Hoarders ???

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    May 09, 2011 7:38 AM GMT
    N/A
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    May 09, 2011 7:51 AM GMT
    I had this problem growing up, all of my family, really. I grew up in a very large though poorly designed house (lol Mexico). We had a lot of small, useless storage-type rooms in the house. What does this do? It makes you accumulate useless junk ad infinitum. The house didn't look cluttered because all the crap was stored away somewhere. One day we moved to a much, much smaller house and we're like holy shit, we have so much crap. The damage was done though, we had that habit of accumulating and feeling we needed all that shit.

    Bad economic times over the next decade forced us to move over, and over, and over, and over, and over. And you just get tired of packing the same old shit in boxes time and time again and carrying it around with you. At some point I was like fuck it I don't need 75% of this crap. And you just let it go and realize you never needed it in the first place.
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    May 09, 2011 8:03 AM GMT
    Ariodante said And you just get tired of packing the same old shit in boxes time and time again and carrying it around with you. At some point I was like fuck it I don't need 75% of this crap. And you just let it go and realize you never needed it in the first place.


    Yes, I moved a few times while in school, and the moving helped me learn not to collect things for the sake of collecting them. Especially if it's things you don't use or display, then you should give them away or sell them.

    My mom reminded me that I had a bunch of G.I. Joes, Transformers, and Star Wars figures when I was a kid. I gave them all away when I moved out of my parents' house. Somehow she though that they all would be collectors items and worth big bucks.
    They were toys and they were played with. They were not pristine and not in their packaging, so they weren't really worth anything.
    If your action figures are like this then just sell them or give them away.

    Generally if you have something that you haven't used in the last year and don't specifically see yourself using it in the next 6 months, get rid of it.
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    May 09, 2011 8:28 AM GMT
    Lol you're so cute. Don't worry you are not a hoarder. Plus hoarders don't even know they hoard shit. They don't even think that they have a problem. I do the same thing if there is something that I own that has sentimental value to it I keep it no matter the value. Because it brings good memories and feelings. I think it becomes hoarding when you just collect every single little thing and you stack shit up in your house. icon_rolleyes.gif LOL!
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    May 09, 2011 8:52 AM GMT
    There's all degrees of "stuff-itis". You have people who can't throw away fast food wrappers, who are the extreme cases that get highlighted on Oprah (well maybe not in the last couple seasons of Oprah since all those shows were earmarked for celebrity extravaganzas for her big adieu..anyway o-O) and then you have the majority of people with normal attachment to stuff.

    It really comes down to, do we own the stuff, or does the stuff own us. When the stuff owns us we can't let it go (because it's not ours to let go, we belong to it).
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    May 09, 2011 9:46 AM GMT
    If you have to walk sideways to get anywhere in your house,Then that is too much shit in your house.
  • Timbales

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    May 09, 2011 12:38 PM GMT
    imo, if 'collecting' interferes with your regular day to day life or puts you debt, then you are probably more of a hoarder
  • stratavos

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    May 09, 2011 2:45 PM GMT
    Lenoxx saidIf you have to walk sideways to get anywhere in your house,Then that is too much shit in your house.


    This this is the point when you know it's gone too far. Same thing applies if you are straining to reach for something because of things being put in the way of it (like you can't reach the blinds safely because there is a mountain of magazines and/or clothes there)
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    May 09, 2011 2:51 PM GMT
    I am the total opposite, I get rid of things constantly if I think I dont need em.
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    May 09, 2011 3:19 PM GMT
    I was collecting and collecting. After college and every move I made, more things got trashed. I'm just down to 2 boxes of sentimental value. Some things are meant to be pasted on to a new owner...icon_razz.gif
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    May 09, 2011 3:47 PM GMT
    Everyone on my mother's side of the family has it to a certain degree with the exception of one aunt who turned out extremely bi-polar instead. My sister and I are so paranoid about becoming hoarders that we remind each other to purge our closets of things we don't wear on a regualr basis.

    It manifests in various manners and degrees.

    Grandmother: She would rinse off the styrofoam trays that came with packaged meat and store them in her pantry for years. She had thousands of paper and plastic bags stored in her shed as well as greasy Seal-A-Meal bags. When it go really bad, about 10 of us would go to her house when she was at church every few weeks and cart off a few truckloads to the dump. If she ever noticed, she didn't mention it.

    Aunt, not the bipolar one: She's been hoarding fabric since the 80's. Every time there is a clearance sale at Joanne's, she stocks up. My uncle is very agressive about where she can store it, but she has still managed to fill up two bedrooms in their 6 bedroom house floor to ceiling.

    Brother: Always has between 4-5 cars up on blocks in front of his singlwide trailor. His garages and storage sheds are loaded with junk auto parts he'll never use.


    Mother: She hoarded fabric to a lesser degree than my aunt, but was still pretty bad. She kept closets full of our old broken toys and childhood clothes. On our property we had several storage sheds and a garage. They were all full of random junk. Everything from soda bottles to old newpapers.

    The worst was the pantry attached to one fo the sheds. My dad had placed wooden pallets all over the floor of a this 12 x 12 or so room to keep things from contacting the cold concrete floor in the winter. As well as various expired canned food goods, she stored paper back books, newspapers and magazines. Over 20 or so years generations of mice had shredded the paper and wall insulation and created a solid mat of mouse poo, paper and fiberglass. I was convinced I was going to contract Hanta virus cleaning it out.

    When she was too ill to walk around the property, we rented a 30 yard construction dumpster that we filled up every two weeks for 3 months before getting rid of everything.

    Uncle: The worst. He inherited the family farm including about 20-30 hog sheds and various storage sheds. Over the years he collected over 30 cars and trucks. Some of them 60's-70's classics which included Corvairs, Super Bees, Baracudas, Furies, Mustangs and even a couple AMC Pacers and a Gremlin. He wouldn't sell them or let anyone touch them so they rusted where they sat.

    The most bizzare things outside were three giant underground fuel tanks that were unearthed from a closed down gas station.

    There were two cargo containers that were always padlocked. I never saw the inside of them, but my brother tells me they were full of old car parts and tools that were bought at estate auctions.

    The house was the worst. It was a single story 3,000 square foot ranch house that ended with sheets of loose tar paper held down by cinder blocks on the roof. After he moved in with my grandmother, he continued to pack furniture, garbage, and god only knows what into it. The last time we saw it, it was packed near to the ceiling except for a 3 foot path leading from one end to the other. Even that was two feet off the ground with newspapers and trash compacted underneath. My brother-in-law stepped on what he thought was a solid stack of newpapers only to step through the rib cage of what we think might have been a mid sized dog. We left after we found that a family of skunks had moved into a pile of broken furniture at one end of the house.
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    May 09, 2011 3:52 PM GMT
    Ariodante said... At some point I was like fuck it I don't need 75% of this crap. And you just let it go and realize you never needed it in the first place.


    In 2002, I had a 2/2.5 2000sqft townhouse chock to the gills with "stuff". Good stuff, but stuff none the less.
    A very good friend and I were watching a sunrise on Dania Beach.
    He asked me, "Have you ever started from "zero"?
    I thought back on my life, and with some feeling of having "missed out" replied, "No".

    That morning I made a decision that I was going to move from South Florida.
    I began a 3-year period of "de-stuffing" my life.
    It was not easy. I found that I was "attached" to stuff. And, this attachment was not healthy for me. The hardest stuff for me to get rid of was the stuff that was inconsequential in value, but very "sentimental". These were things like my high school band medals, a book of clippings from elementary school, and such. But I did whittle it down and estimated 80%.

    In 2005, I moved to Honolulu. Well, naturally I wasn't going to bring all of my remaining stuff with me, so I put most of it in storage. I probably brought only about 10% of what remained (about 2% of what I started with).

    In 2010, I moved to San Francisco and only brought 14, "14x14x14" boxes of stuff with me. Most of these are books and clothes.

    I've backslid on clothes a bit. The dress here in San Francisco is a bit different from Honolulu or South Florida. But overall, I live a very "stuff-free" life. If I lost what I have now, I would not be very concerned. The most important stuff is in a waterproof bag that is a part of my "go kit" in the event of a disaster. This contains things like my birth certificate, social security card, etc.

    So, for me, learning how to let go of stuff, even stuff that I "collected as a hobby" was an important part of freeing me to live unencumbered by stuff. And, I now do not have to worry about the emotional trauma which any kind of "disaster" that might wipe out my "stuff" could precipitate.

    In closing, "Have you ever started from zero?"

    Aloha and Be Well!
    Alan
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    May 09, 2011 3:52 PM GMT
    Kathy Griffin breaks it down perfectly.

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    May 09, 2011 4:03 PM GMT
    I think collecting is different from hoarding, but I also think many hoarders would think they are collecting. I'm no specialist so don't take this as anything but a well intentioned guess, but I think you'd have to be honest with yourself on a couple questions:

    1. Is what you are collecting valuable? Does it have defined value to other collectors? (ie, mint condition baseball cards or stamps vs. candy wrappers).
    2. Do you have it stored responsibly in a way that treats your collection with respect? Is it organized on a shelf, or stacked in a sloppy pile on the floor of a room?
    3. Does the storing and maintenance of your collection(s) affect your quality of life or your ability to store other things? Can you utilize every room in your house for its intended purpose?
  • HndsmKansan

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    May 09, 2011 4:08 PM GMT
    I have a closet full of Department 56 Christmas village pieces. It is a collection, but even collections have limits. I've about reached mine.

    I think it is about control and a reasoned nature to what you are doing and how it impacts your daily life. My house is an orderly establishment.. that doesn't mean I couldn't get rid of some things (and I do that regularly as well).

    Check out the program on Hoarders and I think you will determine if you are one or have the capability of becoming one.
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    May 09, 2011 4:09 PM GMT
    I saw this episode of Hoarders a while ago and this guy had a collection of rats and he had to move out into his tool shed or garage icon_neutral.gif....Unless you have a snake, which he didn't, I just can't see why you would collect rats.....there is absolutely no way in hell...
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    May 09, 2011 4:30 PM GMT
    I think maybe one test is whether you can give the stuff away. If you can't find anyone else who wants it, you may have a problem.

    I've dumped two truckloads of old books and journals that nobody would take. Recently started destroying a whole closet full of microbial cultures (not pathogens, don't worry) from places that nobody will ever visit again. And my boxes of mineral specimens are moving out behind the garden to become just decorative (though still retrievable, except for the sulfides) rocks.

    My Mom's side of the family has it bad though. Every time mom gets sick, I take a couple of truckloads to the dump, and there's a huge screaming fight about it. Rooms full of empty boxes, piles of old newspapers. Stacks of old clothes - some that have never been worn or had the price tags removed - that are full of mouse nests and mold. A whole room-full of christmas wrapping paper... And then she starts all over again.
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    May 09, 2011 5:02 PM GMT
    Does hoarding run in your family?

    If so, I would get rid of the stuff. Not worth the risk.

    My grandmother is a hoarder, and my dad is borderline (the only thing that keeps him from going full-fledged is my mother won't have it).

    I'm super paranoid about becoming a hoarder, and every now and again I just purge. Sure, I accidentally get rid of things I actually need, but believe me, you do not want to go down the hoarding route.

    I say if you're scared, toss the stuff. It's a real disorder.
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    May 09, 2011 6:21 PM GMT
    No, the less I own, the better.. less stuff to worry about
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    May 09, 2011 6:35 PM GMT
    Hoarding is common in people who are obsessive-compulsive. Particularly unable to make value decisions (a washed-out Ziplock bag gets near-equal consideration--although not value, mind you--as furniture), progressing in what is analogous to an endless Do While...Loop. You're a hoarder if you keep everything, to the exclusion of quality of life.

    You're a collector if you can categorize the value of an item and its anticipated payoff with a rational expiration date (which could be after your death; it's still reasonable if you have heirs).

    Chances are that if you're questioning whether or not you're a hoarder, you likely have the mechanism for breaking a Do While...Loop.
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    May 09, 2011 6:55 PM GMT
    mindgarden said Recently started destroying a whole closet full of microbial cultures (not pathogens, don't worry) from places that nobody will ever visit again.


    LOL How long were you planning on those things to last? Why would you keep them in the first place? I have to admit that I actually have kept some bioluminescent vibrio in my freezer for a while, just cus I think theyre awesome and like to show them off, but Ive always had the means to keep them alive.
  • Webster666

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    May 09, 2011 7:03 PM GMT
    --Having collections of things, even if you don't have space to display them, is fine, as long as you have enough room to store them.
    --Hoarding is not being able to throw ANYTHING away. It's having "paths" through your house, where every space is taken up by your junk that you can't bear to throw away.
    --Clutter, is displaying WAY WAY WAY too much crap on every wall and on every inch of every horizontal surface.

    --If you have a small space on your dining room table where you eat, and the rest of the table is covered in crap, you've got a problem.
    --If you've got a desk that's in the same condition, you've got a problem.
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    May 09, 2011 7:10 PM GMT
    I find it nearly impossible to part with books and clothes.......
  • Webster666

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    May 09, 2011 7:11 PM GMT
    Don_Guerrilla_de_Sodom saidKathy Griffin breaks it down perfectly.






    No, that was disgusting and dreadful and vulgar, and not the least bit funny.
  • carew28

    Posts: 662

    May 09, 2011 8:32 PM GMT
    I agree that hoarding is a form of OCD. Some people are probably just genetically wired for it, and can't help it ( I am myself, in some ways ). Back in ancient times it was probably a beneficial trait to have. People who had the impulse to store up food or living essentials had a better chance of survival than people who didn't hoard. Nowadays, it's no longer a beneficial trait, it's considered a form of mental-illness. Nevertheless, it's still in our genes.