The Hoarders Anonymous Thread. Sorting It Out.

(297 Posts)
Solo Sat 28-Dec-13 17:54:15

There was a thread that I was involved in some time ago which was started by someone trying to understand why her Dh kept so much 'stuff' and couldn't throw anything away.

The thread quickly turned into a support thread for many MN hoarders and there was a large support network that evolved from that thread.
Eventually, the thread died and with it, certainly my 'support and encouragement mates' circle...

From other threads where lovely Mumsnetters have supported and given rl help, there have come other hoarders, untidy people and those who are just plain stuck in a rut admitting they have a problem. People like me that have become emotionally attached to stuff and it has taken over their homes and their lives. People that cannot cope after loss of different types (parent, relationship, job etc) and it just turns into one big nightmare ~ it certainly did for me following my relationship breakdown, my Dad dying and another nine people in my life passing away inside 11 months.
Personally, I feel that being unable to let anyone in through my front door means that no one can hurt me; I've pulled up the drawbridge, so no one can get to me and shoot me again.

I've always been a bit of a collector of things. I'm a make do and mend type and I can make something out of nothing. Trouble is that once I started to lose important things (people mainly) from my life, I felt unable to let anything made of something go...what if I could never get or have another?! that'd be terrible right?

So! that is a part of my story and here is a thread of support and encouragement (I hope) for others feeling overwhelmed by their hoarding, clutter and stuff. I am hoping that I can get my life sorted out and that there are others that will come along on the journey and perhaps also sort out their homes and lives.
I want to raise my drawbridge and invite friends in. Anyone else? smile

Solo Wed 21-May-14 00:01:33

I wish you luck. I also wish your Dh the strength and resolve to do what he knows he must.
Let us know how it goes please Lizzie.

cricketpitch Wed 21-May-14 21:24:20

Hi Lizzie,

So sorry to hear this - it must be hard for you - you really can't do much until your DH is ready.

With me I realised I had a problem when My DD said she was ashamed of her home. Also things got damaged. I stored them for ages and then when I looked at them they had rotted or decayed and I realised how stupid I had been - that I had just wasted them in effect.

A bit at a time - and lots of support - that is what helps. You are doing the right thing.

My DP does not support me - he attacks me and ridicules me.

My DD went through a box of my essays, (from 1978-82!!!!), and helped me shred them. She reassured me that I am still that person, that person who could write those essays; I didn't need to keep the evidence. Hugely helpful.

LizzieMint Wed 21-May-14 22:54:37

Ah the essays! I did manage to persuade him to get rid of the school books he'd kept (all of them) when he turned about 30. Things getting damaged is his worst nightmare, he's incredibly meticulous about things and to be fair, some of it is quite valuable. But there are things that he's kept for so long they've passed their valuable stage (records!).
I know how unhappy and stressed having all the stuff makes him, which makes it seem crazy to hold on to it. I will report back after next week, thank you so much for the support and just being able to talk about it.

Solo Thu 22-May-14 00:20:30

Goodness! I'm 50 and still have my school books blush. I can't bear to get rid of them.
Cricket your Dd sounds brilliant. I can see that my children are ashamed of our home too. It's a great reason for getting it sorted.

Lizzie do keep coming here. Believe it or not, you are helpful to us too smile

Solo Thu 22-May-14 23:37:30

A bit more done this week though still so much more to do. I have banned Dd from even going near her toy boxes and trunks as they are piled up in the corner of the lounge. Apart from anything else, they could fall on her if she tries to mess up my good work get toys out.

Over the last couple of days I have boxed up vases and crystals and breakable collectables. I have put away a lot of Dd's clothes and I have put away more of Dd's toys into the boxes.

Hoping to be energised for a stint tomorrow.

cricketpitch Mon 26-May-14 21:30:43

A very wet bank holiday Monday. I had to work but things really got me down today. Couldn't face any sorting out today. ( There are days like that though!).

Day off tomorrow and have invited a few neighbours in, (have hidden much of the mess upstairs and as I have a downstairs loo there is no possible reason why anyone would go upstairs.). This is progress though.

I do still have one or two school books too, but just one or two. The essays took up a lot of space though.

Records.... I still have mine even though I haven't played them for thirty five years. Did sell some -- a mistake - another story....

Agree with Solo - it is good that you are here Lizzie - don't abandon us!

Well done too Solo for boxing up collectables. ( I have so many glass and china vases --- love them!). I do believe that is easier to let stuff go if you are leaving it for something better. Maybe we need help in seeing that.

Let's hope for better weather tomorrow - that would help!!

Solo Tue 27-May-14 00:44:10

smile

PurpleFrog Wed 28-May-14 13:37:39

It must be the season for it! I got my box of school notes (dating from 1979-1982) down from the loft 2 weekends ago, after deciding it was probably time to get rid of them. I threw out O'Grade History immediately - quite topical since one of the three topics we covered was the First World War!

Dd is sitting her National 5 exams at the moment. Yesterday evening she had a look through my O'Grade Biology, Physics and Chemistry notes, comparing things to what she has done and pointing out that her messy writing isn't actually a lot worse than mine was at her age! These notes have now joined History in the paper recycling bin. I must have got rid of things like English and French years ago, but only kept the things where I might want to "look something up". hmm

Now I just have to go through the Higher and CSYS Science notes. grin

Babieseverywhere Wed 28-May-14 19:38:13

I am back and having managed to clear another binman of my paperwork mountain. Still got half the very large dining table to clear. ..and I started in March ! But overall I have done loads around the house.
This paper mountain is the last very big battle in my home and I will destroy it, bin or file it very soon.

Babieseverywhere Wed 28-May-14 19:39:30

bin bag not binman

Solo Thu 29-May-14 00:19:51

Wow! go girls!!! grin you both sound like you are doing very well!

I am not at the mo, but I will be starting again soon.

Ds tidied his room up last night! shock

Babieseverywhere Thu 29-May-14 20:59:58

Well done to Solo's DS...fancy teaching my brood to tidy on their own ?

I have thrown another bin bag of paperwork. Down to a third of table to deal with...it just takes forever to sort out.

I am hoping to break the back of this paperwork this weekend and then to keep on top of it.

Solo Thu 29-May-14 22:56:27

Babies it was a fluke I'm sure! he is dreadful for dropping rubbish on his floor and it angers me.

I have had two genuine and separate offers today to sort my overgrown garden out for me, but both people I would have to have in my house <cringe emoticon> so I really must get a wriggle on!!!

Babieseverywhere Sat 31-May-14 20:42:39

Why would they have to be in your house, no side access to your garden ? Lucky you to have two offers, I hope you accept them both ?

I am pleased, two more bin bags of paper thrown. Everything to be kept, divided into piles of kids paintings which are now in their memory boxes upstairs and a basket of house hills for me to scan and throw/file..then the table will be clear !

Then I can move onto the next job, photographing and sorting though memory boxes and then they go into the attic !

So still plenty to work on but feel like I have broken the back of it iyswim smile

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Sun 01-Jun-14 12:02:08

Hello everyone,

Sorry I have only just seen this thread and read the OP and so I don't know what has been said over the last 5 pages. Hope I don't seem rude for gatecrashing. I don't have time to read through right now, but I did immediately think of something when I read it the title/OP.

There is a "swap" thread over on the Chat page. I am a bit of a hoarder myself, and I have been able to either swap some of my unwanted stuff for stuff I actually need or want. I have also sent other posters some stuff, without them sending anything in return. I have rather quickly managed to clear a lot of space in my wardrobe and cupboards. My flat looks so much cleaner and less messy and I feel the whole swap thing is extremely therapeutic.

I have also given myself a challenge - I am off to a wedding in June and I plan to only wear stuff I have swapped off MN! So far I have my dress, shoes and earrings sorted!

Anyway, sorry for rambling. I just thought a few of you might find the thread helpful. Maybe you could start clearing things that way - safe in the knowledge that your item will be wanted and treasured by another MNer.

Anyway, got to go, toddler off to bed - and so am I! smile

Solo Sun 01-Jun-14 13:23:03

Babies because they would need to use the toilet at least. One of my friends that offered lives quite a distance away and I would not know how to say she couldn't come in for lunch or toilet use or whatever.
I tend to keep quiet about my 'problem' although I have actually told a couple of people irl this year. I could not show them though. The garden volunteers are not privy to this knowledge though...so, I have much to do before I can organise this.

Charlie thank you. That's a great idea for those wishing to do that. I did give away a massive bundle of childrens clothes on a previous giveaway thread. I now take them to Cash 4 Clothes. Toys go to charity or to the nursery. Childrens books go to friends.
Good for you re the wedding attire!!! smile

Solo Sun 01-Jun-14 13:23:59

Meant to say well done too Babies! you are doing so well!!

Babieseverywhere Thu 05-Jun-14 15:30:59

I WAS doing well but I had to clear the hallway for the new washing machine to fit through, so all that stuff is in the dining room.

The kitchen has a massive pile of clothes to be washed of course with broken washing machine in the middle of the kitchen.

DS stuff is squashed into the girls bedroom and the 'work in progress' memory boxes are in our room piled up. As DS room is to be painted this weekend.

So I feel like every room is a nightmare today, when earlier in the week I was so pleased with the progress, lol.

On the good side DH has finally finished painting our bedroom (started a month a go) So I can put up new curtains, duvets etc and make that room cluttered and pretty smile

LizzieMint Thu 05-Jun-14 19:59:24

Hi everyone, sounds like there's progress being made everywhere. I thought I would pop back and update you. I chatted with my H about it - he acknowledges he has waayy too much stuff but still claims it's because he has no time to sort it out rather than because he's too attached to it! But that doesn't matter, he agrees that at least some of it needs to go. So he's started working through boxes - it's slow progress as he's not home that much and when he is he naturally wants to see the children. What has really helped actually is househunting. We've looked at some lovely houses but none of them have anywhere near the storage space we currently have. He's keen to move and would like the new place to not end up like this one.
I've been chucking out loads of my stuff too - it almost feels like I can breathe again! smile

Solo Thu 05-Jun-14 22:53:18

Babies that's a temporary blip that is necessary in the short term smile

Lizzie that is good news! I hope he gets going on it properly and doesn't do too much of what I do and have to look at everything and read each item too blush

I've not done anything this week yet. I have been planning my new bedroom furniture and measuring up etc, but I know that it's not possible to order it and take delivery until I've done an awful lot of other things first. <sigh>

Babieseverywhere Thu 05-Jun-14 23:05:34

Solo, Enjoy planning your new bedroom. It will be worth the hassle in the end. Thank you for your kind words. I hope to catch up soon.

Lisse, If you can encourage your husband to deal with the clutter in small organised way. Better to clear one drawer properly and completely, than fail to clear a room. Small and often is my cluttering rule

Solo Thu 05-Jun-14 23:34:04

Thank you smile yes! I'm looking forward to having it all done...the trouble is; I've been planning it all for about 4/5 years now blush.

Solo Thu 12-Jun-14 23:01:29

Last night was a huge nightmare! my Ds managed to set the recycling bins on fire outside my porch doors. Right outside my porch doors. Put it out with a fire extinguisher, but it made a massive mess outside and also inside the porch which was stuffed full of bags of clothing ready to go to C4C. I can't help but think of the consequences of us going to bed early, or me popping out for an hour...as it is, my porch doors are damaged and I now have no charged extinguisher and the coats in the porch are covered in white powder.
On a positive note, I got rid of the bags of clothes and shoes and cushions and toys today. That's just one point out of 1000 points that need doing.
On another positive note, Ds owes me!!! grin big time!!! and I'm collecting!!!

How're you all going?

cricketpitch Sun 15-Jun-14 22:25:29

Just checking in. Got a cold. Feel dreadful but did do a pile of paperwork today. Shredding and chucking - good. still so much to do though. Good to hear that people are doing ok though - and I value the support.

Solo Tue 24-Jun-14 02:07:31

Checking in. Not doing much atm as unwell, but the want is with me.

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