Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-23-2010, 01:01 PM   #21
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 6,454
Quote:
Originally Posted by dex View Post
That is probably why what you did worked for you.

Hoarding - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hoarding as a human behavior falls in to two main categories. One type of hoarding is triggered as a response to perceived or predicted shortages of specific goods. Compulsive hoarding, on the other hand, is a mental disorder marked by an obsessive need to acquire and keep things, even if the items are worthless, hazardous, or unsanitary. The compulsive collection and ownership of pets is known as animal hoarding. Compulsive hoarding is thought to fall along the spectrum of obsessive-compulsive disorders.
I know that, but was assuming the OP was more of a "don't throw it out as long as there's space in the basement" type of hoarder. I know an obsessive hoarder, and the OP didn't mention piles of old newspapers lining the hallways or not being able to see their bed under all the crap. Like me calling myself a lazy so and so, it's an exaggeration. I doubt she's a real OCD hoarder. Just like I don't think someone who tends to be too literal necessarily has Asperger's Syndrome.

However, OP, if you really are at the level Dex is implying, I agree with him. Seek medical/psychological help. It's out there, and even for lesser levels of OCD/hoarding, it might be the only real help.
__________________

__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Will Rogers, or maybe Sam Clemens
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-23-2010, 01:09 PM   #22
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,202
Sometimes you can say "If I discard this, but later need it, how much would it cost to replace it?"
__________________

__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 01:11 PM   #23
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,156
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Sometimes you can say "If I discard this, but later need it, how much would it cost to replace it?"
Al, your post above somehow got truncated and left off "...at a garage sale".
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 01:20 PM   #24
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,620
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodSense View Post
Confession: I have been a hoarder all my life.
I think my question is two-pronged:

1. What criteria do you use to decide what to keep and what to get rid of? Haven't used in the last 1, 3, 5, 10 years? Don't anticipate using in the next X years?

2. If you are married to a hoarder, what can you do to try to convince your spouse to de-clutter? Or, how do you reach some kind of compromise? (e.g. your room is yours to clutter up, but don't pile junk in the common space?)

--Pulling my hair out in frustration
I'm not a doctor but my spouse watches a lot of TV. The shows "Hoarders" and "Hoarding: Buried Alive" will give you a pretty discouraging perspective on the problem. It seems to be an inherent collector's tendency (wherever that comes from) triggered by some trauma (just about anything). If the shows are to be believed, even psychiatric counseling has a high rate of recidivism... like 100%.

It does not appear to be a problem that can be solved by sternly admonishing oneself to "just do it".

Spend some time with these links. They'll either inspire you to declutter or else you'll decide to seek professional help:
Hoarders - A&E TV
Hoarding: Buried Alive : TLC

The Dollar Stretcher website (Stretcher.com) also has a lot of suggestions found by searching for the keyword "declutter".
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 01:27 PM   #25
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
The shows "Hoarders" and "Hoarding: Buried Alive" will give you a pretty discouraging perspective on the problem.
I'm sure it is merely coincidental that shortly after those two programs became popular DW began a concerted effort to clean out our packed-to-the-max 30' x 30' storage area over our garage. I've taken 6-7 pickup loads to Goodwill in the past few months and I'm not done hauling yet...
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 01:31 PM   #26
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Quote:
Originally Posted by harley View Post
I know that, but was assuming the OP was more of a "don't throw it out as long as there's space in the basement" type of hoarder. I know an obsessive hoarder, and the OP didn't mention piles of old newspapers lining the hallways or not being able to see their bed under all the crap. Like me calling myself a lazy so and so, it's an exaggeration.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodSense View Post
Confession: I have been a hoarder all my life. My mom is a hoarder, my grandma was a hoarder, and it runs in my genes. Earlier this year, I realized I was unable to throw away anything, I mean ANYTHING. Plastic bags, pen caps, you name it.







Quote:
Originally Posted by harley View Post
Just like I don't think someone who tends to be too literal necessarily has Asperger's Syndrome.
That's good because it isn't one of the symptoms/characteristics.

Asperger's Syndrome-Symptoms
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 02:23 PM   #27
Full time employment: Posting here.
toofrugalformycat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Anchorage
Posts: 731
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodSense View Post
Confession: I have been a hoarder all my life. My mom is a hoarder, my grandma was a hoarder, and it runs in my genes. Earlier this year, I realized I was unable to throw away anything, I mean ANYTHING. Plastic bags, pen caps, you name it.
I became a much happier person when I quit blaming things on my parents, and took responsibility for my own actions. I'm embarrassed to admit how old I was when I finally figured this out.
__________________
toofrugalformycat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 02:30 PM   #28
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,457
Quote:
Originally Posted by harley View Post
Just like I don't think someone who tends to be too literal necessarily has Asperger's Syndrome.
Quit lying to yourself, Harley. You totally have Asperger's.
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 02:37 PM   #29
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Quote:
Originally Posted by toofrugalformycat View Post
I became a much happier person when I quit blaming things on my parents, and took responsibility for my own actions. I'm embarrassed to admit how old I was when I finally figured this out.
OCD Genetics - Understanding OCD and Genetics
Research using identical twins and the relatives of people of OCD suggests that more than 50% of a person’s risk for developing OCD is genetic, with the other half being determined by the environment. Given this, researchers have been searching for the specific genes that create a risk for developing OCD. While there does not appear to be a specific “OCD gene,” there is evidence that particular versions or alleles of certain genes may signal greater vulnerability.
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 03:15 PM   #30
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
My grandmother was a hoarder, my dad is a hoarder, and I have hoarding tendencies. Our family's hoarding is not the "compulsive" kind, it's in response to perceived shortages of specific goods. My grandmother used to stock up on all the things that were rationed or difficult to come by during WWII. She had an entire room in her house dedicated to food storage. It must have made an impression on me, because I do something similar even though I have never lived through times of real deprivation. I always have a full pantry and a stock of what I consider essential food/medicinal items. I also hoard items that I can afford to buy now but may not be able to afford anymore if we fall on hard times. Finally, I hoard items that could be used for "survival". At any rates, my wife keeps my compulsions in check so the house still looks organized and clean.
.
__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 04:08 PM   #31
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,426
I'm not an acquirer of things but I have a hard time getting rid of things I already have. I've gone through spurts of getting rid of things I haven't used in a year (or 5 or 10 years) and then I get stuck where I lose the urge to purge.

I used to watch Clean Sweep on TLC. It's not on anymore but there are other shows that replace it. It was all about clearing out clutter in order to make room for the things you really use, enjoy and treasure. We tend to use the things at the top of a drawer or the front of a shelf, so do we really need all the other stuff in there?

Peter Walsh was the main host and he had a technique to help you realize what you use vs what you think you use. For a utensil drawer put all the utensils in backward. If you use a utensil put it back in the correct direction. After a period of time (3-12 months) get rid of the items that are still backward. Do the same thing for clothes in your closet or things in a drawer. Seeing all those backward facing hangers shows what you really use or don't use.

Where I get stuck is that one of the utensils I didn't use is part of a set and I hate to break that up. I figure if breaking up a set of utensils is my biggest angst then things must be just fine in the rest of my world!
__________________
Married, both 62. DH retired June, 2010. I have a pleasant little part time job.
Sue J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 04:36 PM   #32
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,620
Quote:
Originally Posted by FD View Post
She had an entire room in her house dedicated to food storage. It must have made an impression on me, because I do something similar even though I have never lived through times of real deprivation. I always have a full pantry and a stock of what I consider essentials food/medicinal items. I also hoard items that I can afford to buy now but may not be able to afford anymore if we fall on hard times. Finally, I hoard items that could be used for "survival". At any rates, my wife keeps my compulsions in check so the house still looks organized and clean.
These statements rung a bell.

Pierre Omidyar, the eBay founder, lives on Oahu. A few months ago the local media profiled him and mentioned that he has at least one warehouse on the island stocked with food and other emergency supplies for his family/staff, and that he does so at other residences.

So somehow you and your grandmother are hoarders, but he's just ensuring his family's food security...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 04:47 PM   #33
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,020
It appears that a lot of forum members have hoarding tendencies. Perhaps LBYM (= hoarding money) goes along with that. I didn't know that hoarding was genetically determined, so I've just learned something.

My mother had hoarding tendencies, while my father was a thrower-outer. Occasionally this caused conflicts, like the time when he (inadvertently) threw out a silver spoon. After my mother's death I had a big decluttering job to do.

I have hoarding tendencies myself. Part of it is just laziness. But another part is a focus on how much the item cost (so I really must get the value out of it) or how someone gifted it to me (so it would be disrespectful to throw it out). But another reason is that I am obliged to keep certain documents indefinitely. And they take up a lot of space.

I think that moving house would be a good opportunity to finally sever my relationship with some of these things. I really must do something soon!
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 05:55 PM   #34
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,620
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
I didn't know that hoarding was genetically determined, so I've just learned something.
Keep in mind I got that sophisticated socio-biological factoid from not just one but two reality-TV shows. It could just as easily be nurture or the influence of an entire generation raised on the Great Depression. But blaming one's DNA is a great excuse.

I used to hoard all sorts of leftover/spare parts "in case I need them to fix something someday". Today, surrounded by big-box stores, I've relaxed to the point where I can actually throw out half of my 8x32 sheet-metal screws and somehow make do with only 50 or 60 of them. However I'm not so sanguine about my toilet-paper stash...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 06:14 PM   #35
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,020
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Today, surrounded by big-box stores, I've relaxed to the point where I can actually throw out half of my 8x32 sheet-metal screws and somehow make do with only 50 or 60 of them. However I'm not so sanguine about my toilet-paper stash...
Screws are reusable. Toilet paper is a consumable.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 09:28 PM   #36
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,533
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
However I'm not so sanguine about my toilet-paper stash...
At least you don't have as much as this guy:

(what do you do all day indeed)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1060.jpg (533.3 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1045.jpg (613.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1066.jpg (491.3 KB, 2 views)
__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 11, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 09:33 PM   #37
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,936
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodSense View Post
P.S. Good idea on the professional clutter buster! I didn't even know they exist. First though, I need to convince DH that we have a problem...
Who is NAPO? | National Association of Professional Organizers = National Association of Professional Organizers

You might want to check w/ a local Sr. Center.........I attended a number of Clutter Buster sessions there where I learned about NAPO. They even have national/regional conferences. Apparently it is a very common issue........only thing I know where they had a starting date (for the Clutter Buster sessions) but no ending.......it was ongoing till eternity as far as I knew.

Take the rest w/ a grain of salt as I am a hoarder also. What I got from the Clutter Buster sessions is that there is a vast spectrum of this malady.
The instructor at one point said the goal was not necessarily to become
House Beautiful but to become House Functional. I was happy to hear that but that meant that any hope of progress for me was then doomed. I think their primary focus was on situations where health and safety was at stake.....like you see on those reality TV shows.....and apparently it is not uncommon w/ seniors which is why the Sr. Center was sponsoring the sessions. Some of those situations are quite extreme and really hazardous as opposed to just messy/cluttered.

fwiw.........I don't think you can coerce another person into changing esp if you are guilty of the same behavior. Perhaps much better to shame them into changing by becoming the shining example of change yourself.
__________________
kaneohe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 11:22 PM   #38
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,620
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
At least you don't have as much as this guy:
(what do you do all day indeed)
Well, now I have a new goal!

It's mainly in response to the 48-hour hurricane warning or any expectation of a dockworker's strike.

On submarines, toilet-paper hoarding was something that happened about day four of a 90-day patrol. Everyone usually came to their senses about day 75...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2010, 11:37 PM   #39
Full time employment: Posting here.
GoodSense's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 678
Wow! Thank you all for your great suggestions!! There are several that I can implement right away, and some others that may take a while but could be eventually.

I haven't watched the shows about hoarders, but probably should! When I was a realtor, I've seen houses by real hoarders, so I know I haven't reached the height of hoardy-ness so to speak. My living room and bedrooms are more or less normal-looking. It's the basement/garage that are the victims. In fact, my living room is usually so neat that a few of my friends were shocked to see my garage full of things. I get very embarrassed when my friends have to enter the garage for any reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FD View Post
My grandmother was a hoarder, my dad is a hoarder, and I have hoarding tendencies. Our family's hoarding is not the "compulsive" kind, it's in response to perceived shortages of specific goods. My grandmother used to stock up on all the things that were rationed or difficult to come by during WWII. She had an entire room in her house dedicated to food storage.
.
I think FD and I have had similar experiences. My grandma also had a bedroom completely devoted to food storage. It was usually so full of things that you couldn't walk in it. Some food had been there so long there was often moths flying around in that room. I am not blaming my family -- it's just how I was brought up. It could be either nature or nurture. Growing up, clutter was also a major source of friction between my parents, so it's really hard for me to view de-cluttering as an enjoyable activity. I think subconsciously I avoid it because of all the bad memories associated with it. I honestly think my dad is not retired yet because he can't stand all the clutter in their house...but that's another story.

(So yeah, maybe I should see some kind of therapist. There are more skeletons in the closet.)

Thanks for the suggestion about selling things on eBay or Craigslist. I have yet to try it, but I imagine if I successfully sell one or two things, it would get easier.

Scanning things into electronic files is another thing I can get going now! I can start with statements and tax returns. Great idea.

The Peter Walsh method is also excellent. I don't cook that much and don't use even half of my kitchen utensils.

ERD50 and Fuego, I can definitely use your lists/matrix to start.

Harley, I think if I throw away DH's D&D stuff and Star Wars figures, I will be in a permanent doghouse...

Easysurfer, I was just thinking the U.S. economy would totally stall without Goodwill and Salvation Army. People would be too guilty to throw away things are still usable, then they won't buy things, and then businesses will go downhill and factories (in China?) will close.

W2R, I use ALL of the excuses you listed. How did you know that

The good news is that we have finally agreed that we can throw away or donate all VHS tapes! We haven't had a working VCR in 11 years, and we survived. I guess it means we can actually live without VHS tapes. Baby steps, baby steps.

My next targets are old printers and phones. We also haven't had a land line in 6 years, so maybe it's time to get rid of land line phones?

For others I haven't mentioned by name, thank you for your suggestions! I appreciate all of your good ideas. They give me a lot to think about.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving!!
__________________
GoodSense is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2010, 12:47 AM   #40
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,400
I have packrat tendencies and DH is worse than me (he claims I want to throw everything away).

Some things I found helpful:

Book It's All Too Much by Peter Walsh is a good overview.

I also read a book I can't remember the title now about downsizing and moving to a smaller house (we plan to move from a 4500 sf house with 2 garages to about a 2500 sf house).

A lot of the procrastination is that dealing with it can be overwhelming. I didn't hire an organizer but I did clear out stuff and ultimately realized that I was creating more junk by keeping stuff I planned to sell on eBay or that I was going to organize, etc. When we moved to our current house we stored some stuff in teh garage that we had had to keep. Three years later we threw out most of it (not all of it so I don't go by rigid rules on time).

Anyway, we called 1800Got Junk and found them reasonable cost for hauling stuff away. After the first time we had them out we thought we were done decluttering. They have been out 3 more times since then as I realized we had still more stuff we could throw away.

I did realize that many times I kept stuff for memories. I wanted to remember certain things so I kept the object. I've realized that I can often keep them memory by taking a digital photo of the item and then not keep the actual item.

Periodically when my resolve gets away from me, I go and read again about sunk costs.

I do know that if I throw away some items I may well need them later. However, keeping them doesn't really help if I don't regularly use them. Why? When I actually do need the item 2 years from now I will have no chance of finding it anyway.

Photos - I had boxes of photos that I was going to organize and do all this stuff with. I finally sent them to a service and had them all scanned in digitally so they now reside on my computer (and on back ups).

I have found that packing away certain things have often clarified how useful it is. Often after it has been packed away for 6 months or a year it is easier to convince DH that it needs to go.

At one point we needed to get rid of some books and we agreed of how much physical space for books we could keep. DH could pick which of his books to keep or to go but what was kept had to fit within a certain amount of space.
__________________

__________________
Katsmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Food: are you a hoarder/stocker-upper or a daily shopper? ladelfina Other topics 50 03-19-2008 08:26 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:01 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.