be very brutal and things are either displayed or binned.

I remember when my granny died we found a some little boys clothes amongst all her hoard piles in the house, we think they were her little boys who died when he was 4. He just stopped breathing when she was giving him a bath.

muriel76 Wed 10-Aug-11 22:36:27

Gosh some of these stories make me panic and want to chuck the contents of my house in a skip!! Others are really sad and puzzling, there is obviously a whole range of reasons....

cat64 Wed 10-Aug-11 22:54:46

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cat64 Wed 10-Aug-11 22:55:34

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Bogeyface Netherlands Wed 10-Aug-11 23:02:03

I am a sentimental hoarder so I have several memory boxes. One for each of the kids with atleast one piece of artwork per year of their age, their baptism certificates (for the younger ones), the champagne corks from my first post-birth drink where we drank to them, you get the idea. Then I have my personal boxes with meaningful things in from friends and family and my wedding. I am ruthless chucker out of everything else except books, even books I cant stand or have been given and will never read!

DH on the other hand is the original "it might come in handy" hoarder and it drives me mad. To be fair to him, he lived alone, or in a house share when he owned the house, for 25 years before he lived with me. So he was used to being able to hoard and/or display his crap precious posessions. Such as his huge batman figure and batmobile collection, his DVDS (of which he has over 2000), his comics hmm etc.

I have made some headway in that he has put the comics in storage and the batman collections are on top of the DVD shelves so out of my line of sight! And he now has less than half of the tshirts he had when he moved in and has never noticed! Some would say I shouldnt get rid of his stuff without telling him but frankly when a man has 16 plain black tshirts, I think I can safely charity shop 10 of them with no guilt!

LordOfTheFlies Wed 10-Aug-11 23:37:37

Gawd not only is my mother a dyed-in-the-wool hoarder( I blame the fact she was a child in the war so things were scarce) but she deliberately goes out and buys more crap.

Clocks-ugly little clocks -from charity shops.Every flippin time she went out she would phone me " I've bought a clock". She had over 120, every surface covered in them. Now she has 40 which is still excessive but on the right track.
She collected tea-pots, cruet sets, plants, cookbooks.But not nice ones.Just any old tat people were getting rid of.
When she went through her plant phase there were 4 ugly triffids in the lounge.Coffee table covered with cuttings in jars of water.

And in the pantry, food so out of date. She has curry powder that her mother had.

My DH keeps boxes and manuals (good idea you say) but I found things relating to kettles and toasters we haven't got and for cars we don't have anymore (of of which was written off so doesn't need its receipt for its service) confused

GhoulLasher Wed 10-Aug-11 23:45:03

I hoard and it was only when my friend ttold me it was getting out of hand that I improved. I love "things" and collect vintage stuff....lots of it. I may but something because something about it reminds me of someone or sometime speacial...and then the itme becomes the person or the time and it encapsulates my emotions.

I personify things.

I have improved a lot though.

Bogeyface Netherlands Wed 10-Aug-11 23:45:12

LOTF
Being a war-child does seem to be a common factor in hoarders of a certain age. My Aunty isnt a hoarder but she didnt have a particularly hard war (thanks, she since realised, to massive sacrifices my Grandma made) but her husband did. He is a serious hoarder, food and clothes being a particular issue because he was always hungry and always short of clothes.

I think we can all understand the concept of taking anything that is being given away when a person has known real hardship. Its people like my DH that have never gone without their whole life that I dont understand!

That said, he is the eldest of a large family from a non-demonstrative mother who expected him to give far more than he was given so perhaps there are more than one kind of hardship? Hmmm, I'm thinking hard now.....

hadagutsfull Wed 10-Aug-11 23:54:41

DH is a hoarder of anything 'that might come in useful' (in his eyes!), whereas I'm a sentimental hoarder. We have a flat roofed house - no attic - which means limited space to store stuff. We're having a major clear out at the moment because we're revamping DS's bedroom, including changing the furniture, and some Xmas decorations and other old shite is stored in there - along with all DS's stuff.

I tried to approach it calmly and methodically - sort out what needs to be kept/binned/taken to charity shop or car boot - but it's like world war 3! We just can't agree on what should stay or go. I'm the one that's keeping stuff for sentimental reasons but in reality what's the point? I'm the only one that's going to get it out and look at it - DH & DS don't give a monkey's.

Pretty much everything is now out of DS's room but you can't move in the spare room as it's covered in the stuff that I'm supposed to be taking to a car boot sale on Sunday, plus I've (secretly) stashed a load of other stuff in my wardrobe, so that needs sorting out too now - arghhhh!!

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