Problems with hoarding

eep!

Member
Jun 9, 2009
127
0
Hello friends. :P

Dilemma here. I would consider myself a hoarder. My parents were hoarders and now, I am a hoarder. Im pretty good about throwing certain things away, so Im not totally hopeless. I managed to get rid of quite a few boxes of things. Ive put a stop to purchasing items I have too much of. If I see something I REALLY love, I wont buy it if I know I already have too much.

My biggest problem is not being able to throw things away. I think: well maybe Ill use it someday.. even if I dont use it or never have used it. And it just sits there being unused. Is there some sort of rule of thumb? I think that if I get rid of it, it will be a waste of the money I used to buy it. And I think that I may end up regretting it because I might use it later.

Does anyone else experience thsi? I do like my space to be clean/organizied so its stressful to look at all this clutter. Ill sit in a room, look over everything and sometimes spend days on a few items, thinking over whether or not I should leave it behind. HELPP !!

TIA and much love. xoxo
 
Last edited:
Apr 26, 2006
9,028
1,540
I have the same problem.... last year I sold LOADS at a yard sale and make $$$$$$$!!!
be harder on yourself, if you've never used it... GET RID OF IT!! and make space for new stuff :nuts:
 
Nov 30, 2008
3,307
139
Under a Palm Tree
When I am deciding whether to get rid of stuff, especially paper, documents, etc. I always ask myself whether I can easily replicate the same material if I ever need it again. For instance, I never keep manuals for things I buy, I only keep bank statements for a short period of time, I never keep bills, etc. because I know that I can always get the information off of the mfr website, or from my bank, bill company, etc.

As far as other stuff, it kind of goes the same way....if I sell something today and happen to need it tomorrow, is it something I can rebuy with the money I made should I need it? If its something you can rebuy, AND you havent used it within the last few months, get rid of it! You'll feel so refreshed, organized and better once you are in a clean, uncluttered environment...trust me!
 
Jul 21, 2006
12,966
1,716
Southwest Florida
This might be harder than it looks! I have a friend whose mother owns storage units and storage units of old furniture and crap that she hasn't even seen in 15 years, but she continues to pay the rent on these places. OMG! When my friend got together with her mother and confronted her with the idea that they were going to sell everything, her mother almost passed out, but they went ahead and did it anyway. Sold just about everything. She made money in the tens of thousands and it was very hard for her mom in the beginning, but now she's a whole lot happier and even more organized in her thought processes somehow. Anyway.....just start one box at a time and if you haven't used any of your stuff in...say two years....put it on the FOR SALE pile and make tons of money for yourself! Good luck!!! I have to say that I like to purge everything because I can't stand clutter, so this would be really easy for me.
 

bridurkin

bcc
O.G.
Mar 17, 2008
755
0
I saw an organization show where they said if you haven't used something in 6 months, get rid of it! I have things I haven't used in forever though that I always think I will use "someday". Good luck!
 
Aug 29, 2008
4,639
3
I have a hard time getting rid of things, but it can feel so good to clean crap out. I try to give myself plenty of time for it, and then go through in rounds, starting with what I obviously want to throw out and then working toward harder decisions. It helps me to have rational criteria and goals, e.g., with my closet at one point I was throwing out old clothes that were too young for me, that would be useless going forward. That time, I also counted every item of clothing in each category, counted how many I actually wore, and set a reasonable goal. I wasn't wearing 75% of my clothes and I decided to throw out 50%. Most of the items I can't remember, and I have only been nostalgic once (for something I wore at 18 that I couldn't wear now anyway).

ETA: Also easier for me to donate than to sell. When I sell, I spend a lot of time thinking about how much is worth giving my stuff up for and regretting while waiting for a buyer. When I donate, I feel like it's for a good cause anyway.
 
Last edited:

redney

Lovin' Life!
O.G.
Apr 21, 2006
13,768
3,476
I sometimes hold onto clothing I *never* wear and learned to purge by doing this:

Take the things you "think you might wear/use/need" someday and put them into boxes or bags. Store the boxes/bags away - in your garage or basement or attic - for a period of time (say 6 months). At the end of the 6 months, donate or trash the boxes/bags - full and without looking through them. You will have already forgotten what's in them and it's so easy to thus let the items go.

And, this way if you ever really do need an item during the 6 month storage period, you can always retrieve it.

I've found I've never "needed" anything in a box once stored or donated/trashed.

Good luck!
 

Elara

O.G.
Aug 2, 2007
1,893
0
Somewhere on the East Coast
My grandparents were hoarders, and my mother is now. I remember being horribly embarrassed to bring people home while i was in HS because of it. As it is, I won't take my children to her house, and my sister and brother now refuse to stay with her too. I think, in some ways, it's helped me recognize the tendency in myself, and I will catch myself saying or thinking "but I might use it someday!!" and that is my cue that it needs to be tossed. The only issue I've run into recently is clothes, and I just need to go through them and toss a bunch. If I haven't worn it in a year, it needs to go to Goodwill- my mother has frightened me enough now that I am terrified I'll become the same.

Redney, that's something that I did accidently and worked for me as well- I used to box things up and just toss them in the attic. But I've finally realized that if I haven't missed something in the entire time it's been up there, I don't need it and it can go.
 

bipolarbear

Member
Jun 10, 2009
735
0
It's hard. I tend to stockpile things - both articles/papers that I think I will want and also things - clothes/etc. I go through cycles where I do major cleanups. For papers, I try to condense the information into files or computer documents where I will be able to find them later.

For clothes and things, I try to do a round of sorting things and either selling them or donating them. It is time-consuming, but very rewarding to pick up the cash and hope that things will go to homes where they will actually be used, instead of the back of my closet.
 

caxe

-+-+-+-+-+-
O.G.
Mar 31, 2007
4,415
2
Everywhere
I'm totally this way. My dad is a hoarder and it drives my mom crazy. So my mom tells me, "You have it honest." My pack-rat nature also drives my husband crazy. So much, that he's looking at getting a storage shed for the back yard because I have stuff everywhere. I don't really know why, but it's hard for me to throw stuff away. I have every issue of maybe ten or twelve different magazines going back five or six years. I have old electronics stuff around. I've never thrown a book away, and I'm constantly buying more. My office/studio is more like a giant storage closet, and that messes with my creativity. I mean, I still have old CD roms and stuff from ten years ago, files and applications I've saved, etc. I have two Polaroid cameras that I refuse to get rid of--and that's pretty much dead technology. I just don't like throwing stuff away for some reason. And for some other reason, I tend to buy in bulk. My dad was/is the same way. Like for example, I went shopping a couple months ago and saw a shirt I really liked. I bought one in EVERY COLOR THEY STOCKED, which is quite common with me. But my dad does the same thing, and we're like, if we like the shirt or whatever else, why SHOULDN'T we get one in every color. Sometimes we buy multiples of the same item, like if we find it at a good price. My mom is exasperated, because she can't keep the house clutter-free. She's always saying that whatever it is we're buying and refuse to throw away, chances are they won't stop making that and we can get another one if we need it.

I don't know what I can do to change things. Some things I just don't want to throw away. I think of, too, that something I have could be useful some day. Problem is, I have things that I've never used before. I also think, well, I paid X for this, so I don't want to throw that "money" away. My husband is like, "You need to get rid of some of your junk," but I'm like, "I don't want to throw MY things away." It's not TRASH. It's my stuff!

:shrugs:
 

lorihmatthews

A taste for the arts
O.G.
Oct 7, 2006
31,725
6,623
San Francisco
There's a difference between being a true hoarder and a pack rat. If you're a hoarder, you will have been diagnosed by a therapist, as it's a form of OCD. Have you spoken to a doctor about it? Is your life just a little bit disorganized or can you not walk through your rooms and hallways?

There's a new show on A&E appropriately called Hoarders that you might want to check out:

http://www.aetv.com/hoarders/
 

chaz

Superstar DJ
Sep 8, 2007
14,651
11
I sometimes hold onto clothing I *never* wear and learned to purge by doing this:

Take the things you "think you might wear/use/need" someday and put them into boxes or bags. Store the boxes/bags away - in your garage or basement or attic - for a period of time (say 6 months). At the end of the 6 months, donate or trash the boxes/bags - full and without looking through them. You will have already forgotten what's in them and it's so easy to thus let the items go.

And, this way if you ever really do need an item during the 6 month storage period, you can always retrieve it.

I've found I've never "needed" anything in a box once stored or donated/trashed.

Good luck!
Good post,I was going to put something very similar!
 

eep!

Member
Jun 9, 2009
127
0
Thank you all for your responses ! Very helpful and I will take all into consideration. :smile:

In all honesty, my situation is not that bad. My parents (well mainly my mother is worse than me but even she is not as bad as a lot of people out there). There is a difference between hoarders and packrats. Packrats generally stockpile things other people have discarded OR things in which they cannot or will not ever use, ex; things that belong in the garbage to the rest of us. However hoarders such as myself tend to overstock but do not generally keep unneeded items. I hoard things for future use.

Half my problem is I overstocked way too many items that I will end up using. For example 100 pairs of socks or 10 unused hairbrushes or 50 different candles because Im obsessed with candles, ect. The other half of my problem is bringing myself to discard items I have too much of or simply trying to figure out whether or not I want to use the item. Its not a terrible problem. I can definitely walk around and I dont need professional help. There are different levels and degrees of hoarders and I would say my issue is pretty mild in comparison to others.. just frusterating to look at all this stuff on a daily basis and not know what to do with it !
 

Pursegrrl

Oh no she di-int!!
O.G.
Jun 1, 2006
28,070
72
53
Seattle
I sometimes hold onto clothing I *never* wear and learned to purge by doing this:

Take the things you "think you might wear/use/need" someday and put them into boxes or bags. Store the boxes/bags away - in your garage or basement or attic - for a period of time (say 6 months). At the end of the 6 months, donate or trash the boxes/bags - full and without looking through them. You will have already forgotten what's in them and it's so easy to thus let the items go.

And, this way if you ever really do need an item during the 6 month storage period, you can always retrieve it.

I've found I've never "needed" anything in a box once stored or donated/trashed.

Good luck!
THIS. HTH, I've never once thought OMG I really need "x" once I've gotten rid of it. Be ruthless. If clothes haven't been worn in a year (at most 2), they GO. This was my biggest thing to let go of. I held onto gorgeous houndstooth and wool gabardine skirts, suits from my first ever job 20 years ago!! More for sentimental reasons than anything (lord knows I can't fit into them and while 'classic' in a way they are very much late 80s and out of style, LOL).

XXXOO PG
 

oceanplease

Member
Aug 9, 2009
124
0
Canada
I have the same problem. I HATE IT. I don't want crap everywhere and it gets so hard to clean. I've started trying to get rid of my stuff. I have one bag of clothes and a box of stuff for the thrift store. It's a slow process but every step is progress and it's all worth it.

I find the sentimental stuff is hardest for me. Things that were given to me by people. In my head, I see them as tokens of affection and if I get rid of them, it means I don't value them/their feelings. It gets really upsetting.

I think the earlier you can spot 'hoarding' behavior the better. Not everyone starts out not being able to get around their house. That stuff builds up over time. Learning the right methods and behaviors before it gets out of control will help prevent so much drama and pain later on.