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Hoarders- anyone have this in their family?
January 4, 2011
12:00 am

now I am watching the show Hoarders. It is very painful. My parents
are hoarders, although they are not quite as bad as the one's on
the show- they are getting worse. I was just at their house for a
while over the holiday season and it was so depressing. Depressing
just to be there, depressing that they live like that, depressing
that i am going to end up dealing with that shit someday. I have my
own problems and very little energy.

It all makes me
angry at my parents, who are good people, but I know it is a

Also, it makes me
feel bad about myself that I come from them, though the house was
not like that when I lived there. I live in a tiny studio and don't
have a lot of belongings, but obsess over whether or not I have too
much clutter. It's an extremely different lifestyle, always having
to decide what needs to go... In a studio apartment, when you have
to buy something you have to give stuff away. But I am always
worried about becoming like my parents.

This is always on
my mind. I feel sad for my mom that her stuff is more important to
her than her family or her own well being.

Does anyone have
this in their family? How have you dealt with it?

January 4, 2011
12:00 am
New Member
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
October 13, 2010
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Mzella, When I've seen this usually this is a 'symptom' of some
kind of addiction in the house. Someone is an addict and therefore
the whole house is 'distracted' and not about to be 'clean' in

If there is
addiction and not in any kind of recovery, then the person is sick
and not caring for themselves - just like if they had diabetes and
were eating sugar all the time/ not taking insulin.

Most likely the
mess is not going to be jsut with hoarding/ not cleaning but with
having a mess in their whole life. It takes a lot of courage to go
into recovery. Who the hell would ever want to face all of the mess
of their lives and really deal with it? You'd have to be crazy to
want to do that. I can see why people stay in denial and in their
mess and just die that way.

For me: the
'hinge' is that I can't bare to think of doing harm to others - I
'have' to be in recovery whether I want to be or not because I
don't want to hurt others.


January 4, 2011
12:00 am
Forum Posts: 161
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

have a friend who is a hoarder. She is very preoccupied with the
stuff in her house. If she can't rearrange it, she becomes
depressed. She is embarrassed to have anyone in her home because
there is no room to walk.

I've suggested a
professional organizer but that would mean letting go of her
control. Her son was also contemplating giving a gift to her of a
professional organizer's time and she was offended. I'm struggling
with my own reaction to this.

January 4, 2011
12:00 am

mother is a control freak. She gets very upset when this problem is
spoken about. She is also now disabled and unable to deal with it
on her own, yet she still is able to bring stuff into her house.
Stuff she does not use.

I should mostly
feel sorry for her, but I am angry with her.

The first I ever
knew that there were other people out there with this problem was
when I went to my first 12 step meetings for drugs and people
talked about their families. I understand drug addiction, but I
don't understand hoarding. I hate it. All I want is to be

January 4, 2011
12:00 am
New Member
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
October 13, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

mzrella, I wonder about normal people and what they are like. How
they get through their difficulties with life....

January 4, 2011
12:00 am
chelonia mydas
Forum Posts: 7
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

have hoarding tendencies. There are many reasons why people
struggle with this. I have written alot about my struggles with a
messy house.

I know that a lot
of what makes it difficult for me is too many inside pets, spending
too much time on the computer and feeling like I don't deserve a
clean home. I also have a hard time letting go of things. I save
crazy stuff, often with a seemingly legit purpose. Right now my
struggle is cardboard boxes. The cockatoo and dogs chew/play with
them, the turtles and cats hide in them. I use them under the dog
beds to give them more cushion from the tile floors. But I keep
taking more home, everytime we get a shipment of stuff in at work,
I take home the boxes. The pets do use them up, but not as fast as
I have been bringing them home. My "guest" room is full of them
right now and now I'm facing another mouse infestation. So I have
to find some time/inertia to go take care of it. I've known about
it for over 3 weeks now and still haven't taken serious action. I
had the day off today and so far have spend the better part of it
on the computer.

In addition to my
current box collection, I have containers of stuff from 10 years
ago that I have gone through. I know I need to throw it out, but I
know that my college degree is in there somewhere and I don't want
to throw that out. I also have other heirlooms that I want to keep.
But when I go through stuff I get so distracted and it takes

The times I have
had the most success is when a friend has helped me go through it
and pushes me to get rid of stuff. This keeps me focused and
ensures I have to explain why I want to keep an item to another
thinking being. Often as I go through stuff, I decide to keep it
without thinking of why beyond I want to keep it. Often during the
process I am angry at my friends for pushing me to let go, but in
the end I am greatful and felt so much better and lighter when I
didn't have all that junk in my life. I did this after my divorce.
A couple friends came over and we went through my stuff. I made a
list ahead of time of things I knew I had and didn't want to get
rid of. Anything on that list was not going to be questioned. But
the items that I couldn't think of (and I had weeks to come up with
this list) were up for discussion. We put them into boxes, some I
was OK with trashing, some I wanted to give away and the stuff that
I wanted to keep but didn't have an explaination for why, we put in
boxes in their garage. I had 6 weeks to find a place for it in my
life and had to request that specific item to get it back. That
allowed for me to have a time to let go of it mentally. For the
most part, I realized that I didn't need that stuff and my
attachment to it was more connected to seeing it, than to it really
being meaningful. I felt guilty because people had given me things
and I didn't want to throw them out. But I found that they weighed
down my life but at the same this process made me physically sick
to my stomach because it was so stressful.

And even with this
very positive experience, I still hold on to stuff.

I watched a show
on the Oprah channel this weekend that showed a family going
through their stuff and it inspired me to clean out some of my
stuff. So far I went through 2 shelves on one of my book shelves
and put a bag of trash in the dumpster, have a box started to send
to my exhusband and have put the stuff back on the shelves that I
want to keep. I had high hopes for getting more done today, but
find I am procrastinating and just on the computer to avoid doing

Sorry this turned
into such a long Chelonia centered post, but I share in hopes of
helping you better understand this, from someone who fights it. I
realize that mine is only a tendency. I can't imagine what it would
be like to fully hoard to the point of not having room to walk in
the house. My mother and uncle/aunt live like this. It is so much
easier for me to go to their homes and try to help them, than it is
for me to help myself.

Sending you lots
of love

January 8, 2011
3:00 pm
Canada! Eh!
Forum Posts: 29
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

There is a book out there that gives a really good reason for the hording, I just cant rember the name of it. I'm the third generation to have this afliction, I'm in treatment. Its a part of trama and O.C.D and there is 5 differnt parts of hording, I think if you understand the reason behind it you wouldn't be so depressed. I will get back to  you on the name of the book.



January 10, 2011
4:12 pm

I am new here, but I watch Hoarders all the time and it upsets me. No one understands why. It just makes me sad. So do those organizing shows where they do a clean sweep of the home. I know they are designed to help people, but I wonder if they really do.

My mom was a child in the depression and they held on to everything they had. She grew up to be a hoarder of sorts. Nothing like on those shows, but she did accumulated a lot of stuff for no reason. She trained me to be one as well. After she died I just added her things to mine, but I was slowly trying to get rid of stuff. It was just really difficult.

One year after her death, my nephew decided to "help me move" and he put all my stuff in a moving truck and took off with it. He was on drugs or whatever it was, he just stole everything I had and sold it or threw it all away. I had nothing. It nearly killed me. Every time I watch those shows I feel sick. It is like living through it all over again and it has been over ten years. I actually want to cry for those people. I have to wonder if they really are helping them or not.

I still have hoarding tendencies, but it is not the same. I don't know how to explain it. Is almost like I don't even deserve to have things now. But, I am working on it.

Sorry to ramble.

January 10, 2011
5:49 pm
Canada! Eh!
Forum Posts: 29
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Leilou, is it realy the stuff that you lost that you are greaving for or is it the violation and the feeling of being robed from somone you trusted. Sometime the "stuff is just the blame for hiden feelings"



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