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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hoarding for hard times?

Posted Sunday, February 8, 2009, at 3:36 PM

(Photo)
Compulsive hoarding
I have been a professional house cleaner since i was 13. I have seen some interesting and sad things. One of the worst is hoarding. So many things in a house that there is not room to function.

These people try to justify the compulsion by saying they may need it one day.

I have talked to people and they are scared, about the economy and will we have enough? It is wise to prepare, but it is unwise to hoard.

Alot of older people that went though the great depression understand about saving and being thrifty. That is not what i am talking about.

I am talking about the compulsion to obtain and keep items that most people deem trash.

We had a young man that rented from us, he was a compulsive hoarder.

When he moved it took 21, 30 gallon trash bags to clear out the place of trash. It took another month and much scrubbing to make the place livable.

I know medically this has been linked to OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but is there perhaps a deeper root? Could it be we are afraid we will not have something when we need it?

Could we trust God, who said we would not be found begging bread.

When do we draw the line. Do you know of someone who has a problem with hoarding? And do you think the economy will make this worse in people as they have fear rule their lives.

Just a thought.


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My grandad was a hoarder. He hoarded sheep in the late 1800s. He got a hoarding dog, it made hoarding alot easer. OH....HOARDING NOT HERDING. SORRY.

No body wants to look at the reason that they hoard. My roots are rural mountain people. Hoarding was a way of life. The spirit of those folks was, after the last bit of milk was gone we will all starve to death. As a child in our home no one drank the last bit of milk. At the last piece of chicken on the plate. All this was due fear of lack and fear of death. It wasnt until I was in my 30s that I was able to identify the booger. The booger that was causing me to hoard, not enjoy having money and always worrying about where the next supply was coming from. I drove my wife everone around me nuts. A man spoke into my life and help me identify the spirit of lack and death that was toying with my mind. I came to the revelation that I dont have a spirit of Fear, but of Power, Love and a Sound Mind. Our home instantly changed. The greatest victory is the spirit that was passed to me from my father is not going to be passed to my son.

-- Posted by bear on Sun, Feb 8, 2009, at 6:30 PM

I think there is a distinct difference in Hoarding and being a Pack Rat. I know a lot of elderly people who are hoarders..but they hoard stuff like soap, toilet tissue, can food they are always in fear of another depression. Then there are those old and young alike that are what I consider Pack Rats..they still have the first pair of shoes they wore in the first grade.

Hoarders hoard out of fear..they hoard things that are useable...Pack Rats hoard junk, stuff that will never be of any need to them.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Sun, Feb 8, 2009, at 6:41 PM

My grandfather hoarded anything and everything, with the excuse"well you never know"

My late father in law kept any hardware he could get, like, nuts , blots, screws, or whatever.

Heck after he passed away , we cleaned out his freezer and found bags of cicadas from the last time they came.

I guess if worms got hard to come by, he would always have fish bait.

I will store a few things, but not much.

-- Posted by michaelbell on Sun, Feb 8, 2009, at 8:31 PM

Looking at the pictures, that seems looks like uncleanliness to me.

-- Posted by honda14 on Mon, Feb 9, 2009, at 8:52 AM

My mother-in-law was more of a pack rat, she was raised in West Virginia during the depression. The strangest thing she saved was the foam containers meat came on. I don't think she ever reused them for anything, but when she died it took 2 weeks to clean her basement and we found hundreds and hundreds of them.

-- Posted by bellbuckletn on Mon, Feb 9, 2009, at 9:02 AM

honda14, yep it is uncleanliness, but also to clean it is not enough.My renter was a classic example. His next apartment is the same thing i bet. It has a base root in fear of not having enough.

I have see rich people with this problem. They have nice homes, but have 3 of everything "just in case." Keep piles of papers, trash and other thing that just are unnessesary for someone with wealth.

-- Posted by 4fabfelines on Mon, Feb 9, 2009, at 9:04 AM

Most of this stuff is already in trash bags.

Make a trip to the dump.

We have a rule at our house that I learned from my neighbor.

If something new comes in, something old has to go.

-- Posted by brown eyed girl on Mon, Feb 9, 2009, at 12:01 PM

yep i do that. I told that to my son who wanted a new toy, he had to give one of his away.

One in, one out.

-- Posted by 4fabfelines on Mon, Feb 9, 2009, at 6:05 PM

my husband and kids are pack rats. I wait till they go to work or school then I throw away the trash. Most of the time they don't even miss it.

-- Posted by sparkle on Mon, Feb 9, 2009, at 6:39 PM

Moving 47 times since I turned 18 seemed to keep my 'collecting' at bay. No, my picture was not on the Post Office wall, but my life collection has been reduce at times to everything I could force my car.

However, since I got married the moves slowed down and after 16-17 years in one place, clutter has appeared. It often comes in handy, being 12 miles from town, but a cleansing would be good.

Buying from auctions and garage sales for eBay has not helped. We need to have 'box sales' of stuff.

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Feb 9, 2009, at 9:16 PM

"my husband and kids are pack rats. I wait till they go to work or school then I throw away the trash. Most of the time they don't even miss it.

-- Posted by sparkle on Mon, Feb 9, 2009, at 6:39 PM"

Haha, God I hope she doesn't read this... But I do the same thing. I bought her new ones and she never seems to notice until a few weeks afterwards. Now I have to say, she isn't too bad when it comes to clothes, shoes, purses etc. but other things, like creams, concoctions and witch brew 539934. That gets a tad old.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Thu, Feb 12, 2009, at 3:39 PM


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Lesa Cox
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Lesa Cox has owned a cleaning service and a bookstore; now, she repairs and maintains computers for the elderly and others on a fixed income. She enjoys animals, gardening, books and fixing old cars. She and her husband have one son, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome.