Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hoarding: The Serious Side of Clutter

I'm watching Oprah right now. Today's show is all about hoarding. Kudos to her guests who are letting their clutter hang out for all the world to see. I know how hard that can be. But, blogging about my clutter is one thing. I'm not so sure I'd be that brave if I was a hoarder. I do think that my husband may have a touch of a hoarding problem. I wish I would have thought to tape this episode for him.

One thing I've learned as I've watched this show today is that there are as many different reasons for hoarding as there are hoarders. That makes sense to me. Some people are shopaholics, others feel guilt when they need to throw things away. Some feel a sense of responsibility to use the stuff they've hoarded. I think my husband falls in this category. He collects things and saves them because he might need them someday.

I've been able to contain my husband's mess to the utility room, the garage and a bit in the downstairs family room. The main part of our house is in pretty good shape since I started blogging in December. Even though he's had bursts of being on board with Cleaning Up the Clutter and has even helped here and there, he still doesn't seem to grasp the long-lasting changes that he needs to make in order to get a real handle on it.

Oprah had some interesting information on her show that makes me think the issue isn't really about the clutter, but deeper than that.


  1. I hoard...a little bit...I'm working on it...

    I'm nothing like what I've seen on TV, but I'm learning that my stuff is getting in the way of my living sometimes. I'm having a BIG garage sale the first Saturday in November. I may shed many tears that day--I'm letting go of all the baby clothes. :(

  2. I like watching shows like that to see how bad other people are I admit. I don't have a hording issue but I know people can do that for psychological reasons and you have to ask yourself "why are you really keeping this?"

  3. Mommy Managing - It's hard to get rid of baby clothes! You can do it! I really feel good about getting rid of most of our baby clothes. I saved a very few special pieces, but most went to the Salvation Army.

    Magicalmusings - It's fascinating to see other people's messes, isn't it? I found it interesting to learn why some people hoard.

  4. I hoard, and I do it because it might come in handy. If you have ever been dirt floor poor, then you understand why I hoard. I need to have things to hold on to, to know that times are not as bad as they could be.
    I am working on it, but its hard. The other side of my hoarding is that I simply hate to throw things away (environmental impact) when they might be useful later. It has however taken over my home, and I need to get it under control.

  5. It's not the Oprah episode, but A&E has some episodes of the show she talked about, Hoarders, online. I believe they just have the current season's episodes (so it's only a few and more will be added as they air, which I believe is weekly?) but you can watch the full episodes on their website for free.

  6. Tree Hugging Mama - Those are the exact things my husband struggles with. He's come to the point where he logically knows he needs to get rid of some things, but the act of getting rid of stuff is still a hurdle!

    Thanks, Olga! I'm going to watch as soon as I have a chance. I'll post the link for others that are interested.