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emba56

Does anyone else watch Hoarders...

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...And side with the hoarder when they're cleaning up? Like, sure, throw out the cat poop and the old fast food containers, but hey, she's right, that's a brand new package of happy birthday candles, you can't throw that out.  No, don't send the case of unopened bathroom tissue to Salvation Army, that stuff doesn't go bad, she'll use it someday. If you put those dolls nicelyon a shelf, they're not an absurd example of compulsive shopping, they're a collection!

And this is why I'm so bad at decluttering.

Edited by emba56
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The trouble with hoarding as a mental illness is that stuff that someone with a fully functioning brain could manage in a reasonable way--the toilet paper, the doll collection--the hoarder cannot. 

You're seeing the function the stuff would represent for you, but I think for people with severe hoarding illness it truly has no function except that of being part of the hoard.

I worry though that without significant ongoing support a hoard once eliminated will simply re-accumulate.

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I have often thought the same thing - that cleaning up the mess won't help much without some serious mental health follow up.

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My mil is a hoarder, her parents were even worse (they had trails, and no where to sit)

it is a mental illness, what works best is antidepressants and being somewhere that isn't overwhelming.  even a reasonable amount of "stuff" is overwhelming to someone who can't handle it.

and yes - they need mental health follow-up - along with the antidepressants.

 

Edited by gardenmom5
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No, a hoarder sees the potential use and function... in everything.  My dad was/is a hoarder.  Not quite to the total, complete garbage, but close.  Our backyard had old school lockers, a fountain drink machine, ceiling tiles from a school's renovation, a few paving stones, a couple of sheds full of who knows what, etc.  He always had a plan for the stuff or ideas on how it could get used.

The one house we lived in, One entire level of the house had magazines, books, and newspapers piled 3 to 4 feet high.  No furniture, nothing but reading material.  A few pathways.  He had read it all at some point, and would reread it.  But think of it... about 800sq ft (the place was 900sq ft I think... so a bit less for the paths) x 3...  2400 cubic feet of paper.  The house was on an acreage and caught fire (forest fire season.... cause is unknown still...)  The firemen were all commenting on how hot that house burned... the hottest fire ever.   

The 2 car garage was full to the rafters.  But yes, in his head there was a use for everything.  Or collections.  Or things that would get used.

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And yes, without mental health support the hoarding will come right back... and if it was cleaned up fairly forcibly it will come back much much worse.

I have hoarding genes and a tendancy towards it if I am not careful.  I used to have collections (mostly organized and recognizable as collections, and not an overwhelming amount... but more than normal.  Stamps, coins, Scouting/Guiding crests, uniforms, manuals, and customizable card games, etc.   I have a few things from some but mostly don't feel 'it' about them now.  

But cleaning up, decluttering, organizing stuff.... decision overlord!  What do we do with 'this'.  Throw out, donate, keep?  If keep, where do I want it?  Well if I knew where I wanted it, it wouldn't be in this stuff that needs to be gone through.  Gack!  I get worn out quickly!

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Indeed, what we typically find, iirc, is that simply going in and clearing everything out is traumatic and actually intensifies hoarding behavior, even if you have theoretically gotten the okay from the hoarder. (Anecdotally, though, many people report that their parents/whoevers stopped hoarding after a move, whether that move was "welp, we've retired, let's go to Florida!" or "oh noes, the house burned down and all our stuff with it!!!!" I don't know why this should be the case, and I certainly don't have enough data to know if this is usual or if those people are the exception, I simply think it's interesting.)

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Not Hoarders but another show that helped people clean up had an episode with a woman who lost the grandmother who raised her.  She had one favorite shirt of her grandmother's that brought her comfort.  Instead of letting her keep one shirt hanging in her closet they cut out one square of the shirt and, iirc, put it in a box.  I'll never understand why keeping one shirt was a problem.

Eta: she wasn't a hoarder 

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In that case it was probably dramatic editing for more drama. MOAR DRAMA!!!!!

But it's possible that the reasoning is that this is like having beer in the house for alcoholics, that even a little bit of excess cruft can accrete right back into hoarding. I don't know if this is what is generally recommended by psychologists, and I doubt that they had a licensed shrink on hand to guide them in best practice and proper support for this woman.

 

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Hoarding is extremely complex, for sure.  IME, there's an enormous difference between my much less intense desire to have certain things "just in case" and my relatives' compulsion to have everything they've ever gotten because they can't distinguish between the value of unopened toilet paper and unopened junk mail.

The actual items are pretty irrelevant. If you can't identify literal garbage vs. true need, "maybe nice to have" isn't something you can really navigate in a healthy way.

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The show Hoarders is clear at the end of the show that they ARE providing mental health support after the cameras are gone.  I don't know how long they provide it, but they do say it is offered.

 A few toilet paper rolls are fine, but the entire bathtub/shower up to the ceiling filled with toilet paper rolls is NOT, esp. in the size homes most of them live in.  I have bought too much TP before, it was on a BOGO and they were huge boxes of like 100 rolls.  When I hired the organizer, she made comments!  But, I had the space to store them on shelves in the basement.  She told me not to do that again though.  She said Costo size bag of TP only and only 1 at a time max.   

FWIW, I still had more stuff than the organizer wanted by the end, but at least it was organized.  But she told me that she only buys what she needs every week.  Food, TP, paper towels, she buys they all weekly so it isn't cluttered.  She is also a SAHM with older kids.  I would rather shop by the month for things like frozen foods, canned goods, TP, etc...she literally menu plans, down to the snacks and drinks, and only buys that each week.

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I’ve seen several shows where something like the single shirt anecdote happened and it made me upset. As long as it’s just a few things, I really think keeping sentimental stuff is okay.

I wish my in laws had stopped their borderline hoarding with a move. Sigh. They know it’s an issue, but they can’t seem to change. Fil has enough art supplies to keep a high school art classroom stocked for at least a couple of years. Mil has gotten a bit better - when I first knew them, we gave them as their xmas gift one year a gift certificate for a nice restaurant. They were grateful. They went to the restaurant. But they didn’t use the certificate because she wanted to keep it. Sigh.

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I know it's an illness but I don't have any patience with it.  I can't stand clutter.  Whenever I watch that show I frantically run around throwing stuff away.  But I have a friend that watches and her reaction is "My house isn't that bad"  LOL

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My grandmother got to almost hoarding status near the end. Her house wasn't unlivable, but it was getting there and she kept storage units full of furniture, clothes, and old magazine s. I do worry I have some sort of genetic predisposition, like, if the wrong set of events happen I'd slip into it.  

I watch these shows rarely, but when I do it usually spurs me to get rid of a few things and clean up. None of those people just woke up one day and dragged a bunch of junk into the house; it accumulated. I look at my bedside table at the pile of books and papers and a magazine i know full well has been there a year and think, that's the beginning. 

Well, this is a serious turn to what was intended to be a more lighthearted thread.

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8 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

Indeed, what we typically find, iirc, is that simply going in and clearing everything out is traumatic and actually intensifies hoarding behavior, even if you have theoretically gotten the okay from the hoarder. (Anecdotally, though, many people report that their parents/whoevers stopped hoarding after a move, whether that move was "welp, we've retired, let's go to Florida!" or "oh noes, the house burned down and all our stuff with it!!!!" I don't know why this should be the case, and I certainly don't have enough data to know if this is usual or if those people are the exception, I simply think it's interesting.)

 

This was the case for my aunt (grade A hoarder, with overwhelming "collections", piles of trash, and gambling/QVC shopping addictions). What finally broke the cycle for her was moving into an independent living facility. I think it was a combination of factors: she got past the initial hump of getting rid of 90% of the mess and out of the space she associated with hoarding, she has staff members coming into her space regularly to clean and check on her, and she's more connected to a community. She also no longer drives, which severely limits the amount of stuff she can accumulate.

Don't get me wrong - her mental illnesses are still there, and other symptoms of it are still very strong. But the hoarding symptoms, at least, have been kept in check by moving.

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5 hours ago, DawnM said:

The show Hoarders is clear at the end of the show that they ARE providing mental health support after the cameras are gone.  I don't know how long they provide it, but they do say it is offered.

 A few toilet paper rolls are fine, but the entire bathtub/shower up to the ceiling filled with toilet paper rolls is NOT, esp. in the size homes most of them live in.  I have bought too much TP before, it was on a BOGO and they were huge boxes of like 100 rolls.  When I hired the organizer, she made comments!  But, I had the space to store them on shelves in the basement.  She told me not to do that again though.  She said Costo size bag of TP only and only 1 at a time max.   

FWIW, I still had more stuff than the organizer wanted by the end, but at least it was organized.  But she told me that she only buys what she needs every week.  Food, TP, paper towels, she buys they all weekly so it isn't cluttered.  She is also a SAHM with older kids.  I would rather shop by the month for things like frozen foods, canned goods, TP, etc...she literally menu plans, down to the snacks and drinks, and only buys that each week.

 

The organizer sounds like maybe she has a few issues of her own. 😉

I’m like you — no rolls of toilet paper to the ceiling, but I do stock up a bit on things I know I’ll use (mainly because Costco is always so busy that I don’t want to shop there more than once or twice a month.)  As for the menu planning down to snacks and drinks so everything is used up every week, that is a little TOO organized for me! A few extra rolls of paper towels and TP aren’t what I define as “clutter,” particularly in your case where it was stored in the basement and not sitting out in a public area of the house. 

I’m certainly not in favor of hoarding, but I do think it is possible to be unhealthy in the other direction, as well — I know a woman who is minimalistic to the point where it is actually upsetting to her if someone gives her a gift that she doesn’t absolutely need, because she only wants a certain quantity of everything, and having an extra pair of fuzzy socks or an extra sweater would mess up her system. I think of her as being the Anti-Hoarder. 

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3 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

 

The organizer sounds like maybe she has a few issues of her own. 😉

I’m like you — no rolls of toilet paper to the ceiling, but I do stock up a bit on things I know I’ll use (mainly because Costco is always so busy that I don’t want to shop there more than once or twice a month.)  As for the menu planning down to snacks and drinks so everything is used up every week, that is a little TOO organized for me! A few extra rolls of paper towels and TP aren’t what I define as “clutter,” particularly in your case where it was stored in the basement and not sitting out in a public area of the house. 

I’m certainly not in favor of hoarding, but I do think it is possible to be unhealthy in the other direction, as well — I know a woman who is minimalistic to the point where it is actually upsetting to her if someone gives her a gift that she doesn’t absolutely need, because she only wants a certain quantity of everything, and having an extra pair of fuzzy socks or an extra sweater would mess up her system. I think of her as being the Anti-Hoarder. 

I agree with you. That was my reaction to that organizer,too. My SIL is like that and she encourages my MIL in that direction.  It actually makes me nervous. And it feels odd to me. MIL had less than a bookcase worth of books and SIL was on about her having too many books???? Our 12 bookcases full must give her hives.LOL

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Yeah, I don’t really ever see myself paying anyone to help me organize. I would probably get more stubborn, like, just try to tell me how much toilet paper I can keep. 😂

i really have to decide on my own. And people like that who only shop for what they absolutely need for just that week obviously don’t live rurally. I can’t just run down the block to the store if something unexpected comes up or I miscalculated how much we would eat.

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The first time I watched the show I had to get up and start cleaning my house.

I have zero hoarding tendencies.   I'm not super tidy all the time, but I just dont like extra stuff around.

 

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I’m certainly not in favor of hoarding, but I do think it is possible to be unhealthy in the other direction, as well — I know a woman who is minimalistic to the point where it is actually upsetting to her if someone gives her a gift that she doesn’t absolutely need, because she only wants a certain quantity of everything, and having an extra pair of fuzzy socks or an extra sweater would mess up her system. I think of her as being the Anti-Hoarder. 

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/09/ocd-obsessive-compulsive-decluttering-hoarding/401591/

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I have seen a few episodes, and they shocked me.  There seem to be people who hoard "cleanly" and people who hoard and live in squalor.  

I had to stop watching because it felt like voyeurism to watch people who are severely mentally ill have their illness paraded on tv.  I would be in tears watching a teen child try to comfort their mother that it was ok to throw out an empty Pepsi bottle from six years ago, with dead roaches in it.  

I am glad the show brought those people help. But I can't watch it for my own entertainment. 

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2 hours ago, emba56 said:

Yeah, I don’t really ever see myself paying anyone to help me organize. I would probably get more stubborn, like, just try to tell me how much toilet paper I can keep. 😂

i really have to decide on my own. And people like that who only shop for what they absolutely need for just that week obviously don’t live rurally. I can’t just run down the block to the store if something unexpected comes up or I miscalculated how much we would eat.

 

Well, she didn't make me get rid of it or anything and I was vocal about a lot of stuff, but I am just not an organized person.  I sometimes buy more of something because I didn't see what I already had because it wasn't in an organized place.

I mean, my house LOOKS clean and organized, somehow people got the impression I was a hoarder on these boards.  We have a 15x20 storage area with shelves in the basement and I try to keep all the camping stuff on one shelving unit, all the toiletries on a. couple of shelves, etc.....but sometimes I get lazy, or I send a kid down, and things get misplaced.  And I did keep too much of some things.  I admit it.  But I do have a large house and had 3 boys.

And I am sure if she knew you lived rurally (which she would know if she drove to your house) that wouldn't be a suggestion for you.  She didn't actually tell me to live like that, I just know how she lives.  I simply don't have that kind of time.

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9 hours ago, DawnM said:

FWIW, I still had more stuff than the organizer wanted by the end, but at least it was organized.  But she told me that she only buys what she needs every week.  Food, TP, paper towels, she buys they all weekly so it isn't cluttered.  She is also a SAHM with older kids.  I would rather shop by the month for things like frozen foods, canned goods, TP, etc...she literally menu plans, down to the snacks and drinks, and only buys that each week.

This organizer must never have lived in an area where one big snowstorm or very icy roads may make you really happy that you can skip going to the store this week. That sounds both obesessive and like an example of poor planning. 

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Just now, mom2scouts said:

This organizer must never have lived in an area where one big snowstorm or very icy roads may make you really happy that you can skip going to the store this week. That sounds both obesessive and like an example of poor planning. 

 

Yes, she has.  She moved here from up North.  And we get ice on occasion, but we typically have time to prep for it.

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I went to an estate sale/auction at a hoarder house once.  It was emotionally overwhelming for everyone there.  Everyone was angry and stressed, even the auctioneers who were very experienced professionals.  I will never, ever go to another sale like that!  

What the tv shows can't show you is the smell  that comes with a hoarder house.  Years and years of rotting paper, mold, rodent pee, and more rot rot rot.  

Never again. 

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I read a book (fiction) where one of the ongoing strategies for the woman who hoarded was that she had a credit card and online shopping account her son monitored. She'd buy stuff she didn't need, it would be delivered, and he'd stop by and swoop in and return it before she opened it. Buying it made her feel better, and she could handle him returning it as long as she didn't open the boxes and SEE the stuff. If it was just cardboard boxes she could relinquish them. I found it fascinating. 

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I watch to make myself go declutter. I'm always horrified and sad after watching an episode.

The sympathy I feel for the hoarder is because I want them to want to let go of the stuff, like this couple who appeared on Oprah. She was ready. Even her DH held on to bank statements for 30 years. But on a follow up show they had kept the house clutter-free. Some serious discussions occurred (she filled the void of her empty nest w/ STUFF), but I don't know if there was professional counseling. 

I still have problems letting go of some things, but I'm better than I was. I know there is a thread on the Netflix show on KonMari, and I like the carrot of it and the stick of Hoarders to motivate me. 

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3 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

Well, she didn't make me get rid of it or anything and I was vocal about a lot of stuff, but I am just not an organized person.

Maybe I just read it wrong then.  And it is a failing of mine to get all 'you're not the boss of me' about fairly innocuous things. Like I said, I wouldn't pay money to someone to have them give me perfectly good advice that I know good and well I wouldn't listen to. Also why I wouldn't hire a homeschooling consultant. ☺ I'm certainly not making judgements about your decision to hire someone. Heaven knows I'm not organized, I just know myself well enough to know if wouldn't work for me. 

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I tend to lean in the other direction, so I'm like the others who watch it and then get up to clean their house. I don't have enough space to keep a large stock of anything.

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1 minute ago, emba56 said:

Maybe I just read it wrong then.  And it is a failing of mine to get all 'you're not the boss of me' about fairly innocuous things. Like I said, I wouldn't pay money to someone to have them give me perfectly good advice that I know good and well I wouldn't listen to. Also why I wouldn't hire a homeschooling consultant. ☺ I'm certainly not making judgements about your decision to hire someone. Heaven knows I'm not organized, I just know myself well enough to know if wouldn't work for me. 

 

I needed it.  I can stare at the room and really not know where to start.  She was good about getting things in bins, labeled, sorted, etc.....

Another thing it really helped me do is know I can easily do it myself.  I just needed that extra push.  And since she is a friend, she gave me a huge discount, like less than half!

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2 minutes ago, DawnM said:

 

I needed it.  I can stare at the room and really not know where to start.  She was good about getting things in bins, labeled, sorted, etc.....

Another thing it really helped me do is know I can easily do it myself.  I just needed that extra push.  And since she is a friend, she gave me a huge discount, like less than half!

See, I can organize in the sense of making bins with labels, but I can't make myself stick to it well. And I have a hard time turning loose of things that are perfectly good or have some conceivable use.

If I organize my bookshelves, for example, I may have a section for classics, until that one day I get a book out and leave it on my bedside table. Then there is a space, which I fill with a couple of paperback mysteries that I got at the library sale and have no space for. Then I shove some of the books under the bed, and put some in the closet, because who am I kidding that I would only buy two. Books are a particular weakness. Then I stack a couple of books sideways on top because it's handy sometime, and so it goes. I don't like having to go into closed storage ( drawer, cabinet, closet, box) for things I use often. I like to see them and easy access.

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I am not a hoarder.  As in my mess and clutter is not due to a mental illness or a psychological need to keep stuff.  Things are cluttered because I don't have the oomph to always put stuff totally away and by the time I've finished using certain things, I'm on to new things and am trying my hardest to keep up with them.  So watching the show might make me want to clean things up but I wouldn't have the energy to do it, so I wouldn't worry about it.  I'm pretty big on trying not to worry about what I can't keep up with.  I am slowly getting through a backlog of decluttering in the past six months, though.  Just today we needed some OTC meds and I discovered that many of them are expired (the oldest one expired in 1999) - so I went through those and threw them out.  One more small victory.  😉 

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1 hour ago, emba56 said:

See, I can organize in the sense of making bins with labels, but I can't make myself stick to it well. And I have a hard time turning loose of things that are perfectly good or have some conceivable use.

If I organize my bookshelves, for example, I may have a section for classics, until that one day I get a book out and leave it on my bedside table. Then there is a space, which I fill with a couple of paperback mysteries that I got at the library sale and have no space for. Then I shove some of the books under the bed, and put some in the closet, because who am I kidding that I would only buy two. Books are a particular weakness. Then I stack a couple of books sideways on top because it's handy sometime, and so it goes. I don't like having to go into closed storage ( drawer, cabinet, closet, box) for things I use often. I like to see them and easy access.

 

Well, that is what she was helpful with.....talking me out of shoving new things in there.  If it didn't 't fit, I had to purge something, or put something in a storage area, or whatever.

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I used to do that some with a different show...I think it was called Clean Sweep or something. It wasn’t as extreme as Hoarders but it was usually people who had gone pretty far in the disaster direction. The team would come in and would do a big yard sale to generate dough for their project and then would makeover their house and clean and organize everything. 

For that show I would often side with the “hoarder” for certain things. One I remember in particular was an old guy with a roll-top desk he had used for a very long time. But it wasn’t “the most efficient” desk for his needs, so they convinced him to sell it. I thought that was barbaric. 

One that I thought was sort of funny was this woman who had a trmendous plethora of storage totes. She couldn’t see the problem with her excess stuff because it was all so nicely sorted and organized. Well, yeah, it was towering stacks impeding moving freely about her house, but, by golly, it was organized!

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7 hours ago, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

I have seen a few episodes, and they shocked me.  There seem to be people who hoard "cleanly" and people who hoard and live in squalor.  

I had to stop watching because it felt like voyeurism to watch people who are severely mentally ill have their illness paraded on tv.  I would be in tears watching a teen child try to comfort their mother that it was ok to throw out an empty Pepsi bottle from six years ago, with dead roaches in it.  

I am glad the show brought those people help. But I can't watch it for my own entertainment. 

Yes. I began to feel the same. Each show seemed to be finding increasingly horrifying situations. There is a point - usually somewhere between unremoved pizza boxes and dead cats - where this is intractable mentall illness. It was awful to witness. 

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41 minutes ago, Quill said:

I used to do that some with a different show...I think it was called Clean Sweep or something. It wasn’t as extreme as Hoarders but it was usually people who had gone pretty far in the disaster direction. The team would come in and would do a big yard sale to generate dough for their project and then would makeover their house and clean and organize everything. 

For that show I would often side with the “hoarder” for certain things. One I remember in particular was an old guy with a roll-top desk he had used for a very long time. But it wasn’t “the most efficient” desk for his needs, so they convinced him to sell it. I thought that was barbaric. 

One that I thought was sort of funny was this woman who had a trmendous plethora of storage totes. She couldn’t see the problem with her excess stuff because it was all so nicely sorted and organized. Well, yeah, it was towering stacks impeding moving freely about her house, but, by golly, it was organized!

I think Clean Sweep was a US version of a BBC show called Life Laundry which was the show I mentioned upthread that wouldn't let someone keep one shirt.  I liked the show but it did go too far imo.  Why not keep one sentimental shirt or a slightly less than efficient desk?

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I've never watched hoarders because based on the descriptions it sounds like voyeurism and exploitation of a person's mental illness. There's gotta be a better way to get help for hoarding to people who need it.

I'm not a hoarder but I've got a house full of people with executive function issues which tends to result in clutter and mess. I used to think if I could be minimalist enough the clutter and mess issues would go away; then we lived for a month in an empty house with no furniture and only basics that fit in our luggage--guess what, we still made a mess. Oh, not as bad as when we have all our stuff but it really was rather eye opening.

I haven't yet figured out a solution.

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14 hours ago, mom2scouts said:

This organizer must never have lived in an area where one big snowstorm or very icy roads may make you really happy that you can skip going to the store this week. That sounds both obesessive and like an example of poor planning. 

 

14 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

Yes, she has.  She moved here from up North.  And we get ice on occasion, but we typically have time to prep for it.

There are LOTS of people in rural cold climates who aren't prepared for bad weather. 

(Says someone who can stay shut up in her house for quite a while, but left her gas tank ridiculously low yesterday b/c she didn't want to pump gas in 20*. So... yeah, lol.)

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Interestingly, I would love to declutter our cave enough that I CAN store dry goods in larger quantities.  I'd be happy to get rid of some possessions in order to have room for a bit of a mini-prepper supply area (I'm not talking crazy, but I'd love to have a few dozen cans of tuna, a couple bags of rice and beans, some bottled water, TP, etc.  Maybe a bare bones one month of survival).

Assuming stocker-uppers are USING what they buy and remembering to rotate stock before it goes bad- and assuming they have not had to use the shower to store the TP... I don't see that as being even remotely related to hoarding.  

Another super weird TV show is the one for extreme couponers.  I've only seen a few episodes of that one as well.  But people would have whole garages filled with products they didn't even like or use, because they were "free" with their scammy coupon deal.  This moves "stocking up" into "hoarding" IMO.  If you have three years worth of shower gel that you don't even like or use... just stop already.   

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As someone who buys for the week, AND lives in a cold climate, AND has lived pretty rural....I don't think it's a lack of planning or whatever deficiency you want to attribute to it.
We grocery shop every week, with a meal plan.  Only the things on the meal plan are purchased.  That doesn't mean that there's a lack of food in the house - it means if the roads get wicked we have more comfort meals based on what is available because of the quantities it must be bought in: rice and potato dishes, leftover things from the fridge...we've gone a week without being able to shop (we lived in one place where holidays and normal days off overlapped in such a way that the stores were only open one day that week and there was not much there.)  Right now I've got half a bunch of kale in the fridge because all I needed was half for the salad last week.  I'll find a way to use it up this week.

I grew up in a cluttered house and lived close to that way until I had to downsize quite a bit to move.  The thought of going back gives me the heebie jeebies.  I don't want to be prepared for EVERY possibility that comes my way.  Moderation and depression-motto* are key in my life now.  I know why my parents lived that way - I don't believe most hoarding is a mental illness, but I do believe it is a physical manifestation of the grief process for a lot of hoarders.  Loss and deprivation makes people hold on tighter to what they have.  Keeping that in check is really, really important to me, right down to not hoarding groceries.

*use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

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6 minutes ago, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

Interestingly, I would love to declutter our cave enough that I CAN store dry goods in larger quantities.  I'd be happy to get rid of some possessions in order to have room for a bit of a mini-prepper supply area (I'm not talking crazy, but I'd love to have a few dozen cans of tuna, a couple bags of rice and beans, some bottled water, TP, etc.  Maybe a bare bones one month of survival).

 Assuming stocker-uppers are USING what they buy and remembering to rotate stock before it goes bad- and assuming they have not had to use the shower to store the TP... I don't see that as being even remotely related to hoarding.

That's basically what we do.
I consider myself a mediocre prepper, lol. I do forgo other things in order to use the one non-clothes-closet as a large (ish) pantry. So you won't find much in the way of extra sheets here, as an example. Beds that pets hang out on get double made, and there's 2 spares in my bedroom closet.  Everyone's sheets get washed and put back on the same day.

I keep a lot of stuff in our shed that might usually be kept in the house, too.  It's not ideal trudging back and forth for certain tools or printer paper or whatever, but it gives more room for things that need to be temperature controlled.

I do think there's a delicate balance. My spouse and kids are genetically connected to hoarding, so I genuinely worry about the examples I'm setting, whether by storing a bunch of stuff or minimizing a bunch of stuff. 

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11 hours ago, Quill said:

I used to do that some with a different show...I think it was called Clean Sweep or something. It wasn’t as extreme as Hoarders but it was usually people who had gone pretty far in the disaster direction. The team would come in and would do a big yard sale to generate dough for their project and then would makeover their house and clean and organize everything. 

For that show I would often side with the “hoarder” for certain things. One I remember in particular was an old guy with a roll-top desk he had used for a very long time. But it wasn’t “the most efficient” desk for his needs, so they convinced him to sell it. I thought that was barbaric. 

One that I thought was sort of funny was this woman who had a trmendous plethora of storage totes. She couldn’t see the problem with her excess stuff because it was all so nicely sorted and organized. Well, yeah, it was towering stacks impeding moving freely about her house, but, by golly, it was organized!

 

Was that the one w/ Neicy Nash? (Sp?) That team was funny. I'm glad I didn't see the episode w/ the roll top desk! Wrong!

One episode that I saw and happened to see a follow up show on was a man who collected those little teddy bears that were so popular. Ty or something? They got it down to a small collection. They decluttered lots more than that too. Here is why I recall that family all these years: not only had they kept their house clutter-free, but the couple had lost weight. That was the first time I realized there could be a connection. 

FlyLady calls it body clutter and I think Peter Walsh made that connection too. Fascinates me, since I have some work to do the on the house and lots of work to do on my body.

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6 hours ago, Angie in VA said:

 

Was that the one w/ Neicy Nash? (Sp?) That team was funny. I'm glad I didn't see the episode w/ the roll top desk! Wrong!

One episode that I saw and happened to see a follow up show on was a man who collected those little teddy bears that were so popular. Ty or something? They got it down to a small collection. They decluttered lots more than that too. Here is why I recall that family all these years: not only had they kept their house clutter-free, but the couple had lost weight. That was the first time I realized there could be a connection. 

FlyLady calls it body clutter and I think Peter Walsh made that connection too. Fascinates me, since I have some work to do the on the house and lots of work to do on my body.

I think eventually Neicy did come on that show but when I was watching it, it was Peter Walsh. (I believe that is his name; the man who wrote It’s All Too Much.) He was the one brow-beating the man with the roll-top desk. I just thought it was harsh and unnecessary to chuck the desk. 

One thing I did like about Walsh, though, was that he believed in giving important items “pride of place.” So if someone had a collection of army commendations and medals from a relative, but they were stuck in a shoebox in the closet, he was a big believer in giving those items a shadow box or something and hanging where they can be seen. 

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I, too, have decluttered frantically when I’ve watched that show (and won’t watch it anymore because it’s sad to see the exploitation of mental illness. I liked Clean Sweep more because it was less extreme/seemed less exploitative). I’m a minimalist except in 2 areas. Food and books. Books, I combat by refusing to buy more shelves, not allowing myself to stack them, and decluttering regularly. There isn’t a huge emotional component to books though, more the IDEA of the possibility of learning they hold. And I can declutter that when it becomes clear that we won’t use that book, or that I no longer need that topic.

Food is a bit different for me. I grew up food insecure because my father had a hard time holding a job and wouldn’t allow my mom to work (she was amazing at barter and work for trade as a result) or food stamps, etc. So, I tend toward food hoarding and work hard to keep my food storage in check. I’m very proud of my progress in this area (I look pretty normal when compared to other friends who have kids with huge appetites like mine), but it takes effort for me to maintain that “normal.”  My preference is to have 4 bags of oatmeal, but I work hard to have only 1 until it is half gone. I buy my rice in a 20 pound bag at Costco (lasts about 2 months here), but I have to fight the desire to have a back up bag (or 2-3) in the basement. I don’t HAVE a back-up bag, but I WANT one. There’s mental effort there that I wish I didn’t have to go through. (One of my brothers stores much more food than me and is candid that he’s preventing his kids from every being hungry like we were). Our other brother (younger) doesn’t store at all - if asked, he doesn’t really remember food insecurity). 

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