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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 33,790
3/26/19 8:58 P

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pulling this one up. has some good stuff

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 33,790
6/25/16 12:50 P

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Check out some of the quizzes and questionnaires on the book forum!

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 33,790
11/21/15 12:44 A

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You might find some inspiration in reading through some of the posts here? I get a weekly (sometimes 2) message from a place called 365 Days and that thread is updated weekly. I know that some of those things, like just taking it at a slow pace and setting the timer for only 10 minutes have kept me going when I was really feeling swallowed. I am still digging but make progress every day...some daze it really IS only 10 minutes.

I just finally put a bed together that I bought over 14 months ago. I had it stored in my garage so was just lucky that no mice got in and chewed and pooped on it or no water leaked in after spring rains. I have boxes that have not been unpacked since my husband died and that was in 2000. I am working on it at a pace I can deal with. Some daze get depressed that I don't do more or that I continue to buy even when I shouldn't. I have no answers but it does help to check in weekly and see how Julia is doing or the others who occasionally post!

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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KITTYF54's Photo KITTYF54 Posts: 7,845
11/20/15 11:57 A

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two years ago, I was taking care of my dad, 1500 miles from home. When he passed, I shipped 15 packing boxes home. since then I've recognized that was a mistake but it's part of me emotionally, and I still don't know how to do differently.

my home is swallowing me up and it's become a real millstone around my neck. I used to have three rooms with floor space to move around in and three with paths. now they all have only paths. I'm failing at this.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6


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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 33,790
9/17/15 1:54 A

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Definitely feeling like a hoarder much more than a clutterer as I try to dispose of so much of the stuff that fills my life!

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 33,790
3/20/15 12:28 P

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www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?po
st
=declutter_your_home_in_31_days
This was posted in today's spark mail. It really is much more about clutter than about the hoarder that some of us are. I laugh when I read these - although they have great tips, just not that helpful to someone like me with SO MUCH STUFF!

The best cure for stressing is to count your blessings...and a long walk won't hurt either!

Never give up what you want the MOST for what you want at the MOMENT!


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MISCHIEFBOI's Photo MISCHIEFBOI Posts: 2,208
3/19/14 3:14 A

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Simply for me, clutter is a controlled mess. Tis on the fringe of the room and can easily be organized, pick-up, or stored. Like a pack rat.

Hoarding, on the other hand, was the OMG, what the f@ck! when I walked into this house.
If I turned side-ways at times and started climbing, I could make it to a couple of rooms.
Sad thing is MULTIPLES of Everything.

Let's put it this way. It took me 3 MONTHS to clean a hole to put my garbage bag with clothes. I got tired of running outside daily just to dress.
It took me 6 MONTHS to make a path and clean out a place for the 6 boxes from the truck of my car. All my stuff, mostly books. The boxes of everything I have are still sitting cut off in that corner. I can't even get to them if I tried.

I've been here going on 6 years. There is still no room for me anywhere. None of my personality. Nothing. DO you know what that feels like? emoticon
Yes, I've repeatedly have cleaned and hauled. I even had a girlfriend (don't ask) at the time help me for months. Every single time, the person I've chosen to spend my life with, has filled it up that same day. So much money wasted.

It is impossible to keep anything clean properly, which drives me around the bend.

To me, that's the difference between clutter and hoard.

The Wolf Credo:"Respect the elders. Teach the young. Cooperate with the pack. Play when you can. Hunt when you must. Rest in between. Share your affections. Voice your feelings. Leave your mark.

FRACTUREDSPHINX's Photo FRACTUREDSPHINX Posts: 15
9/17/12 2:24 P

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I think there is a very fine line that separates those with clutter from hoarders. It is possible to move from one side to the other. I've done a great deal of that. I tend to get very upset when called a hoarder. My mom used to call my a junk collector the thing was I knew where every single thing I owned was down to each piece of paper. That was pre-head injury. Now I don't always know where I am so keeping track of my things is beyond difficult.

I receive services because of my TBI (traumatic head injury) and a former service coordinator used my belongings as a means to control and belittle me. Hence my strong reaction to being called a hoarder by anyone. I worked through several books on hoarding with one of my counselor and learned what hoarding was, what causes it and how it can be very slowly overcome. At that point in time I wasn't a hoarder but I had the tendency towards it. Some of the things that lead to hoarding are problems with decision making, organization, and I forget what else.

I have since fired that service coordinator. I was doing very well and had clutter. I have 5 bookcase but give away books that are not by authors I collect. My apartment had a lot of stuff since I have inherited family vases and other knick knacks that I switch-out having only a few on display at a time. I actually do the same with my books. I box up 2-3 author every 6 months and bring out the ones that were in storage. I try to keep it at clutter but then life happens .....

I moved to a downstairs apartment. During that time I had severe vertigo and was using a walker. Then I was gone for 2 weeks because my mom had a knee replacement. When I was back in my apartment full time I started a day program 2 days a week but worse One aide who I had worked with since the beginning became erratic, hostile and finally quit telling the agency I was refusing to work on my goals. The only things I refused to do were fire my aide that she wanted fire and put my cat's cage outside. Before she quit she took all my boxes that needed to be unpacked and stuck them in my storage and left all my totes that were all ready to go into storage sitting in my dining room. My closet and bathroom are the only rooms completely unpacked. She put nails to hang curtains instead of using the hardware I had in the same bag as the hammer and nails she used. My other aide became somewhat erratic, not working her full 20 hours, so I was left trying to deal with unpacking alone. I replaced the one who quit with a great woman but she has been unable to work as much as she should because her daughter was seriously injured in an accident and will be joining me on the voucher. I also needed to find a bunch of my art supplies because I will be having a table at the Provider's Fair this week.

AS you my have guessed all that chaos has spread out across my apartment. I tell people if they want to know what is going on inside my head look at my apartment. When I am happy and doing well my apartment shows it and when I am completely rattled and don't know what way and up you can tell. I do get rid of stuff but I have a system where I have 3 piles things move from the table to pile one. Go through pile 1 get rid of stuff and move the keepers to pile 2 and so on until the stuff makes it to my files.I have to go through papers at least 3 times or I end up with all sorts of stuff that I can't remember why I kept it so I am afraid to get rid of it because I must have had an important reason to keep it if it made it into the files.

I had a grammy who collected rooms, closets, hallways full of stuff. We once found 27 winter coats in one closet. She did send boxes to the missions but only when her closets held no more. Another bedroom had skeins of yarn piled on the bed almost to the ceiling. The rest of the room had bags of books, she was supposed to read and pass on to the next family member, Christmas gifts that were too good to use and a rack plus piles of clothes. Still another bedroom had boxes piled along every wall 3-4 feet high full of fabric, started quilts, started garments. The room with the coats also had more wool blankets and other linens than an army would need. She had enough food either bought, frozen, canned from her garden in the basement to feed a family of 5 for 1.5 -3 years. She raised 11 children through the Depression and WWII as well as grew up very poor. I learned that fear of not having what I need, of being without. I learned her anxiety.

Strangely when I was in control of my hoarding, back when I knew where everything was, hoarding, extreme cluttering had a different effect on my weight. When I was in control of where each paper was I was also extremely thin, 140-150 lbs lighter than I am right now. Now I am out of control with my belongings and my clutter/hoarding massive amount of stuff and my weight is the same way. I need to lose 100 lbs to reach the weight the dr. has designated as the healthy weight for my height, and age. I need to find a happy medium for my belongings. Not the controlling anorexic but not the stressed out binger either.

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SUNSETINAZ's Photo SUNSETINAZ Posts: 1,624
3/8/12 9:17 P

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Also true for me appears to be more weight and more stuff go hand in hand up 3 pounds in stuff and weight - dang.
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I have to remember - take care of myself/take care of my space.

Change yourself. You are in control.

Happiness is when what you think, say, and do are in harmony.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Check out our Spark Team: Hoarding - More Than Simple Clutter

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www.squalorsurvivors.com/index.shtml
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www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7059/20-insp
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SUNSETINAZ's Photo SUNSETINAZ Posts: 1,624
7/24/11 4:34 A

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How's this for procrastination?!! Almost a year to reply.

I am finding as I lose stuff, I am also losing weight. Or maybe it's as I lose weight, I am more able to lose stuff. Hmmm - chicken? egg?

I am also closer to my better half, letting go of more of my fears of closeness.

The connection of all three is the need to protect myself.

After all of these years, I am finally aware I really can feel good about myself and have less reason to hide. I don't have to be perfect anymore...human is good.

I'd love to hear where each of you are in this journey.

Lynn

Change yourself. You are in control.

Happiness is when what you think, say, and do are in harmony.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Check out our Spark Team: Hoarding - More Than Simple Clutter

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ndividual.asp?gid=26306


www.squalorsurvivors.com/index.shtml
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PEEKINGOUT's Photo PEEKINGOUT Posts: 5,381
8/7/10 9:44 A

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I read a blog post a few days ago by Simplythebest4 that helped me understand my clutter/hoarding.

Here is the line that clinched it...
"Accumulating stuff is similar to accumulating my weight. It's been a cocoon of safety. It's been my safety net for not taking risks, for handling rejections, for keeping others away, for keeping hidden."

This totally applies to my home and my body. I remember in high school being too curvy (39-25-39)and the unwanted attention I got. I put on weight to keep them away. Turns out I couldn't stop the attention until I went past the "overweight" designation to "obese". By then it was a habit to stuff myself and my home to keep people away. So why have I not been able to release this safety net surrounding me after getting married and having children (which added more weight and more clutter)? I'm almost 60 and I think it is time to say I don't need the extra safety of stuff and weight anymore, I need a healthy environment and body now. I know I really have to internalize this to make my mind believe it.

Has anyone else done this and can share how releasing their protective "surroundings" and weight affected them. Was it scary? I know I lost 18 pounds from May through July and my mind could not accept it. I subconsciously wanted it back! Why? After all the work to lose it? What am I afraid of?

Here is the link to the blog post I read.
https://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public
_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=3503173

So the difference between clutter and hoarding? Clutter is just temporary over-abundance, consumerism over-done or lack of keeping up with papers and clearing out periodically. Hoarding is an emotional attachment to the papers and stuff. It is more in your mind. The "what if I need it someday" type thinking. What will keep me safe no matter what happens. What am I worried about or afraid of? Will these things around me offer solace or take me further down the rabbit hole?

~Suzie

Edited by: PEEKINGOUT at: 8/7/2010 (09:47)
~Suzie~
Pacific time zone

Remember, you're creating your future right now.


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REDHEN689's Photo REDHEN689 Posts: 51
7/31/10 11:06 A

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The title of this thread is "How IS hoarding different from cluttering?" I read that question and was struggling with what the diffences are. Then when I was cleaning out the kitchen last evening I realized I have lots of aluminum pie tins and plastic frozen dinner trays around. Sometimes those things come in handy, so it might be acceptable to have one or two around or maybe even 3 but not 20! lol. They are gone.

(A few years ago I found that those dinner trays are handy for small painting projects.)
Back to work.

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6/24/10 1:40 P

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Mama_Picante you are right about the fear of being without being part of it. It also acts to insulate us from hurt by keeping barriers between us & others. There are so many layers to hoarding & each of us has some of the same ones but we also have some that are uniquely ours. We will be here for you. Carol

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MAMA_PICANTE's Photo MAMA_PICANTE Posts: 452
6/21/10 9:01 P

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yes u can be a hoarder and clutterer or hust one of them. I am unfortunately BOTH! What I am finding to be a big difference is that hoarding comes from a fear or several fears of maybe like food (scared your not going to have anything to eat later in life... now... still working on this question and will find out more as my journey goes on.

Help me with this what I have come up with so far? what are you thinking?

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6/16/10 9:20 A

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I read her story & it gives me hope that I can learn to manage my hoarding. It is nice to know some one as learned how to control the urges & be able to help others. Carol

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SUNSETINAZ's Photo SUNSETINAZ Posts: 1,624
6/11/10 6:31 A

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I just reread TigerSpirit's story.
I learned managing hoarding is a journey. Stress can bring back hoarding tendencies.
And though it's a long process, there is hope.

What do you think of TigerSpirit's story?

Lynn

Change yourself. You are in control.

Happiness is when what you think, say, and do are in harmony.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Check out our Spark Team: Hoarding - More Than Simple Clutter

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ndividual.asp?gid=26306


www.squalorsurvivors.com/index.shtml
365lessthings.com

www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7059/20-insp
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SUNSETINAZ's Photo SUNSETINAZ Posts: 1,624
7/21/09 9:17 A

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I just reread TigerSpirit's story and it is amazing!
Thank you for inspiring me and sharing very clear steps to overcoming hoarding.

Change yourself. You are in control.

Happiness is when what you think, say, and do are in harmony.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Check out our Spark Team: Hoarding - More Than Simple Clutter

www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=26306


www.squalorsurvivors.com/index.shtml
365lessthings.com

www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7059/20-insp
iring-quotes-from-mahatma-gandhi.h


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SUNSETINAZ's Photo SUNSETINAZ Posts: 1,624
3/17/09 8:48 A

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That's such a powerful sharing.
Your story is inspiring.

Thank you.
Lynn/sunsetinaz

Change yourself. You are in control.

Happiness is when what you think, say, and do are in harmony.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Check out our Spark Team: Hoarding - More Than Simple Clutter

www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=26306


www.squalorsurvivors.com/index.shtml
365lessthings.com

www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7059/20-insp
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KASHMIR's Photo KASHMIR Posts: 14,533
3/12/09 1:28 P

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Thank you for sharing your story!

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TIGERSPIRIT's Photo TIGERSPIRIT Posts: 1,424
3/12/09 8:31 A

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If I didn't know the why, I think I would have been stuck in a rut.. continue hoarding until outside help intervened.

I would say it was a good decade, because I WAS stuck in the rut of being a hoarder, only because I didn't know where to begin to change.

I was still tempted to bring stuff home, but the garage was full to the brim, I remember barely able to get the door closed it was that full. Going into my unit, you couldn't find the chairs or any other furniture for that matter because of what was piled on top of them, in front of them, behind them and around them.

There WAS only a thin pathway from room to room, and even then, the spaces were more like stepping stones in a garden.

3 things finally intervened. The stress of the area (or lack thereof) was beginning to make me sick, and also to attract bugs which was the 2nd thing. Ironically, my worst fear is roaches, and, as you can imagine, this place was roach heaven.

The 3rd thing was where I lived was Dept. of Housing property, and they bullied me and threatened to evict me if I didn't do something about the place.

So I started taking small steps.

The first thing I stopped doing was buying. At the time, I was also a shopaholic, if something was on special, I'd buy it. So I created a rule, I'd ask myself first, "Do I REALLY need this? Is it something I'm really going to use as soon as I get home? Do I have a place for it at home?" If it was a yes to all the questions, I'd buy it, but it cut my shopping down drastically, so that I only bought maybe 1% of what I used to buy.

The 2nd step was to stop 'rescuing' items. This was tougher. I hated seeing things go to waste, and the thought of people throwing out things that could still be useful really broke my heart, and around here, people will upgrade their appliances, and they WILL chuck out stuff even if they are still in perfect working order.

The 3rd step was even tougher. Get rid of items sitting around the place that I'm not even using. Rubbish was easy, but what to do with excess clothes, books, etc...

About this time, I discovered freecycle. That site is a Godsend to hoarders! If, like me, you don't have the heart to throw something out, put it on offer.

I became the freecycle queen. I have gotten rid of car loads of stuff through freecycle, even things that you think other people wouldn't want:- empty jars, egg cartons, cardboard boxes; magazines; pieces of string (considering there's a good collection of these and they're big enough to be still useful), even odd sock, and clothes with holes find new life as other people's rags to pick up dog sick.

Giving up so much stuff voluntarily, I was finally able to enforce the last rule that I learned on.. I think Oprah: "Be Ruthless"

When I'm in my garage,and my emotions kick in as I go through a box, and yes, it still does, I tell myself to be ruthless, and I find it's easier to get rid of stuff when I realise I don't know everything I own, and someone out there needs this stuff more than me and I'm not using it.

Then finally, as I mentioned in another topic here somewhere, a neighbour pointed out to me (and this only happened a couple of months back) that there's a website called flylady.

Well, when it came to cleaning, I didn't think there was any hope for me. But flylady teaches baby steps, what a person can do in just 15 minutes at a time, and they make cleaning fun. And thanks to that site, for the first time in my life, I'm actually maintaining a clean space.

In the past, I was the master of hiding stuff to make a place inspect tolerable. I didn't just stuff things into cupboards. I'd wipe of table loads of stuff into large boxes and bags,and stuff it all downstairs in the garage, and the fight the garage door to close again (on a much fuller garage) [much to the amusement of the neighbours who witnessed this]

5 minutes after the Housing inspectors leave, the place would be messy again with more stuff!!

In the past, my rule for washing up was when the cupboard is empty and no more clean cutlery, plates, cups are left, I know it's time to wash up. Nowadays, it's just a swish and swipe after meals, and there's NO washing up!

To tell the truth, I don't thing I'll ever stop being a hoarder. I still collect magazines and newspapers and whatever I find on the street.

But my place is like a rotating door. What gets rescued on the street, is exchanged with a profuse thank you from another freecycler who happened to be just desperately looking for what I just happened to have found!

Another reason why I believe that hoarders don't have to be clutterers.

Sorry about the length, but you did ask my experiences. lol

Oprah did a special once. People who are hoarders, REALLY DO have to look at why they're hoarding. Most often, it's insecurity, most often, it's the need to build a wall around yourself, and also, it's because you don't think you're anybody, until you got something other people want, and when you're poor and can't afford to buy, that WILL drive people to scavenge from the street.

I used to be ashamed of what I do, but it's quite funny around here, twice a year when we have council clean up days. You should see all the people in cars and pick up trucks, driving around, looking at the piles, salvaging beds, doors, chairs and an assorted variety of repairable furniture. Can't say I blame them, with the cost of furniture in shops nowadays, scavenging is definitely the cheaper option.

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SUNSETINAZ's Photo SUNSETINAZ Posts: 1,624
3/12/09 7:53 A

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Tigerspirit,

Thank you for your reply. Sharing your experience does an excellent job of clarifying several points.

I applaud the pride you feel about keeping the common areas not only livable, but clean. You truly are a tiger spirit!

How many years after you realized you were a multi-hoarder did it take before you were able to fight the temptation to 'rescue' items on your walkabout?

You have a clear understanding of the root of how you became a hoarder.

Do you think you could have been equally successful in changing your behavior of facing the temptation to hoard if you didn't know the 'why'?

emoticon
sunsetinaz/Lynn

Change yourself. You are in control.

Happiness is when what you think, say, and do are in harmony.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Check out our Spark Team: Hoarding - More Than Simple Clutter

www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=26306


www.squalorsurvivors.com/index.shtml
365lessthings.com

www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7059/20-insp
iring-quotes-from-mahatma-gandhi.h


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TIGERSPIRIT's Photo TIGERSPIRIT Posts: 1,424
3/10/09 5:09 A

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There are hoarders out there who aren't clutterers.

But those are specific hoarders. People who are obsessed in only one item: i.e, everything royal, or pigs, coasters, posters, basically one item, and everything related to the one item. They can organise these as they collect them so everything has a place either on a wall, shelf or whatever.

But to me, although an overcrowded shelf will appear as clutter to some, not to me, that just shows the person has character, provided there's a theme (as mentioned above) behind the overcrowding.

But when items collect and start to hinder with floor space in a room, where you have to create a thin pathway to get from A to B, or if you look at a room, and it's contents stress you out, that's a sure sign of clutter.

I was a multi hoarder. And I know why.

When I was about 12, my family left everything behind to travel around Australia. At the time, I thought I was ok with it although I missed some personal items terribly, but later on in years, I realised it affected me more than I realised when I started cherishing everything I gained not wanting to get rid of anything.

I'm much better now in that at least I dispose of rubbish, and when I go walkabout, if I see rubbish in the street (like on clean up days), I may still be tempted to look at the pile, but I'm no longer tempted to 'rescue' everything I see. If something does have practical value, I MIGHT consider taking it home, but that has to be something I plan to use every day and not just put aside for later.

I can finally see my kitchen now. It's spotless, and empty, and pretty. The loungeroom is tolerable, the bathroom is nice. The bedrooms still stress me out, but my biggest nightmare is still the garage,and I won't be able to relax fully until that garage has been emptied out from at least another ton of items.

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SUNSETINAZ's Photo SUNSETINAZ Posts: 1,624
3/10/09 4:40 A

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emoticon emoticon emoticon
You can be a clutterer without being a hoarder.

Can you be a hoarder without being a clutterer?

This is the place to reflect about the two concepts: hoarding and cluttering

You can use this as a blog on one or both.

You can throw out a thought or question.

See what others think.

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