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I feel really bad now - Page 2

post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by papercranegirl View Post
Maybe this will be a push in the right direction for your mom to get counseling regarding this issue.
This is a good point, keep in mind that often the hoarding is almost a secondary issue, the stuff helps the person feel safe because something else is a problem. For example, I saw a show about a woman who started hoarding after her house was broken into, it made her feel safe to be surrounded by stuff - she said even that she figured if someone broke in now they wouldn't even know what to take.

So if the underlying issue is not resolved, most likely the stuff will return.
post #22 of 35
Oh man. My grandma has a horrible hoarding problem too. I wish I could bring it up with her but it's really a taboo topic. I would love to help her purge that stuff! It is awful. My grandpa built an addition onto their house and she filled it to the brim.

s
I hope your mom can appreciate your hard work and see the opportunity in the new space. Maybe she will surprise you and actually be excited.
post #23 of 35
Thread Starter 
Yes, I have a feeling the rooms will be filled again shortly, but I am going to offer my time to sit down with her and go threw all her stuff and figure out what we can donate together. I just wanted to show her it's not her 'lack of space' but that she just has too much stuff, that she will never ever use.

For the people who said my dad should of done it, well, if he was to do it, he would rent a dumpster when she's not home and throw everything away. A friend of his did that to his hoarder wife...rented a dumpster while she was away on vacation with friends. he threw everything out, even photo albums, it was a mess...he just lost it. Well to make a long story short, they got divorced shortly afterwards because she just could not forgive him...and i just didn't want to see my dad go overboard like that (which i could see him doing)

I've been talking to her about the dog etc, and I even told them about another poodle puppy in the area where they were vacationing in (They are very hard to come by where we live), so they may go look at it. I know it's real soon, but i figured, i would give her that hope to let her know that maybe God just wanted Ennis to be in their lives for a little while, and there is another doggie out there...(My dad had just lost his mom right before we gave them the puppy and the dog has been there for his "vents" my mom said, and he's taking it hard- apparently she's crying even more, for him, because of the whole thing"


But on another note, the things we recycled, where things like glass jars, plastic containers, lids to things (I still have an entire box of lids that have no matches).

Question: What would you do with socks? I have about 500 socks with no matches, I've gone through all of them, and they have no matches... i don't know if there are somewhere in the house, but they are socks from when I was a kid...would you just throw them out?


I have collected 7 trashcans full of clothes (to save), that noone can wear, but i didn't want to get rid of them, i figured we can go through them together.


It's really amazing when you realize how much people have, that don't need. I don't save anything, i guess, her hoarding made me realize that i don't need 'things' to be happy.


Thanks everyone! I will let you know how things go.
post #24 of 35
It must be so hard to lose her sweet poodle. Poodles are amazing dogs. Really, they are more like humans than dogs. Was it a toy?

If you search yahoo for "messies" you will find numerous yahoo lists for families of people with hoarding disorders. I also suggest Sandra Felton's books on living with "messies" (sorry, that's the name used for people with obsessive hoarding disorders). The information is excellent and there may be some really good advice.

Personally, I would clean up the rest of the house and put that stuff in the empty rooms. In fact, I do that all the time in my own home. Once items are removed from the hoarder's sight for a while, they do not notice that it is gone. However, they do tend to notice large spaces. It is hard to overstate how upset they can get when their stuff is rearranged or discarded. So if you can use some of that old storage space to make the common areas clear, I doubt she will notice as much.

I think that stealth is the key for those actually living with hardcore hoarders. It is hard to understand why, but some seemingly normal people have odd hoarding issues. I personally have dragged many a drum liner to the curb full of old newspapers and plastic bags that our hoarding relative has a compulsion to store. Actually, I was thinking: "only ten trashbags? that's really not so bad"

Regarding the socks: If in doubt, throw it out. That's my motto. So throw away all of those socks and don't waste another minute of your life thinking about creative uses for unmatched socks so they don't go to waste. Nip that sort of thinking in the bud.

Regarding the clothes: I respectfully disagree with you about the clothes. This is your chance. If nobody can wear them, get rid of them. A true hoarder cannot make decisions like this, they can be paralyzed into indecision. I have never had the guts to get rid of someone's old clothes, but if I had the courage I would do it.
post #25 of 35
You might consider joining us on this website.
http://www.childrenofhoarders.com/forum/index.php

I'm going to take the unpopular viewpoint here. This was a major violation of your mom's personal space. If your father wanted to clean it up, he shouldn't have made you the bad guy. You could have helped "him" clear out his own living space. He has the right to do that. You don't.

Chances are, she won't appreciate the effort. Would you? There is usally something else going on with hoarding, not just a messy or clutter issue. Cleaning out a hoarders mess is very truamatic for them. Unless it's a safety issue, they are just going to recreate the mess. But, now with hard feelings also.
post #26 of 35
That children of hoarders website looks really interesting.

I'm ok with OP helping her father clear the stuff out. Just because it is traumatic for the hoarder doesn't mean it isn't also traumatic for those who choose to live with the hoarder.
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgirl,newtricks View Post
You might consider joining us on this website.
http://www.childrenofhoarders.com/forum/index.php

I'm going to take the unpopular viewpoint here. This was a major violation of your mom's personal space. If your father wanted to clean it up, he shouldn't have made you the bad guy. You could have helped "him" clear out his own living space. He has the right to do that. You don't.

Chances are, she won't appreciate the effort. Would you? There is usally something else going on with hoarding, not just a messy or clutter issue. Cleaning out a hoarders mess is very truamatic for them. Unless it's a safety issue, they are just going to recreate the mess. But, now with hard feelings also.
I agree with you. It was not OP's space, not OP's stuff, not OP's relationship.
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoalaMama View Post
Is there anything she really, really would love to have a special space for? For example, would she like for one of the rooms to be turned into a library, or painted a particular way, or... If you could think of something she's really wishing for, and make that a reality and the basis for the decluttering, then maybe she'd be so exicted about the transformation that she'd appreciate the efforts?
I think this is a great idea...

to you. What timing. I hope that your mom surprises you by being grateful for what you did...
post #29 of 35
Thread Starter 
That's why I didn't do the entire house, because if i did that I think she would have a breakdown. My brother and husband helped with it too, and my dad (well in spirit), all knew things needed to be organized somewhat.

I will get rid of the socks tonight (garbage man comes tomorrow) and a few other things.

The thing you need to know about my mom is, when she has company coming she'll clean up all the rooms till there is nothing in them, and throw it into the shed, garage, storage or sewing rooms, or her bedroom...that is how it got so bad, because she then never goes through the crap she threw into those rooms. My childhood memories include seeing how fast we could clean up the house before his brother or sisters got here (My dad's family lives in canada and would made surprise visits and call when they were 1 hour away).

My dad's sister is coming to spend a couple days with them in 2 weeks, so when they get home, she will go on a cleaning spree, so that is another unmeantioned reason I started this, in hopes that while she cleans, she'll throw out, and get rid of...

Thanks for the support and ideas. I really have no idea what it feels like to be connected to stuff. I personally wouldn't care if someone threw away everything i owned...but that is just me.

I'm a member of that website already, but thanks for the link. I found it after I watched that one documentary on hoarding...thank-goodness my mom was nothing like that- the one where the lady couldn't even sleep inside her house because it was too messy.


Thanks everyone.
post #30 of 35
Thread Starter 

UpDATE

just wanted to let everyone know, that she was not mad. she does not believe i threw anything away! I have no idea how though! She asked me about a few things and i didn't remember seeing them, so she just thanked me and hugged me and then blamed my dad for the mess...but i know it will only stay clean a few days....I told her i would come over and help her organize her things, but she doesn't want to get rid of anything.

I told my father with all we got rid of you would think it would of made a huge dent, but really hasn't.


Thanks for all the support
post #31 of 35
yay. so glad she wasn't upset about the rooms. i bet your dad was pretty happy.
post #32 of 35
I'm glad to hear she wasn't upset. Makes me wonder though if you had thrown out a bit more, would she have missed it after all?
post #33 of 35
I'm so glad she was ok with it!!
post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by CountrylivinmomtoB View Post
just wanted to let everyone know, that she was not mad. she does not believe i threw anything away! I have no idea how though! She asked me about a few things and i didn't remember seeing them, so she just thanked me and hugged me and then blamed my dad for the mess...but i know it will only stay clean a few days....I told her i would come over and help her organize her things, but she doesn't want to get rid of anything.

I told my father with all we got rid of you would think it would of made a huge dent, but really hasn't.


Thanks for all the support
If you have the time, would your mother accept your help to clean weekly? My mother doesn't have a hoarding problem, but she is disabled because of a bad back. It's very hard for her to do things like vacuuming and mopping. I offered to help her with her cleaning once a week if she would use my van to take my kids and do something fun. I get a break from the kids, she gets to have fun with her grandsons, and she comes home to a very clean house. The arrangement is perfect for all of us.

Maybe if you had a couple of hours to help her each week it would keep things more in control. She might learn something from you, or at least be motivated to keep the house a little cleaner. It doesn't sound to me (not that I'm anywhere near being an expert) like your mom is a hoarder, but that she simply doesn't like to clean.

When I was in college I did the "throw things under the bed/in the closet regardless of whether they were truly garbage or just stuff, dirty dishes in the oven" style of cleaning when company was coming. I really hated cleaning and would do nearly anything to get out of doing it. Now, I really love organizing and getting rid of things, and I don't mind the cleaning parts so much, either. I don't remember what caused the change, but maybe your mom will do a 180 like I did and come to her senses. It can't hurt to try.
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by CountrylivinmomtoB View Post
just wanted to let everyone know, that she was not mad. she does not believe i threw anything away! I have no idea how though!
So, does your mom think that you just cleaned and organized it....but didn't eliminate anything? Wow! I am glad she was happy and that it all seemed to work out for you! Hope they're coping with losing the dog OK too.
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