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Topic : 06/21 "Throw It Out!"

Number of Replies: 359
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Created on : Friday, January 27, 2006, 02:40:01 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 02/01/06) Do you know someone who can't seem to get rid of their clutter? They keep newspapers, magazines, old clothes, and just plain junk thinking it will come in handy one day. Dr. Phil talks to extreme hoarders, who are embarrassing their families and destroying their homes. Nancy says her husband, John, is a packrat who turned their beautiful four-bedroom home into what she calls "the black hole." The house became so overcrowded with junk that they were forced to live in a trailer, and now the trailer is nearly filled to the brim! Will John and Nancy ever be able to live in their house again? And how is John's hoarding affecting their three children? Then, Misty saves every piece of paper her kids write on, and every article of clothing they've ever worn. Her husband, Greg, can't understand why she can't just toss them out. What's behind her inability to throw things away? Share your stories, join the discussion.

 

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February 1, 2006, 7:11 am CST

Hoarders

Oh Yes, I was married to a hoarder.  Every year it got worse and worse. I'm sorry to say that he has passed away, and, in addition to grieving his death, I'm the one left to deal with all the "STUFF".  What makes it worse is that he mixed personal belongings in with his junk, so I have to go through every box, every paper, before I can throw it out.  My kids have been a big help, but most of the burden is mine. Can you imagine, in addition to all the boxes in the house, the 2 car garage was so full it was impossible to even walk into it.  I have since gotten that emptied out to the point where I can actually fit 2 cars in there. As I look around the house and think about all the stuff still left to deal with, I try to use the garage as a symbol that it can get done. 

  

My only question is:  Dr. Phil, WHERE were you 10 years ago??  :) 

 
February 1, 2006, 7:25 am CST

Medication

  

While I don't have the problem of compusive hording to the degree of the guests today, I do have issues. More importantly, I have a simular relationship to things. I am a very messy person and have struggled with this my whole life.... 

  

Dr. Phil mentioned that he was going to put something about medication and outside help? He mentioned that didn't he? Does anyone know anything about phyciatric solutions? 

  

Thank you 

 
February 1, 2006, 7:35 am CST

Check out www.freecycle.org it's a wonderful tool!

For those people who have trouble letting go of items because they "still have worth," I highly recommend joining and participating in their nearest Freecycle(TM) group. 

  

Freecycle is a globally local movement (yes, you read that correctly) where each local community has its own group of volunteer people who are members of a board similar to this one.  The beauty of it is that it allows neighbors to OFFER free, legal, and appropriate things to others in their community who might be interested in taking "stuff" from someone else while keeping still useful items out of the landfill (or homes of hoarders)! 

  

Now, it would be important for a hoarder to only have things go OUT the door rather than in, but I have found that even people who tend to be packrats find out how wonderful it feels to GIVE some of the items that they may not have used for years to someone who actually has a use for it, and is appreciative in receiving it.  Once people find out how good it feels to give to others in this usually cash oriented society, without asking for anything in return, they inevitably participate again.   

  

My husband loves that I de-clutter and help my neighbors in the process.  Yes, I can (and do) still give to my local thrift shop, but I'd rather gift my boys' hand-me-down clothes to a young mother directly than making her pay money to buy them from the thrift store.  This way we've both "won" AND I've met a neighbor and friend in the process.  Plus, I know people who have worked in thrift stores, and they tend to add a LOT of stuff to landfills if it doesn't sell within a given amount of time. 

  

I was once a poor college student and my home is still furnished with many "hand me down" items, but now I can afford (and enjoy) giving away items that I no longer have use for, and I LOVE IT. 

  

I've given away over $1000 worth of used items in the past year or two that I've been participating, and it's been nothing but wonderful experiences from my end.  I've given away clothes, toys, books, computers and parts, lawn equipment, furniture, kitchen items, rugs, pet items, and much more. 

  

In the same time, I've aquired an old sewing machine (on which I sew together recycled Kool-Aid packets to make purses), a 1985 lawnmower (still works...ours was lost in hurricane Isabel a few years back), some craft items and games that I've taken to the local YMCA where I volunteer, AND I've made some good friends through which I've expanded the local bread ministry to my part of town. 

  

So, go check out www.freecycle.org and click the links to find your local group, then join it and see what a great tool it is!  Remember that the overriding rule is that everything must be free, legal, and appropriate, and being nice is key! 

  

Traci-Dale 

volunteer owner of FreecyclePoquoson and 

volunteer Group Outreach and Assistance representative to VA, WV, and TN from The Freecycle Network(TM) 

  

 
February 1, 2006, 7:45 am CST

Wish we could throw it all out!

My mother in laws house is just as bad as the first guy on the show...it is awful!!!!  You can barely walk around in the house.  There is just enough room for her to sit down and watch tv.  The house is Full!!  She had a storage shed put up to put more stuff in it. She saves newspapers and I even found canned food that expired in 1999.  She doesn't see that she has a problem. I just dread the thought of having to deal with it when something happens to her.   You can only get in one door at the house. The other door has crap piled up in front of it! UGH!  

We haven't been able to get through to her and it is so disgusting and frustrating. 

  

 
February 1, 2006, 7:58 am CST

living with a hoarder

I moved in with my Aunt 4 years ago because she was very sick all the time. We didn't know she had cancer until last year so when we moved in I thought her hoarding was because she was too sick to do anything about it. I've since learned otherwise. I have 2 kids and I can't stand to live in a house where there is trash lying everywhere! My Aunt has no job so she seldom leaves the house. I can only clean when she is out of the house or she will go into hysterics when I throw even newspapers out! My 8 yr old son told one day that we'll have to rip out the wall in her room and use shovels to toss junk into a dumpster below to clean out her room after she dies. All she did was laugh and tell him he's right. I have since bought the house from her and am now in a position where I really get frustrated and want to kick her out of the house becuase she won't do anything to help herself now she's in remission. I guess I would feel different if she would go to her doctor's appointments and try to get out and move around but she doesn't. She sleeps all day in her room and does nothing.  
 
February 1, 2006, 8:08 am CST

A danger of Hoarding

Not too long ago I saw a news article on the Yahoo website that a woman was smothered by her hoarding.  She was in a spare room that was heaped with clothing and other stuff, and a huge pile of clothes fell on her and smothered her.  I think she was initially reported as a missing person because her spouse couldn't find her, and it took rescue workers two complete house searches before they found her under the pile.  My parents never hoarded things and my mom was a good example by trying to stay organized, going through the house every so often and giving to charities or throwing things out; however, I know hoarding is a big problem and my sympathies to everyone who has to deal with a hoarder!
 
February 1, 2006, 8:29 am CST

My sister....

is a hoarder.  She hoards things and cats.  The combination has left a stench in the two houses she keeps.  Yes, a mask would be required to enter.  She is in complete denial.  If confronted, she provides excuses and says she is dealing with it.  That has been since 2003 when our mother died, however, it started long before Mom's death.  She has had this tendency since she was a child.  It is heartbreaking.  AND, she is a mental health counselor!!!!  HELP! 

 
February 1, 2006, 8:31 am CST

It is not hording that is my problem it is the hords of paper work that is breeding

I'm buried in paper.  Paper from my kids school, paper from insurance companies, paper from stocks, paper from church, paper from taxes, paper from refinancing the house, paper from.........

  

 

 

  

 

So much so that I have not done taxes for 2004 because I cannot find the papers I need to do them.  I have taken this week off to shred and toss and file in hopes I can un-pile my life.

  

 

 

  

 

Some useful information please:

  

 

How long to I have to keep all the paper work from buying a house and refinancing a house

  

 

Tax records?

  

 

Bank Statements?

  

 

Stock Options?

  

 

Brokers Statements?

  

 

School Records (IEPs ect.....)

  

 

Medical Records?

  

 

Divorce papers?

  

 

........

  

 

 

  

 

If I can UN-bury myself, how do set up a system that prevents this from happening again?

  

 

  

 

This week alone I have shredded enough to fill a 64 gallon recycle can and I still have years and years of bank statements and tax statements, insurance claims, stock statements.  It seems to never end.  How does a person get this monster tamed? 

  

 

  

  

 
February 1, 2006, 8:51 am CST

Lived it!

Quote From: mvngfwd

My sister and I have been embarrassed for most of our lives about our parent's in ability to use a trashcan.  The junk in my parent's house has reached the point to where you ablsolutely can not move or even find a place to sit.  I recently went to their house to try and help them move forward and at least get the house to where possum will not be running around in the attic and falling through the ceiling.  There were numerous bags of beercans which they had collected for years thinking they were worth money, I threw them out onto the trashpile that was surprizingly large considdering but my mother would take them off with a degree of violence that was just disturbing.  Her dementia has become extreemly bad over the past few years and I realize that as my parents age, they will not be able to help their situation only to fall into financial ruin in a pile of junk garnished with vermin.  When they tell me that something has sentimental value I try to get them to treat it as though it realy does mean something, but htey just don't get it.  altough they say they want to move forward and create a good living environment, they will not let go.  One thing they do not understand is just because something was good once upon a time,  it is not good after it sits in the back yard and deteriorates and rusts.  There aren't enogh words to describe how bad their house has become but it is worse than any house I have seen on any "hoarding" tv show.  I guess they would feel as uncomfortable in a clean environment is I do in theirs but as they age, it has become a danger to them.  The thing is, as much as the hoarding is a problem they also have the problem of extreem laziness.  The only thing they are proactive on is blame, and we all know how effective blame can be!  After being told for years that the condition of the house was my fault, I moved far enough away to where they could not hold me responsible.  What I find simply amazing is the list of excuses they have come up  with since then.  I know that it is wrong to try to "fix" the situation as it will only pile up again after I clean it up but I can not ignore it either. 
    Hey! I just wanted to say that when I was reading this...I thought that my sister had typed all that stuff becuase you are tellin' my story ( vermin included ). Everything but the beer cans and dementia I can relate to. I will put my story on here and you can read it. Heather77
 
February 1, 2006, 9:00 am CST

Clutter is my middle name

I have had this problem since my early teen years I guess. I hang on to gift wraps from presents that I have received through the years and really don't know why. I have a 6 month old daughter and I am scared that I have started hanging on to worthless things that was hers in the earlier months. I still have clothes that I can no longer wear. My house is starting to get over packed. I try to go in what is suppose to be my daughters room and clean up the clutter but it just over whelms me and I shut the door.
 
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