The Hoarders Anonymous Thread. Sorting It Out.

(325 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 Sat 20-Sep-14 01:54:37

Hi fuzzpig smile thank you thanks

Today (yesterday now), I finished putting all the airing cupboard straight. It now has space bags with mine and Dd's bedding in individual bags, plus other stuff that is not needed right now. Neat piles of clean towels. A neat pile of a change of bedding for Ds and for me and two neat piles of face cloths.
That seemed to take all day, but in reality, it means that there is less in the dining room which is a good thing!
I also took down and washed my net curtains (bedroom and lounge; all front of house). Have blacked out/whited out my lounge window so that I can get on with that room too without worrying about getting the clean nets dusty.

Still loads to do.

fuzzpig Fri 19-Sep-14 07:39:12

Argh sorry you're having so much trouble with DS. It must be tempting not to bother washing his stuff at all, maybe he will learn if he has to stay in dirty clothes? Alternatively would simply putting one of the washing baskets in his room help? Not ideal but might work?

I have done nothing this week, just exhausted, sad and in huge amounts of pain. The house is even worse, again sad

Solo Fri 19-Sep-14 00:23:58

Busy again today. Running out of room now for clothing. Am being good with regards getting rid of stuff. I can visibly see (does that make proper sense?) more space in my bedroom now!

Screaming match with Ds tonight sad He just won't help me at all...even taking his own washing down to the wash bins. He chucks them on the floor of his bedroom and they stay there until I collect them up and wash them or very occasionally, he actually does do as I ask and bring them down.
He eats his meals in his bedroom, which I can't really object to right now as there is no room for any one of us to sit down properly. Can't wait to get the table back into use!
I feel like the unpaid skivvy in my house. I also feel like just not bothering. At all.

Will do more tomorrow.

Anyone else?

fuzzpig Tue 16-Sep-14 08:02:15

Welcome saucy jack! smile

Achieved bugger all yesterday, well unless you count surviving work!

Solo Mon 15-Sep-14 23:54:31

hmm that's odd fuzz. I'm on the laptop, so can only see her user name. You sound like you are doing ok smile keep it up lovely!

SaucyJack welcome!! you have got off the a great start already! smile keep it up and keep on posting; it helps us all to keep motivated and will help you too.

I have done a bit more today. Put some more clothing away (from dining room into...(wait for it!)...the wardrobes and chest of drawers!! got rid of more paperwork, shredded some. It all still looks a mess, but I actually feel as though I've done something grin.
Threw away Dd's knackered trainers today which came home from school when they broke up for the holidays. I was going to throw them then, but Dd threw a paddy, so I didn't. It's bad when the Dc's are doing the same things as me. sad
I've been giving away stuff too. Two more toy items gone today grin and I'm chuffed with myself. I'm just looking around my bedroom and there's less stuff just laying around in it!! woo hoo!!
More to do tomorrow morning.

SaucyJack Mon 15-Sep-14 12:41:41

Hi- found this via a thread on Chat. Hope you don't mind if I join?

I am part emotional hoarder, part mentally ill and part just bone-idle lazy.

Made a start today tho. Just cleared a kitchen cupboard of old Chinese plastic boxes and gadgets we don't have the work-top space to use. Now have somewhere to put the plates (once they're clean) and the cereal boxes that are cluttering the work surface away.

Hope you're all having productive days.

fuzzpig Mon 15-Sep-14 07:34:35

On threads I'm on it said "multimedia message" under gimme's name but I can't see anything! This new mobile layout is still confusing me blush

Well, managing to declutter a few bits of packaging as DD needs junk modelling stuff.

Fair point about the cupboard - can't wait to fill it with more junk!

I'm so tired today. I hope I can do a little bit although have to be careful how much I push myself before work.

Solo Mon 15-Sep-14 00:29:26

Fuzz at least the outside cupboard is now empty and ready for the next lot of things smile

Tomorrow I think I'm out, so won't really get anything done.

Gimme hello smile are you place marking?

GimmeMySquash Sun 14-Sep-14 21:09:04

fuzzpig Sun 14-Sep-14 21:05:33

Not so great right now! Fighting a relapse, still feeling it's imminent. I hurt and am exhausted with my mental health in tatters too sad

Dad did a tip run for us though which was great. Doesn't feel like progress really as most of the stuff was already in the outdoor cupboard waiting to go.

Not sure what I'll do tomorrow. I've got until 1ish (must get to post office before work - writing it here to remind myself!) so could achieve something, but now I've done some of the obvious stuff I'm back to not knowing where to start IYSWIM?

Solo Sun 14-Sep-14 13:49:46

I have had a few days of being busy in my bedroom. It's usually a case of covering my bed in everything in order to get to the wardrobes! then going through the clothing to get rid/hang up/put in drawers etc. I'm getting there. The wardrobes have more space in them to put away some of the clothing in the Chinese laundry dining room.

Tomorrow or sometime this week, Dd won't know what's hit her when it comes to her toys. She has been told/warned etc, but doesn't listen, so....!!!

How is everyone else doing?

fuzzpig Wed 10-Sep-14 07:23:03

Great stuff!grin

I don't think I'll manage anything today. Straight to work after school run, and knocked sideways by pain as it is (for some reason the last six months or so has seen my CFS/ME symptoms increase tenfold when I'm on my period, and that's on top of the actual period pain confused) so feeling rather sorry for myself TBH!

Hope your day is successful and lots of things leave the house! Yes, it really is happening isn't it grin

Solo Wed 10-Sep-14 01:08:37

Have been busy all day long. Been sorting my bedroom out (partially!). Have chucked out loads of samples of all kinds of cosmetics/cleansers/shampoos. Lots had simply disappeared with age!

I got rid of a carrier bag of bits to the charity shop; gave a couple of pieces of uniform away...
Am going through loads more tomorrow.

Well done on the library things and the bin bag fuzz ; it's happening!

fuzzpig Tue 09-Sep-14 14:34:44

Oh and I'm down to 23 library items. Which means I've returned over 50 in the last few weeks! shock

fuzzpig Tue 09-Sep-14 13:57:54

How's it going this week? I managed to fill a bin bag yesterday and another today smile

fuzzpig Mon 08-Sep-14 00:01:11

Thank you smile

As for the onion, wow, that's intriguing! grin Is it something to do with absorbing airborne germs? I'll have to give it a google when I'm not supposed to be sleeping. Unfortunately I have no surfaces in the bedroom on which to put a cut onion currently, it would disappear under piles of stuff and my room would smell like mouldy onion forever more I fear blush - the crap pile on my side of the bed is higher than the mattress!

Oh boy do I need to do something though. Had to come downstairs again due to coughing. I'm not supposed to sleep downstairs, I prefer my bed. When I clear the room I'll be sure to increase onion purchase - heck I'll give anything a go if it might keep me well!

The problem of course is that cleaning in itself can make me unwell when there's so much dust (and potentially mould too, although it's not a huge issue, by luck more than judgement) that will be disturbed by moving stuff around! Maybe I should get one of those DIY/doctor type masks?!

So my parents are apparently coming up on Sunday, I'm going to try and fit in a tip run if Dad agrees smile

I've been pondering the whole getting rid of dreams thing. I've felt too unwell to physically declutter today (and can't do much with toys when DCs are around) but I've labelled - in my head I mean - a few craft sets to chuck as they've sat started but unfinished and forgotten since the Xmas hols. Some were bought by me, others were gifts. They aren't interested in them. It's OK. They aren't representative of failure!

I must remember this when choosing gifts too - they aren't craft kit fans really. Much more into the big box of 'raw' craft supplies, and Hama beads with basic boards.

I'll see if mum would mind letting us do the Shrinkles in her oven (ours isn't working) next time we visit as they are all coloured in and they'd like having them blu-tacked up in their room, otherwise I'll ditch those too - that's more of a wrench as I loved them as a child.

Solo Sun 07-Sep-14 13:29:07

You are doing great fuzz smile be proud of yourself ~ it is allowed!!

I can totally see what you are saying, but don't worry about stating the obvious; I think that writing it down, reading it, SHARING it can help not only yourself, but others too.

I know what you mean too re the illness thing and a cold isn't 'just' a cold with our particular illness is it. I have found that over the last 2+ years, I've suffered less colds since I <takes a deep breath> cut an onion in half and put it on my bedside. I got an email explaining how years ago a community was wiped out except for a farming family and when asked why/how, they explained the onion thing. I've done it ever since and have been so lucky. Try it! it's pennies, you only need one or two onions a weeks and I buy the cheapest ones anyway. grin

fuzzpig Sat 06-Sep-14 22:44:40

Aww that's lovely solo grin

So I'm hoping to really get back on it from Monday. Pissed off though as I can feel a cold coming (and colds are never just colds with illnesses like CFS/ME, are they). Sometimes I look around and remember my house (dust etc) is making me more ill sad and it is effecting the DCs too. Had to put DD on time out yesterday, virtually never happens but as she sat on the bottom step surrounded by random crap I just felt awful. It's so chaotic. What the hell am I doing to my children sad

On a lighter note (!) I realised I hoard library books! grin Because I work there I see endless appealing titles (and get no fines, request fees, hire charges etc) and just like the usual type of hoarding of buying/not throwing stuff away, each one represents something, a dream, doesn't it? Like "one day I'll learn crochet" etc. Even though most don't even get used.

But this month I've <gasp> bought some books I need to read for a particular training thing at the end of this month, though, and I decided this is the perfect opportunity to completely clear our library tickets no matter what. Started at 75 items, now at 47! (Can't do them all at once as no car.) Progress!

But OH GOD it's so hard. Each item I return unread/unwatched is like admitting defeat, admitting that I'm not such a great parent because I haven't read or done this activity with DCs, that I'm not so smart because I haven't learnt what was in the book etc. Even though I logically know I can re-order and borrow them any time when I'm really ready. It still feels like failure.

And even today I saw a few books I'd love to read with the DCs and a CD I wanted to join the waiting list for. But I resisted and I'm really proud! It was so hard to leave them on the returns trolley! It actually physically hurt - WTF?! Anyway, I WILL accomplish this, and after my training course I will be very careful what I borrow and when.

It's anxiety related to loss I think. The feeling of panic at the thought of not having something I need (sorry I know this is stating the blooming obvious on a hoarder support thread, bear with me as I have a much needed epiphany). I'm similar with food. If I fancy something, however brief that craving may be, I feel panicky if I leave it on the shelf in the store. So on cravingy days when I fancy five different things, well... it's not hard to see why I'm so big sad I have no problem telling DCs "maybe another time, we've already had suchandsuch" when they ask for something that's not so healthy, but for me? It's so hard. I have only just started being able to manage it, and that's only when shopping online. I can just order one of the five things I really want and remind myself that I can always get something else next time, it won't have disappeared (but oh god what if it has...) - on the now rare occasion I'm shopping in store, any resolve goes totally out the window.

Right I really need to try and sleep now, sorry for the waffle - but it's been very helpful for me to write this down in a safe supportive place thanks

Solo Sat 06-Sep-14 19:46:13

Oh yes! I sold a pack of foam floor puzzle thingies yesterday asking £2.50 for them; they had never been out of the pack (Dd's father gave them to her). Anyway, I was going past where the lady lives so I dropped them in (no detour required) and the lovely lady insisted I took £5 for them! smile I was very happy! smile

Solo Sat 06-Sep-14 19:40:01

Well done you too! fuzzpig aren't we good?!

Forget about the trials and tribulations of the labels...keep going! keep going!! smile

fuzzpig Thu 04-Sep-14 07:52:33

Well done solo!

I was really not happy yesterday when after doing all that work DD came home from a neighbour's with a bag of toys and clothes. She'd helped her tidy her room apparently. Most of the stuff was too small/tatty/broken so it's being snaffled into the bin anyway.

Had a HUGE wake up call last night. Being so disorganised I hadn't sewn on the name labels, but that was ok because I'd seen the huge pack of labels among the random crap on the TV unit.

Except of course, they weren't there! So we had a frantic hour long session of searching the living room, digging around in every crevice. Had all but given up and then went up to our bedroom where I found them within 2 minutes in a random box. FFS. This is so typical of us.

On the plus side we did get rid of more than a bin bag's worth of rubbish but the living room is back to being a tip!

Solo Thu 04-Sep-14 00:54:37

Hey! well done ladies! grin we are on a roll here aren't we?!

Today, I let the meter man in sorted out the stairs as there was all kinds of stuff on them. There is still a lot of stuff on them actually, but it is sorted now, not so much thrown on there. I have to replace my stair carpet as it was is cream which looked gorgeous when new 7 years ago (already!!), but now it looks disgusting blush. I suppose I ought to just try to clean it first, but it's horrid!!

I have several toys in the boot of the car ready to go to the charity shop. Today I gave away the of Mega Blocks and dressing up stuff. This has made a bit of space! grin.
I have some more of Dd's clothes to go too.

Go us! keep going ladies...more from me tomorrow. thanks

fuzzpig Wed 03-Sep-14 13:02:04

Achieved a reasonable amount so far! Emptied out the big bag and got rid of a bag each of recycling and rubbish. Then I was on a roll so I emptied the drawer that's been bugging me. Unfortunately a lot of it I couldn't decide on - mostly more old sheet music (individual songs from the war era mostly - some is really rare) which needs to be put with the rest. I can't decide what to do with it. Anyway I've moved that into the sports direct bag - not ideal I know blush but I've cleaned out the drawer (had to scrub it... Euuuwww) and filled it with what I'd planned to - gift wrap, cards, tape, envelopes etc that all had no home before. It's all very naice now grin

And now I need to resist temptation to carry on as I don't want to ruin myself for all the stuff I have to do later.

fuzzpig Wed 03-Sep-14 09:36:29

Inadaydream I love notebooks too! grin DD seems to as well - it's a fine line between encouraging lots of writing, and encouraging stationery obsession wink

Well done for sorting out your dad's things smile

fuzzpig Wed 03-Sep-14 09:33:26

DCs back at school tomorrow! I am mostly very pleased about this grin

I'm also very proud I have managed to do a few little bits of decluttering in the last week rather than leaving it all til term starts. Given my "all or nothing" issue this is a triumph for my mental health as well as for the house smile

I came up against a few tricky items like clothes that could eventually be mended and chunky puzzles with missing pieces that could be around but I'm pleased to say I let go.

Solo that's a lot you've achieved with all the stuff going out of the house. And you're letting the meter reader in, that's great (I would really struggle with that - thankfully on these cheap crappy new builds all the meters are outside!

Hopefully your DS will soon outgrow the selfish teenager phase. Has he got a PT job yet? That may help especially if you charge some housekeeping grin also I know a lot of teens have got their wake up call when they start sixth form. It's so different from school as you need a lot more self motivation. So fingers crossed smile

Got to venture into town for the last couple of bits later (and a milkshake as I promised myself the DCs!) and my other aims are:

- one more load of washing
- get DCs to put their clean clothes away (been piling up on the stairs again)
- sort through giant sports direct bag full of random crap
- fill at least one bag of rubbish
- fill at least one bag of recycling

That's not including the getting ready for school stuff - packing bags and sewing name tags, argh!

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