Welcome to Week 1 of the 30 Day Hoarder Challenge!!! If this is your first time seeing the challenge, join in at anytime! We write a positive affirmation in our journals (ones that we already have!) and let go of one thing each day! You are free to let go of one, two, three or more items on any given day. If it’s a great day, let go of 10 if you wish! The goal is to make decluttering a positive experience for each of us! The video below has more details if you would like more information about the challenge!
A few days ago I had my first emotional breakdown after decluttering my hoarded house. I felt anxious, depressed and felt alone in the world. I cried hysterically and called a dear friend from church. She helped comfort me and gave me great advice. She’s worked with a lot of addicts. I am her only hoarder. But the patterns and habits are very similar to addictions. She explained that this was a good thing because I need to learn a new coping mechanism in place of hoarding. I explain my heart in this video because I want other hoarders to know that they are not alone. I also want non-hoarders to understand how we struggle. Together we can find healing in this mental struggle.
I hosted the “Spring Sharing Table” at my mommy’s group last week. Everyone bring in their outgrown clothes or unused items. At the end of the meeting, they get to “shop” for new things that they need! Almost like a huge clothing swap! This is so therapeutic to my hoarding because I get to see someone happily receiving something I donated. Instead of it sitting in my house, I transfer the joy to someone else and it gets used! I also get to see other mothers happily bring in their “clutter” so that their homes are more spacious. After the Sharing Table is done, everything gets donated to charity. It saves people a lot of money with all the “hands me downs” clothing they bring home. I also love that it stays out of landfills and is better for our environment. For more details of the Sharing Table, please click on the video below!
In this confession I will be explaining the misconception that hoarders are greedy people. When you see the mass collection of possessions in our home, I can understand why people would assume that. But it is not greed that triggers that. I believe greed is someone who needs to attain money, power, material possessions and will hurt other people in trying to obtains those things. They can either cheat, hurt or sabotage other people to reach whatever they are after. Everyone in their way are dispensable.
Hoarding however is triggered by anxiety or depression. In my case it is anxiety. The mass collection of possessions was accumulated over years and even decades. I feel the need to save everything. So when new things came into my home, old ones were not going out. Getting rid of certain things triggers my anxiety into panic attack mode and that’s why I will hold onto it. Below is the video where I explain a little more in depth:
I decided to get on the bandwagon and try the KonMari Method to clean out my hoard. I watched enough Tidying Up episodes in Netflix to get the gist of it. First I have to pull every single item of clothing I own and put it in one spot. Little did I realize, I have 8 bins worth of clothing plus a closet and drawers that I can FIND. As I piled my mountain of clothes onto the couch and floor, I quickly regretted my decision. This triggered my anxiety to a five alarm panic attack status. I want to cry, I want to hide, I’m overwhelmed…what do I do with all of this??!! I started picking up each article of clothing asking, does it start joy? Well you know it does, I’m a hoarder! I have attached a memory, a story, a purpose to these clothes! This make me happy and I feel safe surrounded by my fortress of crap! That’s why I still hold onto it all! The decision making process was torturous as I felt I HAD to get rid of some of my clothes. I captured the event in this Part 1 video:
When I was doing week 2 of the Minimalism Game Challenge, I started to feel the pressure of letting go of my stuff. I have already let go of so much stuff the past few months and now I’m forcing myself to keep up with letting go multiple things every single day! During these higher days of getting rid of 13 things on day 13 are becoming stressful. I can feel my anxiety creeping up as I search the house for treasures to discard. I’m not sure how I am going to make it through week 3 & 4 but I’m going to keep moving forward! Below is a video of week 2 of the Minimalism Game Challenge!
This is question I get asked a lot: “How does your Husband feel about your hoarding?” My husband is patient, laid back and supportive in what I do. Except my hoarding, he hates my hoarding. He gets very frustrated with it and told me the top four things that frustrate him. First, he has a difficult time finding things because nothing is organized. Sometimes he has to purchase something we already have because it will take him “months” to find it again. And wasting money is not one of his favorite things. Secondly, he gets very upset tripping over piles of crap. That one REALLY frustrates him. Thirdly, he just gets tired at looking at all piles of clutter. Then he gets upset that it doesn’t bother me! (Until recently when I started this journey) Lastly, he wishes he can help me clean my piles but he cannot. He can’t because it will always create a fight between us. I always get overwhelmed and anxious and he just wants to keep cleaning. So he gave up on helping me clean so I would not get upset from my OCD hoarding panic attacks. Attached below is my vlog where I give more details about our relationship and the strain it has on our marriage: