Friday, 21 August 2015

My dad's books killing us all softly

Hoarding can be fatal when you cannot get to your first aid box. A few years ago my brother cut his finger when attempting to cut an over cooked (poorly cut) pizza (it was ordered not my cooking). The hoard got in the way when the first aid box could not be located. I headed for the medicine cabinet but there were no plasters let along a bandage, that or I could not see them. Chaos followed, what with me the guardian of three teenagers in a house and unable to see very well in the first place and me cursing the stupidity of my brother and the junk in the way (i am a lot calmer person now). 5 minutes later we found a first aid box; it,had fallen in between the abyss of books now mushrooming their way onto the living room.The wound was bandaged up but it was still a trip to the hospital. OK so the hoarding didn't kill anyone but it stressed us out by not being able to access what was needed in an emergency. That's got me thinking;where is the fire extinguisher....

Friday, 14 August 2015

A quote for a hoarder

If you live with a hoarder the problem is not quickly remedied by telling them to get rid of their belongings; they have to sincerely have the intention,  plan and then action. After much introspection the hoarders attitude and outlook has to change. I love this quote.
“Stuff has gotten a lot cheaper, but our attitudes towards it haven’t changed correspondingly – we overvalue stuff” – Paul Graham
Get more inspirational quotes at:
Enjoy August and may it become easier for your hoarder to overcome the obstacles to become clutter free.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Five years on

So i am going to review the goals set then
 the blue and purple fonts are from previous years
Despite starting this blog over three years ago and moving out of the hoarder home it still has a deep impact on our relationship and health. There have been some solutions and at times it seems my dad is regressing.
Every January I take stock and review the hoarding related new year resolution:
 look back and reflect, take stock, make plans and ACTION!
2012- resolution and review
2013- resolutions and review
2015-  review in August
1.BE more organised with storing MY belongings- it sets an example- 2012 RESOLUTION number 1. 
I actually take little control and it shows. I have had to move again and need to buy a wardrobe to keep my stuff
Does stacking folders in a corner count? I tend to have "a home" for most things: books in correct places bills in folders etc.

2.REFUSE TO BUY BOOKS-borrow from library! I barely had time to read this year so this is an easy one to stick to but i what will do is review every 3 months what books/leaflets i don't need. I will buy second hand books.
I did not buy any books this year! Not had the time. This is one resolution I stuck to. My dad has some interesting autobiographies.
This is so easy- i don't have time for fiction and any new cooking recipes i get from magazines, newspapers and online.

3.Continue to persuade to dad to get rid of useless books-who needs a book on idioms from 1956 or "A dummies guide to Windows 95"-nobody wants them! apart from a computer book antique collector? (if one exists)  Getting there- need to think of more tactful ways of helping dad.
Dad has been very moody and it has been like walking on eggshell around him.
Cannot persuade dad to donate to charity shop; he just cannot part from them.

4.Continue to state how the book collection is causing extra dust mites- This year dad started shifting his books to the living room and so this is really impacting on everyone. FIND frightening articles to share with my dad.
This will have no impact on my dad.
I give it up on this; my dad would have made a fine barrister with his argumentative skills and bully boy persona.

5.What junk does not belong to mine should not be in my room-however small or large. ACHIEVED!!SO i will change this to if make sure i don't become a hoarder- if i have not used something in the last 12 months get RID of it.
In my new place my mum has found place to dump clothes :( Going have to be tough and delegate
This is achieved!

6.Sell/donate any of my junk and encourage others ACHIEVED. CONTINUE with this
Donated somethings
This is in progress I donate clothes to charity and sell things i don't need on EBAY (first 20 are free) with packaging purchased from a pound shop so i may not be making a profit but not loosing much either.

7.Write every month ANY ACTION taken and RESULTS achieved . NOPE i think every 3 months is more reasonable but more regularly on blog
I have not. I don't like having bits of paper. I think I will put it on my telephone calendar
I cannot set goals for my dad; in order to make a change he has to want it to happen. Weak intentions yield weak results (no idea who said that)

8. ALL goals to be SMART specific,measurable,....
This is obvious. I can be specific by aiming to sell a certain amount on EBAY at regular intervals.

A new one for 2013 is to somehow get my dad to see a doctor or get cognitive behaviour therapy. I know my mum says he will use it as an excuse not to go to work and claim to be ill. By sitting at home it will encourage him to hoard more. 
This is in progress and a very sensitive discussion point as there is a stigma attached to seeing a a doctor about mental health issues.

As i mature and grow and learn about being effective with my time and productivity as well as honing my communication skills i shall be thinking of a strategy to persuade my dad to get help and signpost him in the right direction.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

i think i am a subconscious hoarder

Have your ever bought something only to realise you already have it at home and forgot about it  (probably because it is stored away both phyically and mentally). Sometimes I think i have hoarding tendencies and at times start analysing my own hoarding habits. Here a list of things in no particular order I feel I collect and may classify me a hoarder albeit a low level hoarder:
1. Bookmarking favourite websites and then taking ages to sort them out, i have lost count of websites i add which i intended to visit back : this could article to read or items to purchase.
2. Fancy notebooks which I imagine should be adorned with wise words and neat handwriting not by my amateur fiction attempts with handwriting that could be described as split personality; sometimes cursive and Italic and at others erratic slanting in all sorts of directions loops and and big round letters.
3.Body lotion gift sets- i get given these often as presents and i buy them as presents, thing is i don't get through them quick enough.
4. Old jumpers/cardigans and clothes with bleach marks- i find it difficult to dispose of these and even kept my sisters.  Clothes which have become ruined by me being enthusiastic with household bleach; this usually ends up discolouring my fae clothes which i end up wearing around the house.
5. Birthday cards, sorry your leaving and  seasonal greeting cards from when i was a child- does anybody else feel guilty about binning cards like these. They bring memories but eventually take space,
6.Cut our recipes from newspapers. I am just going to take a picture on my phone and save.
 Magazines: I have a hard time disposing of magazines because i think they may come in handy which is why i don't buy them anymore.
7.Glass jars and containers: i collect these in case i will make that candle or moisturiser one day- never happens.
8. I noticed i was buying wool but not actually knitting or crocheting anything because i am afraid to make a mistake or spend time on something which won't look right. I once took so long to crochet a pair of baby booties that it did not fit the newborn baby (embarrassing).
9. My school work from over 14 years ago: i have disposed of most but cannot part with my French and German books even though i don't use these languages at all. My A level work i cannot part as i am now teaching the subjects and it makes interesting comparisons. I also can't part with polypockets and folders as i usually need these at some point in my work.
10. Skincare products- i hate having lots of  cosmetic products but when my skin is not behaving i start purchasing a lot and then don't consistently use them which then makes me guilty for getting it in the first place, an exmapel would be almond oil which is not adequately moisturise my skin but i purchased two bottles... hmm maybe i can concoct my own moisturiser from it...

Are there any children of hoarders (COH) out there who feel they are gravitating towards hoarding?
I would love to hear your stories in the comments below.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015


When I started writing this blog in 2009 there was little support available online and not much media coverage on hoarding. It was a way for me to express myself and share solutions; I did not expect to people commenting on their personal experience.

It is reassuring to see so many useful support and resources online so rather than me praise them click on the hoarders links at the bottom of this page or go straight to NHS for a better introductory understanding and bookmark the  help for hoarders website: highly recommended.

Monday, 3 August 2015


Nephew is at an age where he is learning to repeat words and one of those is greedy especially when it comes to consuming chocolate.
Which led me to the next point are hoarders greedy?
Are they so self absorbed in their material possessions that they would choose them over their loved it because they can't help it the same way an alcoholic can't help having one more drink? Would they keep their possessions even if they posed a health hazard? What if their family was physically hurt?

Judging from TV programmes most hoarders have had a trauma of some sort which is a trigger. There are many reasons for why they hoard but they are not evil or selfish even though on the surface to  close relatives it may seem that way. One suggestion for their reasoning is because it give them false reassurance and contentment (temporarily) although at the expense of having a good quality of life.
If somebody has a physical disability or is diagnosed with autism we are likely to be more sympathetic or patient at "getting better" as these issues get much more attention in the media
Hoarding is a manifestation of mental health issue; it is misunderstood and people are unsympathetic.
For relatives it is stressful living with it and a social embarrassment. It is the cause of arguments, resentment and affects quality family time because you can't even be in the same room to sit down and discuss how it makes you feelin the first place.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

The hoarders favourite mantra's

Common phrases heard from hoarders:
1. Don't throw it away!!
2. It's a bargain! People are so stupid
3. It might come in handy... you just don't know!
4. It's worth a lot of money (Answer: no it isn't there are pound shops...99p shops in 2015)
5. It's quality!
6. I need it (Answer: When was the last time you used it)

And common replies of a hoarder when challenged:
1. Shut up! *$£!^%$!!
2. Get out!
3. I paid for it!
4. It's not a mess it's in order (a pile)
5. I'm looking after it
6. Mind your own business...I'm your dad!

And these are usually shouted out followed by expletives. Sound familiar?