Living with a compulsive hoarder cannot be easy.
I came across this series of photos posted by a college student living in his mother’s home.
Â She is a compulsive hoarder, seeing this pictures and his comments to them really makes it all real. I could feel his pain just looking at them!
It’s something to think about if clutter is a problem in your life - it’s a problem for you children too.
I’ve often wondered how many bad tempers and negative attitudes are caused by to much clutter overwhelming children’s minds.
(these may take awhile to load, some of the comments by others has swearing just to let you know :0)
Overcoming compulsive hoarding disorder is not easy, as you will have seen if you watched Oprah the past few days.
But the rewards are almost as overwhelming as the clutter, as you could also see by the reactions of all the members of the family involved.
Â Peter Walsh had some really helpful comments about how to dig yourself out if you are having a hoarding or clutter problem.
- Start Small. If you do one bag of garbage and one bag to donate per day, you will have 14 bags out per week.
- Stop Inflow. Extremely important not only to help you clear it out, but to keep it that way. Replace things as you use them, not before.
- Respect the limits of your space. This goes along with stop inflow. If you don’t have room for it or can’t organize it, don’t bring it into the house.
- Ask yourself, does this help me live my BEST life.
- The biggest step is the first step.
- Focus on moving toward the things of value rather than the things that have cost so much.
- You choose the stuff or your life. A choice you need to make EVERY DAY.
- Live now. Don’t save things for the future or keep things from the past that do not serve you fully.
- Constantly think of the vision you have for the room and stick to the limits.
I made a few observations while I was watching the show.Â I noticed that work areas and centers where created (a tactic skillfully utilized by Mimi Tanner in one of my favourite ebooks Declutter Fast) BUT extra storage spaces where not created to house overflow. Any overflow was out. (maintaining limits)
I came away with quite a bit afterÂ watching todays Oprah so I’ve posted the main points here.Â
I can tell you, while I was watching it, I couldn’t sit still. I had to declutter something!
A FEW KEY TAKE AWAYS FROM THE SHOW
It was interesting, because as they mentioned on the show, a little at a time, after awhile you don’t notice it anymore, you BECOME ACCLIMATED TO CLUTTER.And there I was looking around the livingroom with new eyes, and saw the corner right beside the TV as if for the first time.
The interesting part is that I had known it was a “rough spot” but honestly didn’t think there was much I could do with it, that it was full of things that “had” to be there. After having a better look, I managed to make it much better, then got rid of a few other things that I had been procrastinating on moving where they belonged.
They mentioned that the big mistake most people make when getting overwhelmed with clutter is to look at the clutter. You need to LOOK AT THE VISION of what you want, what it will be like when it is gone…what it is costing.
By the end of Oprah today, it was clear that there had to be some hidden causes of Compulsive Hoarders Disease. They are going to be tackling that tomorrow, I can’t wait to see what they come up with. A few theories arose for today - empty nest syndrome, loss of loved ones. But what is the issue behind that?
Have you got a theory?
I have a few. I thought of empty nest syndrome right away myself. I wonder if there are any stats on that. But everyone with empty nest does not ruin their home with “stuff”. It is a time when things should have been a piece of cake with grandchildren to enjoy.
Especially if it’s you!
I am not a compulsive hoarder (hey, isn’t self denial a common trait? hmmm).
Seriously, I definitely could get rid of more things, it’s an ongoing thing around here, but I am long past the point of feeling attached to my clutter, in fact I have swung the other way and have developed a physical aversion to it.Â
To be honest,Â the aversionÂ was always there and made me miserable, I just have become more aware of it, have seen “the other side” and that is where I’d rather be. But that is another story.
As I was watching this very well put together video, I did recognize myself in some of the wisdoms plastered across the screen. Actually, many of them.
“Inside The Secret Life of Hoarders” is the topic of Oprah tomorrow, so I wanted to give you a heads up, in case you might want to watch it.
Â From the preview shot, I would guess that it’s going to make most of us feel like a neat freak! Very interesting…
Â If you are looking for something good to read meantime, I stumbled upon this blog when doing a little searching on hoarding - Confessions of a HoarderÂ - Eyes Wide Open. This blog entry is especially interesting because it tackles an issue that I believe to be key in the battle against clutter.
After awhile we really just don’t see it the way other people do because we become accustomed to it.Â Read the post to see what he has to say, it’s short but makes a very good reminder.
I have long suspected that there is a complexÂ psychology behind persistant clutter.Â
And now I’ve found it!
Dr. Ragan has put together an amazing blog that explores so many aspects of clutter that are not generally spoken of, as well as techniques to “get your head around it”.
The blog entry that led me to his blog was about Adult ADD. I am becoming more and more convinced that this is a condition we are becoming moreÂ naturally inclinedÂ towards as our attention is divided between so many things.Â
We have become so accustomed to NOT FOCUSING our attention on things to completion, that we are out of the habit, so it has spilled over to our lives, even when we are free to do as we please.
I have my own name for it, it’s called “split brain syndrome”. I noticed it myself around the time that my second child was born, and I’ve been getting more “split brained” with every new addition to my life - large or small. That is why I am becoming a firm believer that simple is good!
My fridge is also a challenge for me, since I started planning meals, it has been easier, but it still falls through the cracks sometimes.
My husband is gone away to work quite a lot, then home for a week or two at a time. During one of his “home times” I had bought a bottle of juice that I use to perk up my water bottle but I didn’t realize that it was sweetened with aspartame.
Not only do I not like to drink it, I really don’t like the taste of it, so I told everyone to drink that one and then forgot about it (they don’t mind it and I didn’t think one bottle between them all would hurt).
Wouldn’t you know it, it gets shuffled to the back of the fridge and left there, can you guess what is coming?
A new article has been posted to the Queen of KAOS @Home article directory called “Kick Clutter to the Curb”.
It’s about how your mindset affects how much clutter you collect, and how to get rid of it.
All it takes is one little word.
Kick Clutter to the Curb
I am having one of those days that things seem to be quite in order so I want to use the time to take it to the next level.
Since decluttering is the absolute key, I have found through too many years of merely moving things around, I decided that this is the perfect day to take the ebook “Declutter Fast” for a test drive.
And I am so excited by the methods (you can choose from a few) that I had to post here and encourage anyone who is drowning in clutter to join me (or even if you are not drowning in it, I have gotten most of mine out of the way but there is still room for improvement, it seems to have legs of it’s own and just invites itself in!)
You can grab your own copy any time at Declutter Fast and get it out of your way once and for all.