Group photo
Author:
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
7/9/16 6:10 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Next section in Chapter Seven "Anticipate Anxiety"
"When I work with people who hoard, I prepare them in advance for some of the feelings that might arise as they go through their things and decide what to keep and what to discard."

"Making decisions about what to do with possessions commonly unearths unpleasant emotions and feelings of anxiety for many people-not just hoarders. It's unrealistic to think that you'll be able to clean and purge without experiencing any kind of difficult feelings, and if you're not prepared to deal with them, it can be even more tempting to give up or become distracted when those feelings arise. What you've been avoiding can be as minor as the anticipated sadness when going through a box of jewelry that belonged to your grandmother. Or it can be less predictable, like the feeling of failure and anxiety you experience when sorting through your financial papers. Just looking at them might make you feel as though you'll never be able to make the right monetary decisions or take care of yourself (which is likely a cognitive distortion).
Moving forward, it's a good idea to prepare for the process of decluttering by acknowledging your vulnerability to accumulating and your difficulty with letting go. Being vulnerable to things doesn't make you a weak person. Everyone has a vulnerability to something, In fact, identifying where your difficulties are and recognizing how they interfere with your life is a sign of strength and courage: It's the first step toward changing the way you live.
Secondly, anticipate that anxiety and unpleasant feelings and memories will surface as you declutter. Knowing that you're likely to experience some struggles - some of which may surprise you - will make it easier to continue toward your goal, whether that is to clear your desk or declutter your whole home. Nobody likes to make tough decisions, and it's tempting to put aside for tomorrow what we don't feel like dealing with today. That's how your home typically becomes cluttered in the first place: You don't want to think about which coat you can live without, so you hang the new one alongside the old ones, to avoid deciding. Do I keep this receipt? The decision to toss a scrap of paper 'shouldn't' be a hard one, but it can be if you have to think it through: What if I need it? And if I don't have it, what will I do? It is usually better to address what to do with your possessions in the moment, rather than postponing each decision and allowing your things to pile up so that you have an entire afternoon's work ahead of you when it comes time to clean. But of course that's not always how it works. The feelings that arise for you will depend largely on how sentimental you are about your things, what symbolism you attach to your belongings, and what cognitive distortions prevent you from getting rid of things in the moment."

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
7/9/16 5:05 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Continuing Chapter Seven...
"The struggle begins when an individual brings an item home. A perfectionist wants to choose just the 'right' place for it, but isn't sure where that right place is. Of course, if the home is cluttered, it's even harder to see that precise place. The person will set the item down someplace 'just for now' until that perfect spot is located, which never happens. With such a high bar, failure is almost inevitable, and can lead to procrastination. She can't figure out where that perfect spot is and it takes too much time to think about it, so she keeps putting it off.
Meanwhile, she is bringing more items into the house and the pattern of disorganization continues as things get dropped in random places, adding to the clutter and perpetuating the problem. The job begins to seem even more overwhelming because now nothing short of rethinking the entire house will make it 'right'. She may start to think, 'Why bother trying to have an organized house if I'm going to fail anyway?' And so the piles and the hoard continue to grow.
Procrastination is not just a problem of time management. It is a way of coping (maladaptively perhaps, but coping nonetheless) with fear and anxiety. The person doesn't get to the projects she needs to finish, or does several less-important tasks to avoid having to do the one she is unable to begin, because she is anxious about doing it right or being unable to complete it. The act of putting things off again and again only exacerbates and confirms her feelings of failure and low self-worth, and is, of course, self-defeating.
Procrastination is possible to overcome, but when combined with the attention problems many hoarders struggle with, it can be extremely difficult for them to stay on task. When feelings of depression surface as well, paralysis can set in, making a bad situation worse.
Of course, for non-hoarders, procrastination can still be a significant obstacle to keeping a neat and organized home. And many of us can relate to the fact that there are many more pleasant ways to spend your weekend than cleaning out the garage. If you're prone to putting things off, it's never hard to find something more fun to do than organizing or cleaning. It's no wonder there are so many of us on the clutter continuum."

Pretty profound stuff, huh?!!!

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
7/9/16 3:39 A

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
CHAPTER SEVEN CLEARING THE CLUTTER
"Habituation Meets Procrastination"
One of the most frequent questions people ask me about my clients is, "How can someone live that way and not realize how bad it is?"
The answer is habituation. A home doesn't become hoarded overnight: the process is gradual, and thousands of small decisions and indecisions about what to keep ultimately lead to a home so filled with stuff that it can become hazardous to one's health. To the person living there, the change isn't dramatic and the environment feels normal. While a person visiting may be overwhelmed by the strong smell of animal urine, the person living there has become habituated to it and barely notices it, if at all. People simply become accustomed to their living conditions.
Habituation can then lead to inertia, and people who compulsively hoard can become somewhat casual about what may well be an emergency. "It's not that bad," "It's a little messy," or "I've been meaning to get to it" are phrases I'm used to hearing, as if we were talking about a few dishes in the sink, rather than bags overflowing with cat feces. Not all people who hoard are in denial about how bad things are, but even those who grasp the gravity of their situation and are alarmed by it feel helpless to do anything about it; if the problem becomes too big, overcoming the feelings of being paralyzed and changing the way they're living feels less and less possible."

"Add to that the very common problem of procrastination, which is impossible to discuss without also discussing perfectionism. People are surprised when I share that many people who struggle with compulsive hoarding have perfectionistic tendencies, and that's in part why their homes have become so cluttered. It sounds incongruous because their homes are about as far from perfect as you can imagine."

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
7/9/16 3:24 A

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
More from Chapter Six, "The Desire to Acquire"
"Shopping for Something You Cannot Buy"
"Some people use shopping as a means of feeling a sense of personal fulfillment, as well as a way to avoid addressing some of life's more painful realities. ...there is more to life than shopping and isolating herself from the world in her bedroom. But you don't have to have a problem with hoarding to use shopping as a means of avoiding difficult feelings or issues in your life. The act of hunting down an item and making it yours is thought to stimulate the chemical pleasure center in the brain, and can leave you feeling a sense of accomplishment, even if it is fleeting. There is a comfort for many people in buying new things, and the social aspect of getting out of the house and becoming part of the crowd at a mall or shopping center can be very appealing. Shopping is mindless and easy, and our desire to acquire beautiful things is a natural impulse. When our lives are emotionally challenging, we can sometimes feel the need to surround ourselves with beautiful objects. It doesn't ultimately fulfill the inner need, but it can be a distraction, at least for the moment.

Unfortunately, it's that very distraction - that temporary hit of pleasure and relief from the pain or discomfort that you're feeling - that makes you want to return to the mall for more. And the more a shopper distracts herself with shopping, the less likely she is to sit with the feelings she's trying to avoid, and let those feelings pass through. The harder road - the one that leads to the Greater Good of the life you want to live - is to face those uncomfortable feelings. Whether it's anxiety, sadness, grief, loneliness, or depression, we can only get past our pain when we address what's causing it. Retail therapy is not the answer."

"Below is a list of activities that I encourage clients to consider doing when the urge to shop strikes. By doing something else, something that may not provide the same escapism but can help you feel better, you'll truly be improving your life, rather than just adding to the clutter. Changing your behavior can help you change the way you think too - that's one of the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy.
~Exercise. If you shop when you feel down, go for a brisk walk, run, or do another activity that gets your heart rate up. Exercise helps you work off excess adrenaline and elevates the levels of feel-good chemicals in your brain. Yoga, likewise, can have as calming and centering effect. Any amount or kind of movement is better than none.
~Meditate. Meditation can decrease anxiety. You don't need to take a formal class. Simply closing your eyes, breathing deeply, and repeating a comforting mantra to yourself can help.
~Go to a cafe or to the library instead of the mall. The social aspect of shopping is a big draw, but you can get that in a more meaningful way by meeting a friend for coffee or taking your child to a storytime hour. You could also go to a bookstore that's hosting a free author event, or a knitting store that offers free classes. Just be sure to leave your credit cards at home and only take enough money for your activity.
~Seek out nature. Drive out to the country, or someplace where you can hike or enjoy the outdoors. Spending time in nature can help calm you and clear your head. Gardening can also serve this purpose, as can a trip to your local conservatory, park or zoo.
~Take a class or join a team with the money you would have spent shopping. If you feel an emptiness in your life, pursuing an interest can help fill that void. Even better, use some of the things you've bought to complete one of the projects you've set aside for 'when you have time.'
~Volunteer. Some people shop because they like the sense of accomplishment or admiration from others that finding a great new item afford them. Look into other ways you can feel that same sense of accomplishment. If it's not work, perhaps you could volunteer somewhere where your skills are appreciated."
*She goes on to say turn to Appendix B for dozes of other activities and I will post them later.
This completes Chapter Six!!


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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
SPARKL3SUSAN's Photo SPARKL3SUSAN Posts: 2,093
7/7/16 11:50 P

Send Private Message
Reply
The last paragraph you quoted from chapter 6 really spoke to me. "Free can be costly." Oh, she's absolutely right about that!! I try to stop myself from taking freebies, especially when I know that it's an item I can't use.

"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

»Susan


 Pounds lost: 24.0 
0
8.75
17.5
26.25
35
TENACBUTTERFLY's Photo TENACBUTTERFLY SparkPoints: (7,840)
Fitness Minutes: (1,416)
Posts: 483
7/7/16 10:19 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Thank you for doing Chapter one for us. It is so me for sure......... emoticon I know I am far behind but I just starte.

Edited by: TENACBUTTERFLY at: 7/7/2016 (22:20)
12/31- 270 1/7- 260 1/14 1/21 1/28- 262.6 2/4 2/11 2/18 2/25 3/4 3/11 3/18 3/25 3/31
God's Riches Blesings upon you.

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
—Lao-Tze


 Pounds lost: 19.0 
0
25
50
75
100
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
7/7/16 5:48 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
CHAPTER SIX
THE DESIRE TO ACQUIRE: PULLING YOURSELF OUT OF HUNTER-GATHERER MODE
"You might be surprised to learn that the thinking patterns of someone who struggles with hoarding are not all that different from what any of us think when we see a new pair of jean or a new gadget we imply cannot live without (even though, of course, we can and given the size of our closets and our electronics collections, and bank accounts, many of us should). Our adrenaline starts pumping, our vision becomes laser sharp, and for a few moments, it's like a scene in a movie where everything goes dark and a spotlight shines on the object of desire, in this case not a lover, but premium denim or an iPad. Neurotransmitters - the chemicals that relay messages from your brain to your nervous system - start flowing, and the gotta-have-it high compels you to take out your credit card."

"Some experts believe the desire to acquire is hardwired in the brain, and to an extent that may be true. Many animals, of course, hoard food in anticipation of times of scarcity, and some anthropologists believe that hoarding might have conferred early humans some evolutionary advantage. Of course, now that we are fortunate to live in a culture of plenty, this instinct (if it is in fact an instinct and not a learned behavior) is maladaptive. We don't need nearly as much as we can lay our hands on." BOY! does this sound like us and food???

"A person suffering from compulsive hoarding has a much more difficult time putting the brakes on his impulse to acquire - and regret, castigation from family members, or even major financial debt are sometimes not enough to outweigh the impulse. Aside from the powerful adrenaline rush and sense of pleasure and achievement that many of us might experience when we 'score' a great deal or find something we like, some researchers believe the pleasure center of the brain may be stimulated during acquiring. Between the impulse control problem, the desire to avoid anxiety, difficulty making good decisions, and powerful cognitive distortions driving the acquisition, the person who hoards has much to contend with when faced with an enticing object. And if the person is inclined, like many non-hoarders are, to use shopping as an escape from the routine stresses of life, loneliness, or other emotional issues, their compulsion to acquire becomes even more powerful."

THE ALLURE OF THE FREE AND THE CHEAP
"People who compulsively hoard, as well as non-hoarders with a clutter problem, do not only acquire their stuff at stores. There's something about items being given away or thrown away or sold for cheap at a garage sale, that entices many people to collect objects they don't need."

"The sense of personal fulfillment and satisfaction that those who compulsively hoard get from 'rescuing' items that others consider useless CANNOT be overstated. Many hoarders feel a sense of excitement and accomplishment by imagining themselves doing what others could not do: finding a use and a value in what is, to most of the world, disposable."

"Free things pose an even greater, if somewhat different challenge to hoarders and clutterers alike. The idea of getting something for nothing, and often something new (a sample or promotional item) rather than secondhand, is hard to resist."

"Free can be very costly" What she means is that freebies-those bottles of shampoo, that airplane sleep mask or the little nail file with the corporate logo at the realty office-cost you in terms of clutter and the stress it can lead to. Clutter in your car, in your handbag, in your office, or in your home creates unnecessary stress because you are unable to find what you need when you need it; important things like receipts and bills get mixed in with all the other stuff and can cost you money if you lose the; and you an miss out on important events, unearthing a baby shower invitation a week after the event has passed. Clutter can also make you feel bad when you see it, because it reminds you of a chore - cleaning up - that provokes anxiety."

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
SPARKL3SUSAN's Photo SPARKL3SUSAN Posts: 2,093
7/5/16 11:52 A

Send Private Message
Reply
"Her ideas seem sound to me and also the idea that it is not so much about the stuff as the reason for the stuff!"

Exactly!!! It's not a matter of "does this item have a purpose?" because to our minds, it certainly does. But in order to make a change in ourselves, we need to examine our motives for buying them in the first place. And as she says, once it's in the home, it's very hard to get rid of it. It's better to not buy it in the first place. I think that's a key point.

On a recent shopping trip, I saw this beautiful necklace that I liked and thought that I'd get. But I stopped myself and told myself that most likely, it will be here tomorrow if I should decide to go back and get it. By putting a delay on it (not buying on impulse) but not saying an absolute no to myself, I was able to move on and not buy it. And I didn't go back and get it. I don't regret it. In fact, I saved myself some money by not buying it. I don't know how often I would wear it anyway.

So stopping to think before acquiring an item is the most helpful. It's a good strategy in retail shopping, but I can see how it could be a problem when you shop garage sales or if someone says they don't want an item and would otherwise throw it away. The idea then is to make a decision in the moment because if you wait, it might not be there. It's an opportunity of the moment. Even so, I believe that if you can pause and think about why it is that you want it, you may see that it's something that would only add more clutter.

She said something about how people (hoarders and non-hoarders alike) can have collections. To a non-hoarder, the idea of a collection is to collect rare items that they don't have, or that would complement the others in the collection. For example, she might collect rare comic books. But a hoarder might also say that she collects comic book, but to her, it doesn't matter whether it's a rare item or would round out a collection; it's just another comic book that was found in some sale. It could be any comic book, even one that isn't worth money. Or stuffed animals -- are they considered collectible, or is it just another stuffed animal, one that you may have no real attachment to (e.g. it wasn't a childhood toy). The author said that to a hoarder, things have more than monetary value; things have personal value. Once something has an emotional attachment, it's harder to part with it.

It's all things to think about.

"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

»Susan


 Pounds lost: 24.0 
0
8.75
17.5
26.25
35
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
7/4/16 3:18 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I agree with you Susan! I am only hitting the high points and leaving out the case studies. I didn't even post this for discussion so much as to describe what the hoarder is and how one clinical person is helping them. Her ideas seem sound to me and also the idea that it is not so much about the stuff as the reason for the 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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
SPARKL3SUSAN's Photo SPARKL3SUSAN Posts: 2,093
7/4/16 8:22 A

Send Private Message
Reply
I thought that the concept of the Greater Good was an important one. Oftentimes in our anxiety we want a quick 'fix' so we buy something that adds to our clutter. By keeping your eyes toward the future, or your 'eyes on the prize' as she more aptly put it, it changes our focus to what's best for us down the road.

Something along that line is that recently when I've gone shopping and see something that I want. Now I stop and think to myself, "Now, where am I going to be able to store this thing?" or in the case of a decorative item, "Do I really want to dust that (when I clean)? It's just one more thing to dust."

Thinking about the Greater Good is helpful to me.

__

I'd like to add, too, that I really like the summaries that you're posting, but now that I've caught up with you in the book, I find that it's most beneficial to read along in the book to get the big picture and read more examples (or case studies) to see how these concepts apply to others (sometimes people just like us) to help them see the errors in their thinking. The summaries are excellent springboards for discussion, but I think it's helpful to read the entire chapter so you can get a better sense of what the author is saying. I encourage those who haven't read the book to pick up a copy at your library or bookstore and at least skim it. It will give you more information so you can participate better in this discussion.

Just my two cents.

"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

»Susan


 Pounds lost: 24.0 
0
8.75
17.5
26.25
35
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
7/4/16 12:37 A

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
She talks about THE GREATER GOOD PERSPECTIVE SHIFT as a concept to help as part of the CBT therapy for people with anxiety disorders. Says "I think of it as a pop-up window in the brain that can give someone a little extra incentive and strength to do the hard work toward reaching her goals."

"The idea is simple, but powerful: At any given moment, when you are making decisions based on avoiding anxiety, it's helpful to tap into your 'Greater Good' - a larger goal that can benefit you or others and that, in calmer moments, you feel is more important than simply avoiding anxiety. In doing that, you can reframe your decision making so that you can opt for bigger, long-term benefits, rather than merely staving off your anxiety in the short term. The Greater Good is a version of keeping your eyes on the prize."

"This way of thinking can be particularly difficult for people with anxiety disorders, or anyone, really, who has anxiety about particular things, as most of us do. People in a state of anxiety see the world differently in the moment than they would if they weren't feeling anxious; they are so worried about unknown future outcomes that they do things in the present to try to control the future, when in fact what they're fearing may never transpire, and what they are doing may not alter any future outcome. More important, they're not enjoying their experience in the present. Anything that will relieve the anxiety seems like the 'right' answer in the moment.
That's because anxiety makes a person's world seem black and white, and so too are the 'default' choices the anxious person weighs: There's 'right vs. wrong' or 'good vs. bad'. As seen through the distorted lens of anxiety, 'good' choice are those that reduce fear and alleviate doubt; 'bad' choices are those that increase fear and introduce doubt. 'Bad' choices are those that increase fear and introduce doubt."

"Because compulsions temporarily reduce fear and/or doubt, they are almost always seen by an anxious person as good choices. But they are only good for alleviating or avoiding anxiety in the moment or short term. They don't serve the Greater Good, nor do they let the anxiety sufferer live a calm life. By introducing the idea that there is a Greater Good to strive for - a purpose or a service that is more motivating than the fear and doubt that anxiety breeds - the person not only learns to acknowledge her anxiety, but to ultimately make more productive decisions, including those essential to overcoming hoarding."

Edited by: IMLOCOLINDA at: 7/4/2016 (15:15)
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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
7/3/16 9:51 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
No problem. I can't tell if anyone is reading the quiz stuff anyway but just think it helps to have them in one spot!

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
SPARKL3SUSAN's Photo SPARKL3SUSAN Posts: 2,093
7/3/16 4:44 P

Send Private Message
Reply
Oops! I didn't think to separate the quizzes and put them in the other thread.

"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

»Susan


 Pounds lost: 24.0 
0
8.75
17.5
26.25
35
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
7/3/16 10:52 A

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Great Susan! tHANKS! The middle part with the question I seperated out into the quizzes and questions section but I didn't include all the distortions. I just got a call from Barnes and Noble and the copy of the book that I ordered is in so I will pick it up on Friday when I take my mom and her friend down there to catch a plane next Friday!

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
SPARKL3SUSAN's Photo SPARKL3SUSAN Posts: 2,093
7/2/16 2:56 P

Send Private Message
Reply
I'm following along with your chapter by chapter summaries. My phone, internet, and cable went out last night when there was an outage, so it gave me a good opportunity to read. My e-reader copy of the book is going to disappear today, I think. The library sent me a reminder a few days ago that it would be gone in 3 days, so today's probably the day. I tried to renew it, but I had to request it again as a hold. It must be a very popular book! I just requested a transfer of the print copy of the book and will get it in a few days, but with the holiday it'll be a little longer than usual. Maybe I'll have it by the end of next week, if I'm lucky.

I think you're doing a great job with your summaries. You're including all of the high points. If you have to return the book to the library and can't renew it, I can help the team by working on summaries and posting them, if it would be useful to the others. Just let me know.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is a good way to tackle those false beliefs that need to be challenged, and it's also helpful for the other issues that hoarders face, such as time management and organization.

Here are some other points from Chapter 5 that I'd like to bring out:

"Because hoarding is a psychological condition that can be exacerbated by loss, stress, or other traumatic events, oftentimes in working one-on-one with my clients, we are able to identify triggers that led to the onset of the hoarding, which is important as we will need to address any feelings and issues that surface as we begin treatment. Together we also identify any environmental issues that played a part, such as growing up in a cluttered or hoarded home."

"A key aspect in working with someone who is struggling with compulsive hoarding is to validate his struggles and to not blame him for his behavior or the condition of his home. It is quite likely that he has been yelled and screamed at by family members, and badgered, blamed, accused, and ridiculed for his hoarding."

"If you are a clutterer, you might find it helpful to ask yourself these same questions.

How has the clutter or hoard impacted your life?

What spaces in your house are not usable for the purposes for which they were intended?

How is the clutter or hoard affecting the people who live with you?

If there are children present, do they invite friends over?

Do you invite guests over?

Do you feel emotionally attached to certain items?

Are you fearful that you will lose memories if you give up certain items?

Do you have any perfectionistic tendencies?

How do you feel your organizational strategies are working?

Do you have a hard time staying on task?

Do you have difficulty making decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of?

Are you afraid that if you give up an item, you will not be able to manage the anxiety you may feel over the loss of it?

If there were a fire in your home, what would you take with you?

If you were burglarized, what would be the worst thing that you would imagine could be taken from you?"

COMPULSIVE HOARDING AND COMMON COGNITIVE DISTORTIONS

"...a list of some common cognitive distortions identified by David Burns, MD, adjunct clinical professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, and how people with compulsive hoarding issues tend to use them. You will notice some overlap.

1. All-or-none thinking (also called dichotomous thinking): You see things in black-and-white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you believe yourself to have failed. People who hoard commonly engage in this kind of thinking, reflecting versions of, “If I can’t keep the entire house uncluttered, there’s no point in trying,” or, “If I don’t buy it now, I’ll never find it again.” Another common distortion I hear is, “If I can’t control my shopping habits, I am a total failure.” Looking at just the first example for evidence that contradicts the distortion, I help the client to see that even though there is clutter in some areas of the house, there might be other areas where there is not. She might say, “Yes, but …” and I’ll ask her to focus on what I’ve just said for a minute, give herself credit for what she’s been able to clean up, and understand that things don’t need to be perfect in order for her to be happy. So tenacious are some of these distortions that it takes a lot of practice and perhaps more than one bit of evidence that disproves the negative distortion to help a person consider that simply because she believes it to be true doesn’t mean it is. I might then ask her to reframe that thought: “I’ve done a terrific job decluttering the living room, and I have a reasonable plan to get to the other rooms over the next week.” It’s the same set of facts, but a different, less defeatist way of looking at it.

2. Overgeneralization: A single negative event seems to you a never-ending pattern of defeat. Someone who hoards might say, “I’m having trouble making decisions about what to let go of. I’m just an indecisive person. I can’t make decisions about anything in my life.” A way to reframe that, once the person recognizes this belief as a distortion, might be, “Making decisions about what to get rid of is particularly difficult for me, but I make good decisions about many other things, such as when to take my child to the doctor or how to handle a tricky situation at work.”

3. Discounting the positive: You reject positive experiences by insisting that they don’t count for one reason or another, and in ignoring your successes, you focus only on that which you haven’t accomplished. Let’s say you did extremely well organizing the bathroom. When someone congratulates you on it, you dismiss it as a fluke, not that you were dedicated, focused, and committed to getting the area in order. In a similar example, you focus on the guest room, which is still full of stuff, rather than acknowledging how you cleared the kitchen and are halfway through with the garage. If your spouse gives you a compliment on how well you did in sorting through a pile of newspapers, you say, “Well, there are still five more piles to get to.” When someone is adept at discounting the positive, I ask that person to stay with the compliment for a minute, and give herself credit for what she did. The fact that there is more to do does not take away from the fact that she did something well. It’s okay to take credit for an achievement, no matter how big or small.

4. Mind reading: You negatively interpret the thoughts or feelings of others, even though there are no solid facts that support your conclusion. You might determine that your spouse is disappointed in you, without verifying this. “My husband said that he thought I was making better decisions while shopping, but he really thinks I’m out of control” is a way a clutterer might misinterpret a statement, giving it a whole new, negative meaning. Or “He threw out something I wanted to keep because he’s trying to control me.” Verification is the best way to poke a hole in this distortion. Asking your husband what his intent was in throwing out the item might well reveal that he thought it wasn’t of value, and simply failed to ask you how you felt about it. By opening these communication lines, you can begin to work together on the purging process and learn what is important to each of you.

5. Fortune-telling: The person anticipates that things will turn out badly and treats the prediction as an established fact. The anxiety that accompanies these dire predictions is called anticipatory anxiety. They anticipate that something bad will happen if they get rid of an item (someone’s feelings will be hurt, or they’ll need it), and to avoid that anxiety, they hold on to it. “If I don’t buy this now, I’ll always regret it” is something I hear very often from people who hoard. Of course, if they always end up buying the item, they never actually test whether or not their beliefs are correct.

6. Catastrophizing: You expect the worst possible outcome and respond to it as if your prediction will come true. It tends to lean toward a highly exaggerated conclusion. I had a client who could not part with a broken towel rack. He said he didn’t want to give it up because although it was broken, and although he had other functioning towel racks, he might need it in the future. He was keeping it to prevent having to experience anxiety attached to the fear that if he did give it up and needed it in the future, he would be rendered helpless by regret. My job as a therapist was to help him see that a broken towel rack would not be useful to him, and if his current towel rack broke, he’d likely want a new one, not a broken one, to replace it. Eventually he could recognize this thought as a distortion.

7. Emotional reasoning: You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: “I feel it, therefore it must be true.” Many people who hoard engage in emotional reasoning such as, “I feel like others are judging me, so they must be.” The person might avoid having people over or asking for help, which leads to isolation and withdrawal. When someone is engaging in emotional reasoning, I gently encourage them to consider that they don’t know for a fact that what they feel in the moment is true. Once a seed of doubt enters their mind, we can test out their theory by asking. Even if they can’t verify what they believe to be true, just the idea that they might be wrong can lead to thinking and feeling differently.

8. Should statements: You try to motivate yourself with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if you can’t do anything without a punitive voice telling you to. “I should have been able to get rid of more stuff,” or “I shouldn’t have so much trouble when it comes to organizing.” “Musts” and “oughts” are used similarly. The emotional consequence is guilt, and a perpetual feeling that you’ve failed. “I should be able to control my shopping,” “I should be able to throw away things that are broken,” and “I should be able to resist a garage sale” are all should statements that clutterers may struggle with. By recognizing these statements for what they are—distortions that compare you against an arbitrary standard that you’re not ready to meet—you can learn to meet yourself where you are in your process. For example, “I have not yet developed the skill to resist garage sales, but will continue to work on it.” Or, “I am still working on healthy ways to make decisions about what to throw away, and I shouldn’t expect myself to know the right choice every time I am challenged.”

9. Labeling: This is an extreme form of overgeneralization, in which instead of identifying an error in your thinking, you attach a negative label to yourself or others, such as, “I’m a loser.” In treatment, I often ask clients to look to a set of rules that work for them designed to curtail acquisition. If a client broke one of the rules, she might label herself by saying, “I bought something on impulse today, therefore I’m a failure.” In other words, she did not simply give in and buy the eye shadow that called to her, but she is a failure as a person because of this one mistake. Mislabeling involves describing an event or a person with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded."



Zasio, Robin. The Hoarder in You: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Uncluttered Life. Rodale. Kindle Edition.

"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

»Susan


 Pounds lost: 24.0 
0
8.75
17.5
26.25
35
SPARKL3SUSAN's Photo SPARKL3SUSAN Posts: 2,093
7/2/16 12:50 P

Send Private Message
Reply
That's a good idea about taking it down to Salvation Army with a note about its working order. Then I wouldn't feel so bad about throwing it away in the dumpster.

"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

»Susan


 Pounds lost: 24.0 
0
8.75
17.5
26.25
35
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
6/30/16 5:18 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
CHAPTER FIVE WHEN IT'S TIME TO TAKE CHARGE

I've skipped over lots of stuff because I can't tell if anyone is reading along with these? Need to return the book to the library so am going to speed through these.,..more so than the first chapters.

CBT AND HOARDING
"Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for compulsive hoarding is aimed at decreasing clutter, improving decision-making and strengthening resistance to the powerful urges to save excessive stuff. More specifically, it is a set of strategies that focus on the factor that maintain the hoarding problem. Some of the strategies address the maladaptive beliefs and assumptions that compulsive hoarders have about themselves or their stuff, and other strategies are behavioral in nature, such as learning to resist a purchase, or letting go of things that are causing the clutter. Still other strategies address problems related to time management, categorization, or organizational difficulties that interfere with one's ability to keep the home in order."
"Cognitive behavioral techniques encourage you to take both a thoughtful and active approach to the negative thinking patterns that can fill your mind. This means confronting the distortions by challenging them and responding in a way that helps you to feel better about yourself. Most people have thoughts about themselves that are disapproving, pessimistic, and even harmful, and if they repeat them enough times, they'll come to believe these thoughts. Without an internal voice to help you explore the possibility that some of these messages "might" not be true, you tend to accept them as if they are fact. Some people's self-esteem is deeply affected by these negative messages, and they might even experience an onset of depression. Others may simply not be aware of them and go through their lives believing their distortions without exploring their accuracy."

"It's easy to see how continually making life choices based on false, negative beliefs about yourself could lead to great unhappiness. If a person believes himself to be incapable of making good decisions about his stuff, for instance, he is unlikely to believe anyone who tells him otherwise and is unlikely to make the effort that would disprove his beliefs about himself. He continues to remain in a cluttered or hoarded environment and goes on believing his truth - that he's a bad decision maker. People who hoard compulsively have many thought distortions around the power of their possessions and what they believe they would feel if they were to stop acquiring or get rid of those possessions - distortions that they believe are the gospel truth - so they keep accumulating, until they are trapped by their things, sometimes literally. Clutterers experience many of the same distortions as compulsive hoarders, but the thoughts are typically less extreme and intense."

"An important concept that clients learn in CBT is that our feelings and our beliefs don't necessarily represent reality. Imagine a time when you believed someone was angry with you and felt terrible about that, only to find out later that she wasn't. Or when you felt certain you'd failed a test, berated yourself for it, and it turned out that in fact, you did quite well. In the moment, it felt real, but it turned out not to be true. Most of us can find many examples of what we felt or believed in the moment turned out to be untrue, or if not completely false, vastly distorted and not serving us well. By identifying these unhelpful behaviors, and feel better about yourself and your capabilities."

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
6/28/16 12:33 A

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I had one last summer that wouldn't oscillate and was short because it wouldn't stay "up" on the pole. I put a note on it and took it down to the Salvation Army. They sold it or gave it away because it was gone the next day!

I kept it a year before I got rid of it...but it did take up too much space and since I had purchased a new one, I didn't need it and either did any of my neighbors. We don't have a free cycle kind of organization where I live because it's too small so dropping it off was the easiest way to find it a new home.

I laughed about your horror about the dumpsters. I got lots of really good stuff the first of every month when I lived in an apt complex in Chicago. We didn't have those kind of rules so people left stuff they weren't going to move. I got a desk, lamps, a papasan chair, some great outdoor chairs and table! When I bought my new house I moved all of it with me.

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
SPARKL3SUSAN's Photo SPARKL3SUSAN Posts: 2,093
6/27/16 7:51 P

Send Private Message
Reply
Case in point: I recently bought a new fan, the kind that's on a stand and oscillates because my old fan of the same style is broken. It still works, but I can't adjust the height and it won't oscillate anymore. I think it would be a waste to throw it away since it does work. I do have a box fan, too, so it's not like I don't have any other fans in the place. And this is just a 2-bedroom townhouse, so it's not like I have very many rooms that might need a fan.

I just think it would be wasteful to throw it away, so there it stands in the hallway at the top of the stairs. It stands there as I decide whether it stays or goes.

If I lived in a house, I could put it by the curb and put a piece of paper on it and write "IT WORKS!" and somebody who could use it could see it and take it. It probably wouldn't take long in this heat for it to go. But here in my apartment complex, we have dumpsters. And we're not allowed to set things beside the dumpster -- it has to go in the dumpster because the garbage truck picks the whole dumpster up and dumps everything in their truck. They won't pick up anything that's beside the dumpster because that would require manpower. We get written up if we set things beside the dumpster. So when people get ready to move and look over their stuff and decide that they're just going to get a new sofa when they move, their sofa has to go in the dumpster. Old mattresses have to go in the dumpster. EVERYTHING.

"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

»Susan


 Pounds lost: 24.0 
0
8.75
17.5
26.25
35
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
6/27/16 12:22 A

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
End of Chapter Four
..."While you may not be living in physical peril, you may not be living comfortably either, let alone enjoying the life with your family you work so hard for. Physical clutter yields emotional clutter, which gets in the way of your enjoyment and can be very stressful."

"The good news here is that if your cluttering is impacting your life in a negative way, it is possible to change the way you think and consequently change the way you interact with your stuff, which will result in a less cluttered environment. One common thought distortion I encounter with clutterers is, "I'm just a disorganized person, so there's no point in trying." This is a thinking error that holds many people back from reducing their physical and emotional clutter. When I treat people who have these thoughts, I help them to look around and recognize that it's probably not true, and replace that belief with a more helpful way of looking at things: "There are areas of my house that are not disorganized, and therefore labeling myself as disorganized is not an accurate statement" ."

"Changing the way you think changes your behaviors, which further reinforces a belief system that will keep you on the right track. This is the basis of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which has helped many people with compulsive hoarding and is equally effective in those with a less extreme problem. With CBT, small changes yield big results, which are rewarding in themselves and help you to perpetuate your positive behaviors. You'll find ways to do this in the coming chapters."

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
6/22/16 12:36 A

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
More on waste and environmentalism....
"When is it wasteful to get rid of something that in theory could be used for something else?"

Are you wasting space and opportunity for something useful or beautiful by keeping the item?
Is it a waste of emotional energy and time that you spend debating getting rid of it?
"Add the worthwhile desire to be environmentally conscious into the mix and the decision-making process - to throw or to save or to redistribute through donation or recycling - gets more complicated. We hear so much about overcrowded landfills and recycling and reuse, and of course there's too much garbage in our disposable society. It makes it very difficult to throw anything away that's not rotting or utterly useless, even if you have no plans to use it. But is it any better to treat your home or your yard like a landfill? Instead of throwing away excess things, we simply keep them, store them, stockpile them, and only very occasionally use them. The end result is a house full of clutter, and that, too, is a waste!"

"It's very hard to accept the idea that not everything we have will be used and that some of it will, necessarily, be 'wasted'. It makes people terribly uncomfortable. Some of us feel as though we are being ungrateful for all that we have, because after all, there are people in the world who have much less. By not valuing what we have, the logic (which is of course, not logical at all) goes, we do not care about those people who have less. Are we frivolous and impulsive? Will others see us as such? All of these negative thoughts and distortions swim around in a person's mind when they consider getting rid of things, and lead to the anticipatory anxiety an fear of letting things go."


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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
6/19/16 10:35 A

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Waste and Environmentalism
"The concept of waste - "It would be a waste to throw that away" - is one that my patients struggle with mightily, as do many of us, particularly these days, when reduce/reuse,recycle is a way of living responsibly. Besides, we all want to feel that we've made the best use of an item we could, especially if we spent money on it. If we didn't use it thoroughly and thoughtfully, it would be a double waste, both of our hard-earned cash and of the item itself.
But there are many ways to be wasteful, and not all of them are as straightforward as throwing something perfectly good into the trash can. It may feel wasteful, for instance, to toss old notebooks that have some blank pages left in them, so you keep them. But they sit on the shelf looking sloppy, with shreds of perforated paper sticking out of the spiral. They are eyesores, and if you're not using them, they are wasting space that could be used for something else that actually is useful. You tell yourself you're saving them for the day your grandkids come over and need paper for coloring and doodling, but your grandkids would rather play video games than sketch in your old notebooks.
So is it truly a waste to get rid of the notebooks? Recycling is an option, as it donating them to a school, for instance. But if you're never going to get around to doing that (to recycle them you'd have to tear the pages out and dispense with the metal spiral), the notebooks cluttering up your desk and the self-recrimination involved for not doing something more productive with them is a waste in itself. This is emotional clutter, on top of the physical clutter."......

"Add the worthwhile desire to be environmentally conscious into the mix and the decision-making process - to throw or to save or to redistribute through donation or recycling - gets more complicated. We hear so much about overcrowded landfills and recycling and reuse, and of course there's too much garbage in our disposable society. It makes it very difficult to throw anything away that's not rotting or utterly useless, even if you have no plans to use it. But is it any better to treat your home like a landfill? Instead of throwing away excess things, we simply keep them, store them, stockpile them, and only very occasionally use them. The end result is a house full of clutter, and that, too is a waste."

"And of course, the biggest waste that comes from "not wasting" is when a person is harmed as a result of having too many things."


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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
SPARKL3SUSAN's Photo SPARKL3SUSAN Posts: 2,093
6/14/16 8:28 A

Send Private Message
Reply
I read something somewhere that described one degree of hoarding as having the presence of "goat trails" in your home -- little paths that are carved out to get from point A to point B, and are treacherous to maneuver. I have "goat trails" in my place. A couple of years ago, I tried to go on my goat trail while carrying a filled grocery bag (the paper bag kind, so it was obstructing my line of vision). I stumbled and got a deep gash on my lower leg when I scraped against the sharp corner of a low table. It wouldn't stop bleeding, and I finally went to the Emergency Room because I thought I needed stitched up. It turned out to be just a laceration, but the experience really showed me how dangerous these little goat trails are.

I was so disgusted that I didn't see that little table. It was an old printer stand that I had been holding onto. It was a low-lying stand with casters on the bottom. It was the kind of stand with the slit in the stop for the green and white computer paper to feed through. (Yep, I'm that old!) It wasn't a very practical table to use, so out it went to the dumpster! I didn't want that to happen again.

Today I might work on that goat trail and see what I can do to at least widen the path.

"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

»Susan


 Pounds lost: 24.0 
0
8.75
17.5
26.25
35
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
6/13/16 3:34 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Glad you found the book at the library. I just re-checked mine out for another 30 days. It's helping me to go through it and post parts of chapters...just to reinforce it in my own mind. Today I have to finish up the continuum and I am sure I am in the next group!!

"BORDERLINE HOARDING
Your Home: Things are getting out of hand. If you have a pet, you can tell immediately because the litter box needs to be changed or there's hair covering the furniture. You may have a problem with ants or roaches in your kitchen because dishes sit around too long and food isn't properly sealed. You have rooms in your house that you don't really use because they have become storage areas for projects, equipment, and just plain "Stuff". Your desk is piled high with papers and receipts and the corner of your rooms and the bottom of the staircase contain piles or shopping bags full of things that you've been meaning to get to, like the hand-me-downs to pass along or other things to donate. You're not swimming in stuff - your hallways are passable - and there's o physical danger, but things are quite chaotic and it's not uncommon that you might step on some papers or kick a box aside in an attempt to get where you're going.
Your Habits: You have close friends over, but if there's a book group meeting, you try not to have it at your house because you're a little embarrassed sand feel you don't have the time or energy to clean up. You have no good systems for organization, and what's more, you have a lot6 of stuff, and your valuable things are on the shelf right next to less valuable items. You don't go through your things and get rid of unused items, preferring to just move them up to the attic or down to the basement, where they sit and sometimes get ruined from the dust and possibly even mildew. You love your pets, but sometimes you don't take the time to clean up after them. The messier the house gets, the less you feel like dealing with it, so you don't."

"As you can see, there are degrees of clutter and much of what is tolerable for a person depends on how much stress the clutter causes her and her family. And of course, if more than one member of a household has cluttering tendencies, things can quickly get out of hand.
Number 5, the Borderline Hoarding, begins to head into the mild range of compulsive hoarding, depending on the degree to which the individual's belongings get in the way of the rest of his life, how much strife it causes at home, and how anxious that person feels when asked to get rid of things.. The more intense any of these factors are for an individual, the further along the continuum he is."

Now another quiz on 10 ways clutter can cause stress...see it under quizzes.

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
SPARKL3SUSAN's Photo SPARKL3SUSAN Posts: 2,093
6/13/16 7:15 A

Send Private Message
Reply
Yes, I'm reading this. I borrowed the book from the library in Kindle format to make it easier for me to pick it up and read it, but mentally, I just can't bring myself to open the book up and read any of it.

I'm glad you're posting summaries of each chapter.

I'm a person who could easily be defined as living in controlled chaos. That description fit me to a "T." A big problem of mine is my inability to make decisions about where to put things. Many things don't have homes, so they sit around as clutter. I don't know if I need to create more storage space to make homes for these things or just get rid of a lot of it.

Several months ago, I did a bit of sewing. When I finished, I know I put the needle and thread and my sewing scissors in a large ziploc baggie, but heaven help me, I can't find it now. Usually I have general areas where I put things, but I can't remember where this went! That's just one example of things that are "missing in action." Typically, if I can't find something, I end up buying a duplicate and eventually end up with two items when the first item is found.

"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

»Susan


 Pounds lost: 24.0 
0
8.75
17.5
26.25
35
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
6/12/16 11:08 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Clear and Clean; Your Home: You cannot stand clutter and your home looks perfectly orderly, with very few personal effects visible and those that are on display neatly arrayed.
Your habits: You tend to think long and hard about any purchase or item before bringing it home. You dispose of or put things away as soon as you think of it...ask yourself why you should keep something rather than why you should throw it away.

Neat but Dynamic: Your home. There's a place for most everyth8ing, and odds are the coats are hung on their hooks and the shoes are in the area by the door. Your bathroom is clean but you have more products and things around that you use everyday.
Your Habits: You like a functional house, but tidiness isn't mandatory at all times. You like to relax in a low-stress environment when you get home.

Controlled Chaos: Your house has "areas" for things - a coat area, a toy area - rather than a place for every item. There's a lot of stuff visible, such as piles of children's artwork, as bookshelf with double rows of books and photo albums piled on top and a crafts table with bins of supplies and stacks of half-done projects. If you have pets, they are well cared for, but there might be pet hair on furniture, and occasionally you can smell them. Even when your house is neat, there's a killer closet somewhere that if opened could cause a small avalanche.
Your Habits:There's a lot of life in this house, and you would rather spend your time doing things - projects, cooking, reading or other activities - than cleaning and organizing. Not enough time is taken between activities to properly put things away before the next project is started, and not every possession has a distinct home. There are organizing systems - bins, usually - but things are not generally returned to the right bin, and there is not a regular schedule of sorting through things. You procrastinate on going through items and making decisions, although you're not particularly sentimentally attached to your stuff - you simply think you might need it. Every so often you get frustrated with the state of your home and go on a cleaning and organizing spree.

Clutter Crisis: Your home: No one would call you someone who hoards - you can still walk through the hallways, and you can sit on the sofa without having to remove items - but there is stuff all over the place: piles of unread magazines by the easy chair, evidence of dinner having been eaten at the coffee table (because the dining room table is covered in piles of paperwork), shoes strewn around various rooms, coats draped over the back of the couch. Your kitchen is a bit out of control - your refrigerator is stuffed with food (some of which should probably be thrown away), and you've been known to resort to paper plates because you've run out of clean dishes. The bathroom could use a good cleaning, and your bedroom has piles of clothing on the bed and floor because there's not enough room in your closets to store what you own. If you live with others, you have heard about how your clutter impacts them negatively.
Your Habits: You feel like you are just too busy and tired when you get home to deal with your house, and so you treat it a bit like a hotel - in, sleep and out. You'd like it to be cleaner and better organized - you don't have one place where you put your keys every day, for instance - but the thought of dealing with it on the weekends is just too unappealing, so you clean what's important (the kitchen and bathroom) but never get around to putting much away, except perhaps, when you're having company. You also have lots of stuff - you like to shop, perhaps, but you don't give much thought to what you should get rid of when you bring new purchases into your house. You often can't find things you need, which causes you stress. Every so often, you'll power organize one area, and then lose interest in the rest of the house.

Finally there is borderline hoarding...but I have to run so will add it in the next post tomorrow or Tuesday. Is anyone reading this?




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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
6/9/16 2:18 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Chapter Four : PLACING YOURSELF ON THE CONTINUUM
1. Clear and Clean
2. Neat but Dynamic
3. Controlled Chaos
4. Clutter Crisis
5. Borderline Hoarding

I'll come back in a couple of daze and fill in the descriptions!

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
6/9/16 2:14 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
"The place to start for any family member or friend of someone who hoards is to set aside judgement. That is not easy to do. Compulsive hoarding is such a visible problem and one that affects each family member personally. But we all have things we fear being judged upon. What's more, remembering that compulsive hoarding is not a choice is critical, as is remembering that this problem is only part of the person you care about. The person who hoars or clutters is just not "a hoarder" or "a clutterer". She may also be a good friend, as terrific baker, loving grandmother and countless other things."

"The second thing to do is to educate yourself about the condition of hoarding, as you are doing now, which will go a long way in helping you to better understand the complexities of this condition. Understanding those who hoard, and how the behaviors and resulting chaotic environment can create intense feelings of shame, guilt and embarrassment, can help you approach the person with compassion and patience, and convey how you feel without anger."

"The third thing is to anticipate that helping someone overcome her clutter problem, no matter where she is on the continuum, will likely be frustrating for both of you at times. The forthcoming chapters will outline ways that someone who struggles with cluttering can improve her situat6ion. You can't fix the problem for another person, no matter how badly you want to and in fact, it is to important that the person with the hoarding or cluttering issues learns that she can work through it herself. Your role is one of support and cheerleader. She must be in charge of her own process or any improvements in the home will not last."

"Finally, be prepared to compromise. Your goal, if you're helping someone who hoards or anyone who clutters, is to find that middle ground where you can both be comfortable."

>>>"One of the many ironies of this condition is that the person who hoards feels like she would be giving up control if she allowed others to make decisions about her stuff. By keeping herself surrounded by stuff, she believes she is retaining control. But her environment is so out of control that her sense of control is simply an illusion. It's like someone with OCD who washes his hands over and over again to feel a sense of control over impending disease, but who is clearly controlled by the behavior."

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
6/9/16 1:16 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I live in a small town in a remote area (actually all of Montana is remote) so those services aren't available here at any cost. I do know what you mean though! I have a friend whose sister is supposedly a great organizer and hoped that she would come here and stay with her sister and help me out for a couple of weeks. But her husband was ill and is now in hospice so maybe it will be a good diversion for her when he dies. I am just chipping away, although much more slowly than I'd like. Seems like no good deed goes unpunished and I just keep ending up with more 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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
SPARKL3SUSAN's Photo SPARKL3SUSAN Posts: 2,093
6/9/16 8:59 A

Send Private Message
Reply
Several years ago, I contacted a professional organizer who would come in for a free introductory hour. I contacted her through email; I never met her or spoke with her on the phone. I set up a time for her to come in, but I cancelled at the last minute because I felt so ashamed with myself for letting my place come to that point. She emailed back and assured me that there's probably nothing she hasn't ever seen before, but she accepted my cancellation and said she'd be happy to come when I was ready. The thing is, I never felt ready.

I have located a company of professional organizers who deal with hoarders. I am so tempted to call them and just get this done, but I hold off on calling them. I tell myself that the #1 reason is cost, but deep down I know that it's shame that is holding me back.

"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

»Susan


 Pounds lost: 24.0 
0
8.75
17.5
26.25
35
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
6/7/16 10:13 A

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Hope you checked out the 2 lists of what to say and what not to say to a clutterer. I thought they were great. More from Chapter 3 about "Familiarity Breeds Contempt"
"While it might seem logical that someone would value the opinions of the people they love and cherish over those of a stranger, as certain amount of familiarity can breed contempt when it comes to this kind of constructive criticism. Perhaps the person who has difficulty with clutter feels that his family member has ulterior motives, like wanting to control him, or that the family member is not perfect either so has no right to criticize. Family relationships are very complex, with histories and repeated patterns of behavior that can complicate what appear to be simple issues on the surface. In the case of a professional like myself, the relationship is more businesslike and so less emotionally complicated. Unlike a family member, who has a stake in the situation (she wants to live in a cleaner environment), an outsider provides objective distance on the situation. Of course I care deeply about my clients' welfare, and do everything I can to help motivate the to begin living cleaner, happier, clutter-free lives. But at the end of the day, I can go home."

~~~So I have had no luck in finding someone to help me. A couple people offered by I was too ashamed to let them in and didn't trust that they would not tell everyone how awful it was. Even here on SP there have been comments made in blogs about how lazy hoarders are or how horrible they must be to live that way. And I tried a couple times to hire people who advertised to help with organization but they thought it was too big a job for them. That set me back, too, because it is so hard to ask for help and then to be rejected made it embarrassing and even harder to reach out. Anyone else had this experience?

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
6/2/16 2:40 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
More from Chapter 3 which is written to help those who live with hoarders to better understand them.

"Even though compulsive hoarding is a psychological condition and not willful behavior, the children and spouses of those who hoard can't be expected to have endless patience. This isn't necessarily a bad thing because quite often it's the family's push to set boundaries that makes the difference in getting someone help. But there's a fine line between putting constructive pressure on a person who hoards to face her issues, and expressing negative feelings that will only drive the person further into isolation and cause greater rifts within the family.
By the same token, there's another fine line between being patient and nonjudgmental toward a person who hoards (both of which are absolutely necessary if you want to help the person) and being so patient that you enable and adapt to their way of living and don't vocalize your own needs. In fact, many people who live with hoarders simply give in to the situation - they don't even see the point in cleaning up after themselves after a while. The hoarder's mess is going to engulf them in any case, so why bother?
If you live with someone who hoards or who has a problem with keeping clutter under control, it's important to bear in mind that the mess is only a symptom of a deeper psychological issue. The individual might have attention problems that manifest themselves in an inability to finish a project, or he might struggle with procrastination and perfectionism. These are not things that are easily overcome, no matter how frustrating they are to the people you love."
Then on to the 'Quiz' Section for "10 Least Helpful Things You Can Say to a Clutterer"


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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
6/1/16 9:29 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
More from Chapter Three
"...there are so many complex dynamics, resentments sand unresolved issues that feed into the sufferer's behavior. I try to remind family members that while I understand why it seems like the sufferer is 'choosing' his stuff over family, it's not a straightforward choice. Compulsive hoarding is an illness, not a preference. No one goes to high school thinking he can't wait until he graduates so he can fulfill his dreams of hoarding. It is a condition, like alcoholism or depression, that leads people to behave in ways they wouldn't otherwise and make choices that someone who is not impaired by the faulty reasoning of the condition wouldn't make. Expecting someone with hoarding to simply wake up one day and stop acquiring and clean up their house is like expecting an alcoholic to wake up one day and stop drinking. (Compulsive hoarding is not considered to be an addiction per se, but the condition does involve compulsions, as do addictions; sufferers do take pleasure in acquiring and find it extremely difficult to stop, despite the negative consequences.) Even though we think of cleaning up after ourselves as a normal and natural part of life, for some people it truly is not, and it can be extremely difficult to learn even if the person wants to."
See the Quiz "Does Your Clutter Cause Conflict?"

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
5/30/16 11:30 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Chapter Three "You Love Your Stuff More Than Me"
"Like many psychological conditions, compulsive hoarding is one for which many people don't generally seek help until they are forced to or after they have hit rock bottom. A sufferer will often live in a deep well of denial, stepping carefully over heaps of belongings, sometimes enduring health-threatening conditions in an environment that prevents other from getting close to her. It's hard to imagine what could feel worse than that, what could bring someone further into the depths of despair, so that she finally feels motivated to get help.
What 'rock bottom' looks like to an individual is subjective and varies according to a person's circumstances. It could be that her home is at imminent risk of being condemned; the state or municipality is looking closely at removing children or pets from the home for their own safety; or, more often, her spouse or children are so frustrated and so scared for her safety that they deliver an ultimatum: It's us, or your stuff."

"A Whole Family Problem" "If you're not a person with a hoarding problem, it is understandable that yo might find it truly baffling and infuriating when your needs and concerns aren't considered by a loved one who hoards. It's hard to watch someone seem to 'choose' piles of what most people would consider to be garbage over you."

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
5/29/16 11:20 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Still in Chapter Two and that's where the first quiz came from. Thanks to all who read through it and answered!! emoticon

This section is "Why We Save What We Save" and it has several sections and then "Challenge Yourself and Take Action" suggestions. I'm just going to run through the sub-headings and not get into what she says...
1. Memories, Both Positive and Negative
2. Eras of Our Lives
3. Our Past Selves
4. Aspirations
5. People Who Are No Longer With Us
6. Periods of Dearth
7. Achievements
8. Punishment
9. Possibility in General
10. Security

Then the next section is "What Your Stuff Says About You" and it also lists several "common items that create clutter in people's homes.
1. Books
2. Periodicals
3. E-mails, texts and voice mails (this one surprised me??)
4. Records, bank statements and paperwork
5. Shoes, handbags and clothing
6. Jewelry
7. Children's things

And then there is another quiz!! So head to the quiz section!!

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
5/28/16 3:32 A

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
More from Chapter Two 'Our Love Affair with Stuff'
"When people...who have an overwhelming urge to acquire bring home their latest acquisitions, they have great difficulty making decisions about how to incorporate the items into their home. Even if they if they have no use for them, they want to hold on because they 'never know if it will come in handy one day.'

I'm often asked where the line is drawn between what's 'normal' in terms of acquiring and clutter and what is compulsive hoarding. Many people who do not suffer from compulsive hoarding do have what we call hoarding tendencies, or behaviors that are common among people who hoard."

"To an extent, that line is subjective and unfortunately, many with this condition lack the ability to see or acknowledge that their live are, in fact, impaired by the way they live, even it's exceedingly clear to their loved ones."

"Added to the struggle many of us, hoarders and non-hoarders alike, have with keeping our lives organized and free of clutter is the perception that the answers to many of our problems are available at the local mall, on sale, while supplies last. Ubiquitous advertising and marketing messages lead us to believe that many items or fabulous luxuries can instantly improve our lives: There's nothing that can't be solved by purchasing the right item or newest gadget."

"Many people who struggle with hoarding acquire and shop to try to deal with emotions that they don't otherwise know how to manage."

"Everyone has a tough time parting with his or her possessions to some degree. What distinguishes people who hoard from non-hoarders is just how difficult they find it, and how many items the person has difficulty parting with. Many non-hoarders regularly toss unnecessary items, clean out closets and donate or make gifts of things they no longer have any use for. Not engaging in these kind of cleaning and purging activities often enough to keep your home free of clutter - to the point that it makes a storage space or room unusable - is a hoarding tendency."



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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
5/27/16 5:03 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Oh emoticon !! You did find it. That will be coming up about the environmental impact of decluttering!

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
KSGROTHE's Photo KSGROTHE Posts: 4,596
5/27/16 5:42 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
"Problems with organization, categorization, and attention contribute to the hoarding behavior"
- and -
"Still other hoarders have trouble with procrastination."
both apply to me.

Also, although I understand and sometimes think about how I spent money on something and I should find a way to use it, I have also found myself worrying about throwing stuff away because of something I haven't seen mentioned here yet -- the impact to the environment. I feel guilty throwing things like personal hygiene products or cleaning products that I don't use or are old because I worry about that environmental impact.

I will say that I have found myself buying less than I used to, thanks in part to being able to download cheap or free ebooks (I have a weakness for books), but also because I just don't want to add to the clutter. (I can't say my husband is the same way - he loves shopping on Amazon!)



- Karen

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." -- George Bernard Shaw



 current weight: 268.2 
268.2
246.15
224.1
202.05
180
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
5/26/16 9:42 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
OK, when I was marking passages in the book to share I left out the specific patient/client and just went with what she said about the resolution of the problem. I usually thought the first paragraph in the next section and the last in the summation were the most significant parts. I did not pay attention to how it would be to re-read these and what might strike me when I was typing them up. The last line "script the future" is exactly what I have been doing lately in buying things for my friend Mark and for my mom to use on her cruise.
emoticon


Edited by: IMLOCOLINDA at: 5/26/2016 (21:44)
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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
5/26/16 9:38 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
More of Chapter Two, Our Love Affair with Stuff
" The Hoarder's Perspective"
"Now imagine experiencing the allure of what I just described in the drugstore or in Staples, but magnified by thousands. People who compulsively hoard see value, the potential for use, and meaning in many, many more things than the rest of us do, and because of the anxiety they experience about these objects they often make impulsive decisions about what they need in the moment. This goes for people who shop in stores as well as those who scavenge at garage sales and rummage through what others have put out on the curb as trash. Most people would look at a stained, frayed old chair with the stuffing coming out, the laminate peeling off and a leg messing and see an item that isn't worth refurbishing, even if it's free. A person who hoards, on the other hand, might see its essential form as a chair and a chair is something someone - anyone - could use. He would minimize the chair's structural and aesthetic problems or even view them as challenges that it would be exciting to overcome. It's a form of excessively distorted optimism, both about the item's potential value as well as the amount of time sand energy the person who hoards must devote to making it useful. People who hoard often script the future, but the script is typically not a realistic prediction."

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
5/26/16 9:11 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Here we go with Chapter Two "Our Love Affair with Stuff"

..."However, the proliferation of cool, new and often mass-produced and affordable stuff makes it easy to have much more than we need, or even more than serves the benign purpose of making us feel good. I think of it as analogous to obesity in this country. There's nothing wrong with enjoying food and having treats, of course. But unlike our ancestors, who had to search and work to acquire food, which often required extreme physical exertion or travel over great distances, we live in an environment where food is readily available almost all the time, even in the most unusual places. When we stand in the checkout aisle of Staples with our toner cartridge, it's hard to resist grabbing a giant jar of pretzels or bag of chips. The availabiliyt of relatively cheap, high-calorie food everwhere we look isn't th only reasson people are overweight, but it certainly contributes to the problem.
The same goes for material goods. How many times have you walked into a drugstore for one or two items and walked out with half a dozen? It happens to me frequently. Perhaps you truly needed more than you thought you did when you entered the store, but odds are you bought an item because it seemed like something you might need, it was a good deal, or it was just plain interesting (gee, I wonder if that pedicure egg-shaped foot callus scraper thing I saw on TV really works?) The next thing you know, you have lots of stuff that you didn't set out to buy and that stuff comes home with you, cluttering your bathroom. It seems a waste to throw away something that you spent good money on, and so oftentimes, there it sits, even if you don't use it. Almost all of us have far more than we need or could use. That has become the norm in our fortunate, relatively wealthy society."

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
5/26/16 12:48 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
The heading for this section is "Who falls into Compulsive Hoarding" and there is a bit of discussion about whether it is nature or nurture.

"Generally speaking, behaviors consistent with hoarding develop early in life, yet people don't often to seek treatment until their fifties. This condition is believed to affect men more frequently than women, although in my clinic, I find that more women than men seek help. Compulsive hoarding appears to become more pronounced later in life, probably for circumstantial reasons. For instance, when someone goes to college, his hoarding tendencies tend to be contained because he's living in one room or with a roommate whose irritation with the clutter helps him keep it in check. Later, perhaps when he meets someone and gets married, and the presence of a partner initially has a positive influence. Eventually, though, a person's loved ones come to accept as certain amount of clutter - Dad is really into tools and has taken over the garage - and, like the hoarder himself, become habituated to the environment."

A Condition, Not a Character Flaw
"The hardest part about my public role in helping people who suffer from compulsive hoarding is the judgments that are heaped upon them. On online forums on compulsive hoarding and my own Facebook page, I've seen people who lash out, calling those with compulsive hoarding cruel and hurtful names, from crazy to lazy and many in between. Are some hoarders lazy? Of course. But so are many non-hoarders. You can be both lazy and have mental health issues. I have met many people with this condition who want very much to get better ad improve their lives but simply don't know how and/or cannot do it alone.
There is also evidence that people with compulsive hoarding have brain chemistry abnormalities that impair their ability to make rational decisions. Snjaya Saxena, MD, professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and a world-renowned neuropsychiatrist specializing in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and his team have used positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to discover distinct patterns of brain activity that are associated with compulsive hoarding. Their studies suggest that compulsive hoarders are more likely to have mild atrophy or an unusual shape to their frontal lobes, which is the part of the brain associated with executive functions and decision-making."

"We are all on a continuum when it comes to our relationships with our things, from the mild to the extreme, and we all experience varying degrees of distress because of it. That makes intuitive sense, but has also been studied under controlled conditions. . . One survey (commissioned by Rubbermaid, which makes containers for organizing) found that 91% of people are overwhelmed by clutter in their homes at least some of the time., and half don't have friends over because of it; 88% wish they had less clutter. In addition, 57% reported feeling 'stressed' and 42% are 'more anxious' when their house is unorganized or cluttered."

Okay, like I said, this is only just portions of what she writes and I have taken the liberty to just copy what seems the like 'meat' of the pages. This is the end of chapter one and next we'll head to Chapter Two. I hope you are getting something out of this. I certainly am!! emoticon

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
5/26/16 12:12 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I have that perfectionist thing going on too. It results in me 'spending major time on minor things'. I can't just wipe off the stove. I have to take it all apart and clean the oven and so 3 hours later I look around and think I didn't get 'anything' done. That is what happens to me with the cleaning/deluttering part. The other is that I just can't find the perfect place for it or make a 'good' decision so it just sits by the door becoming the bottom of yet another pile!

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
SNOWDOESIT Posts: 2,312
5/26/16 10:25 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I love that the procrastinator/perfectionist thing is pointed out. That describes me perfectly and it's always been something that has confused me horribly!

Name: Snow (yup, it's my real name)
Location: Wisconsin, USA - CST
Black Panther Team - BLC


"I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work." – Thomas Edison


 current weight: 219.0 
219
201.75
184.5
167.25
150
SPARKL3SUSAN's Photo SPARKL3SUSAN Posts: 2,093
5/25/16 10:52 A

Send Private Message
Reply
I like this! I'm learning a lot! emoticon

"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side." ~ Victor Webster

»Susan


 Pounds lost: 24.0 
0
8.75
17.5
26.25
35
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
5/24/16 9:24 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
More from Chapter One

"To break it down further, information-processing deficits can make it difficult to make good decisions about what to bring into the home and what to let go of. As a result, for compulsive hoarders,there is an excessive accumulation of objects that begins to take over, room by room. Dysfunctional beliefs about the worth of their stuff further prevent them from discarding or letting go ('I can fix it'; 'Someone may want it'; 'If I let this go, I will regret it.';), ultimately resulting in their keeping and holding on to more stuff than the house can sustain. Problems with organization, categorization, and attention contribute to the hoarding behavior, and it's not long before the house is no longer functional, personal safety is compromised, and relationships are impacted."

"The disorganized thinking that is characteristic of compulsive hoarding is partly what leads to the inability to make good decisions about what to keep and what to toss, or whether or not to acquire something in the first place. Oftentimes a hoarder has difficulty paying attention or staying on task, and may even be suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Other people who hoard might have problems with categorization, meaning they have a difficult time sorting their possessions into types of objects, and so deciding what to do with each item becomes incredibly time consuming and feels overwhelming."

"Still other hoarders have trouble with procrastination. That's another irony: Many people who hoard are perfectionists who are paralyzed into inaction because they cannot decide on the ideal place to put something, and a a result, their homes are the farthest thing from perfect. The anxiety they experience when they consider that they might put an item in the 'wrong' place, or in trying to decide what the 'right' place is, makes them avoid dealing with the item altogether."

"Not surprisingly, people who hoard also often have symptoms of depression. This is understandable, when you think of what their environment and sense of powerlessness does to them: Having a home that isn't presentable can lead to shame, social isolation, and loneliness. Even if a person is clutter blind, he often knows on some level that the way he lives is not how non-hoarders live, and so he avoids having people over. What's more, when the halls and stairwells of a home are so cluttered that there's no room to walk around, the opportunity for physical exertion is very limited, leading to sluggishness and in many cases the worsening of health problems, which in itself can lead to compound depression."

Good stuff? More tomorrow! We're still not done with Chapter One!!

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
5/24/16 1:03 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Still in Chapter One and glad that you are finding things that speak to you!

"I believe we can all benefit from gaining a better understanding of this condition and how it's treated, even if your house has only an average amount of clutter and mess. It's easy to see how clutter...can interfere with your life in very practical ways, and cause you to waste many hours of your week searching for things that you need. It can also make it difficult to be calm and present and enjoy your life to the fullest, and cause unnecessary stress and frustration."


"Because we are all on a continuum of clutter, it can be helpful to know more about what compulsive hoarding is and how the condition manifests. Surprisingly, it was not until 1996 that psychologists Randy O. Frost and Tamara Hartl proposed a theoretical framework to describe hoarding. In their model, they suggested that people who hoard experience a combination of information-processing deficits, distorted beliefs about and emotional attachments to their possessions, and difficulty with organization."

I'll be back with more later today. I need to get ready to go to 'work'!

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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
SMIDGON's Photo SMIDGON Posts: 5,544
5/23/16 7:28 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
My problem is I was an only child. So, when both my parents passed on, I inherited everything, down to every dust-bunny!

those were my childhood memories. Also things that belonged to my parents as children, their parents and on back.

I have given my children heirlooms and such. My one daughter apparently sold her things on ebay and other places. NOw I tell them they are obligated to keep it until I am gone


Some furniture I tag on the back of article their names, etc..





"All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord, and are called according to His purpose."

Romans 8:28

~+~ Janet


 current weight: 159.0 
181
168.25
155.5
142.75
130
PROVERBS31JULIA's Photo PROVERBS31JULIA Posts: 5,434
5/23/16 6:11 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Fits me to a T. And when I tell people I'm this way, they all dismiss me like I am crazy for thinking I have a problem.

She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.
Proverbs 31:17


 August Minutes: 287
0
30
60
90
120
IMLOCOLINDA's Photo IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 32,662
5/23/16 3:20 P

Community Team Member

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Chapter One : Pack Rats, Clutterers, and Compulsive Hoarders
Here Robin starts off with a client who is a compulsive hoarder. She describes her as a "Level 4 (out of 5) on the Clutter Hoarding Scale, asn assessment tool devised by the National Study Group of Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD) in St. Louis."
www.hoardingconnectioncc.org/Hoardin
gS
cale.pdf

You can use the link to read about the levels if you are interested.

"..."compulsive hoarding, an anxiety condition in which individuals are simply unable to prevent themselves from accumulating and saving oftentimes shocking amounts of stuff, most of which an outside observer would consider useless garbage. Some 3 million people in this country are thought to compulsively hoard, but I believe that number is a gross underestimate due to the shame, guilt, embarrassment, and fear that prevent many people from seeking help."

" 'How did things get this bad, and how can a person live this way?'
The answer is complicated, as complicated as the minds of people who suffer from compulsive hoarding, a condition that can lead to severe isolation, depression, and physical degeneration, as well as interfere with someone's ability to earn a living and function in society. One reason people can live like that for so long is because they become habituated to their environment. That is, they simply get used to it - they adjust, accommodate to it, and work around the obstacles. Randy O. Frost, PhD, who studies compulsive hoarding at Smith College, calls this symptom clutter blindness. It's an apt term, because those who hoard often do not see what the rest of us do when we look at the same pile of stuff. They see lots of useful possessions or rooms that are 'a bit disorganized,' while we see complete chaos and mountains of randomly collected items. It's a problem of perception."

"I think the majority of us see a tiny bit of ourselves reflected in hoarders. And as you'll soon discover in the chapters to come, the way hoarders think about their possessions is in many ways not terribly different from the way non-hoarders approach the stuff in their lives. (For the purpose of this book, I will refer to people who are not suffering from compulsive hoarding, but who have a problem with clutter, as "non-hoarders" or sometimes "clutterers." I can't tell you how many times I've asked my clients why they can't get rid of an individual item, and their answer is, "Because I'm afraid if I throw it out, I'll need it in the future." On other occasions I hear, "Because it would be wasteful to get rid of something that could still be used," or "This item was given to me by someone I love, and I don't feel right about throwing it out." Those are very common reasons to acquire or keep things - who doesn't think some version of those thoughts when going through his or her belongings?"

Edited by: IMLOCOLINDA at: 5/23/2016 (15:20)
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!


 August SparkPoints: 5,282
0
750
1500
2250
3000
Page: 2 of (2)   1 2

Report Innappropriate Post

Other Hoarding - More than Simple Clutter Books on Hoarding Discussed Posts

Topics:
Last Post:



Thread URL: https://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_messageboard_thread.asp?board=31472x26306x64405124

Review our Community Guidelines