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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, 9:40 am CST

I can relate to Misty

Dr. Phil, my daughter is 11 years old and has trouble throwing things out.  She likes to collect everything she can get her hands on, even stuff we throw out in the waste basket.  She says she is really sad when she has to get rid of something.  Sometimes she even mourns over it.  She will recall specifically when we get rid of some of the things three or more years ago.  When she is reminded of it she starts crying.  Could she be like Misty?  Should we be concerned about this? 

Jean 

 
February 1, 2006, 9:56 am CST

Hi, dr.Phil!

It is the first time that I write in this forums.  

But before starting to write it would like to introduce myself. I'm Corina, I have 17 years and I less have a boyfriend to more or the two years... From Portugal, and living there! 


I have also this problem not to thrown  nothing out! I even keep tickets of the cinema!  

It's very bad? 

 
February 1, 2006, 10:00 am CST

I too am simply overwhelmed

Quote From: jbailey06

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.
I live in a one bedroom "converted into a studio because STUFF has overwhelmed me.  I am a hoarder of things like magazines, newspapers, cds, vhs tapes, records, stuff stuff stuff.  I even started a "magazine exchange table in my apt complex so I could check it several times a day and grab all the goodies there and add them to my misery"....  Very "smart of me"  YES?  I must have 20K magazines, 10K records, 40K books, etc.  I actually try to keep the kitchen and bath area "neat".  I can no longer get into the (once was a bedroom) room as it is filled to the ceiling with STUFF.  I have lost 1/3 of my apt there.  And the huge piles of stuff everywhere only leave me small aisles to walk.  I tripped over some stuff and broke my toe last month.  I can only sit on the bed and this computer chair.  I am OVERWHELMED!   What to do?  If I was a renter the owner would throw me out.  I am afraid the apt complex management will someday come in and throw me out.  Sometimes I hope a fire will just burn it all up and I can walk away (and start again?).
 
February 1, 2006, 10:31 am CST

Thank You. :)

Quote From: planet818

I to am a compulsive hoarder. I have been since I was in my teens. They believe it to be a form of OCD but they're not sure because all hoarders do not have OCD and all those who have OCD are not hoarders. Buy her the book "Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding" by doctors Fugen Neziroglu, Jerome Burbrick and Jose Yaryura-Tobias. I highly recommend it and it may help her but only if as Dr. Phil says she's a "willing spirt". It's paperback, $15. I found it to be a great help. It explains the different degrees of hoarding, why they believe we do it and gives great step by step methods to change the behavior. I hope this helps. Dr. Phil posted a link to the OCD website which lead me to the hoarding website which lead me to this book. For that I am eternally grateful. I hope this helps in some small way.
Thank you for the information.   I will see if I can get it to her, I dont want to insult her.  I will play it by ear and see how I can figure it into her life....


 
February 1, 2006, 10:35 am CST

Buried in paper

Quote From: lh2000

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? 

  

 

  

  

 I don't know how busy your life is but you need to allow yourself time at least once a week to go thru these papers and decide whether or not you are going to keep them or file them.  I don't know how long you should keep some of them, but one thing came to mind while reading your message.  If you have a printer with a scanner why not scan your papers into your computer?  Then back them up with a disc?  I've also found those accordian folders to be quite helpful.  I even have a "heart warming "crap" file! 

  

If you do a search of your questions on the internet you will surely learn how long you should hold on to certain items.   

  

Good Luck! 

 
February 1, 2006, 10:39 am CST

I need some help-I am a packrat

I don't remember when it started, but I cannot throw anything away for fear that I may never be able to afford it again. As an artist, I have had several problems keeping employment. I really want to change, but do not know how. How do you let go of the fear? And how do you start? Every room I walk into has stuff all over the place. I am so discouraged I feel like I have just given up. And sometimes the only thing that makes me feel better about myself is to just relax in front of the tv or to go shopping. Neither one have helped with the problem. My self esteem has erroded away. I desperately want to get married and am now in my 40s, yet I have surrounded myself with so much stuff, no man would ever want me. How do you get out? Where do you start? I am embarressed and feel like there is no hope. I secretly even have dreamed about burning down my house just to get rid of it all, yet I cannot even get myself to bring a bag of clothes to the goodwill for fear that I will regret it later. Dr. Phil, I need some practical advice!
 
February 1, 2006, 11:22 am CST

I think it is about the mindset

Quote From: onlyme222

I don't remember when it started, but I cannot throw anything away for fear that I may never be able to afford it again. As an artist, I have had several problems keeping employment. I really want to change, but do not know how. How do you let go of the fear? And how do you start? Every room I walk into has stuff all over the place. I am so discouraged I feel like I have just given up. And sometimes the only thing that makes me feel better about myself is to just relax in front of the tv or to go shopping. Neither one have helped with the problem. My self esteem has erroded away. I desperately want to get married and am now in my 40s, yet I have surrounded myself with so much stuff, no man would ever want me. How do you get out? Where do you start? I am embarressed and feel like there is no hope. I secretly even have dreamed about burning down my house just to get rid of it all, yet I cannot even get myself to bring a bag of clothes to the goodwill for fear that I will regret it later. Dr. Phil, I need some practical advice!

I am a compulsive "non" hoarder. I am a minimalist. I lost everything (and I mean every last thing) I owned when I moved out and away from my ex-husband. Since then, I found out there is very little that you can't live without. When you go to purge down your stuff, go into it with the mindset that you WILL take 3 bags to Goodwill (or wherever). It is too overwhelming to do it all at once, so start with one small area. Do one junk drawer maybe, or one countertop.  If you haven't used it or worn it in one year, get rid of it. Even if you can never afford it again, it doesn't matter because you don't use it anyway. If you start to get emotional or overwhelmed, take a break or you will keep too much. Once you get it manageable, set aside one day a week to go through all your clutter. It becomes a habit after awhile. You have to keep in mind, "It's Just Stuff." It isn't your memories. It isn't your life or your feelings. It's just stuff. If it is something very sentimental for you, take a picture of it and then get rid of it. I hope I don't sound too harsh. Just keep a positive attitude that you are doing something just for you and I know you can do it. 

  

Steph :) 

 
February 1, 2006, 11:26 am CST

freecycle

Quote From: eladicart

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) 

  

Thanks so much for the information!  I'm in Myrtle Beach and we have alot of thrift stores to donate to, but I also hated the thought of people having to pay for things I would gladly give away.  I am now  a member and will certainly spread the word to all of my friends regarding freecycle.org!!! 

  

Thanks a million! 

Rita 

 
February 1, 2006, 11:45 am CST

My mom is Depressed, Over whlemed with trash & obese

Can Someone Help!!!!  

My mom (Jane) has been depresed, getting more and more obese and a pack rat since her mother my grandma died in 1987. She lives in a pig sty, every room is a desastor area, all of my brothers and sisters are adults and now it's just her and my step father and a 21yr old that's there now and then, ( that's a story in it self). My step father is never home, well now and then, some times he's to tired to drive and sleeps in the car in a parking lot and washes up when he gets to work in a sink.  He has worked 2 jobs for a long as I can remember and I'm 41 now. My mom can't clean up because she's not healthy enough to do the job. Not to mention that she has astma, and there is mold growing in the basement , which doesn't help the situation any. She has no energy and can't even go downstairs to use her dryer because of the mess and the mold, To get to the bathroom is difficult, she's out of breath and has to stop about every 5 or so feet to breeth beacause she's out of breath. Her smoking doesn't help any, but she will tell you it has noting to do with her breathing it's all astema. 

They have one son that is 21 the youngest of all of us, and is a slob, and has no respect for himself, his parents, or the house that he lives in with our parents. 

She can't begin to know where to start and how too, and for that matter niether do we (The Kids). 

 In the past years I my self have spent countless hours cleaning organizing and throughing out STUFF when my mom is not home, but no matter what I or we do it just seems to get worse and worse. My step father is NOT a handy man at all, his fix all.. is silver DUCK tape, my childeren (his grandchilderen) call him The Duck Tape King. Any ways they can't afford to fix  or replace anything, they have had no stove or oven in at least 15 years, she cookes by microwave or a BBQ grill. or take out. Her counters and cabents are comming off of the walls and theres holes in the wall, there's a dirty pathway to go from one place to another. Once in a while the living room will get picked up. But If you ask me I think that the house needs to be tourn down. And they need to start over. However, my mom is for saving everything! Her famous saying is that it good you can't throw that out.  I can't begin to try and help them, and I don't have the finacial ablity to do it either. I wish I could!  

I wish My father could quite one job, besides needs to quit one of his jobs, and start to enjoy his life, but he won't because he can't afford it. I don't understand? How can a man that has worked 2 jobs for about or for at least 34 years of his life still have financile difficulties? The excuse use to be that there were 8 mouths to feed 6 of them kids, but now there's only one at home and he's 21.  

How do I or we for that matter help them out? 

Can Someone Anyone... Please Help Me!!!!!!!! 

 
February 1, 2006, 11:49 am CST

hoarding mom

I recently married a wonderful man with a 6 year old son.  The son lives with his mother and we get him evey other weekend and holiday.  After several months into our relationship I discovered that the mother was a hoarder.  Not a collector - but a hoarder!  The front seat of her car is piled with newspapers she plans "someday" to recycle.  Pictures of her home show piles and piles of boxes, and sacks she may someday use.  She has a room that is just filled with "Stuff".  Other pictures show that a person cannot get to the kitchen sink or cabinets due to the sacks, old mail, etc.  There is a path from the doorway to the couch.  My stepson's room is so cluttered with toy boxes,sacks, etc that he cannnot play in the floor.   

  

The child has allergies but I am sure that the allergist is not aware of the conditions in which he regularly lives.  He is on 5 different kinds of medicine and continually comes down with bronchitis and other respiratory illnesses.   

  

There are other circumstances that concern me about his well-being and her skills and judgement as a mother but I will not elaborate as they do not pertain to this topic.   

  

I would appreciate guidance on how to help the situation for the sake of the child.  Do I turn her in to Protective Services?  She clearly needs help and would not take advice or counseling from either my husband or myself.  

  

  

 
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