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Friends hoarding

(28 Posts)
Namethecat Wed 13-Jun-18 19:26:33

So I have a friend who has a problem with buying clothes from charity shops especially if they are of a reasonably good name ( Fat face,White Stuff etc) She has probably 40 bags at least. A lot of them no longer fits or purchased because she will 'slim ' into them. She has amassed this over 4 /5 years and doesn't wear nor look/sort them. For the past few months she knows she must tackle this and move on for her own mh. It overwhelms her. I have suggested we tackle this together and I'm more than willing to assist. She has put off doing it but in today's conversation she agrees it needs doing. We are starting tomorrow, I've suggested we do it in piles - keep, charity shop, and undecided. I will be led her her and have a gentle approach but asking for suggestions to coax her along. TIA

MikeUniformMike Thu 14-Jun-18 00:07:53

How big are the bags?
I would split them into related items. e.g. skirts, dresses, jeans etc.
From each pile reject any that are not going to fit.
Try things on.
If they don't fit, reject. If she doesn't feel good in it, reject.
Rejects that could sell, list on ebay or similar, or take to a charity shop.
If each pile is still enormous, decide on an acceptable number and go through and cull.
If she had completely forgotten about the purchase then it can probably go.
Selling used clothes can take ages and a huge profit is not guaranteed. Some things will fly though.

Keep classics that are good wardrobe standbys.

MikeUniformMike Thu 14-Jun-18 00:20:27

If there is a dress agency nearby, that is quite a good way of selling them.
Ebay is a bit hit and miss. Some makes sell well, some won't. You have to photograph, list, parcel and send stuff, which can be time consuming and expensive and if you relist things they can be hanging around for months. There's an ebay thread.
I find listing things is a good way to say goodbye to things mentally.

Cash for clothing type places are easy but humiliating. Better IMO to take them to a charity shop like a local hospice shop.

I either take things to the nearest charity shop or to one that will best suit the item - for example, a local CS sells 6 books for £1 but another might charge £1 for 1 book. I know we're not discussing books but ...

Namethecat Thu 14-Jun-18 06:14:10

Books are also in the over flowing room - so thanks.

GOODCAT Thu 14-Jun-18 06:33:31

She could also decide on the number off things she needs by what she can fit into her existing wardrobe and drawers.

This means if she can fit in say 14 pairs of socks she picks her 14 pairs and the rest have to go. Neatly stored clothes that easily fit into the storage will give her a lift. As each drawer is left neat you get some easy wins.

GobblersKnob Thu 14-Jun-18 06:59:07

Expect it to be potentially very difficult/traumatic. Hoarding is not just buying/having too much stuff (you probably already know this).

Do not be surprised if you only get through one or two bags, don't push for your friend to go faster, you'll have to work at her pace, don't get exasperated in front if her (and you really will be at times).

Don't be surprised or take it personally if she lashes out verbally, she may also break down in tears.

You are lovely for helping your friend out and sound like you have just the right attitude, good luck.

Namethecat Thu 14-Jun-18 07:06:08

Her husband is ill and they have to make major changes to their home to make it liveable for him. She has known this for a few years but has still been unable to tackle it. Because of the conversation had over the weekend and again yesterday she seems open to at least starting the task. I won't know until I go over there today If she is still wanting to do it, but I'm hoping we can make a start at the very least.

jimijack Thu 14-Jun-18 07:09:16

Agree, this is probably much beyond "sorting into this that & the other piles" this won't be smooth or easy.

Due to the psychology of hoarding and whatever it is linked to (I believe..I'm no expert).

Also, for every bag you clear, be prepared to go to the house shortly after only to find more new purchases replacing it!

Take your time at her pace, there is likely a story or tale behind every individual item that she may tell at length to delay/reaffirm why she needs to keep it. I'm in a similar situation with a friend who now two years on, two years of trying...I just go for a cuppa and her company as we just got anywhere with the great potential of falling out because of my exasperation and frustration at her resistance and strange ways.
She is just too good a friend to loose.

ScreamingValenta Thu 14-Jun-18 07:19:02

I have a tendency to amass too many charity shop 'bargains'. I force myself to have a clear out from time to time - one thing that works for me is to put items I'm unsure about in a separate bag and put this away somewhere. If I haven't touched it a few weeks down the line, the bag goes to charity. Occasionally I will retrieve one or two items from the bag, but most of it will go.

Also, be realistic about things that need minor repairs - put them on one side, and if you haven't been bothered to repair them in a couple of weeks, they need to go too.

Oddbutnotodd Thu 14-Jun-18 07:23:36

There is a website which has a resources section. Just being with your friend in a gentle way while she tackles a few bags will help. Ideally take away the rejects straight away.
There are always more clothes in charity shops to buy in the future.

mayhew Thu 14-Jun-18 07:24:10

To counteract the negative feelings she will get overwhelmed by, concentrate on the positive. She will feel fear, self loathing and despair as she tries to let go. Remind her of the good she is doing
: an act of love for her husband
: redonating her stuff allows the charity shop a second chance to get some money for it. That will help her let go of the better stuff.

MikeUniformMike Thu 14-Jun-18 12:02:21

Remember the Sunk Costs theory.
The charity shop can resell it is another bonus - she'd be donating to a good cause, she'd be gaining some space. Win-win.
If things need mending, consider how big the task is. I dislike replacing zips but reattaching a button is simple. Hemming jeans is fairly simple, but shortening trousers or skirts and dresses can be tricky. If they need dressmaking/tailoring type alterations, get rid, unless you or she have the skills and inclinations.

Namethecat Thu 14-Jun-18 16:39:36


100 kilos of clothes taken to one of those Cash for clothes places.

MikeUniformMike Thu 14-Jun-18 16:45:37

What did you get for it?

MikeUniformMike Thu 14-Jun-18 16:45:52

Thanks for the update.

Oddbutnotodd Thu 14-Jun-18 17:16:41

That’s great. Hope they took it all.

Pythonesque Thu 14-Jun-18 17:37:59

Wow, well done! to both of you.

ScreamingValenta Thu 14-Jun-18 17:55:05

Well done! I hope it's a weight off your friend's shoulders.

MikeUniformMike Thu 14-Jun-18 18:09:52

100 kg is like 14 stones or so isn't it. That's a lot! What a good friend you are.

Namethecat Thu 14-Jun-18 19:05:03

100 kilos is 15 stone 7lb !!!
She got 40p a kilo ( £40)
It was a hard day. A lot of the stuff she wanted to keep but I encouraged her to try them on and a fair bit she decided to let go. We had a few funny moments and a bit of a laugh.

Namethecat Thu 14-Jun-18 19:05:32

Still shoes and handbags to go !

PurpleWithRed Thu 14-Jun-18 19:09:33

Wow you did amazingly well, committed hoarders really need mental health care as much as a good clear out. Is she open to the idea of counselling?

MikeUniformMike Thu 14-Jun-18 19:11:44

Well done you two.

Namethecat Thu 14-Jun-18 19:16:50

A few times she shouted and had a general moan at her husband ( he kept us topped up with tea!) but she did very well. I said before we started that once done we needed to take them from the house so no temptation to put back. She thanked me in the car and said she would have struggled with getting rid of 3 bags and not the 20 ( bin bags) we did take. Don't get me wrong she has kept about 50 coats and lots of jumpers,tops ( we are still talking about loads) but it's a start.

MikeUniformMike Thu 14-Jun-18 19:18:36

50 coats!

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