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Hoarder - moved house and can't bring myself to unpack

(16 Posts)
CrossWords Mon 23-Sep-13 10:36:24

We've just moved from a flat that we lived in for years and years to a rented house not too far away for space reasons. I hated the move and putting all our stuff in boxes - hadnt realised quite how much a hoarder I am but seeing all sorts of bits from the past made me really sad and like life was better then and maybe I've wasted the last few years. Now I wish wish wish we hadnt moved. I can't bring myself to unpack and settle in. It feels like I'm stuck in the past and can't move on. I know I need to get a grip (especially for the sake of DS who is 5 and the new baby) but I'm just paralysed by it all. Please offer me some words of wisdom.

buildingmycorestrength Mon 23-Sep-13 13:54:23

I would go to the doctor, actually. Honestly, you might think this is a 'stuff' problem, but it is about how you feel and deal with things.

Much better to go for help now than not be able to unpack and look back in a couple of years and wish you'd got help. thanks

May09Bump Mon 23-Sep-13 14:22:06

I have felt like this (have a 5yr old too).

Maybe speak to GP / HV - just to make sure it's not postnatal depression. And really get out of the house - walk, coffee, playgroup - it helps de-stress.

With the boxes - is there an area you can put them and just close the door on them just for now. It's not the right time to sort it all out.

When you are feeling a bit more yourself - maybe explore why you feel like the last couple of yrs have been a waste.

Are there any family members that can help or you can talk too. Sounds like you need a break - just to be yourself.

mirpuppet Mon 23-Sep-13 14:22:29

Why not unpack the stuff you need -- will use now.

Keep the rest in boxes in a separate area.

It is depressing to live with boxes so try and get them out of the sight.

CrossWords Tue 24-Sep-13 10:02:39

Re the suggestions to shut the boxes away - I'd love to do it but I thought I maybe needed an action plan to snap out of my paralysis. Like it might be better to set myself a plan to do say one box at a time and at least start get through it. Or I'll be in the same position in 6 months time.
I feel like part of the problem was keeping things out of sight (ie I had all this stuff before but it was all shut away and now its out in plain view). Also panicking about stuff I cant immediately lay hands on being lost etc.
Am a bit surprised at the suggestions to see a dr. Because of feeling like the past was happier? I have always beein like this - to a ridiculous degree such as thinking that earlier the same day or week was better than the present.

ArtisanLentilWeaver Tue 24-Sep-13 10:13:34

I don't know if this would be of any use but I have done the same as you (except I have not moved house recently, I just did not unpack until I felt ready).
I have taken to tipping a box out in the living room then the whole family has helped sort through things - I found that is was easier to disassociate with some of the stuff and while the dcs were delighting in some objects, I could fling stuff into a bin bag then asked dh to take it to the recycling centre/ skip).
The living room floor had to be cleared so we could move so the stuff had to either find a home or get chucked out. I was able to tell the dcs stories about some of the objects but other things which invoked painful memories were thrown out.
Yes, I had some panic about some of the stuff but now, a few weeks on, I have forgotten about it.The memories were in my head and not in the bulk of the objects and as a result, we have far more room and I feel better somehow.

CrossWords Tue 24-Sep-13 11:33:33

Thanks ALW and how inspiring and brave that sounds - I just dont understand how my head can get so messed up about what are essentially just things. And whilst I'm wallowing, I'm not giving all of my head to my lovely children who I should be enjoying

buildingmycorestrength Tue 24-Sep-13 13:16:16

I don't think you are massively mentally ill, necessarily, sorry if I gave that impression. Lots of people struggle with this, as you can see from all the blogs devoted to decluttering.

I just think you sounded quite down in your post, and like it was really getting to you. Doctors are there to help (most of them!). Feeling like the past is always better is also something that might need some attention. Your children are your future, and you don't want to spend their lives wishing they were still small or you never had them. I know, I've been there. You spend a lot of time crying. You want to be able to look forward to things, to them growing up and spreading their wings and becoming themselves, to all the good things that will come your way. If you don't feel like that is possible, why not see a doctor and see what they say?

I think the advice about put most of it away could be combined with your idea of going through boxes each week. Then it isn't in your face but it is being dealt with. grin

CrossWords Tue 24-Sep-13 17:38:03

Thats really helpful and kind, thank you

May09Bump Tue 24-Sep-13 21:38:27

I think when you used paralyzing, it worried people a bit.

Try and set aside an area or room, get three empty boxes - keep, charity and rubbish and just tackle one box at a time. Think is each item worth the space (it costs to store stuff even in your house).

You have a lot on (new house / young kids) and my advice is still not to do too much too soon.

Notcontent Tue 24-Sep-13 22:39:20

I can understand how you are feeling. Possessions often have memories associated with them, and going through those possessions can being those memories and feelings to the surface.
I have felt a bit like that, because I have been happier in the past than I am now, but sorting through things and getting rid of some if it will actually make you feel better. Just try to take a very practical approach and don't dwell on stuff too much.

valiumredhead Tue 24-Sep-13 23:23:16

I also think you should see a gp /counsellor tbh. Paralysed with fear of unpacking really isn't a healthy way to be living.

valiumredhead Tue 24-Sep-13 23:28:14

Sorry I didn't mean that as harshly as it probably reads. I have family members with hoarding problems and it needs nipping in the bud asap add its usually a symptom of other issues.

Good luckthanks

CrossWords Wed 25-Sep-13 14:27:34

I guess by paralysed I mean overwhelmed to the extent of not being able to do anything if that makes sense. But I am feeling more optimistic and trying to adopt a practical approach and thinking every little thing i do towards unpacking is at least a step in the right direction

buildingmycorestrength Tue 01-Oct-13 20:21:23

How has it been this week, OP?

Woooooohoooooo Mon 29-Jun-15 14:13:18

Can you read the Marie kondo Book. Part of the decluttering process is getting rid of painful stuff

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