The complete opposite of hoarding... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 11-03-2009, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son told me the other day "I think you have the disease thats the opposite of hoarding". I'm not sure there is such a disease but I knew exactly what he meant. I cannot stand clutter or stuff in my house. It is almost overwhelming to think about bringing stuff in. If I bring in something I am not happy until something(s) go out. Dropping off stuff at Goodwill is almost like a high. If you looked at my house its not like the Danish one or anything but I am always looking for something to get rid of.

Anyone else feel like this?
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#2 of 32 Old 11-03-2009, 03:00 PM
 
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No, but I really hope to get there some day!

Dawn, mama to D (3.06) & N (9.07) C (11.09) & Still-in-shock surprise due in Aug!
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#3 of 32 Old 11-03-2009, 03:39 PM
 
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No, but I really hope to get there some day!
Yeah, me too!

I do practice the nothing new until something goes method for clothing and housewares.

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#4 of 32 Old 11-03-2009, 03:54 PM
 
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I don't know, but my grandmother was like that, and she always said it was because she was claustrophobic. Too much stuff would make her feel crowded. She would joke that neat people were claustrophobic and messy people were insecure, so no matter what, you have something wrong with you.
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#5 of 32 Old 11-03-2009, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You know thats useful insight because I AM claustrophobic!! Wow how interesting. My friend constantly has her blinds closed and her house is dark and it makes me feel so confined. My mom has tons of antiques and stuff and I never relax at her house either. Very interesting. Anytime I go to somenes house and stuff is stacked up on counters, toys and blankets everywhere, etc I can't wait to leave. Not because I'm judging them at all, it just makes me physically uncomfortable. HHHMMMM.
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#6 of 32 Old 11-03-2009, 05:28 PM
 
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DP is the same, he throws everything away... even things that he knows he'll end up buying again in the future.

I am not a packrat at all but I do save some things. I think he would really like to go through my crafting/sewing stuff and get rid of it. I'm pretty sure it's because the clutter bothers him, visually.

I dislike clutter too but not enough to do anything about it.

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#7 of 32 Old 11-03-2009, 06:11 PM
 
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I am like this! I get these urges to just get rid of stuff!

I feel like I am just drowning in stuff, and it is mind boggling to me how 3 people could possible ever need this entire hosue full of stuff! I think about moving my g'parents out of their hosue and into their small condo (thier own choice to move, thankfully) and how we just threw away an entire basement full of stuff!

I feel peaceful and happy in clutter-free spaces, but just shutting stuff up in a closet doesn't work- I know there is a pile of crap in the closet!

Suzan, mama to DS 9-18-07 and #2 EDD 3/4/10 GIRL!.
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#8 of 32 Old 11-03-2009, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Me too!!! Even if I can't see it, I know its there. I get obssessed with stuff in a tub or closet and can't quit until its gone. It can be so overwhelmeing.
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#9 of 32 Old 11-03-2009, 06:35 PM
 
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I guess it could still be obsessive - just different obsessive tendency than hoarding.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#10 of 32 Old 11-04-2009, 12:01 AM
 
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This is totally me too. And having a husband and a child makes it so hard...because I want to throw their stuff away all of the time.

In fact the only way I can cope with my husbands stuff (he has many hobbies and a really hard time throwing stuff away) is to give him an entire room that is his own. And I do not let myself get stressed about his stuff anymore.

My car always has a bag of stuff on its way to goodwill.

And I too get claustrophobic...go figure.

Julia, mama to Bumpa 2008, and The Mole 2011

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#11 of 32 Old 11-04-2009, 09:12 AM
 
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I agree with your grandmom...I tend to feel claustrophobic easily, and my house is very clutter free. My husband jokes that I secretly want folding chairs that we can put in the closet when we are done with them, so nothing is out at any given time!

I don't mind clutter at other peoples houses, most of the time its fun for me to see their random things. I have, however, been known to go through my friend's kitchen cabinets and reorganize her crazy amount of kitchen stuff!
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#12 of 32 Old 11-04-2009, 12:48 PM
 
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Yes, I am exactly the same way. I am glad not to be alone in this. AND clausterphobic is a great way to describe it.
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#13 of 32 Old 11-04-2009, 12:59 PM
 
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If it is at the point where you are throwing away things you actually need, and other people's personal effects, you are uncomfortable having any furniture, and you are uncomfortable visiting other houses where they are clean but have knick-knacks or closed curtains, that's where you may need to seek professional help. My grandmother did take anti-anxiety medication for a lot of her adult life. It did not make her messy! She still vacuumed every day and kept everything meticulous, and threw out a lot of things. But it made it possible for her to deal with the fact that my grandfather kept a big pile of old tools in the shed out back. And she stopped scrubbing the dishes with soap before putting them in the dishwasher.
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#14 of 32 Old 11-04-2009, 01:17 PM
 
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I am in the same boat...I throw away a lot. We are very much minimalists. I come from a mother who had her house looking like a museum at all times...and it has somewhat rubbed off on me.

Blessed with two BEAUTIFUL little girls: Kylie (09/06) and Maggie (4/09) :
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#15 of 32 Old 11-04-2009, 05:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
My grandmother did take anti-anxiety medication for a lot of her adult life. It did not make her messy! She still vacuumed every day and kept everything meticulous, and threw out a lot of things. But it made it possible for her to deal with the fact that my grandfather kept a big pile of old tools in the shed out back. And she stopped scrubbing the dishes with soap before putting them in the dishwasher.
Thank you for that. I know it's silly, but I tell DH the main reason I don't want to go on OCD meds (for far more things than just my cleaning habits) is because I'm afraid it'll make me lazy and I'll stop caring about the house. It would be nice to take the edge off, though. To stop the constant and irrational cleaning would be a nice break.

To the OP, yes, I am like this. I'm not claustrophobic so I'm not sure if that is the feeling. It just feels unsettling and 'icky', for lack of a better word. Cleaning the house is soothing and calming to me. Getting rid of things is therapeutic in a way.

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#16 of 32 Old 11-04-2009, 05:34 PM
 
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I got through periods of, "ok, I have HAD IT!" and the garbage cans get filled, then I feel fine until my house gets to the point it is at right now. LOL!

Blogging, homeschooling, mom of 3 boys!
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#17 of 32 Old 11-04-2009, 05:38 PM
 
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nak
I have this disease. My DH calls it "waffle syndrome" because he says that every time he wants pancakes, I press for waffles in order to justify owning a waffle iron. He says he just knows that the day we finally have pancakes, I'll throw out the waffle iron.

I'm known for getting rid of things that we still "need".
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#18 of 32 Old 11-04-2009, 05:47 PM
 
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She would joke that neat people were claustrophobic and messy people were insecure, so no matter what, you have something wrong with you.
Danged if ya do, danged if ya don't. Lol.

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My friend constantly has her blinds closed and her house is dark and it makes me feel so confined.HHHMMMM.
AAAAHHHH!! I don't understand this either. I literally feel strangled. The minute I wake up the blinds get opened!!

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My husband jokes that I secretly want folding chairs that we can put in the closet when we are done with them, so nothing is out at any given time!

I don't mind clutter at other peoples houses, most of the time its fun for me to see their random things. I have, however, been known to go through my friend's kitchen cabinets and reorganize her crazy amount of kitchen stuff!
I like the folding chairs idea.

Oy! and the cabinet clutter. I've been in houses where every inch of cabinet space is filled to the brim.
I have a whole wall full of cabinets...about 10 total and I think maybe I use three of them.
Same with utensil drawers. Our kitchen has 8 and only two of them are full!!
I always wonder what people DO with all those things...

I don't even like to put shelves or pictures on the walls...they feel better bare.
I've lived here for almost a year and I still only have about 5 pictures up.

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#19 of 32 Old 11-04-2009, 09:16 PM
 
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I don't even like to put shelves or pictures on the walls...they feel better bare.
I've lived here for almost a year and I still only have about 5 pictures up.
Thank you for saying this! I always feel as though something is wrong with me....I never find anything that I would want to look at every day to put on the walls, but it also doesn't bother me...

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#20 of 32 Old 11-04-2009, 09:21 PM
 
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My MIL is like this...

In some ways I wish I was (I'm a bit more of a packrat), because her house is so much neater than mine.

But, on the other hand, she has nothing that carries sentimental value. She didn't keep anything from her 3 kids childhoods (favorite book, drawings, etc). She doesn't even have a baby book for them because she "didn't have a place for them."

We recently had our first and I thought it was really special that my mom saved my rattle to give to me when I had the baby. MIL was shocked that someone would do that. She said her kids toys were thrown in the trash.

Of course, she also has major OCD, so maybe she is more extreme than you!
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#21 of 32 Old 11-04-2009, 09:26 PM
 
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I think my husband has this. Hehe. I do to a degree, but some things really hold sentimental value for me. But I LOVE donating things!!!!
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#22 of 32 Old 11-04-2009, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have kept a baby outfit from each of the boys, a tub full of artwork, pictures. Those things are special and precious. I have no problem with those. Its the day to day living life junk that bothers me. Toys everywhere makes me crazy. I'm not saying the boys can't have toys out, just a reasonable number. Its also things like kitchen utensils, socks in a drawer that I never wear, books we never read, christmas decorations I no longer like, shirts in the closet that no one wears anymore, half empty bottles of cleaners,shampoo bottles half full of shampoo I don't like. I do have a few things on the walls. However, periodically they start to annoy me and have to go. When we built the garage/workshop my dh got everything organized in tubs, on shelves, etc. He keeps that area very tidy. We do have some junk in one of our barns. I purposely avoid that area or it will freak me out. I could totally live like the Quakers. lol.

I take a med daily for panic attacks which helps a lot. Before I started it I used to WAKE UP in a panic thinking about all the stuff I needed to get done. Not a good way to live. I am in a better place than I was 8 yrs ago. But I still gotta talk myself off the ledge occasionally.

"No no! Do not take the couch to goodwill, you gotta have somewhere to sit. Put the couch back. Melissa, leave the couch alone" lol
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#23 of 32 Old 11-04-2009, 11:34 PM
 
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Thank you for that. I know it's silly, but I tell DH the main reason I don't want to go on OCD meds (for far more things than just my cleaning habits) is because I'm afraid it'll make me lazy and I'll stop caring about the house. It would be nice to take the edge off, though. To stop the constant and irrational cleaning would be a nice break.
I don't know anyone who has gone on anxiety/ OCD meds who has completely changed his or her clutter style. I know a borderline hoarder who became a still-messy but manageable non-hoarder, and my grandmother stayed extremely neat but no longer neurotic. Just took the edge off, as you say. If it did make you lazy, that would just call for a change in meds.

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AAAAHHHH!! I don't understand this either. I literally feel strangled. The minute I wake up the blinds get opened!!
I can think of four reasons off the top of my head:

1. A medical condition causing sun sensitivity.

2. The sun can cause furniture and rug colors to fade.

3. Agoraphobia!

4. Some blinds are such a pain in the butt to open that the residents of the house just give up after a while.

I'm a blind-opener, myself, though.
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#24 of 32 Old 11-05-2009, 12:37 PM
 
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My brother used to come over our house look around and tell me that things looked "bare" (I have like two pictures on the wall). We didn't have a lot of furniture and there wasn't much stuff. To him it was bare.

After my father died though I went up north to my moms. And, everywhere, anywhere there was just stuff. It was bad. It took me two weeks to clean out half of the garage so they could fix the garage door. They actually had a broken water heater (don't know for how long, but it was a while) and never called anyone to fix it because the basement was so full. When we flew up there we took showers at the neighbors.

When I finally got home after a month it was like I was able to breathe...

Perpetually breastfeeding or pregnant ENFP mom to a lot of kids...wife to a midwestern nice guy...living in tropical paradise...pink cats and homebirths rock!

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#25 of 32 Old 11-05-2009, 07:17 PM
 
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I always wonder if I am prone to being too minimal in the house. I keep a very bare home, very bare. People often ask us if we just moved in and then gasp when I say we have been here for 7 years.

My dh teases me that I could be packed and ready to leave this house in a hour. I think he underestimates me and I could be ready in 30 minutes.

Each room is outfitted with the basics -- chair, sofa, rug in the living room. Little else. Each bedroom has a bed, the dining room has a table and chairs, but there aren't the little extras that people normally have.

That said, I will admit to being a very poor housekeeper. I just can't keep up with too much stuff, so I keep it minimal and I can tidy and clean the floors in very little time. It makes my life much, much easier.

And I was raised Quaker, so maybe that does have something to do with it.

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#26 of 32 Old 11-05-2009, 07:27 PM
 
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I can think of four reasons off the top of my head:
1. A medical condition causing sun sensitivity.
2. The sun can cause furniture and rug colors to fade.
3. Agoraphobia!
4. Some blinds are such a pain in the butt to open that the residents of the house just give up after a while.

I'm a blind-opener, myself, though.
Lol. I know that there are reasons that some people must or choose to keep their blinds shut, I just don't understand those people who don't suffer from these conditions who voluntarily leave them shut. ::gasp::

Ok, maybe "I don't understand" was the wrong phrasing. Maybe I should have said, "AAAAHHHH!! I couldn't stand this either. I literally feel strangled. The minute I wake up the blinds get opened!!"


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#27 of 32 Old 11-05-2009, 07:41 PM
 
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I usually figure that anyone who keeps the blinds closed, does it for one of the four reasons I mentioned. My other grandmother was HUGE on keeping them closed because she was compulsive about keeping all her furniture looking brand-new forever.

As I said, I do prefer them open myself.
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#28 of 32 Old 11-05-2009, 07:42 PM
 
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Yeah, a lot of it for me is that I hate and avoid housekeeping, and the easiest way to minimize housekeeping is to have less stuff to vac around, dust, put away, etc.

Suzan, mama to DS 9-18-07 and #2 EDD 3/4/10 GIRL!.
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#29 of 32 Old 11-06-2009, 01:31 AM
 
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"No no! Do not take the couch to goodwill, you gotta have somewhere to sit. Put the couch back. Melissa, leave the couch alone" lol
haha, you have no idea, i got rid of my couch 6 months ago and am still looking for a replacement.
my husband hates me.
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#30 of 32 Old 11-07-2009, 03:37 AM
 
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Well my house is far from being clutter free but I do have episodes of OCDness. Like when I clean out a closet and get it OCD clean I get some sort of high from it. This week I did my spice/dry goods cabinet and I just get so excited everytime I open it to cook. It's next to my stove so I just keep it open until I'm done cooking. And dropping off things at the thrift store is so liberating! I've never even tried drugs but I bet it's the same feeling. I just dropped off two bags today and I'm already looking around the house for more things so I can have more things to donate on Monday. My goal is to only have beautiful things that I love and use in my home. I have a tendency to attach value to things and keep them until I'm sick of looking at them and I'm really trying to get that under control.

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