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Does anyone have a hoarder in their lives?

55 replies

Hmmmm21 · 24/06/2023 14:26

How do you cope? From what I read there is a poor outcome, unlikely to get better.

OP posts:
OnedayIwillfeelfree · 24/06/2023 14:28

‘From what I read’ where do you read this?

Hmmmm21 · 24/06/2023 15:13

@OnedayIwillfeelfree are you aware of something different?

OP posts:
Sciencey · 19/07/2023 15:44

I do. It's gotten worse over the years and a very sore point. I'm not sure what to do about it but it's stressful for me. I try to keep my living room and my bedroom clear of their stuff, but it still builds and the other rooms are becoming less useful and accessible.

TwilightSkies · 19/07/2023 15:46

I used to. He’s wasn’t an extreme hoarder but it was pretty bad. Keeping loads of useless shite for no reason and not willing to discuss or compromise.
I would recommend anyone to break up with a partner who is like this! It’s a miserable way to live.

LaMaG · 19/07/2023 15:49

My dad has this issue, not so much with buying things but never throwing anything out. Obviously a certain amount of new purchases are needed so it builds up very slowly. We have tried everything, interventions, arguments, offers to tackle it while he is away but to no avail. It his house so we have no say but it's worrying when it's a fire hazard and exits are blocked and it's unhygienic too. He had medication and food condiments 10 years out of date and we managed to throw out some stuff.

I posted on AIBU a few days ago but no replies. I might bump again maybe and you could see what people say?

BMW6 · 19/07/2023 15:57

As I understand it hoarders very rarely change their ways.
If you are living with one I strongly recommend you leave for the sake of your own physical and mental health.

mushroommummy · 19/07/2023 16:02

Both my parents are extreme hoarders! So much so that they were interviewed for a TV show. It will never change, they will never change. I had to hire a team
of professionals and it took them 2 weeks steady to clear out the house. A year later and it’s almost as bad.

JennyMule · 19/07/2023 16:06

I've previously applied for appointment as deputy for property and affairs for an extreme hoarder this acquiring the legal authority to make the decisions that the hoarder was unable to make due to their hoarding disorder meaning that they lacked the mental capacity to make decisions about their hoard. An extreme measure for extreme circumstances (real risk to life and limb and filthy living conditions without access to functioning kitchen or bathroom.)

BlueKaftan · 19/07/2023 16:13

My NDN. It’s awful. He’s in a council house and despite complaints they refuse to do anything.

HypoShamania · 19/07/2023 16:29

I have hoarding tendencies, not quite at the ‘this would make a great documentary’ level but I die a little inside at the thought of strangers coming into the house. The sitting room is clear and welcoming but in my bedroom there is only a narrow path around my bed. I can’t access my wardrobe or chests of drawers because books, boxes and clothes are piled in front, up to knee and even waist height in places. I have (diagnosed) mental illnesses and much conflict and trauma in my past, which seems common with other hoarders I know.

Mummypete · 19/07/2023 17:00

Yes I think sadly people don’t change. My sister is a hoarder (although not as bad as what you see on TV). Her daughter was the opposite and just couldn’t cope with the state of their house. Despite my sister being heartbroken that her daughter ended up going to live with her dad to get away from it, she still couldn’t change and continues to live in the same way years later.

MadeInChorley · 19/07/2023 17:03

My FIL. He lives in the spacious family home where DH and his siblings grew up, but it now looks like a cross between a haunted house and Steptoe’s junk yard. MIL left him 20+ years ago, before I met DH, when she couldn’t stop the clutter/him getting worse. We haven’t been allowed inside the house for 10 years and it was pretty awful then - carpet in downstairs loo soaked with urine (FIL’s aim is poor 🤢 ), piles and piles of dusty old newspapers and every kiddy handicraft and drawing displayed. DH is 50 and his siblings not much younger.

As someone said up-thread, it’s less about FIL accumulating new stuff, although he’s a sucker for supermarket own brand BOGOF bargains, and more about never throwing anything away. Jars of rusty screws, 10 years out of date condiments, all his children’s clothes.

FIL is well off. He came from poverty but is self made. Very comfortable, but an utter miser, which leads to strange behaviours like buying a brand new car every few years, but not selling the old one. He keeps them “for spare parts”, so the driveway is full of rusting cars on flat tyres going back to 1980’s. He won’t pay a garage to fix his car (“a rip off”) and tries to do it himself using windscreen wiper blades from an old Talbot Samba and a random tyre on his new Passat 🙄

LaMaG · 19/07/2023 17:30

Things my Dad keeps:
-Chewy dog toy. My dog or any other has never visited, last dog died in 1997

  • Baby stack of blocks beside TV, bought for DS (15) but never opened in case DS 'breaks' them. All 7 GC not allowed open them.
  • an AM radio
  • about 20 candles in a conservatory that overheats so candles melt then get filled with dead flies then harden again.
  • breakfast oats cardboard cylinders. All along a shelf, blocking my wedding photo

-Toothbrushes, no one including him knows who owns them. They have been on display for years and years and are brown stained
LaMaG · 19/07/2023 17:30

Oops margins got a bit funny there

loislovesstewie · 19/07/2023 17:42

My late DH was a hoarder, it was a cause of me ending up with anxiety and depression. He didn't believe that he hoarded, he thought he was a collector and if we only lived in a bigger house then everything would be tidy. Sadly I knew that he would just find more stuff to buy/collect/keep. When he died it took me over a year to sort out his stuff and get rid of it. The only thing in his favour was that a huge amount of it was stuff that other people ,aka hoarders, like to buy. I still feel really sad because it took over his life and mine. We couldn't keep the house clean and tidy, we couldn't have visitors, we couldn't walk around rooms, I had to walk like a crab between boxes of stuff.All his stuff was in large plastic boxes stacked around rooms.

It was hell, I would never minimise the effects on others who live with a hoarder.

thecatsthecats · 19/07/2023 18:02

My husband hoards clothes. I largely operate a "one in, one out policy". He just buys, and buys and buys.

I lost my rag when I realised that he would grouch at me for not putting his clothes away properly (we share chores equally, that just happens to be mine). But even though I've made efforts for years, there just literally only so much room for his stuff. I can't endlessly cram it in. It's REALLY easy to put away my stuff, because there's room for it!

So now he has a clean stuff pile. I do no more than add to the pile.

Tracker1234 · 19/07/2023 18:12

Late DF was one. I have to disagree it’s always a MH issue. It’s easy to say as an excuse. DF just chucked people out who dared offer to help and it was a miserable existence. DF was always lazy, housework was for women and when my Mother and he divorced he just got worse and worse. It was a control thing for him. He decided to live the way he wanted and stuff anyone else. Eventually people just backed away and he eventually had to move into a care home.

Guess who was lucky enough to have the role of selling the house? Got professional clearers as you literally didn’t know where to start. He had one brown box which supposedly had important papers. The rest of the house was a bloody disgrace.

ThisIsACoolUserName · 19/07/2023 18:14

Yes my MIL.
My DH, SIL and BIL talk openly with one another about how satisfying it will be when she dies (although her kids love her) and we can chuck everything she owns into a skip.
Her 'stuff' has impacted the whole of her life as well as her husband's and kids' - from the debt she's accrued buying it, to the lack of space and dirt in their (and her husband's) home because it's impossible to navigate around or clean properly.
She now has a grandson and he simply can't spend any time in their home - it isn't safe.

Daftasabroom · 19/07/2023 18:24

DW is getting there, I have a clear out once in a while which results in meltdowns. Bi

Acheyknees · 19/07/2023 19:05

I have a relative who has a tendency to hoard. Buys a new thing to replace a broken one but will not throw the broken one out. A one point had a new kettle and two old broken ones. Gets really angry if they see someone throw broken stuff out. I've now learnt to take the stuff to the tip when relative is away so they can't see it in the wheelie bin and bring it back in the house. What I find sad is all the hoarded broken stuff under sofas, in cupboards and under beds will just be skipped as soon as relative dies. But in the meantime the family have to put up with a house full of crap because of one person's obsession

FrivolousTreeDuck · 19/07/2023 19:06

Aye, my dad. Sis and I have tried to tackle - no joy.

xyz111 · 19/07/2023 19:07

In our county, you can request the fire service to come out for a home safety visit as well. They can put a note on their system so if anything happened, the fire crews would know it's a hoarded house.

GayPareeee · 19/07/2023 19:10

DH dad died last week and DH up they're starting on the house. Council did a deep clean a year ago, still no surfaces anywhere and he's removed over 40 bottles of milk from the kitchen alone.

DSM is a hoarder but DF is clearing bit by bit, you can see genuine panic when she discovers something has gone despite not touching it for 20+ years

Clarabe1 · 19/07/2023 19:28

Yes we had a hoarder in the family- my aunt. Nobody ever got past the front door but you could literally see the crap piling up at the windows and even in her car! The nets at the window were thick with grime and dust. When she died specialist cleaners went in and it all went in a skip. How sad. What amazed me though was that she always looked clean and presentable , jewellery make up etc, hair always done but lived in a hovel?? I wonder what causes it?

Tracker1234 · 19/07/2023 21:32

Very unlikely to get better. Walk away. They won’t listen and won’t do anything to change the way they live. My Father invited himself to anyone that would have him over Xmas and made a real nuisance of himself.

All because he couldn’t be bothered to do anything about his home.

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