View Full Version : Hoarding Disorder anyone?


OhLookABunny
03-22-17, 07:23 PM
I guess "I haz it" - but the good news is I've recognized it and am dealing with it. :) The process of recognition has been slow and over several years, and I was more prone to hang back and try to justify keeping stuff. But about two years ago, with my most recent move, I got really fed up and am determined to beat this.

There has been some science about a genetic link: https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-genetics-of-compulsive-hoarding/ and I wouldn't be surprised in my case because several paternal relatives have various levels of it. One family, now deceased, was at the level of danger with it, had a house fire.

ADD is also more linked to hoarding than OCD, say some: http://www.healthcentral.com/adhd/c/1443/179937/link-adhd-hoarding/

It's been hard to talk about it; there's so much shame. When the "Hoarders" TV show originally came on, I didn't have cable (still don't) but I took a look at their website. I was sickened by the hateful comments, and never looked at it again for years. I'm not a fan of reality TV unless it's the ones where it's all feel goods like Extreme Makeover and a poor desperate family gets a home, something along those lines.

I hope that shame won't be part of any discussion of hoarding here, and I feel confident that most posters I've met on these forums wouldn't be mean like that. Part of my reason for posting this is to see if there are others who need to talk about it but have been afraid to "come out" as a hoarder. Together we can beat it. I know of some resources and I believe it can be done. :grouphug: Supporting one another is one of the best weapons in the fight.

Little Missy
03-22-17, 07:39 PM
Is there anything in particular that you enjoy hoarding?

OhLookABunny
03-23-17, 11:54 AM
Well, I liked to collect things, and since I'm an only child and was so socially awkward, I sometimes got to enjoying things more than people. Things don't talk back, bully you, etc. and if they do you can get rid of them! :D

Being creative and crafty, always getting excited about new ideas and wanting to rush out and buy lots of "gear" for each new interest. This picked up tremendously after the big breakup with the man I had hoped to marry - plunging into crafts and trying to create by myself the cozy domestic life I'd hoped to have with him. So that part was emotional.

The pace of life outpacing my ability to keep up with things such as paper clutter.

Dealing with my parents' stuff along with my own stuff after they died, moving several times - it just got out of control! :faint:

Johnny Slick
03-23-17, 01:14 PM
I don't think I was a hoarder so much as I am just *really* messy. I'd just not bother to clean stuff up for a few weeks, the weeks would turn into a few months, and then I'd have a good day or two I'd have to spend just getting my place into a condition that normal people would refer to as "messy". Nowadays I make enough money that I have a person come in every other week to clean my apartment and although I perhaps *could* devote time and effort to it, I kind of prefer the peace of mind that not even really having to think/worry about that stuff brings me.

It's also helped that I've moved around a lot in the past 5 years and as such have a relatively small amount of "stuff" compared to when I was younger. The less stuff you have, the less stuff there is to clutter. My apartment, I will say, does seem pretty minimalist.

OhLookABunny
03-23-17, 08:33 PM
Johnny, I bet that is so nice being able to hire someone! I would in a heartbeat if I could afford to - and it would create a job, or at least give a high school or college student a little pocket money. :)

I'll sure be glad when this process of downsizing and tossing is over with. Maintenance will always be an issue, I'm sure - I tend to be a clutter magnet and have an amazing ability to take a small amount of stuff and "fluff" it out so it's all over the place! :lol: I guess that's my superpower, eh? :rolleyes:

If I get to have the minimalist place of my own that I envision, I am going to work very hard training myself to put things I use back into designated storage places. I hope to have a large work table of some sort for painting, sewing, and other such endeavors.

My undiagnosed ADD impact on organization was apparent at a young age. Every so often toward the end of a day, in grade school, the teacher would say "Clean out your desks." And all us kids would get busy, but I was the one who dithered in indecision long after the others were finished. I probably was keeping the kinds of things that others were able to decide to throw away. It was an embarrassing nightmare, being so befuddled and surrounded by junk, when everyone else was done and staring at me. :(

Little Missy
03-23-17, 08:36 PM
I never cleaned out my desk at school. If I had to do it, I'd sneakily move to a clean desk and pretend the messy one wasn't mine.

Parting with things from deceased parents can be difficult.

sarahsweets
03-24-17, 04:05 AM
I never cleaned out my desk at school. If I had to do it, I'd sneakily move to a clean desk and pretend the messy one wasn't mine.

Parting with things from deceased parents can be difficult.

cleaning out my desk in school meant removing all the notes I saved that were passed in class and pieces of loose candy and gum.

sarahsweets
03-24-17, 04:08 AM
ing creative and crafty, always getting excited about new ideas and wanting to rush out and buy lots of "gear" for each new interest. This picked up tremendously after the big breakup with the man I had hoped to marry - plunging into crafts and trying to create by myself the cozy domestic life I'd hoped to have with him. So that part was emotional.

I have areas of unmangeable clutter but the common areas border on slightly messy-to-lived in looking. I can identify with you on the supplies thing but for me its office supplies. I get hot over places like staples and officemax. Anytime I undertake the idea of "getting organized" it involves notebooks, pens, paper, crafty reminders etc. I have to watch it now because I have learned that all the supplies in the world dont do the organizing for you.

sarahsweets
03-24-17, 04:09 AM
And BTW Bunny- anyone who has something nasty so say about your hoarding issue and trying to overcome it can go f**k themselves.

Little Missy
03-24-17, 07:42 AM
I have areas of unmangeable clutter but the common areas border on slightly messy-to-lived in looking. I can identify with you on the supplies thing but for me its office supplies. I get hot over places like staples and officemax. Anytime I undertake the idea of "getting organized" it involves notebooks, pens, paper, crafty reminders etc. I have to watch it now because I have learned that all the supplies in the world dont do the organizing for you.

And since my mum was an office supply hoarder I've never had to buy any of it! I have numerous bottles of dried up white out that I'm sure I can resurrect someday. My stapler collection is insane. They are so old and heavy and beautiful even, they'd kill someone!

Little Missy
03-24-17, 07:55 AM
And BTW Bunny- anyone who has something nasty so say about your hoarding issue and trying to overcome it can go f**k themselves.

Buns, it took me eleven years and many, many moves before I was able to sort through the stuff. I went with too precious to duplicate and favourite things. I still have ALOT of stuff but I'm sure happy I was finally able to recognize needs from wants.

Sort of!

DJ Bill
03-24-17, 01:08 PM
Four words: 25 Jeeps in pieces. Further comment not needed. :o:doh:

Little Missy
03-24-17, 01:08 PM
Four words: 25 Jeeps in pieces. Further comment not needed. :o:doh:

any Willys?

Little Missy
03-24-17, 01:15 PM
Four words: 25 Jeeps in pieces. Further comment not needed. :o:doh:

Franken-Jeeps!

dvdnvwls
03-24-17, 02:20 PM
Four words: 25 Jeeps in pieces. Further comment not needed. :o:doh:

From that, could you get some of them running well if you had help?

You could probably get away without even paying any money - "Wanted, help fixing up a bunch of Jeeps - when we're done, you get to keep one". :)

(Or more than just one, if it's going to be a lot more work)

OhLookABunny
03-24-17, 04:57 PM
And since my mum was an office supply hoarder I've never had to buy any of it! I have numerous bottles of dried up white out that I'm sure I can resurrect someday. My stapler collection is insane. They are so old and heavy and beautiful even, they'd kill someone!

Professor Plum in the Conservatory with the Stapler, eh?

I am an office supply fanatic too. Always have been. I try not to ooh and ah too loudly in the stores, the employees might think I'm some kind of weirdo! :lol:

DJ Bill
03-25-17, 07:00 PM
From that, could you get some of them running well if you had help?

You could probably get away without even paying any money - "Wanted, help fixing up a bunch of Jeeps - when we're done, you get to keep one". :)

(Or more than just one, if it's going to be a lot more work)

Wow..didn't know there were so many jeep replies. Most are Willys as most all are Pre 1960. All are flatfenders. A few Military Fords in the Mix. Many worth serious money if made to run and completed. Main issue is I'm in NY and the jeeps are 2000 miles away. (Except the two GPW's in my brother's barn. 60 miles away)

Help to fix em? Hmmm. Neat idea if it worked. :)

Little Missy
03-25-17, 07:07 PM
Those Willys are pretty close to me!!

dvdnvwls
03-25-17, 07:32 PM
Help to fix em? Hmmm. Neat idea if it worked. :)
What stops it from working?

Little Missy
03-25-17, 09:07 PM
What stops it from working?

yeah! I'm in!

aeon
03-25-17, 09:31 PM
Being put in control of the office supplies and ordering at work and then getting positive feedback about the quality of the things I have ordered is a validation of my having wandered, lost, in the desert, for years...with a collection of office and graphic arts tools that could only be described adoringly, incredulously, or clinically.

But my redemption has come, oh yes.


Cheers,
Ian

Little Missy
03-25-17, 09:38 PM
Being put in control of the office supplies and ordering at work and then getting positive feedback about the quality of the things I have ordered is a validation of my having wandered, lost, in the desert, for years...with a collection of office and graphic arts tools that could only be described adoringly, incredulously, or clinically.

But my redemption has come, oh yes.


Cheers,
Ian

Lotsa Willys, and a road trip with a bunch of us? :D

aeon
03-25-17, 09:38 PM
Parting with things from deceased parents can be difficult.

I make it easy by not trying.

My father's fedoras will never fit my head, for it is, just as he said, too fat for my own good.

Dunno what to do with them, and I'm not going to worry about it now.

Wearing his jacket and his watch is an experience I have no words for.


Cheers,
Ian

OhLookABunny
03-27-17, 01:04 AM
I make it easy by not trying.

My father's fedoras will never fit my head, for it is, just as he said, too fat for my own good.

Dunno what to do with them, and I'm not going to worry about it now.

Wearing his jacket and his watch is an experience I have no words for.


Cheers,
Ian

Some theater costuming department might love to get them, and it could be a way to honor his memory. I have a model of a B-36 airplane that my dad and I put together. He was on B-36s in the Air Force, and there were only a few made. I'm in a Facebook group and hoping it can lead to my being able to donate Dad's model one to a museum or something, because it has a 3 foot wingspan and I am probably not going to have room for it, and I have no children to pass it on to. Would hate to think of someone tossing it in the trash when I die.

sarahsweets
03-27-17, 04:04 AM
Being put in control of the office supplies and ordering at work and then getting positive feedback about the quality of the things I have ordered is a validation of my having wandered, lost, in the desert, for years...with a collection of office and graphic arts tools that could only be described adoringly, incredulously, or clinically.

But my redemption has come, oh yes.


Cheers,
Ian

I think I told you this once but I am so jealous of your being the office supply gatekeeper. I probably would have been fired by now because I would have tried to skim from the top. One can never have too many staplers, tape dispensers and white-out. Next time you order, put in an order for a purple tape dispenser for me. :)

Little Missy
03-27-17, 06:32 AM
Some theater costuming department might love to get them, and it could be a way to honor his memory. I have a model of a B-36 airplane that my dad and I put together. He was on B-36s in the Air Force, and there were only a few made. I'm in a Facebook group and hoping it can lead to my being able to donate Dad's model one to a museum or something, because it has a 3 foot wingspan and I am probably not going to have room for it, and I have no children to pass it on to. Would hate to think of someone tossing it in the trash when I die.

There is a really cool wing off of the airport in Billings, MT that is entirely done in model airplanes that are suspend in air. An amazing place. If I were you, I'd suspend it in my home.

ginniebean
03-29-17, 03:26 AM
What about "I'm not a hoarder but have trouble organizing."

I don't hoard but the idea I might be a neat freak is laughable. I routinely throw stuff out that just clutters. My place isn't a disgusting mess and generally is presentable. I just felt for many with adhd there should have been a category between not sure and neat freak.

OhLookABunny
03-29-17, 03:46 PM
There is a really cool wing off of the airport in Billings, MT that is entirely done in model airplanes that are suspend in air. An amazing place. If I were you, I'd suspend it in my home.

Thanks for the info. I don't know if/when I'll have a place of my own, and whether I'll be able to afford anything that would have enough space to do that. Since I am entirely without offspring to pass "Grandpa's" plane down to, I'd love to think of it going to a place where many people could see and enjoy it, and where I could know they were while I am still on this Earth. I have a picture of my Dad holding the completed model, and that's easier to store. ;)

I've just come to the place in life where I know I can't keep a lot of stuff, and I'm a very sentimental sort - but I'm trying to incorporate a different view, namely, that even if an object has fond memories attached to it, the memories really reside in our minds and hearts.

I'm not going to throw out, say, my parents' wedding pictures or anything that momentous (though I do intend to scan everything so I don't have to worry as I used to, living in Tornado Alley). But the plane is difficult to keep because it's delicate and large. A museum could care for it properly better than I'm able to.

Cyllya
04-02-17, 06:21 PM
I'm not at the level of having hoarding disorder, but I've got enough problems along those lines to sympathize.

Anything I can imagine being useful, I'm strongly tempted to keep, even if I don't have any particular use in mind. The main culprit here is packaging from things I buy. (I come from a family where we had Country Crock and Cool Whip bowls instead of Tupperware. This behavior is in my blood, dang it.)

I'm strongly tempted to keep anything that was valuable in the past, like broken things and old school work.

There's a lot of things I don't want or intend to keep but I don't get around to throwing it away. Goodness forbid there's any obstacle to having it thrown away, e.g. I have to sort through a pile of junk papers before tossing it just in case there's something important mixed in.

Of stuff I do want to keep, it's always badly organized.

Joker_Girl
04-03-17, 12:04 AM
I don't hoard like what is on tv. I would never be able to deal with the stink of a bunch of animals crapping everywhere, and though I do not always get all my dishes done before I go to bed, I could never deal with my kitchen being gross or having roaches.

So while I am not dirty, I am very, very cluttery and have way too much stuff. I will save every receipt but have like 1600 of them in a shoebox. I need them for 'taxes', but I don't even have last year's taxes done, because I don't owe money, I make sure I have plenty held out...but they only owe me a very small amount, like 50 bucks, and my desire for 50 bucks is less than my desire to avoid actually doing taxes.

And then, we have 'the collections'. I hoard antique furniture, especially cabinets. And I collect carnival glass baskets. And Vaseline glass. And antique spice and food tins. And bulls...like the animal...chalkware and porcelain bulls...how random is that? And perfume and medicine bottles. And unicorns. Oh, and globes. And books. Then, we have stuff I don't officially collect, but have a bunch of. This includes candles, pajamas, blankets, shower gel, makeup, and thirty-one bags.

Then there is stuff I like and will hoard like yes, office supplies here, too...and papercrafting supplies, and really all art supplies, paint, glitter, beads, glass, fabric, pens, etc. Ironically, cleaning supplies...I have all kind of natural, vanilla, lavender, mint, etc glass cleaner, wood cleaner, disinfectants, whatever. I even have a hot pink plastic thing to carry them in. Also ironically, any kind of container store stuff....the idea of the area under my sink being filled with neatly labeled shelves, and the pantry having all kinds of matching Tupperware makes me giddy. Too bad I will never get it done.

And then, we have my husband's collections.

dormammau2008
04-07-17, 04:50 PM
:thankyou:comis is my thing ant anything diff as for the comics I have 90.000++ books so its quite big now,,,,:grouphug:i like going to odd shops to see things that are diff,,,,or sheds with old dtuff ion them :yes:

OhLookABunny
04-13-17, 01:21 PM
Well, I'm going through my storage unit - please don't anybody give me grief about having one! ;) Because I don't have my own place at the moment, and I can't bring all my possessions to this friend's house where I'm staying.

That being said, I am paring down. Yesterday I got rid of a couple trash bags' worth. And I go to a local support group which has been a tremendous help, and they're a fun bunch of people. :grouphug:
The hoarding TV shows tend to focus on the worst cases, because that's what pulls in the ratings. There are probably way more of us who are simply hardcore clutterbugs; we don't have the dirt and vermin. Also, those "reality" shows are scripted and the maximum drama scenes make it into the show.

Some of the "baggage" we have that can push us in the direction of clutterbugging and/or hoarding can be emotional - past trauma, a breakup, etc. Some of us with OCD like to collect - can't not have the complete set of anything! :rolleyes:

Sometimes things are just easier to deal with than people, if we have anxiety, social awkwardness, etc. And though there's some debate about it, I do believe in the hypothesis that since we with ADHD are divergent-thinking, creative people, we do have a drive to save things that we might be able to think of a use for, either immediately or hoping to think of a use for in the future. Some of us also are of the "waste not, want not" mindset. I was raised by parents who lived through the Great Depression - again, not everyone who did became a hoarder but I think there's some connection.

Finally, there even have been chromosomal mutations identified as the human genome is sequenced, that are connected with hoarding behaviors.

I saw some studies online that suggest that ADHD is more connected with hoarding than OCD. Those studies said that the disorganization and difficulty making decisions play a big part. I've certainly found that to be true in my case. Especially when sorting through stuff and debating whether to keep or toss something. The good news - with help and practice, I do believe my skill in this area is increasing! :yes: Sometimes I'm finding pitching stuff to be fun. I do donate what I can if it's something someone really might use.

I like the message board on www.hoardingcleanup.com, too; it's been a great place to get support for the down and dirty work of decluttering.

ItsaRose
05-28-17, 05:21 PM
I'm a 'hoarder' or probably more accurately described as an 'acquirer'. I am able to donate and throw things out WHEN I can get the motivation and energy to tackle the problem, since it encompasses most of my house. Not long ago I paid to have a company come and haul away two trucks of items...and I still have a lot of organizing yet to finish. I've read that those with ADD tend to get into things that give them stimulation or a dopamine surge...this can include addictions and compulsions such as gambling. I relate to this theory a lot, as many times it is just the (temporary) 'high' of buying or hearing another package dropped at the door and after the 'high' diminishes, the item may sit in the box/bag for years. I understand this sounds irrational and quite wasteful and I would agree...it's just one more of the 'things' that have contributed to my current chaos.

Beyond the excessive and compulsive acquiring, I also tend to save empty containers - with some project, idea or planned use for it that never seems to materialize. I keep waiting to 'feel better' where I convince myself that when I do, all the ideas and projects will then get done...so why not save these items for that day?

This issue has caused me a lot of emotional and financial distress and shame, as well as isolation from the few friends and family that I would otherwise like to have over from time to time.