Sunday, February 7, 2010

Hoarding

My Messy Room
Image by ClaMs from flickr.


I'm watching a show called "Hoarders" and it's breaking my heart.  These people are so attached to their stuff that they never throw any of it away.  A man is faced with cleaning up his yard or going to jail, and he's still having difficulty letting it go.  The people from the show are there to provide labor and assist with the logistics, but he still doesn't want to let it go.

It's a little frightening.  My home is nothing like what I see on TV, but those people weren't always like that.  It started slowly and built up over the years.  The only difference I see between them and me is that I don't have the emotional attachment.  If someone showed up at my door and offered to haul everything away, I'd let them.  If I could afford to start all over, I would.  How fun it would be to tell someone, "Take it all.  I'm going shopping."

My problem is disorganization.  Time to get organized.  I'm thinking if I devote 30 minutes a day, I could get a lot accomplished.  I've said I was going to do it before, but I didn't have a plan.  I'm going to plan it out on a project planner.  I'll report back here in a week on my progress.  I could make it a regular feature:  Progress Report Sunday.  What do you think?    

27 comments:

Unknown Mami said...

It's really sad. My MIL has a hoarding problem. My husband doesn't even like to talk about it because it is so upsetting. No one is ever invited to her house because of it.

Smileyfreak said...

I'm so happy that I'm not a hoarder :D

Jen said...

@Unknown Mami: People are rarely invited to my house, too. I'd like that to change. I'm so sorry to hear about your MIL. It's sad to see people so attached to material things that they sacrifice relationships.

@Smileyfreak: Amen to that. I'm refusing to become one.

Rebecca S. said...

I think it's a great idea. And it is getting started that is the hardest part. Once you get going and see progress you will want to keep on going. Trust me, I know. I'm certainly not a hoarder, but the term 'packrat' has been applied to me a few times!

Jen said...

@Rebecca S.: It does help to keep a record so I can see the progress. I know this from working towards other goals. I've been accused of being a packrat many times.

kenju said...

I have seen a few of those shows. I have a lot of stuff, but it is all organized and mostly in closets and storage areas (and a lot of it is business related). I pity those people, and I don't know how they can become attached to "things" instead of people.

Alice in Wonderland said...

I suppose I'm an organised hoarder, but not to the point where it rules my life, and I hate to live in a mess. But I do have things that I just can't bear to part with.
We have these programmes here in England, and there is a difference between living in a total dirty mess and living in a disorganised situation. Personally, I'm not keen on either, but I am a believer in a place for everything, and everything in it's place.

Brian Miller said...

i have seen some really scary stuff with hoarders...going in to clean up after they passed...scary stuff. on the other hand all my boxes of books...i may be in trouble...

Jen said...

@kenju: That's how it started, but I've run out of storage room, so it's time to get rid of some stuff.

@Alice in Wonderland: Mine would be classified as disorganized. A lot of my issue is when a certain person doesn't put things back where they belong. It becomes a mess that I don't want to clean up. If things were put away when they were done being used, there would not be a huge mess to clean! We'll work on that together.

Jen said...

@Brian Miller: Put the books on a shelf so you can call them a library.

gayle said...

I think it is an excellent idea!! What I want to know is ~ with everything you have going on when in the world are you going to have time!!

sage said...

I hoard only books and photos...

buffalodick said...

We definitinely have too much stuff!

Tammy said...

I follow flylady! 15 minutes a day of decluttering will get you far in the long run!

Jen said...

@gayle: I have to take small breaks from studying to prevent total brain meltdown. If I do 15 minutes twice a day during those breaks, I think it will add up to a lot.

@sage: Books are a good thing to hoard. I'm not getting rid of those unless they are in horrible condition (the one the cat ate then spit back up...).

@buffalodick: Where did it all come from? And why on earth did I ever think I needed that?

@Tammy: The goal is 30...If that proves to be too much, 15 it is!

buffalodick said...

I am the master of overkill! My wife is a pack rat..we bred two pack rats..I think it's genetics! :)

Jen said...

@buffalodick: We could just buy a bigger house...

Nikia, May and da kids said...

I know some hoarders and the problem is mental. I have the opposite problem, I can't attach myself to things or places. Being in Minnesnowda is the longest I lived under one roof ever. I move around alot and so now I am trying to be a bit more stable and maybe keep some things.

May

Buckeroomama said...

Once a year, I do THE PURGE. I hope to be able to do it on a more regular basis.

Tallshag said...

I've seen that show a bunch of times, and about half the time it seems the people featured are not so much hoarders, as they are just total slobs.

A hoarder's house just has too much stuff. A slob's house will be strewn with plain old garbage, dirty dishes, layer upon layer of filth from them never EVER cleaning, dirty clothes all over the place, etc.

Such is the degree of slobbery of a woman whom The Ex used to let keep my kids regularly. For example, I know for a fact that she'll buy new clothes rather than washing clothes.

Hoarders can't help themselves. Slobs are that way because they like it.

Heather said...

I was just thinking the same thing as Gayle, where would you get the time, you are such a busy gal. Great idea, you need to show us some pics though!

I am such a pack rat, but not to those types of levels.
My father had to get rid of a lot of stuff when they moved into an appartment. He is already starting to fill the apartment up, cause he doesn't have a yard or storage building anymore. Very sad and driving my mother crazy!

Anita said...

I'm currently in the middle of cleaning my "catch all" room. Mostly, it functions as my office - paying bills, blogging, watching the news, ironing. I've thrown out so much paper - those sentimental greeting cards from the family - gone!
Thanks for the inspiration; I need all I can get. :)
Good luck to you too!

Jen said...

@Nikia, May and da kids: The show was explaining that it is a mental disorder. I hope you get to stay put for awhile. It's good for the kids to have stability.

@Buckeroomama: I never had time to do the spring cleaning thing every year. It's such a big, intimidating task.

@Tallshag: But they seem to not understand that it's trash. They think they can fix it, or clean it up, or reuse it. There are days I'd rather buy new clothes...good thing I hate shopping almost as much as I hate cleaning.

@Heather: There are never enough closets in apartments. I hope he can adjust.

@Anita: It must have been hard to throw out the greeting cards. We run out of space for those things, though.

goatman said...

I love this room you show.
I recently saw of rich brothers in New York City who had their house filled with stuff they had accumulated over a period of their 70 years old lives. One of the brothers was killed when a pile toppled onto him. The other brother starved to death since he did not do the cooking. I think the city bulldozed the house when no family was forthcoming. Sad

This offered as grim incentive . . .

Jen said...

@goatman: When it's time to clean out the closets, I'll make sure I stand way back so that doesn't happen to me.

Kristin at My Art and the Mom in Me said...

That show resonates with me because we have a neighbor who is a hoarder. He doesn't let people into his house, the most we can tell is when he opens his front door, and even that, makes it very obvious... and the clutter has spilled into his back yard. And from what I can tell, he has no family, and it is just so sad. And.. maybe dangerous. But, because we don't go in there.. who really knows, right?

I feel like I am constantly in a state of organizing.. you just have to stay on top of it or it gets too much.. 30 minutes a day is a great idea!

Jen said...

@Kristin: It's already been revised to 15-30 minutes at least 3 times a week. It will get done, though.

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