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Help for Hoarders

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
We need our own thread. Tell me your tips!

How did you overcome it?

What are your success stories?

I liked the book The New Messies Manual by Sandra Felton. It honored our creative side.

I need help. I'm married to a hoarder, too.
post #2 of 16

subscribing...thanks for starting this!

~a child and parent of hoarders who couldn't possibly be one myself too, could I?
post #3 of 16
lol I don't 'hoard' per se,
but everything I have could be useful to someone someday...
if I only knew what it was or what box i put it in
post #4 of 16
A couple of things are helping me.

2. Clear plastic boxes
3. The fear that I won't get rid of all this cr@p before my kids are old enough to remember how bad it looks

It's daunting and difficult to fling with babies around because I can't just unlaod a box and go through it. There *may* be sharp or dangerous things in it that I would have to go put away and leave an upturned box in their path

I've started and restarted having a tribe day once or twice a week where I have a friend come over and distract my kids while I clean out, then I go to their house and do the same thing. It's only lasted a few months a pop per friend due to them moving and having illness's in the family etc etc

But the upside is I know have much stronger friendships than I did before and I've learned how to make a few more dishes for dinner
post #5 of 16
Originally Posted by Shiloh
lol I don't 'hoard' per se,
but everything I have could be useful to someone someday...
if I only knew what it was or what box i put it in
That's me in a nutshell too!
post #6 of 16
The "use it and love it" rule is what worked for me. The things I might use in the future...if I give them to someone else who can use them now (aka sell or donate them) and I need them in the future, the blessings I have given others will come back to me many times over.

A lot of things, when I looked at them, I felt guilty for not using them or not doing more in that area of my life. So getting rid of them and accepting the fact that it wasn't going to happen - at least right now - was a great way to get rid of major guilt. Once you experience that feeling, you get addicted to it. Now I go through my house specifically looking for things I can get rid of so I don't feel guilty about not using or loving them anymore. True confessions...
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

We're not getting much help here

Let me tell you what I did today. I packed up many of the housewears from my very first apartment after college. That time in my life when I had a little bit of money and wanted to make my very own place, mine. Lovely curtains, tablecloths, dishes, padded chair seats, throw pillows. All things I really liked and really reminded me of being on my own with my life ahead of me. Many of them are matching coordinated pieces. I still love the patterns. For a brief moment I thought, maybe I could make a dress out of this for DD, or window treatments or even decorate a doll house for her someday.

But then some things from this forum stuck a chord. If they hang around, I'll waste mental energy feeling bad for not getting to them. I want to put them out there for some other person to love and honor by putting up in their house.

This really helped me. We are planning a neighborhood garage sale in a few weeks. I've got 4 bags of table linens, bed linens, curtains, cushions etc and a box of clothes ready to go. It kind of helped me to put things all together. These are all of the peach dishes from college. This is the bathroom set with matching towels (that I really won't use). Here's the curtains, throw pillow, placemats, napkins and tablecloth that all match. I'm trusting the universe to send the right person who will love and honor my stuff as much as I did. I still have a long way to go, but I'm taking baby steps!
post #8 of 16
Great job!

A big step for a horder!
post #9 of 16
Clear plastic boxes are wonderful!

I have a very rough rule of thumb: if I haven't used it in a year, I'm probably not going to use it. There are many exceptions to this(like my sewing machine), but I'm working toward expanding my use of it. The idea that things should be used by someone else instead of hoarded by me tends to help me let go of things, too.

Our neighborhood has a garage sale every August. That helps, as someone else is setting the deadline for me to get things sorted and moved out.

We're getting better! But we still have a full garage and two (2!) storage units . . . it's scary when two hoarders marry! It seems like as soon as we make some progress someone gives us things that must be sorted before selling/giving/throwing away ...
post #10 of 16

we need serious help, here.
post #11 of 16
A couple of ways to get rid of things that make me feel good: donate to a domestic violence women's shelter, and freecycle, http://www.freecycle.org/ . It's so great to look around my house and see clear, clean, empty surfaces. My closets, on the other hand... shudder. I did get my kitchen closet cleaned out yesterday, though. It was amazing, after all this time putting it off, thinking about what a horrible can of worms it was going to be - it took less than an hour.

I like the idea of making something out of old textiles that bring back memories. If you make a pact with yourself to stay up late a couple of nights THIS WEEK and get it done, they won't be in your way anymore! My grocery bag is made from clothes I wore in high school. I've been using the bag, one way or another, for 15 or so years. It's hard to buy things that sturdy!
post #12 of 16
1. Move into a smaller house, the smaller the better. If everyone has a place to sleep, your house is big enough.

2. Realize that the world won't come to an end if you get rid of something and then later discover a use for it. You will be able to either do without it or get another one.

3. Realize that getting rid of the stuff you're emotionally attached to will not cause you to forget the happy moments in your life that you associate with them. Your memories are yours to keep; the stuff can go away.

4. Realize you're actually spending more money on storage space and buying new stuff to replace the old stuff that you still have but can't find, than you would if you got rid of everything and had to buy new things once in a while.

5. If all else fails, a match and some gasoline will work wonders.
post #13 of 16
Great post, Juliacat! WooHooo! :LOL

Also, volunteering for less-fortunate folks, while not done for that purpose, has worked wonders for helping me to put my own anxieties about this issue into perspective - it's naturally occurring!
post #14 of 16
This is a daily struggle for me. I still dwell over things I got rid of years ago! I have tried couseling, medication, meditation, reiki, polarity, hypnosis, and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few. I can't stop spending either.
post #15 of 16

Great Post.

I personally love number 5 :LOL
post #16 of 16
Originally Posted by Cinnamon

Great Post.

I personally love number 5 :LOL
I agree! I sent your post to my dad as we were just talking about hoarding and my step mom, who still has all of her furniture in storage from before they moved in together. Did I mention they also awn 2 housed to put stuff in (one is a vacation/weekend home).


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