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Hoarders

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dcc001, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. Dcc001

    Dcc001
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    One of my guilty pleasures is the show Hoarders on A&E. As bad as my life may seem at the time, I take solace in the fact that every coffee cup I've ever bought at Tim Horton's is not presently in a pile on my living room floor amidst the dead cats and my mother's china and [whatever other crap hoarders pile up].

    Given that I come from a long line of neat freaks - even the men tend to be neat as pins - I can't actually imagine living like that or allowing a relative to get that bad.

    I don't know if this has legs, but...

    Focus: Any experience with a hoarder? Are you a packrat?

    Alt Focus: Anything you're OCD about? Small things or quirks that drive you/others nuts...?
     
  2. LessTalk MoreStab

    LessTalk MoreStab
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    Its funny, us blokes are always considered to be the messy ones, in my experience however women will occupy the two extremes either "OCD clean" or "utterly disgusting". Men seem to on average maintain a level of "slightly untidy to cleanish", neither hitting the bleach smelling, eat off the toilet highs or cat turds on the carpet covered in dog hair lows.
     
  3. CharlesJohnson

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    See, my gramps was a packrat. He was born in 1904 and, well, you just didn't throw things away. Especially if you could still squeeze life out of it. He had a shelf in the garage filled with mason jars of rusty nails, screws, railroad spikes. Probably all over a hundred pounds. Where the fuck did he get it all? He didn't even remember it'd been so long.

    My ex-friend/roommate was a fucking hoarder. There's two distinctions on Hoarders: the chronic spender with a house full of shit, and the hoarder with a house literally full of shit, garbage, and dead cats, hoarding filth. My friend was, seemingly indefatigably, the latter.

    I knew this guy since 2nd grade. We grew up together, he moved into the garage apartment when his mom pretty much kicked him out. He lived here 8 years, for about $125 a month (rarely paid on time, if ever). No secret he was a pig. Well, he was also insecure, chronically depressed, and criminally lazy. A perfect storm of filth of which not even his family fathomed once the secret was out.

    - Stopped throwing garbage out. Let it sit in the garage until everything was infested with rats. Everything like my ex's furniture she was storing and my Civil War antique furniture. Opened a drawer and found a Wendy's wrapper, half gnawed. The smell is just now coming out a year after he moved.

    - Instead of rent (because he was fired) he bought a dog. An ugly one. Never trained it, let alone walked it, so it just shit and pissed on pads in his one room apartment. He never threw the pads out. When he did, they collected in bags by his door. He started smelling like dog piss the smell was so overwhelming in there. We'd go out and I could still smell shit on him, though I know he showered.

    - Food wrappers, hair, grime, filth inches thick on his floor. Nothing was ever picked up. He ruined hundreds of dollars of clothes because he just left them on the floor until a few actually stuck there.

    - Lizards. I had no idea he had up to 6 exotic lizards in there with the dog. Cages were never cleaned. He bitched a lot about paying rent for such a crappy place. Now I know why.

    - The bathroom is orange. Tile, floor, tub. There's old paper towels, used to mop up god knows what, that are permanently stuck into the tile. His girlfriend kept her tampons in a pile behind the toilet because fuck you, it's too hard to throw things away. Those too would end up eventually in my garage, by his door.

    - Could never get repair guys in there. He pitched a tantrum. Didn't want anyone seeing his shame. In the same breath managed to complain about what needed fixing.

    - Dead lizard. It managed to die in its cage, holding onto the wired wall. Fucking hilarious, but he left it there for a few weeks until he bothered to bury it.

    His sister discovered this when she took care of his dog for 2 weeks while he was gone. He apparently tried to clean to hide his shame, didn't work. I actually went in there and cleaned it myself. He was my best friend, I'll do what has to be done because he's obviously sick in the head. Cleaned it, took a day, then trained his dog. He comes back, gets drunk, cries about how worthless he is, and how good of a mate I am. He fucks it all up again in a couple weeks.

    When he moved out there were literally 30 garbage bags worth of dried dog shit, diapers, and various sundry, all crusted in hair and human and animal filth. I did not know he had that much dog shit in there. I thought he threw *that* away. Looking back I realize how naive that was of me. He left an old filthy blanket on the floor. When I went to pull it out, there was an enormous load of petrified dog shit in it. That was just chilling out on his floor.

    He moved in with a girl he knew 2 months. Spoken to him four times since. The damages in that room are total. Thousands worth. So much for 25 years of friendship.
     
  4. lust4life

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    I just noticed the other morning an OCD tendency I have when I shower (no, not THAT). I spend twice as long making sure I have rinsed every last trace of soap off of me than I do lathering up in the stuff and I seem to have developed a ritual in the closing moments before turning the water off. You would think I was practicing giving batting signals from the third base line--up and down the left arm, them right, left again, turn, rerinse the back, turn, cross the chest, up and down the legs, hair one more time, a complete turn, water off. I was very conscious about it this morning and skipped the ritual and I felt weird while drying off. There wasn't a bubble of soap on me, but my mind wasn't buying it. The whole time I was dressing I wanted to jump back in the shower. It was amazing how much anxiety I felt over it during breakfast. Totally irrational.
     
  5. JWags

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    My grandpa is a terrible collector of shit, not so much a hoarder. His house is quite clean, but his basement has always been full of stupid shit (think stacks upon stacks of newspapers). He owned his own business, and long after he sold it, he still owned the building it once operated in. The basement was his storage space. Well he sold the building and we needed to clean out the basement so the building could be demolished. MY GOD. Cans of Candy Apple Red paint that were upwards of 30 years old. So many assorted tools and random furnishings. A full rack of boxes of nuts and bolts and such that hadn't been touched in two decades, all under the guise of "you never know when you might need them." He and my grandma now have moved into a retirement community so they had to move everything into a storage unit. We had to secretly throw shit away, stuff like moldy old shipping trucks that weren't antiques cause they were shit quality to begin with. His storage unit is packed to the brim, but its more old documents and stuff that are ridiculous to keep, but at least it has use as he goes in and reads through things on the weekends. Gah, I hope I'm not like that when I'm old...

    ALT-Focus: I have fairly worthless OCDs. When I was younger I was HORRIBLY OCD about my hair. I'd stop in every mirror or after every class to make sure my hair looked OK. And it wasn't out of vanity, it was out of a neurosis that girls were judging me based on my day to day hair styling and thats why I wasn't getting the attention I so desired. I'm still overly analytical about my own appearance, but not to the horrible extent I was.

    Additionally, when I was in school, I obsessed about grades. Not the actual studying and performance, but the calculation of potential grades and GPAs, etc... So instead of converting this into a fastidious academic routine, I would just stress myself out and not apply myself. It was ridiculous.

    In terms of cleanliness, my main vice is laundry. I hate doing it and I'm prone to leave dirty clothes around my room, so it looks cluttered. I'm very clean when it comes to my kitchen and bathroom. But I am prone to clutter.
     
  6. audreymonroe

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    I have some hoarding tendencies - I keep a lot of mementos because I attach emotional value to things. I throw away garbage and all that, but I like keeping ticket stubs and what not in memory boxes.

    I get pretty OCD about the routes that I've established for my common trips. This is especially so on the subway. Sometimes it's due to prewalking, but even when I don't know where I'd need to be at the other end of the trip I still like to go in and out of the same entrances and wait in the same spot on the platform and sit in the same car of the trains that I use the most. When I'm with someone else and they go a different way, I have this internal freakout like WHY ARE WE GOING DOWN THE RIGHT STAIRS. I GO DOWN THE LEFT STAIRS. Or, I'll have this set route where I go down an avenue and then across a street, but I'll be with someone who goes across the street and down the next avenue and it makes me uncomfortable.
     
  7. silway

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    Alt-focus: I actually have OCD. It's kind of funny to me to see it used as such a commonplace descriptor of neurotic behavior, but yeah, I have the diagnosed kind. These days I can manage it pretty well, no longer need meds for it, and function in my life. But it still generates annoying moments for me.

    So, for anyone who doesn't know, an Obsession (in OCD terms), is an anxiety you feel that can only be removed by the performance of some sort of task (the Compulsion). Both of these things can vary widely. For example, some people have the worry (Obsession) that their mother will die if they ever step on the crack of a sidewalk (the Compulsion to step in the safe areas). For me, it's usually formless anxiety, not a specific negative outcome, and the compulsions are small and endlessly obnoxious.

    Some examples: I need to reread sentences until they flow in my brain in some inexplicable "right way." I often am obsessed with having things occurr in symmetry, in groups of 3 or groups of 4. The symmetry one is a serious bitch, because it's often also a question of balance and equality. So, for example, if i accidentally brush the back of my left hand against your shoulder I may well feel an almost unstoppable urge to brush the back of my right hand across as well, so my body sensations are in balance. And then, if it doesn't brush exactly right, I may have to do a complicated back and forth with my hands until I equalize things. It's... maddening.

    But those are just a few examples. It manifests itself in a million tiny obnoxious ways. But I'm lucky, I don't have anything that keeps me from functioning or injures myself.

    And just to give any resident pharmcists a stroke, I was once on 250mg of Zoloft daily, back when I was much worse, and then one day had this weird mental epiphany and stopped cold turkey and haven't really needed drugs since.
     
  8. Parker

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    Focus: My mother and her grandmother are both hoarders. I didn't think about it with my grandma because I thought she was just too old to clean anything out. My house growing up was relatively clean because my old father has the energy to be militant about keeping it clean. As he started to wind down, my mom got worse and worse overtime. Maybe this started in early high school, I'm not sure. It began with her picking up half broken furniture and stuff out the alley with the goal of restoring it and selling it. 2 car garage just collected more and more shit, pilled to the ceilings, with barely enough room to fit one car in. She hasn't restored one damn thing to this day. My mom also fancies her self an artist so she gets inspired by 100 things, gathers material to do a project, but never finishes anything.

    Then she started getting obsessed with keeping every single piece of paper. Ever single receipt from everu transaction because she might be able to write it off. No Mom, you probably won't be able to write off McDonald's as a business expense. And then she barely will throw any mail away because as an old person that watches the news local news, now believes everyone is out there to steal your identity in one shape or form.

    This has affected me in multiple ways as I wasn't able to have friends come over to my house from high school on. This included girls or anyone else as I was just so embarassed.

    Alt Focus:I now keep my apartment clean and turn into Martha Stewart when it comes to hosting friends at my house. I also do other minor OCD thing like when I get a roll of quarters for laundry, I pull all the quarters out and make sure all the "Heads" sides are facing up, this saves me time for when I put them in the machine, all the heads are facing right. All my shirts go into my closet organized by color and sleve length, long sleve on the left, short sleeve on the right, blues to red to black, left to right. My floor rug has to be aligned perfectly horizontal with the wood flooring.

    These are probably more idiosyncrasies more than anything because I don't die if they're not the way I want, just that little itching feeling until they're fixed.
     
  9. hooker

    hooker
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    My mother loves trinkets and trash. She buys things she doesn't need and keeping things she doesn't want. She can't keep house for the life of her and she can't cook for shit. I have spent my entire adult life trying to make sure I am nothing like her. For the most part, my father cooked and cleaned.

    My house is clean and everything has a home. I keep it tidy during the week and always do a toes to tits cleaning on weekends. I do this pretty much every week without fail because my biggest fear is letting any mess get too overwhelming to deal with.

    I think that's what happened to my mother. The clutter and the mess just got to be too much - and now it's like she just can't bring herself to tackle it. Growing up, much like Parker, my father kept her somewhat on point. Now, as he gets older, he just can't be bothered to give a fuck.
     
  10. Omegaham

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    My mom is a bit of a hoarder.

    Not too bad; she does have moments where she cleans stuff, and my dad manages to put his foot down every once in a while.

    But growing up, my house was a mess. We would try to clean it, and my mom would flip out because we weren't cleaning "her way" and were "messing everything up." So it would just get worse and worse.

    The biggest problem is the books and the papers. We probably have upwards of 30,000 books in our house. My dad has his bookshelves of textbooks and decent books, and my mom has bookshelves of... crap. Just... garbage. Thousands and thousands of books piled up nilly-willy. She just happens to grab books everywhere she goes and adds them to the stacks and stacks of them in the basement.

    The basement, aside from containing the books, has mountains of documents. Nothing important, just something like 30 years worth of old school projects, printouts, receipts, notebooks, and everything in between. She refuses to throw any of it out until she's looked through each and every one to make sure that it's "not important."

    She went on a trip to California and then went on a road trip with her mother down to Yuma to come see me; my dad joked about renting a dumpster and hauling all of it out. "Don't worry, we'll have it all clean by the time you get back!" She flipped out, threatened to kill him, and screamed like he'd told her that he'd be buying the New York State Governor Hooker Special while she was gone. Dad just sat there, horrified that he had let out The Crazy.

    Now that more of us are leaving the house, (she had five kids; my house would be a mess too) she's getting better about it. But the house is still a damn mess every time I go home.
     
  11. TJMax

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    Disturbed

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    Or...
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  12. dubyu tee eff

    dubyu tee eff
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    I think I'm an anti-hoarder in that I constantly get rid of things that I shouldn't get rid. Whenever I see things piling up, I feel this anxiety that those are all tasks that need to be accomplished. One way to eliminate the task is to get rid of the items. This applies the physical as well as digital objects. I want so fucking badly to have an empty inbox. I must look at and get rid of every notification from every app on my phone. I must install all updates. Dirty clothes must never sit on the floor. Everything has it's place and should be put back there immediately after use. Dirty dishes must be cleaned immediately after use. And god help anyone who leaves a stray hair in my bathroom. I will do DNA testing on that strand and return it to its rightful owner.
     
  13. dixiebandit69

    dixiebandit69
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    Focus: My mom was a hoarder. Not as bad as the people on the TV show, but there were two whole rooms of our house packed with ultimately worthless crap that were pretty much unusable because of the state they were in. Other rooms had all manner of things stacked around taking up space. Because of this, she wouldn't let anyone other than family members into the house.
    There were several reasons for this:
    -My mom was a high school teacher who loved her job and genuinely cared about her students, and if she thought that something could in any way benefit them/her class, she would keep it around.
    An issue of Cosmo that has an article about STD's in teen girls? Better hold onto it! A VHS recording of Oprah talking about date rape? Absolutely! Christ, she had two bookshelves with nothing but VHS tapes of recorded talkshows.
    -My mom was a shopaholic. She would buy all kinds of useless crap and jewelry. When we got satellite TV in the early '90s, she went apeshit on QVC and the Home Shopping Network.
    When she died in 1996, my dad and I returned just the UNOPENED QVC/HSN packages, and got back over $6,000. There's no telling how much more she spent.
    -Lastly, my mom was a procrastinator and just didn't like throwing things away.

    My dad is the exact opposite. He can't stand having any sort of unnecessary things around, even to his own detriment: He and I share the same shop, and I've seen him throw away/sell things that he thought were unnecessary, only to have to buy them again at a higher price. When asked, he says that he just wanted to clean the place up/didn't think he would need it. Sometimes I question his logic.

    I'd say I'm probably a mix of my parents; I hold onto things that I think will be useful later, but sometimes I'm wrong and I realize I've been saving something worthless for a couple of years.