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:
Cleaning out this hoarded toy room is going to be a 10 part series! If you read yesterday’s blog post, you’ll quickly understand why this room is so hoarded! Since Santa brings 25 presents per child and the rest of the family follows suit in giving an additional 10 gifts per child, the value of toys make sense now. This year we are scaling back on gifts. If I want this toy room to finally be functioning, I cannot have another 50+ toys cluttering it back up. Plus, I now realize how wasteful this is. My kids don’t even play with all the toys. It could be from a combination of they can’t get in the room and there is just too much it’s overwhelming. I think all of the hours everyone had to work to afford those presents to just sit in a room, waiting for me to sell them at 80% off or donate to someone else. This is a new Christmas! A Christmas of enjoying experiences instead of buying more stuff. Below is a video of the progress we are making in the toy room!
I just put a dent into this room where you can start to walk into the room. My youngest son was able to go into the room and play with some of the toys! Those toys have not been touched in years! That keeps me inspired to keep cleaning even though this will be a 10 part series! The goal is by Christmas this will be a completely cleaned out room!
Thanksgiving is on it’s way and I am hosting this year! You know what that means to a hoarder?! It means people are coming over and you gotta hurry up and put all that crap somewhere! You know what else?! I added remodeling my cabinets, pantry and backsplash too! In this video I am going to show you what my hoarded kitchen looks like and the progress I made thus far!
In this confessional, I am going to explain why it’s not a good idea to throw away a box of junk behind the hoarder’s back. It will backfire on you if you think you are helping them. It feels the same as a person sneaking into your wallet and throwing away your $100 bill. You feel disrespected and now you don’t trust that person anymore. Now I know you’re thinking a $100 bill is worth way more than a box of random crap. But to a hoarder, it feels the same. We overvalue all of our stuff.
Value is determined by how important an item is to a person. A hundred dollar bill is worth a lot and a lot of people attach value to it. A box of random crap, most people don’t attach a high value to it. But not the hoarder…the hoarder had over-valued their box. So it feels like a lot of money to them. Plus if they find out that you threw that out, they are about to go into a panic attack of which box you threw out. It doesn’t help, it actually makes things worse. If you want to help, be encouraging, be patient and be empathic. The hoarder has to be ready to change!
I am so excited because now I have a SECOND completely clean room in my house! It feels amazing seeing how clean my bathrooms are! My “Clutter Snowball” method seems to be working! I started with the smallest room in my house for the quick win! I then used that momentum go onto the second smallest room in the house. Just like the “Debt Snowball” method but with crap! I also used the KonMari Method while cleaning and sorting. I feel so amazing because I can feel myself changing: things I would have kept, I could toss out with no problem. I believe a lot of that has to do with how driven I am. I want to heal from my hoarding habits so desperately. I have been meditating and writing self affirmations about my healing. I am actually excited to start the next room!
It’s time to move to the next smallest room in my house: the full bathroom. Luckily, this room is not really hoarded. It’s one of the few rooms I can clean and keep somewhat organized. There are a few corners and areas that need to be sorted and a good scrubbing is in order too. I’m going to be using the KonMari Method to organize all the shampoos, conditioners, toiletries, etc. I did very good at throwing away some expired stuff and old things that had sentimental value. I actually feel great because I was able to toss a lot of stuff out!!!
This is so exciting to announce that I finally have a completely cleaned and organized room in my house! And I did it all by myself! No therapists, no help from someone else…all from my desire to heal from my hoarding! I started with the smallest room in the house for the quick win! I called it my “Clutter Snowball!” (Just like the Debt Snowball but for crap!) I bravely went through all the emotions of anxiety, fear, the need to pull it out of the trash…and I can out victoriously! I love seeing how my bathroom looks now! I’m excited to start on the next smallest room in the house. The joy in the end is worth the anxiety in the beginning!