Recovering Hoarders? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 01-23-2011, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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So while watching the hoarders shows makes me feel better about the state of my house, I realized about a year ago that I'm a very mild hoarder. I see it elsewhere in my family. My grandmother has just so.much.stuff. Their main rooms are clean & tidy, but don't look in the closets! Or upstairs bedrooms! My grandparents actually bought a one-room store that was no longer being used and had it moved to their property (don't ask...) to use as a "play room," but it's full to the brim with stuff. The last time I visited, you couldn't even get in. 


My mom is the opposite. She tosses things when they're perfectly useful. We moved *a lot* when I was a kid, and she'd get rid of dishes, towels, sheets every freakin' time, even though they were only a year (at max) old. 


As a result, I have a pretty screwed up sense of what's reasonable to keep. Until I was 4, I had no permanent home. I stayed with random friends and family members for a few days at a time. Both of my parents were transient. At age 4, I went to live with my grandparents (the ones with the store next to their house) and stayed until age 7. After that, I was back & forth between my mom & grandparents until college.


That back story is sort of my reasoning for the subconscious reasonings I hoard - nothing from my childhood was permanent, nothing is now available for me to see, memories are fragmented by sudden changes in living conditions. 


Anyway, beginning in Oct 2009 (I journal...), I started having these huge purges of my things. When I'd get angry or frustrated, I'd pick a room and start tossing. The problem was/is that I'd then get sick and be ill with a fever, aches, etc. for 3-4 days. Over time, I've actually made some good progress in getting things where I'd like them to be. I just need some help/support/advice for really, truly getting over the hump.


Our basement (both the unfinished and finished portions) is a mess. There is just so much crap down there that I don't know how or where to begin. Could use advice on this topic...


Other issues - 


We need cleaning help, I think. We need a major deep clean done. How much do these things run? Can I just call a regular cleaning service or are there some that only do weekly or monthly cleaning?


The main areas of the house are pretty clear, but we have lots of little "stuff" everywhere. Some is the kids - Legos, marbles, ponies. Some belongs to the adults. I'm not sure how to begin to curb those things. I know saying, "put something away when you're done" seems logical, but we haven't been successful at that thus far.

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#2 of 2 Old 01-23-2011, 12:17 PM
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Hi there!  I don't have much advice on hoarding, I'm the opposite I guess.  I've gone through times of having too much stuff, but I also regularly get rid of what we're not using, but my mom is a mild hoarder (she keeps way too much stuff that she'll never use, boxes and boxes filling their nicely finished daylight basement that could otherwise be living space -- she said it was going to be the grandkids' playroom).


But, my advice on the small toys is to get boxes with lids that fit each type of toy.  If you make some type of rule about picking that box up before getting the next box out that might work.


Maybe you could try bringing one box up a day from the basement to work on if it's too overwhelming to do more at once?  Maybe if you take it out of the basement that's full of stuff it will make it seem like an easier task.  You could have a donate box, garbage box, and then a maybe box if you need to ...  I'm no expert though.


Good luck on everything!

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