THE COMPULSION OF HOARDING: Know anyone who's a "hoarder"?

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Aug 14, 2009 1:20 PM GMT
    I find it fascinating, some human behavior, what the root causes are that leads to the behavior and how it affects ones complete life, from social interaction, future success..... both positive and negative.

    We've heard about "hoarding", the need to get and keep about everything
    you bring home. From what I hear there are people who feel the need to bring about everything home (but then not to keep it) and then those who
    just keep about everything they ever get.

    A number of years ago, we would have just deemed all these people as "trashy" or "unkept" individuals, but the hoarder doesn't have to have a
    dirty home. Unfortunately, many times "hoarding" and "dirty conditions" are linked. I heard more about it this morning on the TODAY show... apparently there will be a special series on Hoarding on A&E in the near future.

    Do you know any "hoarders"?


  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Aug 14, 2009 1:23 PM GMT
    I'm not a hoarder, but I do have a tendency to hold onto things thinking 'I can use this for _____' and stashing it away somewhere. Clearing out my in-law's house for sale and their relocation has gotten me in a full clear out mode for my own home, though.
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    Aug 14, 2009 1:28 PM GMT
    There was a thread I posted here a while back, and it had a link to this woman hoarder, who'd disappeared and they went into her flat, and it was pure filth!

    Anyone have th elink anyore?
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    Aug 14, 2009 2:25 PM GMT
    Please do not look at my basement!
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    Aug 14, 2009 2:52 PM GMT
    i hoard speedos, jockstraps and the like.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Aug 14, 2009 2:55 PM GMT
    Fable saidThere was a thread I posted here a while back, and it had a link to this woman hoarder, who'd disappeared and they went into her flat, and it was pure filth!

    Anyone have th elink anyore?



    I'll go back and find it. I remember I responded to that thread....
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    Aug 14, 2009 3:06 PM GMT
    I'm not that big of a hoarder, but I do find it hard to let go of possessions. I've gotten a lot better at this though (trading in old video games to get new ones cheaper, donating or selling clothes to second hand stores, giving away old toys to my nephew).

    Still, once I get something I'm likely to hold onto it for a long long time. Guess it's the artist in me thinking "ooh! I can use this for something cool later on!"
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    Aug 14, 2009 3:11 PM GMT
    I don't like hoarding or hoarders. I don't like clutter. I don't like being surrounded by stuff I don't need or use.

    I lived with a guy who was a hoarder. It was depressing.

    Its a good day when I find something to throw out or give away.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Aug 14, 2009 3:14 PM GMT
    I seem to be of two minds when it comes to this sort of thing. After my mother passed away (when I was 24), I kept the home where I grew up pretty organized.
    My Dad grew up with parents that presented the "Depression scenario".. that is
    of hard work and appreciation for everything you get. You keep it.

    So I tend to be pretty logical. We don't need "hundreds" of empty flower pots...
    we don't need to keep huge numbers of magazines.... and get rid of old bottles of
    oil and crap that hasn't been used since the 1970's.

    I'm the same with my house.... except for certain collections, like my polo shirts,
    Dept 56 houses... or um, yeah, Christmas decorations (but thats going to be reduced).

    One interesting tidbit.... sometimes keeping old stuff can be intriguing. I was cleaning
    out some storage cabinets in our garage in late 2004 and my Dad had lined the shelving with newspaper from when we first moved in there. Most of the papers were in good order.... I had a chance to read some papers from 1968... good god!
    President Johnson this and that. Long before I can remember, I was a toddler somewhere.
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    Aug 14, 2009 3:23 PM GMT
    Once I buy something, I'm never letting it go. Even food.
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    Aug 14, 2009 3:35 PM GMT
    Has anyone seen "Obsessed" on A & E on Monday nights? The show follows people who have OCD throughout Cognitive Behavior Therapy with a counselor. The other night they had a man on who suffered severe OCD which was manifested in his hoarding behavior. Anyway, it was really interesting, and a bit sad. His mother had passed away a few years ago in the house, and that's when I think things went really out of control. He made a lot of progress over the course of the year that they followed him.

    I think I'm a bit of a packrat. My closets are jammed with stuff...sometimes I'll find pieces of paper or coupons that I inadvertantly saved. Of course I throw stuff like that out. Right now I'm going through a stack of magazines some of which are several years old. Is it a compulsion to save this kind of stuff? Do I obsess over these kinds of things when I throw them out? No. Could it become one? I think it's possible if I start using saving items as a coping mechanism for various stressors.
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    Aug 14, 2009 3:54 PM GMT
    Runninchlt saidHas anyone seen "Obsessed" on A & E on Monday nights? The show follows people who have OCD throughout Cognitive Behavior Therapy with a counselor. The other night they had a man on who suffered severe OCD which was manifested in his hoarding behavior. Anyway, it was really interesting, and a bit sad. His mother had passed away a few years ago in the house, and that's when I think things went really out of control. He made a lot of progress over the course of the year that they followed him.

    I think I'm a bit of a packrat. My closets are jammed with stuff...sometimes I'll find pieces of paper or coupons that I inadvertantly saved. Of course I throw stuff like that out. Right now I'm going through a stack of magazines some of which are several years old. Is it a compulsion to save this kind of stuff? Do I obsess over these kinds of things when I throw them out? No. Could it become one? I think it's possible if I start using saving items as a coping mechanism for various stressors.


    I'm obsessed with A&E's Obsessed-hehe.

    All the cases on that show are heart breaking..It's interesting some of them can't let go of their rituals even with the help of a great cognative therapist.

    That hoarding guy was really frustrating. She had to "coax" him into throwing out even the smallest piece of paper. He kinda made me angry also. He was resistant to help and very child like in a way. Kinda bratty.

    Now-me-I'm somewhat of a minimilist-I feel frustrated when things look cluttered or stacked. i think i have a good balance.

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    Aug 14, 2009 4:01 PM GMT
    For mom and grandmother are both hoarders and its very frustrating.

    For my grandmother I know the reason, she grew up in the depression era. She has the typical story many people did. ... Middle class... doing well.. then the depression hit and they had nothing. She has saved since then.

    For my mother, I think its is related to her 'craft obsession'. I call it an obsession because she always has about 20 different projects she is doing but she is working on so many she never completes them. She then finds other projects she likes and wants to start and that compounds the problem.


    AARRRGH.
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    Aug 14, 2009 4:18 PM GMT
    What about social hoarding? The people who need to have 10,000 friends on MySpace and Facebook, the people who have a billion numbers in their cell phones. I think social hoarding happens a lot more than hoarding 'stuff' ..
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    Aug 14, 2009 4:26 PM GMT
    Also known as "pack rats". I live with one!
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    Aug 14, 2009 4:42 PM GMT
    MattyR said
    Runninchlt saidHas anyone seen "Obsessed" on A & E on Monday nights? The show follows people who have OCD throughout Cognitive Behavior Therapy with a counselor. The other night they had a man on who suffered severe OCD which was manifested in his hoarding behavior. Anyway, it was really interesting, and a bit sad. His mother had passed away a few years ago in the house, and that's when I think things went really out of control. He made a lot of progress over the course of the year that they followed him.

    I think I'm a bit of a packrat. My closets are jammed with stuff...sometimes I'll find pieces of paper or coupons that I inadvertantly saved. Of course I throw stuff like that out. Right now I'm going through a stack of magazines some of which are several years old. Is it a compulsion to save this kind of stuff? Do I obsess over these kinds of things when I throw them out? No. Could it become one? I think it's possible if I start using saving items as a coping mechanism for various stressors.


    I'm obsessed with A&E's Obsessed-hehe.

    All the cases on that show are heart breaking..It's interesting some of them can't let go of their rituals even with the help of a great cognative therapist.

    That hoarding guy was really frustrating. She had to "coax" him into throwing out even the smallest piece of paper. He kinda made me angry also. He was resistant to help and very child like in a way. Kinda bratty.

    Now-me-I'm somewhat of a minimilist-I feel frustrated when things look cluttered or stacked. i think i have a good balance.



    Next Monday, there is a new A&E show starting called "Hoarders"!
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    Aug 14, 2009 5:33 PM GMT
    I'm guilty. I still have papers and things from like 7th grade. All in a bag. I have no intentions of doing anything with it but for the life of me I can't bring myself to throw it all away. So it just kind of sits in my garage.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Aug 14, 2009 5:57 PM GMT
    There's a house in my neighborhood that's all decrepit. The owners, I think it's just down to an old woman and her middle-aged daughter, are crazy. I think they were all hoarders, but the daughter does out on trash day and collects things from garbage cans and recycling bins in the neighborhood. When the side door is open you can see stacks of junk 10 feet tall. They have crap stuffed on their porch, and in the bushes. Their two-car garage is almost certainly filled up. The police come with a dumpster and a Caterpillar to clean out the backyard when the things they collect starts to overflow.

    It's a real blight. But they've probably lived their forever. The house is in real disrepair. They don't work, so I'm not sure how they get electricity or food.
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    Aug 14, 2009 5:59 PM GMT
    I still have my class notes from elementary and whole lot of other junk. I keep them stowed away in closets and boxes though. But they're still there. I've even made mobiles from 'found' things that I scavenged from somewhere when I was around 10. icon_redface.gif

    I got the habit from my parents. They never throw anything away. icon_neutral.gif
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    Aug 14, 2009 6:32 PM GMT
    I used to go out with a hoarder/collector. His house was filled wall-to-wall with memorabilia and kitsch. His plan was to open a store and sell all the stuff. But in the meantime, he stored all his inventory in his house. He was a clean guy though. Not one of those hoarders that you hear about on the news where they keep their own urine and feces in a jar. icon_lol.gif

    Personally, I used to collect music and toys and other miscellaneous things. But I got over it. As I got older, I realized that I prefer simplicity and more living space. I sold/gave/trashed most of the stuff.
  • OptimusMatt

    Posts: 1124

    Aug 14, 2009 8:10 PM GMT
    A few years ago I went through my 'childhood/teenage' stuff and boxed all the things I wanted to keep. I've probably got about 4 or 5 boxes in total but it's neat, it's kept out of the way, and it's stuff I really DO want to keep (eg. a calander drawn based on my favorite book series when I was a kid - Xanth, btw - that had a story told throughout the months AANNND was signed by Piers Anthony, Xanth creator and dirty old man, lmao)

    The last few months I've spent trying to 'change' my aunt and her pack-rat days -again, same story, depression-era salvation-army-christmas, gotta get it because it's a 'hot deal' kind of crap.

    I love her, but it was just too much and I recently snapped and moved out. I cannot handle having to pick my way through the towers of crap she leaves in her wake. For the 6 months she was gone last winter the house was clean, well-kept, and easily maintained. Within 3 weeks I couldn't even run a floor vacumn through ONE room, let alone clean the whole house in under 1 hour.

    Words cannot describe how oppressive and depressing living in that situation is - and the worst part is that when you're living with someone like that, you end up becoming slightly like that - you put on blinders, because you HAVE to, just to be able to walk through the rooms. Otherwise you'd be cleaning EVERY single moment you're at home. And while you do need to clean your house, cleaning it only to come home a day later and discovering you have to clean the EXACT SAME mess is disheartening and redundant.

    I love my aunt, but she's probably going to trip over something and die. I tried to help her but I just don't have it in me.

    So yes, I do know a hoarder.
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    Aug 14, 2009 8:17 PM GMT
    Been there, done that. I believe hoarding, at least in part, stems from growing up poor. So, people have a hard time giving up possessions.

    The ideal way to stop hoarding is to donate the stuff to someone in need. That way, you're not "throwing it away" and you can feel good knowing stuff you rarely use is bringing joy to someone else.