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Hoarding, DD with ASD won't throw anything away - any ideas?

(14 Posts)
Turningupsidedown Sun 04-Nov-12 01:08:19

So, background: DD2 has until recently been in the largest bedroom but we have swapped things around for various reasons and moved her into a slightly smaller one. She has coped with the moving and the change really well, but, we are having a huge problem with her things.

We had explained to her that she would have less room, and we had done some sorting before the move and agreed to getting rid of some things. But on moving her bed and main bits of furniture into her new room we have discovered just how much stuff she had hidden away. Her bed is one of those high level beds with built in furniture underneath and there was a big gap behind it she had filled - anywhere she could put stuff under or behind we have found she had crammed stuff in.

So we have moved some of her things into her new room, but the rest is still in her old one which we are now in - we have only just got our bed in and you can hardly walk around it. She knows she needs to do something and wants her new room to be nice but gets highly distressed at the idea of getting rid of anything, her things are her security. She wants me to make it all fit but it won't - but some of it HAS to go.

The sort of stuff she has squirreled away:
clothes that are too small but she won't throw away
packaging for loads of things including all the shoe boxes for her shoes
all her school books, pictures, birthday cards etc. she has every received
several bin bags full of soft toys
toys from kids meals
collections of toilet rolls, rocks, cars, etc. (she tends to get very interested in something for a while then moves onto something else but keeps it all)

It is now more urgent as DH has to have a serious operation on his leg in a couple of weeks and will immobile and then on crutches, he needs to be able to get in/out of bed without tripping over all the junk very important stuff

We have let this get out of hand blush does anyone have any ideas we can try?

LadyMaryCreepyCrawley Sun 04-Nov-12 01:10:35

My son does this. I have to pay him, it's the only way. sad

Turningupsidedown Sun 04-Nov-12 02:14:23

Yikes, there is a lot of stuff, I will have to remortgage the house sad

coff33pot Sun 04-Nov-12 02:15:27


Get some boxes and make nice big labels (or blank A4 taped on the side)

Write on them words such as "my life treasure box" and a year. Do one for every year and fill it with the school books, drawings, birthday, xmas cards, her particular collection interest etc for that particular year. You could probably get away with putting the clothes in if they have ages on smile

Tell her they will go into the loft and when she feels like it she can have one to take down and look through anytime.

If she is unhappy I guess be cruel to be kind and tell her its boxes or bin grin

PS. The shoe boxes will then be ideal to fill with the little collection bits for that year so there is a use for them too!

coff33pot Sun 04-Nov-12 02:17:41

PPS lol I would make a start for this years (or next) by giving her a box to start it off now. That way her room just MAY stay clutter free smile

WofflingOn Sun 04-Nov-12 02:23:45

I have a hoarder, here are some of the things I've done over the years that have worked.
Containerised storage, lidded plastic containers with clear labels. Makes it easier to move and stack stuff.
Bin bags full of soft toys, took a number to the local hospice, the SN playgroup and the reception classes, with him accompanying me to donate so that he'd have more room for lego. Bargaining works with him, I made tickets for internet access and favourite dinners and other treats that he valued and swapped.
Portfolio for pictures, but we chose the best ones and I took the rest away to store 'elsewhere'
His large rock collection has its own special place in the garden, they are more interesting when wet anyway.
It is difficult, but everyone in this house is a collector of vitally important materials.

Turningupsidedown Sun 04-Nov-12 02:43:02

Thank you, lots of great ideas! The loft sounds good thank you coff33, the stuff would be out of the way but not thrown away - although I may have to sort out some of the very important stuff junk that I have already carefully stored hoarded up there first blush grin Woffling you have reminded me of the token economy we used a while back - she is a bit older now (12) than when we used it before but if I update the rewards it might help - I had forgotten about that, thanks. smile

PolterGoose Sun 04-Nov-12 11:46:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

moosemama Sun 04-Nov-12 19:17:37

We've done what Coff33 suggested. We bought packs of these white lidded boxes from Ikea that can be kept flat until they're needed. He keeps the current one on top of his wardrobe and the others are stored in the loft. These are a good alternative though, as they can decorate them if they want to.

His room is still stuffed to overflowing, but at least we can see the floor these days!

kittycat68 Sun 04-Nov-12 19:25:07

we did they idea of when you get a new toy you have to donate one to the bin or charity shop. with clothes though i just threw one away every couple of weeks so he didnt notice too much! otherwise box them up as stated by others definately go with boxes with lids!! cash also works in this house too. let ds do a boot fair ( with help) and he bought new stuff with the money made him feel real grown up smile

stillsmarting Sun 04-Nov-12 22:00:02

We still have all DS' GCSE art work.We had all his clay work from Primary School until last year. He also likes to keep favourite trainers even when they are worn out. We bargain with him. No new trainers unless one old pair is thrown away. (He is the same with T shirts). Toys he had outgrown went in the loft,to be surreptitiously got rid of years later. Some things also go in the garage.
He has piles and piles of magazines and DVDs in his room and I can hardly get through the door.
The toy cars have been another issue. We eventually persuaded him to put some in the loft, but his favourite 20 remain on his windowsill. We got the ones from the loft down the other day for the DGCs to play with and he said he found it really hard to watch them playing with them, but at least he let them.
He's nearly 18 by the way.

Turningupsidedown Mon 05-Nov-12 00:20:17

Thanks all, this is really helping us to sort out a plan. I am really thinking the room must have been a tardis, I cannot work out how stuff which was all in one bedroom now seems to be filling two confused I couldn't think how to begin to tackle it all. Thanks for all your suggestions our plan agreed with DD is:

Boxes, lots. and thank you for links moosemama
She is going to sort things into:
keep in bedroom
put into roof - but she is going to photograph them first so she remembers what is up there!
give to charity (will find somewhere she can actually take things, she liked the idea of giving them to people that might not have many toys)
ebay some (this does mostly seem to be things that she has been given that she doesn't like grin)
Christmas Shoebox appeal - we have shoeboxes and contents grin
rocks are now decorating the garden and definately look better in the rain woffling wink
token reward scheme re-started, tokens for everything thrown or given away
I will pay her to throw the toilet rolls away they have to go! Apparently she was going to build a castle out of them confused

So now just have to make sure we do it all and then use some of your ideas to keep it that way thanks

MrsShrek3 Mon 05-Nov-12 00:32:15

I got ds1 (almost 12) into recycling for all those lovely junk models and toilet roll tubes, plastic stuff and crap things that might come in handy wink
He bags them all, and comes on a trip to the local big recycling centre - they recycle absolutely flipping everything there right down to ink cartridges and batteries another weakness at times
We also registered with the heart foundation who very kindly email you to tell you how much money the donations you have taken into the shop have raised. He loves the idea of raising money for medical research - that's his thing. There are other items he'll part with - he sent a whole bunch of Bob the builder character vehicles to a small boy who has ASD too, because he knew just how much that particular lad would enjoy them. Very proud of him for that. He had to hand them over himself, but was delighted at the joy on the little lad's face. smile

Turningupsidedown Mon 05-Nov-12 20:59:34

Recycling - thats another really good one, DD is always very concerned about saving energy, recycling etc. (and tells me off no end if I leave a light on etc.) thanks MrsS smile I shall add it to the list. Bob the builder gift was fab, no wonder you feel proud of him smile

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