"Hoarders" as a motivational tool for housekeeping? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 12-06-2009, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure if this goes in this forum, or the TV forum - but since I don;t want to discuss the show per se, I thought I would start here.

I've been watching A&E's Hoarders and been extremely motivated to declutter by what I've seen. I am not a hoarder, but I AM a packrat (mostly paper and crafting supplies). My mom's sister and daughter are actual hoarders - like, they could be featured on the show, and my mom is leaning in that direction, so for me, even though I am not, the tendency does run in my family and I don't want to wake up one day and find myself "there"...

So, some of the things I wanted to talk about are:
-combating hoarding/packratting tendneces
-creative decluttering
-staying motivated
-organization and fitting what you have into where you live

I started going through my craft room (which will eventually be mine and dh's bedroom) and getting rid of things. I've been taking at least a day of the week while my kids are at school and decluttering/organizing and taking a bag of stuff to Goodwill on the way to pick up the kids. It's a good feeling! Since my stuff is more in order, it's also easier to get a craft out and work on something creative.

Anyone else motivated?

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#2 of 35 Old 12-06-2009, 05:43 PM
 
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I use it as a motivational tool. I also am 8 months pg & cry during the show too. It is so sad that this disorder has taken over their lives.

My goal is to have my family live simply & frugally, but there are times when I just have to get rid of stuff to feel less overwhelmed with what we currently have.

I remember moving into our house & telling my DH that we would never be able to fill the house up We are officially stuffed.

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#3 of 35 Old 12-06-2009, 11:28 PM
 
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Its funny that you post this. I was at my mom's today [total hoarder] and I was watching it. Mom was sitting there and grabbed a garbage bag and started cleaning up crap around her chair. It inspired me to make part of her christmas present be monthly appointments to help clean out her house.

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#4 of 35 Old 12-06-2009, 11:31 PM
 
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I can't get through an episode of that show without pausing it and tidying up.

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#5 of 35 Old 12-07-2009, 12:07 AM
 
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One thing that stood out for me was there was an episode with a guy who was using a rental property as a storage shed for a ton of tools and paint and such. And the show said (paraphrased) "you should define yourself as a handyman because of what you do, repairing, building, and so forth, he's defining himself by what he owns."
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#6 of 35 Old 12-07-2009, 10:36 AM
 
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I am somewhat of a packrat but a very organized one! LOL.

That show...it is addictive. And it truly makes me want to organize what I have. We purged during our last 2 moves so that is pretty much done. But we still have a few areas that need more organization and that show definitely helps.

In fact, I spent last week organizing the most seen portions of the house for an inlaw visit - I watched 2 episodes to keep me going.
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#7 of 35 Old 12-07-2009, 11:40 AM
 
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And its Monday so a new episode will be on tonight.

That show is so sad and infuriating at the same time. I totally understand it is a disease, a uncontrollable one. But the ones who have lost their children over it and still hang on to all that stuff. The lady last week acted like she was entitled to everyone coming and cleaning up for her.

However, it never fails to inspire me to clean something or find something to go to Goodwill.
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#8 of 35 Old 12-07-2009, 01:02 PM
 
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Have you ever seen the show "How Clean is Your House?" I think it's on BBCA. That sounds always makes me want to get up and clean. Most of the people on that show having hoarding tendencies also, although the main focus of the show is cleaning. I like it because they help the person clean and organize their house. Once it's done the people look so much happier I find it motivational. It's much less depressing than "Hoarders".
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#9 of 35 Old 12-07-2009, 01:21 PM
 
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I think it's important to keep in mind that the people on Hoarders have mental disorders that need treatment, but if it motivates us to pick up clutter even though we don't have those disorders, great.

My former stepmom was a hoarder when I was growing up, so that show makes me really sad and angry about the environment I was living in at that time in my life, which doesn't really motivate me to clean, and the way the hoarders often react to the people who are trying to help them makes me furious!

I like "How Clean Is your House?" on BBCA better too. It's a much happier and more cheerful show and they include cleaning tips, a lot of which are environmentally friendly
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#10 of 35 Old 12-07-2009, 02:50 PM
 
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I currently work with a hoarder in my job (a residential worker). Its very sad to see her with a bra stuffed full of used tissues, old shopping lists, other people's appointment cards, etc. because someday someone might need one of those items and she feels like she needs to hide them until she can stuff them in her room somewhere. Other staff just helped her clean two 33 gallon trashbags of stuff from her dresser drawers. None of it clothes. And we'd just done this 2-4 weeks before. At least this time she did so with little resistance.

It's really a sad disease, but one that I cannot understand at all. Of course, according to my DH, I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum and just want to throw everything out. We have a plaque on our wall that says "Simplify: Throw everything out!" and it is my motto! Even if "throw it out" turns into "sell, donate, recycle, OR throw it out" LOL

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#11 of 35 Old 12-07-2009, 02:58 PM
 
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I am not a hoarder, but my house is simply disorganized right now. Mainly due to lack of storage space. It got all disorganized while I was pregnant sick, and I'm having trouble finding the energy to re-organize.

I watched that show once and it made me so depressed! I don't know if it was pregnancy hormones or what, but I couldn't stop crying. I'm never watching it again.

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#12 of 35 Old 12-07-2009, 03:55 PM
 
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I think it's important to keep in mind that the people on Hoarders have mental disorders that need treatment, but if it motivates us to pick up clutter even though we don't have those disorders, great.

My former stepmom was a hoarder when I was growing up, so that show makes me really sad and angry about the environment I was living in at that time in my life, which doesn't really motivate me to clean, and the way the hoarders often react to the people who are trying to help them makes me furious!

I like "How Clean Is your House?" on BBCA better too. It's a much happier and more cheerful show and they include cleaning tips, a lot of which are environmentally friendly
This. Also I have ethical concerns that maybe some of the people who are mentally ill enough to be on that show, are also too mentally ill to consent fully to being on TV. I expect some are and some aren't; but I don't feel too confident about the show's due diligence. Or the due diligence of any show that "showcases" a medical or medical-ish problem. Sort of like how I feel about "A Baby Story" and all those.
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#13 of 35 Old 12-07-2009, 06:09 PM
 
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I find the show hugely motivating. I tend towards being a packrat (though a well-organized one!) and watching the episodes is a good reminder to pay attention to my habits because they could get worse one day. Plus when they talk about why the people won't throw things out, some of them ring true for me - but it sounds much different when they say it out loud than it does in my head, so it makes me re-examine my reasons for keeping things. Overall I think it's helpful and motivating for me.
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#14 of 35 Old 12-07-2009, 06:14 PM
 
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This. Also I have ethical concerns that maybe some of the people who are mentally ill enough to be on that show, are also too mentally ill to consent fully to being on TV.
Yeah. I was very curious when the show first started, but I find it incredibly painful to watch (I feel the same way about Intervention.).

For inspiration, I like to watch design shows instead, but I'm neither a hoarder nor a packrat, just a slob. We actually have far more storage space than we even need; actually getting things off the floor/bed/counter/table/wherever and put away is our challenge.

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#15 of 35 Old 12-07-2009, 06:42 PM
 
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I like "How Clean Is your House?" on BBCA better too. It's a much happier and more cheerful show and they include cleaning tips, a lot of which are environmentally friendly
This show grosses me out too. It is the kitchen/bathroom areas that gag me (enter my big pregnant hormones here). When they come back & say, "look you had this XYZ growing on your sink"--my gag reflex kicks in

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#16 of 35 Old 12-08-2009, 03:31 PM
 
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oh my gosh! I was watching this on Sunday and it is totally crazy. If it doesn't make you want to get rid of things, I don't know what else will!!

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#17 of 35 Old 12-08-2009, 04:39 PM
 
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This show has inspired me to clean but mostly it has engendered compassion for my father. He has hoarding tendencies and we were helping him organize his garage. My sister kept yelling at him to toss stuff. It is plain from this show that people who have family members fussing at them do not succeed.
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#18 of 35 Old 12-08-2009, 06:06 PM
 
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I set up a couple of episodes to record while we were on vacation, but didn't mention it to dh. When we got home, my husband watched a couple episodes and has been cleaning since. He has a really hard time letting things go. He thinks that he can use something in the future or has a lot of sentimental attachment. I'm glad that it motivated him.

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#19 of 35 Old 12-08-2009, 07:54 PM
 
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Don't really think so.
I am the opposite of a hoarder, I like tossing things to a fault. I don't really like clutter. I can't stand trinkets. I have only a few possessions that I really treasure, not including photos of course. I get very attached to my pets and love my family, things not so much.
I watched this show and it made me about cry, the mental illness component to it all is very obvious, and the fact it is destroying lives and families, making it painful to watch on many levels

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#20 of 35 Old 12-08-2009, 10:23 PM
 
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i have never seen this show, but i have seen others similar to what you guys are describing and it is motivation to clean. although, i find it strange that someone is capitalizing on these peoples struggles and heartache. my grandmother is a compulsive hoarder, to the point that the fire department has come a few times to clear out her house and got rid of two of those huge dumpsters that have the door on the side worth of stuff. i would be absolutely mortified if she ended up on some "reality tv show" for others entertainment. she is very sick and it is really physically painful for her to get rid of anything. its her security blanket you know?

sorry to get all weird and preachy.
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#21 of 35 Old 12-09-2009, 12:56 AM
 
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My in-laws are hoarders and this has been a source of pain and anger for my husband and his siblings. The show has helped me to understand my in-laws better and it has motivated my husband to clean up some of his papers and stuff. He is not a hoarder but tends to be disorganized and things pile up to the point where he feels overwhelmed dealing with it, so he doesn't.

And, yes, the other night after watching an episode, even though I was exhausted and wanted to go to bed, I got up off the couch and cleaned my kitchen and picked up a bunch of toys around the house.
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#22 of 35 Old 12-09-2009, 02:26 AM
 
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thanks for this thread. i was going to post on this same topic here, and saw that others feel the same way. yes, i like watching that show; it motivates me to finish organizing my new upstairs. everything got jumbled up in the construction process, and i'm still digging out, six months after completion. (of course i also have a very active 3 year old and a newborn who keep me occupied all day.) i watch that show in the evenings sometimes, and it makes me want to get done with my projects. it makes me want to throw things out. it makes me want to give away the outgrown baby clothes i procrasinate on doing.

since others have been sharing their stories, i'll share mine. my parents are hoarders. my dad's parents were also hoarders. i grew up in it. for a long time, my parents got away with blaming us kids. for being messy, etc. there were four of us, close in age, all of the others are boys. they were pretty messy, it was true. but now that we are all adults and out on our own, my parents hoarding has gone to a new level of dysfunction, and the kids can certainly not be blamed anymore.

my mother's parents were the exact opposite, they were neat as a pin and perfect in the housekeeping department. although i loved my grandma, and she quit doing this later in life, growing up i always heard from her, "you should help your mother more" in regards to "cleaning" the house. trouble was, that we were never allowed to throw anything away. it's hard to clean when there is junk just everywhere.

so i carry this psychological burden, i think, of responsibility. and i'm just not a "clean freak" by nature. i am more of a free spirit, and my mind always goes to how such and such could be useful, etc. but i do fight these tendencies, and right now about 80-85 percent of my house is in pretty good shape. it will probably never be "white glove" clean like my maternal grandparents' house was, but what i mean by pretty good shape is uncluttered, and basically cleaned, floors swept or vaccumed, toys picked up, etc. i'm still working on the remaining 15-20 percent, this is where i have some piles still to go through. but yes, hoarders gives me motivation to get it done. every night when everyone else is first asleep for the night, i put about an hour's effort into organizing. my hope is that i have about a month's worth of one hour a night work left to go.

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#23 of 35 Old 12-09-2009, 02:50 PM
 
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Hoarders doesn't motivate me to clean, but it does motivate me to diet :Puke

Try watching that show with a snack when they start pulling out the dead cats and human feces. Ewwww.

My mother is also a pretty severe hoarder. I actually want to nominate her for the show. It was pretty bad when I was growing up--you couldn't go into some rooms of our house, and the room we actually "lived in" were so piled high with junk that it was hard to move around. We never ever ever had guests. It was very embarrassing. I still harbor a lot of resentment over it, but watching the show has helped me develop a little more empathy for my mother.

I just wish she'd own up to it as a problem. It's gotten so bad, that she hasn't let me into her house in about 3 years. I'm worried that she may have some major sanitation issues. I asked her and she said no, but I'm not sure if I believe her. As long as her toilet works. Ugh.
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#24 of 35 Old 12-09-2009, 04:11 PM
 
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i have never seen this show, but i have seen others similar to what you guys are describing and it is motivation to clean. although, i find it strange that someone is capitalizing on these peoples struggles and heartache. my grandmother is a compulsive hoarder, to the point that the fire department has come a few times to clear out her house and got rid of two of those huge dumpsters that have the door on the side worth of stuff. i would be absolutely mortified if she ended up on some "reality tv show" for others entertainment. she is very sick and it is really physically painful for her to get rid of anything. its her security blanket you know?

sorry to get all weird and preachy.
I'm of both minds about it, but they aren't just capitalizing on people. People have to call in and agree to do the show. Most people appear on the show to get the help because they are at a crisis point. I don't personally know anyone that could afford to dispose of an entire house of potentially toxic junk/garbage or find the man power to do it, and then afford the therapy and help that is offered.

While it is intrusive, and exploitive on the one hand, it's also opening up the topic to the public. Educating people about hoarding/OCD and how it isn't just about laziness or stupidity I think is a good thing.

People might see themselves in those being featured on the show and decide to get help, or family or friends of a hoarder might learn some compassion or find a way to get help for their loved one, or come to a resolution about deciding to not have that person in their lives, or even feel a sense of belonging in realizing that they aren't crazy- that their hoarding family member is the one that is "off" and needs help, sort of a vindication.

I don't know, but I think sweeping this kind of stuff under the rug is what does the most damage, not letting the light shine in one the problem. The first step to changing something is admitting it and stopping the lies and denial.
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#25 of 35 Old 12-09-2009, 04:13 PM
 
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Have you ever seen the show "How Clean is Your House?" I think it's on BBCA. That sounds always makes me want to get up and clean. Most of the people on that show having hoarding tendencies also, although the main focus of the show is cleaning. I like it because they help the person clean and organize their house. Once it's done the people look so much happier I find it motivational. It's much less depressing than "Hoarders".
LOVE this show!

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#26 of 35 Old 12-09-2009, 05:38 PM
 
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While it is intrusive, and exploitative on the one hand, it's also opening up the topic to the public. Educating people about hoarding/OCD and how it isn't just about laziness or stupidity I think is a good thing.

I agree with this.

My parents both worked and had a messy house because they were packrats. They didn't know how or care to know to display well or pack away. I remember being ashamed to have company at our house. We weren't poor but my house no way resembled normal homes. I don't think they are true hoarders and they've never lost a room like so many on the show.. but it is hard to be there and be comfortable.

My kids will remember growing up in a neat and orderly environment. I can invite anyone into my home and only have a slight mess of dishes at any time of the day. My husband says I'm a little too neat but I find it peaceful not to have so much dis-order about me.
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#27 of 35 Old 12-09-2009, 08:31 PM
 
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I'm of both minds about it, but they aren't just capitalizing on people. People have to call in and agree to do the show. Most people appear on the show to get the help because they are at a crisis point. I don't personally know anyone that could afford to dispose of an entire house of potentially toxic junk/garbage or find the man power to do it, and then afford the therapy and help that is offered.

While it is intrusive, and exploitive on the one hand, it's also opening up the topic to the public. Educating people about hoarding/OCD and how it isn't just about laziness or stupidity I think is a good thing.

People might see themselves in those being featured on the show and decide to get help, or family or friends of a hoarder might learn some compassion or find a way to get help for their loved one, or come to a resolution about deciding to not have that person in their lives, or even feel a sense of belonging in realizing that they aren't crazy- that their hoarding family member is the one that is "off" and needs help, sort of a vindication.

I don't know, but I think sweeping this kind of stuff under the rug is what does the most damage, not letting the light shine in one the problem. The first step to changing something is admitting it and stopping the lies and denial.
oh ok, i guess i didnt really know the specific premise of the show. the types of shows i had seen before didnt really provide much help or therapy they just documented how horrible this persons life is and how hard it is to change the habits and how it is an actual medical condition. i guess i'll have to see if someone has it tivo'd or something as i dont have a tv at home.
i'm glad they are providing assistance to those people on the show, that makes me feel a bit better about it.
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#28 of 35 Old 12-10-2009, 12:37 PM
 
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oh ok, i guess i didnt really know the specific premise of the show. the types of shows i had seen before didnt really provide much help or therapy they just documented how horrible this persons life is and how hard it is to change the habits and how it is an actual medical condition. i guess i'll have to see if someone has it tivo'd or something as i dont have a tv at home.
i'm glad they are providing assistance to those people on the show, that makes me feel a bit better about it.
They have some episodes available online at AEtv.com, though the selection of episodes seems to vary week to week. In the ones I watched they bring a team of cleaners with big dumpsters to help the person as well as an organizer person, who usually seems to have a specialization in hoarding disorders. One family had a little boy who had hoarding problems already and he had his own psychologist (?) in addition to the person helping his mom.
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#29 of 35 Old 12-10-2009, 05:40 PM
 
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After watching the show I immediately felt the urge to throw something away!

I did manage to clean my desk off today because of that show.

Michelle: wife to J, mom to M (2001), E (2003), C (2005), S (2007) and O! (2009) And someone new in 2011!
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#30 of 35 Old 12-10-2009, 06:15 PM
 
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One of the families featured on this show (in fact has been mentioned on this very thread) are close family friends (like family). I can't speak about anyone else's experiences with the show, but they had a very good experience with the show, it helped them, and they felt respected by the producers and staff. They are making progress - slow, but real.

I'm really anti reality tv but I just thought I'd throw that out there.

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