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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

anotherrandomusername Mon 30-Dec-13 17:34:14

What an excellent idea nickeldonkey! I have about 50 bottles of shower gel, and we go through hand wash much faster! I'll start decanting!

FatAssPantaloons Mon 30-Dec-13 20:59:30


I have put aside some of the kids' unloved toys today for the charity shop. Christmas makes me panic - more stuff coming into the house makes me feel out of control.

Solo Tue 31-Dec-13 02:29:59

Hi FatAss and welcome! are you a hoarder or are you in control of your 'stuff?' smile

FatAssPantaloons Tue 31-Dec-13 08:38:42

I have hoarding (well, buying unnecessary crap) tendencies, Solo. in control but barely!

Chocolatecoin Tue 31-Dec-13 10:01:19

Hi guys can I join you too? I struggle with organising everything, there's always something MUCH more interesting to do than tidy and sort and by the end of the day I've achieved something really new and exciting but the house just gets worse and more cluttered. I would like 2014 the year to get on top of things, sort out the things that don't work or need to be replaced. Thought it might help if I put it into words.

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Tue 31-Dec-13 10:38:43

12 bags to the charity shop yesterday, 5 more this morning and a couple of small things to the tip...which is what my house still resembles!! blush

I'm going to take the tree down today, I think...or maybe tomorrow. Maybe I'll take the cards down and put the other Christmas stuff away then leave the tree a it longer.

Just waiting for my mum to come and collect ds then I am going to Isis room, armed with lots of plastic bags. I am determined to get his room fit for habitation...especially as my sister will be sleeping in it tonight grin!!

Solo Tue 31-Dec-13 15:08:35

FatAss I wish I was! sad blush

Welcome Chocolatecoin smile yes, I'm much the same as you and sometimes (actually it's probably more often than not), I just do nothing! which is crap!!!
I reckon that by encouraging one another, we can definitely do it this coming year!! grin

Hiccup you really are in the zone! at that rate, you'll ve done and dusted in a few weeks, so well done you!

HelloBoys Tue 31-Dec-13 16:35:18

Have decided to join. Most of flat is ok apart from kitchen area, office area and bedroom.

Am trying to streamline wardrobe. And declutter books and paperwork, kitchen gadgets etc

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Tue 31-Dec-13 17:23:14

Hmm, yes, am feeling in the zone but not seeing results quick enough and I'm in danger of giving up!

Ds' bedroom was a nightmare! I stupidly decided to move his bed which took ages and was a total pita. Anyway, it's done now and is ready for my dsis to sleep in it. The room looks huge if you ignore the massive pile of crap in one corner so I'm pleased I did it but won't be doing it again...ever!!! grin

I'm done for the day and will get back on it tomorrow...paperwork day tomorrow, yay!!

Solo Tue 31-Dec-13 18:45:39

Welcome HelloBoys are you a hoarder or just need a good tidy up? what are your downfalls so to speak? smile

Giving up is not an option! you are doing really well, whereas I am doing nothing... yet!!! but your successes are what will push us all forward with it! please don't look at what you have got to do. Rather, look at what you have achieved so far! smile

HelloBoys Tue 31-Dec-13 19:30:19

Hi solo.

Thanks for welcoming me.

I think I'm a bit of both, hoarder and need a good tidy up but also buy too much.

Eg i have lots of 'presents' in the present cupboard meant to give this year bought new...

Solo Tue 31-Dec-13 19:54:35

Well, as long as they don't go mouldy, you can get rid of them for birthday presents and or for next Christmas, school fete, raffle them off during a coffee morning once you are all sorted at home or just plain ebay them! all is not lost smile

We will get sorted!

we're planning to use the empty tub in the wardrobe for presents. now dd has got child friends, we'll need to keep a stash of suitable gifts.

StarsAbove Tue 31-Dec-13 23:00:26

You've inspired me to make a start. I don't buy stuff, I just keep it forever! I decided to start with a pile of cards that DD (9mo and cruising) keeps pulling down. I thought it would be easy to throw them away but I didn't manage even one! How do you manage this? I have birthday cards going back 30 years, from family members who have now passed away. I don't need them but I can't bring myself to get rid of them. But I have to do something as my flat is a hazard for DD. Please help!

Solo Wed 01-Jan-14 02:44:28

Hi StarsAbove and welcome!

I can't part with sentimental stuff either. I'll be 50 in March and have birthday and Christmas cards that are 49+ years old! I know a lot of people scan their cards and store them in a techie way, but I'm one of those people that like to run my fingers over the handwriting...knowing that Auntie Mary held this and wrote it out to me in 1990, before she died...I didn't get one in '91 because she died the day after my birthday and was in hospital prior to that. It's so hard and I feel like this with everything from everyone.
Something I did do though, was on going through cards etc, I got rid of the least sentimental and kept just the most recent. So if 'Annie' sent me a card every year since 1980 and continues to send a card every year since then, I get rid of those from 1980 until 2012. Though I do keep the last one from 'Annie and Stan' before 'Stan' passed away. Made those characters up btw grin, but you get the picture. Auntie Mary was not made up sad.

Solo Wed 01-Jan-14 02:46:35

Nickel my pressie stash is usually in a carrier bag feels inferior in the wardrobe smile

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Wed 01-Jan-14 02:57:29

Hey Solo smile I'm glad you are still doing it. Don't forget I'm happy to come over and help you anytime you want some company. Have you tackled the dust collectors in the loft yet hmm fgrin

so keep the really sentimental ones. get a tub of a certain size, keep milestone birthdays and events like weddings, keep the one from auntie Mary and chuck the rest.

Solo Wed 01-Jan-14 04:30:21

Yes, am going to start on it very soon! Dust?! in the loft? not me!!
Thanks Chipping may call on you at some point smile

Yes Nickel that's the way to do it! can't take own advice very well

cloutiedumpling Wed 01-Jan-14 11:16:25

Hi Nickel <waves>. My name is cloutie and our house is far too cluttered. It isn't that I buy loads of stuff, I'm just really bad at throwing things out. It is getting to the stage where we have piles of stuff in every room. I need to get on top of it. Perhaps by taking one cupboard/ box etc at a time.

Solo Wed 01-Jan-14 15:37:58

Welcome cloutie smile

Happy New Year everyone. 2014, the year of the clear up!!

StarsAbove Wed 01-Jan-14 16:43:45

Thank you, I suppose there must be some cards I can get rid of if I really try. I'm feeling really positive about it! I think the thing is that I have so much stuff like that, that I don't even know what is there! I could probably chuck the whole pile and not realise it was gone, but it's the sorting through that makes me want to keep it all!

crap. I just typed a massive post and aurora crashed!

basically, make gift tags from this yearms christmas cards before packing decs away. save majorcards and chuck the rest.
my 2nd birthday, 13th bday, 21st, engagement/wedding, dd's birth, baptism, 1st and 2nd. we don't need to keep any others unless really special.

dh used to write love notes on my post and i've kept all those. do I need to? i've got 2 bagsfull!

oh. paperwork. you only need to keep the last 5 years (for tax purposes), but obv keep things that are still current like mortgage, etc.
but bank statements. bills etc can go.
you could keep your first wage slip, first tv licence, that kind of thing.

Bloob Wed 01-Jan-14 20:59:51

Hello smile can I join?

I'm in desperate need of a declutter and a good tidy up. The house is AWFUL. I buy too much (especially for the kids) and am guilty of not really sorting things out. It just gets put down. Calpol on the windowsill, kids toys in our room, letters dd has written to us all over the place. ARGGHH!

It has got seriously bad the last little while - 5 months pregnant with 2 under 4s and we're buying a house. That's my excuse! But we've now bought the house and are moving this month so it NEEDS sorting.

I have just started our room (otherwise known as the junk room) and it looks so much better. It needs more, wardrobes clearing and decluttering and under the bed clearing and a good Hoover but I feel good for having done it!

The rest of the house is overwhelming me though and I don't want to give up! It's just so full of stuff.

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