41 thoughts on “Just a question

  1. It seems to me different people hoard for different reasons. When I learn why they hoard I usually feel compassion.

    I can’t claim a deep understanding of it all because I’m a minimalist at heart and I do take my trash out daily. My kids, on the other hand, yes they are toy hoarders and they throw their food wrappers behind the couch so I have an idea of how it all begins. What do you think?

    • It really is sad sometimes. They don’t even know how they got there, just one day either them or a family member realizes it is more serious than just a mess.

  2. I love hoarders! I did a blog post on them about a year ago. I’m a tidy organised person so am obsessed by their mess. My partner has horading tendencies, but not like dismembered doll parts, birds nests and newspapers just stuff like clothes you wore 20 years ago and never throwing out old DVD players that broke, nothing too extreme…yet.

    Saw a great one in the UK recently, this guys house was so full, he had tunnels he could crawl through to get through the house, there were no rooms anymore just these series of crawl spaces, he had to sleep sitting down in the same spot he watched TV all squished in amongst the rubble. I’m fascinated that they often know exactly what they have and where it is.

    • I’m glad that you like them. I am interested in the psychology behind why they do it. Usually it seems to be provoked by something that goes wrong in their lives, like a death of a loved one, or an illness. I can’t imagine what it would be like to crawl through tunnels and to sleep in them. I also am a little concerned by the fact that they don’t seem to know that it is a problem. It kind of makes me wonder what it takes to realize whether or not you are one.

      • My friend works in sheltered housing, a lady dies there and in her apartment was floor to ceiling books and newspapers with a walkway inbetween, she had made a nest of books which she slept on.

        The slightest clutter just prays on my mind and I need to tidy up, I just can’t imagine how it gets so bad

  3. Often it stems from an inability to let go. I know we have some hoarding tendencies brought on by our childhood and lack of necessities. LOL – I have a barn – 2 stories high – pretty much full with stuff, some mine, some the wife’s. I even have a skeleton in the closet, LOL!!! (No kidding: a real skeleton. In an 1800’s coffin.) Part of this comes from my wife running a fleamarket for so long. When they shut it down we brought it all home.

    I have trouble throwing out anything I view as “useful” – this includes perhaps a piece of string, a thread, a rusty length of wire. I “might need them sometime” I rationalize – and it’s cheaper than buying them. I take apart old tools and broken appliances and save the last screw. Surprisingly most of it is sorted out – and yes: I know where most everything is. And boy do I save money (the underlaying reason for this thing) – but our house?? That’s something different. While I tend towards the chaotic collections, my wife is into the ‘clean lines’ look. To her a shelf with ANYTHING on it looks cluttered; ditto the kitchen counters. NOTHING is allowed on them. (But I do anyway – living life means messes, eh?) So between us two we do okay – but I really should get back on online auctioning (if only it wouldn’t adversely affect my disability so!) – and move/sell some of that stuff. We’ve got antique stuff coming out our years. But as long as I perceive it as having some value – I have a hard time throwing it away.

    Comes from growing up poor and without a lot of things I think. Overcompensating – just to be truthful.
    But everyone calls my shop “Lowes”. (you can find most anything there!) Including not just one, but TWO kitchen sinks (both of them good). And the faucets to go with them (your choice; all used.)

    • That is the thing about the blog world, we never know what is in eachother’s closets. (Except we know a skeleton is in your’s). 😉 It seems like most of people’s tendedcy to hoard is a result of some trauma. It kind of makes sense to me how people just want to hang on to stuff. My dad has quite a collection of things, but for the most part, they are just in the garage and one spot in his basement. He goes to a lot of garage sales and auctions. Sometimes it is hard to pass up a good deal.

  4. On the one hand, it makes me feel really good about the mess here not really being a mess- it’s all about perspective on my end.

    This is, imo, an OCD behavior- it’s a compulsion. I see a huge distinction between collectors who go overboard and hoarders, who often can’t throw away garbage. Collectors often know where everything is, and there is organization in their heads along with the story of the item. Sometimes, yes, they are compensating for not having “had” and subconsciously trying to fill an empty spot in their psyches. In many cases, it seems these folks can be helped by setting limits and working on the behavior.

    The others, though, that’s not quite in the same category. There is something to be said for hanging on to useful items that in reality could be used for something down the road; it’s something else though, to not be able to throw away used food garbage or other actual trash. I do think hoarding can be a symptom of mental illness.

    Much of the time, these folks were always prone to this, even as kids, and when/if they got married, the spouse kept it in check until at some point, it was too overwhelming. I’ve seen numerous shows where when the marriage/relationship broke apart (even if they were still married, but the other person stopped complaining and basically gave up) and then the stuff got totally out of control.

    It always make me sad. And then I end up not feeling so bad about the piles on the counter we seem to collect at times…………

  5. Though I did watch regularly for a few episodes, “the spell” broke soon. It really scares me, how that can happen to someone such that when the bulldozing relatives come in, they find dead animals, rotten, spoiled food… eeeeeeewwwwwww…
    I see some of this in me in a couple ways:
    1-when my mom was alive & she lived alone, she had everything she could ever need placed within reach of her favorite (more like you-better-not-sit-in-my) chair. But she was very organized about it. I have the same trait, though, I think I’m not as organized.
    2- I have a couple spare rooms, and even in the rooms I use, I seem to have a compulsion to fill empty space. I felt like it was a hoarding thing, but more than once I’ve cleared the clutter, and before I know it, I can’t see the walls again.
    So maybe it’s like a buffer zone between me and the world. Now that I’m better at defining my boundaries, maybe it isn’t as important.
    I hope you get something good out of watching them. What is so hard to watch, is how, because the relatives, or whoever, don’t really get it, they think you can just move the stuff. But the anxiety in the hoarders when they lose control of their surroundings, no matter how dreadful, is so painful to see.

    • Yes, it is painful to watch. It really does cause you to reflect on yourself, and yeah…family too. So many family members either leave, or become used to those surroundings. Either way, they get hurt so badly too.

  6. So – A.) Thanks for the shout-outs, Guap and Hobb! Although I’m a little miffed at the word “frequently”, Guap. I suppose I should take what I can get, though.
    And 2.) I wonder if children can be hoarders. I think Dimples might be on the edge. Especially with her collection of Bath and Body works stuff.

    • A) You’re welcome
      B) Yes, but we parents will be the ones who get the blame. Is it really my fault that I bought all of those toys that I wish I had gotten a chance to play with? Society (rolling eyes). 😉

    • Ok, ok – you’re always funny.
      Actually, I love reading your blog because it’s a view of the world totally different from mine, and you’re a great storyteller.

      (And you can tell it’s sincere because I’m not even taking a dig at Hobbler)

  7. Hobbler, I actually have a page on my personal blog devoted to this. I have not posted much on it because I intend to perform a full-blown research project for it; but I have interest, as well that could easily take pages of your comments for me to relay.

    I have a deep interest in the reasoning behind why they do what they do. Besides that to summarize my feelings: I can only watch one or two episodes at a time before my skin starts to crawl and I need to start throwing my personal belongings out my second story window because I am afraid I will be like them.

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