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The Hoarders Anonymous Thread. Sorting It Out.

(956 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

nickeldonkeyonadustyroad Sat 28-Dec-13 19:35:28

Signing in! grin

I've already made a start.
After reading the Christmas "where the hell do you put your stuff" thread, it's made me want to start again.

Do we have to do the AA intro thing?
I'm nickelbabe and I'm a hoarder.
Shop closed in October, house now full to the rafters of stock that didn't sell.
Need to clear it and all the stuff we already had.

We managed to make a start using bookcases that were left over from the shop, and some bits of the hosue look great (we're talking 1sqft herer and there though!) - mainly because we don't have a chance to sort through stuff properly. DH has a house full, I have a housefull, the "shop" has a house full, and DH has all the stuff he needs to look after his mum's affairs.
So it's slow work.

I kept looking at one of the fitted wardrobes - hasn't been used as a wardrobe since we did up the bedroom, but as a storage area. Not bad - we put in a cupboard unit at the bottom to house DH's sheet music, but things got put in front and on top and when we used it to store the christmas presents, it was a hard job to shut the door on it!
So, I went to Wilko's to buy 4 storage boxes - 2 x 80l and 2x32l, (with lids) and used them to store stuff.

I have those Lego storage boxes - guess what? Totally and utterly useless for storing Lego, and take up stupid space! So I've put 3x4ers and 1xlarge head's worth of Lego into an 80l box, plus all the bits that wouldn't fit into a lego storage box (base plates FGS). And still space for more! grin

One 32l box with DH's music in, one 80l with "random stuff that's useful (like wrapping paper and the sleeve board), one 32l with "stuff DH needs to sort through!". and the little cardboard box at the bottom has got all the phone/battery/toothbrush charger units in.
The rest of the space is hanging space (which we'd totally lost in the mess), so I can put my dance outfits on.
Here's what it looks like now

nickeldonkeyonadustyroad Sat 28-Dec-13 19:36:19

PS: the 80l and 32l clear storage boxes with lids are in Wilko's sale - the 80l one is £6 down from £9 and the 32l one is £3 from £5

nickeldonkeyonadustyroad Sat 28-Dec-13 19:41:38

I also, today, cleared a box of clothes that were put to one side when I became pregnant and have not seen the light of day since.
Finally got round to looking through. Some are skirts i'll never wear again, some of them were clothes I know I will, so put in appropriate places. Went into the hanging wardtobe and did the same thing - maternity dresses I ended up not wearing much (all hand-me-downs!) etc.
I put the ones I won't wear again into charity bags, apart from 4 dresses - my 3rd year Uni Ballgown, a red dress I made, and 2 60s style dresses I used to wear all the time - those dresses I put into a (very small) box for DD when she grows up, so she can wear them or just look at them and decide what to do with them.
I did that because my mum did the same with a few of her skirts and I loved wearing them when I was old enough (except mum was a lot smaller than adult me, so I only got to wear them when I was about 11! - I've marked this box with the dress size)

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Sat 28-Dec-13 21:58:17

I'm in! I started a thread earlier about 'the big declutter' smile

I'm lazy rather than a hoarder, although, I probably have hoarding tendencies!! Things have been getting worse and worse for a very long time and it has got to breaking point.

I have five days until I'm back in work (well, 4 now), with no plans apart from decluttering. My friend is doing relays to the charity shop and the tip so this is going to be my turning point and this house 'is' going to be sorted out!!!

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Sat 28-Dec-13 22:00:23

Big step for me last week was to get rid of the last of ds' baby clothes (apart from the Nike trainers and three babygros!!). The mistake I made was to put it through the washing machine first which meant it's all hung around, tempting me into keeping it. It's all in the charity shop bag now and will be gone on Monday morning!!

nickeldonkeyonadustyroad Sat 28-Dec-13 23:26:54

see, I just don't know what to do about babyclothes. I kind of want another one so daren't get rid of it because we can't afford to get all that again.
we might go through it and o ly keep so manu outfits of each age. we did give the vicar first refusal on their next size but that didn't clear much.

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Sat 28-Dec-13 23:46:30

That's fair ds is 11 blush!!!

nickeldonkeyonadustyroad Sun 29-Dec-13 00:11:38


nickeldonkeyonadustyroad Sun 29-Dec-13 00:11:54

dd is 2

nickeldonkeyonadustyroad Sun 29-Dec-13 00:13:00

it keps posting without me telling it to!

dd is 2 and I'm hoping the decision is made for us before she's 11!

GatoradeMeBitch Sun 29-Dec-13 00:17:53

Hello everyone! I have been decluttering consistently for months (there's a lot of clutter!) and I have the will, but I don't drive, I have a slimline bin, and not many charity bags take bric-a-brac which slows me down. I have taken advantage of the generosity of friends (about six car-fulls) but now I'm on my own.

The living room and kitchen are not bad at all, but the cupboard under the stairs where I keep the tree is crammed full, so there will be things to deal with when I put the tree away. The bathroom is where I keep the evidence of my 3/4 years of bargain hunting on HUKD/MSE - lots of toiletries, and I got more for Christmas. I throw things out when I see they've gone gross, but I would like to use up my stash and not just get rid of it. My sons room is very neat and tidy, but my bedroom could star on Hoarders - junk everywhere in huge piles. I'm starting to get paranoid about vermin moving in. Most of it is clothes - in five different sizes. The other bad area is our shed - I can only just shut the door. I have no idea what's even in there, I'm too afraid of spiders to explore.

I can't tackle my room until DS goes back to college on the 6th, because I will need his room to decant things into as I sort them. There are no charity bags currently, and the bin is full of Christmas stuff, so my wings are clipped for a week.

Rummikub Sun 29-Dec-13 00:58:32

Hi I am rummi and I have cluttering tendencies, my house has far too much stuff in. And I don't know where to start.

Nickel, I liked your after picture. That's the kind of thing I want to achieve!

Solo Sun 29-Dec-13 01:17:50

Hooray! I'm not alone!!! grin. Welcome aboard ladies!

Hello Nickel smile pic looks very tidy and I love your wallpaper!

Hiccup I've got lazy too and I hate hate hate it!!! I've just so overwhelmed by it all now though.

Gatorade it sounds like you are doing really well already! shame you don't drive though as I can see why that would make a massive difference.

Me? No, I've done nothing yet really....well, yes I have!

I have twice been through my clothes and taken loads of it to the cash 4 clothes places. I've been through Ds's clothes about 4 times and done the same and Dd's several times too. I also ended up selling Dd's Clarkes shoes to C4C's as I just thought sod it, they're never going to sell for £2 a pair on netmums sad It makes a difference, but of course, you replace the out grown clothes and shoes with clothes and shoes that fit!
I sold both baby seats and my Maclaren, gave away on freecycle loads of baby stuff too.
I do have a big bag of toddler clothes that I'd really like to sell individually as they are beautiful and cost a lot. My rl friend and I are looking out for a table top sale locally. I have a cot to sell too which is tucked into one of my wardrobes.

Since the other thread, I have installed two Ikea Pax cupboards into my dining room to take kitchen overflow as I have a tiny kitchen and little cupboard space. Trouble is, the Pax shelves aren't designed for weighty things and they started to bow under the weight, so I've had to buy more shelves and spread it all out a bit. Still concerned that there'll be an almighty crash at some point and I'll find everything in a heap inside a Pax!

18 months ago, I bought an 8'x10' shed for my craft stuff. I need more sheds! blush.

When my Dc's go back to school, I'm really going to get cracking on getting rid and getting sorted. A rl friend told me that I have to stop saying 'I need to' and start saying 'I want to' very good point, and very true! We have to want to do it, don't we?!
I'll shut up for now. But keep on decluttering, keep on clearing, keep on cleaning...and keep on posting!! smile

Solo Sun 29-Dec-13 01:19:15

Ooh! welcome Rummikub smile you've come to the right place!

I'll return tomorrow at some point.

Rummikub Sun 29-Dec-13 12:14:39

Wow solo you've done loads!

nickeldonkeyonadustyroad Sun 29-Dec-13 17:06:00

gatorade I don't use bubble bath /sbower sensitive skin), so I decant thhem into the liquid soap dispenser. that gets used all the time.

nickeldonkeyonadustyroad Sun 29-Dec-13 17:17:45

today I went back to wilko's and bought a 24l tub to gi with the little ones under the stairs, a cd ling narrow one and a very smal (6.5)l tub
after having arranged everything, it looks like I want a 24l one instead of the 12l (?) i got yesterday because of the gap.
that's okay because we can easily use the 12l one elsewhere.
24l better size for my fabric.
and if i get going on the sewing I need to do, I won't bave as much fabric lyjng about.
my threads fit perfectly in a 24l tub with room to spare and now i don't have odd shaped boxes because they're all the same.

FurryDogMother Sun 29-Dec-13 19:28:05

Just checking in - not entirely on the planet tonight as I have flu and tequila (not necessarily the best mix ever!). Home is a blinkin' nightmare as far as 'stuff' goes, and my housework skills hover around the zero level - but right now I'm not there, am back in civilization until Thursday - but then I'll be back and staring down the barrel of it all again. This WILL be the year I get it sorted - but first, I'll have another tequila sunrise and try to drown this damn flu virus!

starofbethlehemfishmummy Sun 29-Dec-13 21:49:34

I am starfishmummy and I need to declutter the whole house.
Not really started yet because we all have the lurgy but have some clothes bagged up for the next charity collection (or maybe to the charity bank at the community centre when they re-open).

Want to clear the desk in the spare room so I can get back into crafting - which will also help declutter the craft supplies!!

nickeldonkeyonadustyroad Sun 29-Dec-13 22:19:51

ooh no, furry, when I had my horrid cold (not convinced flu, but it was so bad I missed church shock), I drank half a bottle of wine and felt exactly the same grin

Solo Mon 30-Dec-13 01:36:22

grin Welcome everyone! this is great! I no longer feel so lonely wink.

I know from the thread that I 'met' nickel on (unless it was from a totally different thread) that we sometimes did the flylady thing of 15 minute bursts of tidying/cleaning/decluttering, then 15 minutes rest ~ at least, that's how I used to do it before it was this bad blush .
I hope we can get this party started sooner rather than later and be in a position a little while from now, to throw the door wide and invite someone in for a cuppa! <-----my dream!

Rummi it seems like a lot, but a lot of it (seats/buggy/baby stuff) were over a year ago now...I don't know where the time goes, I really don't! but I have been doing the clothing cull regularly this year!
Another thing I'm getting better with is that I only glance through the freecycle ads now and if I'm at all tempted, I have a stern talk with myself!

nickeldonkeyonadustyroad Mon 30-Dec-13 16:36:00

it's a good way of blitzing.
today, dh bought me an 80l tub and a 24l one. the 80l one is now in front of tthe back window with soft toys in (and obviously worked because she never went near the pile of crap random soft toys all over the floor and she pulled them all out, had a play and a stomp, and dh put them all back. we've agreed that if the 3 (plus happyland - we're going to get a proper tub for happyland) boxes get overflowing that we'll cull the stuff.
this has already started in a way because I took some of the plastic zets to church for the busy bags. dd plays with those anyway, so it's not like we're chucking out good s?uff.

the 24l box is now in my sewjng-under-the-stairs. it looks good under there now.

Solo Mon 30-Dec-13 16:46:23

Hello everyone! how are you going today?

I got up today with a twinge in my back! argh!! so nothing done today!

Solo Mon 30-Dec-13 16:48:07

Today. Today. Today. hmm word of the day then!!

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