The Hoarders Anonymous Thread. Sorting It Out.

(904 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

I've emptied the cupboard, and taken the doors off as the damn things don't close anyway. Incentive to keep it tidy and to keep on at the council.

Now to clean up the spill of red food colouring from the top shelf.

Hope you're all having a productive day.

2boysnamedR Thu 30-Jul-15 11:28:09

There's no cash for clothes near me I think? I always have a excuse ;0)

I'm going in!

fuzzpig Thu 30-Jul-15 11:20:20

That's a good idea Solo.

DD got really upset when I was about to throw out an old picnic hamper, she really wanted to keep it for her dressing up box. I said that because it was quite big she had to get rid of five things from the dressing up box if she wanted to keep it, and she found it surprisingly easy to find things they didn't like or could no longer fit.

Solo Thu 30-Jul-15 11:18:29

I did my bathroom too earlier in the year. It's the smallest room, but I threw out so much stuff!!

Solo Thu 30-Jul-15 11:17:05

Why don't you try sorting a wardrobe before going? then you can take the stuff to go with you to a Cash 4 Clothes and spend that money on something new. Give yourself a limit though!

2boysnamedR Thu 30-Jul-15 11:17:01

I'm trying to do three things for every one item of clothes in ( I have four young kids). I have since April bought 113 items and thrown out 266 so I still have a fair bit to chuck out. ( I'm counting everything including small items).

I also wanted to do a quick grab ten things and take to the dump but that's been hard too. I did it in the bathroom, but that's as far as I got!

Solo Thu 30-Jul-15 11:12:41

Books! this is my thing with books!

Welcome 2boys smile

2boysnamedR Thu 30-Jul-15 11:06:21

I'm mainly a clothes hoarder which is going to be a challenging day as I have to go to my favourite retail outlet to get the toddler shoes. Must not buy lots. I need a limit then to throw out if buy any more than just toddler shoes.

fuzzpig Thu 30-Jul-15 10:59:36

Or if you have a library you could see if they want the cases. I also use those folder things and take the empty boxes into my library because they are useful when the original boxes are broken.

Welcome 2boys I recognise your name, think I was on your other thread under a different name. Glad you've joined us. This thread has been incredibly helpful, challenging but in a good way.

Struggling to get motivated today but I will get off my arse in a bit I promise!

I'm doing a kitchen cupboard today. The bins were emptied this week so I can justify chucking a load of stuff out. I need some mini baskets for in the 'pantry' cupboard so I can group stuff together and not have the herbs and spices escape into other parts of the cupboard, rough up the rice and start calling the cans of tuna names grin Having so little storage is crap. I have two double cupboards and one single cupboard for all the food, crockery, pans etc. the cupboard under the sink is damn and houses cleaning stuff and the toolbox.

I'm pretty sure I'm due a new kitchen, council property and the kitchen is over 30 years old! I dream of more than 1.5m of counter space, more cupboards and more than four plug sockets.

2boysnamedR Thu 30-Jul-15 10:20:18

I guess I should join you after my recent thread.

I have been visiting friends and family and it's shocked me and dh how cluttered we are.

Dh kept saying "it's like a show home" at his Aunt's house. I'm pretty sure it was fairly normal.

You could put the cases on freegle if you want, someone might want them.

I got one of those massive cd storage folders for the dvd collection. I binned all the cases. The folder lives on a shelf in the living room, 500+ DVDs in a space about the size of an old record player.

Babieseverywhere Thu 30-Jul-15 09:01:56

But I can't organise clutter forever, the only way forward (for me) is to reduce the amount of stuff overall and ensure everything has a place.

My bathroom is a doodle to tidy now, as everything is in a labelled box and all the useless stuff chucked.

But I still have stuff I don't to chuck but I never use...like dvds.

Solo Thu 30-Jul-15 01:02:39

It sounds like you put stuff on any free surfaces. I do this too, as does my Mum.
My kitchen is very small and I don't have much storage, but I think you are right when you say that new furniture just gets filled up! I bought two PAX wardrobes for my dining room to enable me to put kitchen/dining stuff away...! it worked, but is no longer enough!!

fuzzpig Wed 29-Jul-15 23:43:47

Yep absolutely. I still have a lot of stuff to get rid of (it's just that it's got to the stage where it's not so obvious WHAT to ditch)

Doing stuff like tidying the living room is really just moving things around. That's why it slips back so very quickly.

Seriously need to sleep now. Not actually tired but my sleep habits are getting really silly again, which is not helpful for CFS. Going to come up with a decluttering plan for tomorrow - thinking helps me drift off grin

Babieseverywhere Wed 29-Jul-15 23:38:11

I have finally realised in my case I just have to much stuff. I need to streamline a lot.. .but like pp said...I need to get things out of my house not piled for later.

fuzzpig Wed 29-Jul-15 23:25:21

Ooh, you could get an awful lot out of your house then! That is a great incentive smile

I struggle with lack of storage too, our house is just so tiny, it makes it really difficult doesn't it. My mum has offered to buy us some storage but I'm also wary that if we get more storage before we've sorted through what we've got, we will just end up filling the new furniture with even more crap. Bitter experience talking. Sigh.

My mum and dad have offered to take some things to the tip/charity shop for me on Sunday, so I have between now and then to bag up as much as will fit in the back of a seven seater car. We're out Friday, but I figure if I dedicate tomorrow afternoon and Sunday morning to it I can get a lot done.

I made headway in the kitchen today. Cleared a lot of junk. I have very little storage though, does make things tricky.

Onwards and upwards.

fuzzpig Wed 29-Jul-15 22:30:43

smile How are you getting on?

I didn't do much decluttering today, busy doing other things in the house, but I managed to fill a big Trofast bucket with rubbish in about 12 minutes just by grabbing random bits from living room surfaces!

I think my main issue is now organisation rather than hoarding. I feel like my mindset has changed pretty significantly and 'stuff' generally doesn't have so much hold over me. It's certainly not over yet though, as I still feel quite paralysed by certain things or areas in the home. It's generally stuff that doesn't really fit into a category. What I call random shizz. grin

I need to do a little more over the next few days before my parents are here again so we can make the most of the day when they're here. I particularly need to look at the kitchen because I've cleaned out all that space and I don't know what to put back in it! If I don't sort it out soon it'll all end up more cluttered than ever. I'm thinking one cupboard for non-food stuff (laundry supplies, iron, toolbox?) and one for the food-related equipment, like the slow cooker and food processor, which I just realised can feasibly live in the cupboard most of the time since I'm planning to only have a few days' marathon batch cooking each month. So that'll clear some desperately needed space on the kitchen surfaces too. And I really must try hard not to pile stuff on the tops of the fridge again.

I think the worst room in the house is our bedroom but there's no way my parents are going in there just yet! grin

Solo Wed 29-Jul-15 20:00:48

It is therapeutic all round I think! it's really nice not feeling so alone! thanks

fuzzpig Wed 29-Jul-15 19:52:04

Oh, this thread is excellent therapy. thanks

fuzzpig Wed 29-Jul-15 19:49:02

Yep Solo my parents are pretty similar to me really. Hoarding tendencies and major apathy with regards to housework. Although our house was less cluttered (huge house) it was much, much dirtier than how I live now. I think my Dad's hoarding is more ingrained, as my Mum has really turned things around since they moved into separate flats. I remember being very pleased for her after she'd been living alone a few months, as she offered me something she didn't want anymore. I said thanks but no thanks and she said ok, I'll just get rid of it then. smile <faints> She is really enjoying having a lovely spacious flat and has really got into cleaning it (she does have a storage area in the basement which is full, but she's getting there, definitely) but my Dad isn't really getting anywhere with his apart from when Mum helps him. He actually has two flats now - he moved into the same retirement building as his own mum, my Nan - just a matter of weeks before she was diagnosed with lymphoma, and she died a few months later sad he then basically moved into her flat because it was nice and clear, and is going to keep that one permanently (as he's obviously inherited it, and it gets better light) but he's pretty much shut the door on 'his' flat and ignored everything. You can barely get in the door from what I remember. sad

They also both hoard food. When I was growing up there was always out of date food everywhere, mouldy stuff... that has had a lasting effect on me. They would get really angry at me if I took it upon myself to throw something away even when it had mould or in one case when its use by date was older than me. It is without a doubt a major root of my anxiety - although you'd never believe it because my house is so messy, I am really germ phobic about food. Even now I panic when I stay at Mum's - even though it's a lovely clean flat, the fridge (same one from the family home) still smells funny to me, I often try and check whether something's been bought recently and I've been known to wander away from the dinner table to secretly check the use by dates on food if she's served it. We had the use of her flat when they were away for a few days - she said help yourself to whatever is there, but I absolutely couldn't, I didn't touch a single thing that was already in the fridge when we arrived.

Solo Wed 29-Jul-15 19:20:53

Babies I hope your Dc's are ok now; my Dd threw up on Friday night (we were in a hotel!) and I had a severely upset stomach on Saturday at a wedding reception! not good, but we are all ok now! My Ds and I were at a big London hospital today and there was a huge sign up saying that if anyone had had vomiting or diarrhoea within the last 48 hours, not to go any further as Norovirus is about! I had to stand there and work it out; but thankfully, it's 4 days now and Ds wasn't affected anyway!

Fuzz you may have said already, but are your parents hoarders too? mine are/were and I think it does often follow!

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