Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Hoarding.

I hadn't intended to take such a long break from this place but lately found myself insanely busy with work (mainly), wedding plans, honeymoon plans, house hunting (yes, back to that).  Over the past month I also decided to undertake what I thought would be a mammoth task - and it was, except I had the help and support of my sisters who made this task a lot easier.

I decided to clear out my parents house.

That sentence probably doesn't live up to the drama surrounding it unless you know that MY MUM IS AN OBSCENE HOARDER.

No I don't watch that show The Hoarders because frankly, I feel it would be too real for me and that scares me.

Here are a few of the many things that confirm my Mum's hoarder status:

  1. She still has some plastic bags that she brought with her when we moved to Sydney from Papua New Guinea SEVENTEEN years ago.
  2. My whole family is on the short side and always have to take our jeans/pants up.  Mum has kept seventeen years worth of jeans/pants cut-offs
  3. She has spools of brand new cotton thread that just snap in half because they are so old
  4. Her kettle broke so I bought her a new kettle.  She put the new kettle out and put the old (broken) kettle in the garage in case the new kettle breaks and she needs a replacement.... even though the old kettle is broken!
  5. She saves sweet and sour sauce packets from Maccas
  6. She keeps those moist towelettes from fast food chains even though they have completely dried up
  7. I found 20 sports uniforms from when I was in primary school.  They were hand-me-downs from my cousin and were already out of date by the time I was in primary school
  8. While cleaning up the study my sister found a leaf.  A single leaf, flattened and dried and placed into a ziplock bag.  A leaf.
  9. When I told her I had managed to condense all 3 drawers of the filing cabinet in the garage down to one drawer her response was, "What filing cabinet?"  If you don't know you have it, sure I can chuck it out???
We must've thrown out about 20 garbage bags of rubbish (thankyou to the council for taking it all instead of taking the 1.5 cubic metre you are obliged to take).  Additionally we have electronic rubbish which we are disposing of this weekend (my parents house has 7 computer monitors!).

I have no photos to show the cleaning out a 7 bedroom house of 17 years worth of accumulated crap so you'll just have to take my word for it that it's impressive!!

Do you know a hoarder?

11 comments:

  1. I won't say she is a full blown hoarder, but my mom definitely has some hoarding tendencies.. So I can totally understand how you feel! I used to like watching "Hoarders" on TV because it always freaked me out and made me feel like I needed to clean and get rid of stuff! lol :-)

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    1. Instead of watching Hoarders I just look at my parents house and that's enough motivation for me not to accumulate stuff.

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  2. My mum is a hoarder and I'm really worried for her. She's on her own in a 3 bedroom house, yet there is no clear space anywhere, except the toilet 'room' and the shower :/
    She can't get in the front door. I once threw out old catalogues and she was getting anxious because I threw 2 year old catalogues out. The heater, lights, toilet and oven door are broken and have been for years, yet she can't call the landlord to get some tradies in to fix it, because 1. The landlord will find out the state of the house 2. The tradies wouldn't be able to get in.

    I want to help, but last time I went there, I stood in the doorway for 1 minute before walking out because it was so overwhelming, it was triggering my anxiety.

    I don't know what to do.

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    1. Do you have siblings/friends/family members who can help you when you decide to tackle the issue and clean up the house? It makes such a difference to have a group of people band together for the one cause and for me it certainly made it less overwhelming.

      Does the landlord not do periodical inspections?

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  3. It's kinda nice to see that my mum isn't the only one, it's been an issue for about 14 years now.
    Like Frith, their place is packed to the max in almost very room plus 3x sheds and one huge garage, it's so so bad. She won't let anyone touch anything and we tried helping so many times but it's impossible.

    I actually think this is the first time in my whole life I told someone!

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    1. That's exactly what my Mum was like for the first 16 years - completely possessive and resistant to change. And no matter how we tried to approach it she would just yell at us.

      For the first time ever I could sense that my Mum was ready. I think our years of our odd comments here and there finally took hold. I think the other major thing is that she will be having house guests next year when people fly into Sydney for my wedding. She has spare rooms that guests should be able to stay in except there's no bed in there and it's filled with rubbish. I think SHE realised it needed to be done, as opposed to us forcing it on her.

      Unfortunately I think that's how it has to be. Maybe your Mum isn't ready to let go yet? Maybe there will be one thing that will be a lightbulb moment for her when she will realise it should be done.

      Keep me updated :)

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  4. Oh wow my mother is just like that, if not worse. We do have plastic bags that are so old they malt/fall apart, but they're all those new biodegradable ones from Target. Our record item would be brand new C&E Shaving Cream from the 80s. I love the sweet and sour sauce (packets) from Maccas but that must be crazy old as when I had it as a kid back home it was a mini container.

    Maybe that leaf is special? My mother has leaves in ziplock bags, skelton leaves from a trip to India.

    No pictures because you're probably so grossed out like me :P Someone told me people who go through wars and times when you didn't have much are at higher risks of being hoarders.

    I'm amazed that there are other people out there like this. Like MrsB I've never told anyone. :P

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    1. Oh the sweet n sour sauces I was referring to are the container ones, not the packet ones!!

      I went to pick up a Sheike shopping bag from one corner of the room and it literally shattered to pieces it was that old.

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  5. My Mum is a very bad hoarder. My grandmother was also an extreme hoarder cleaning out her house took us a good 4 months, and then we discovered a second garage filled to the top with so much stuff and she hadn't opened that garage in over 30 years.
    Since I have moved out of home I think my parents house has gotten worse, I have only been out 18 months and I can no longer get into my old room. When my mum travels I organise a skip bin and start to throw out items they no longer need or are worth donating and most times she doesn't even notice.
    I fear that I could become a hoarder and I work hard at not buying a lot of unnecessary items, doing monthly donation runs and really getting rid of items/things I don't need.

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    1. I was actually thinking about this the other day. I think having a hoarder parent has made me the complete opposite. I see how it affects others and takes over lives and I definitely don't want that to happen to me.

      Good on you for organising a skip bin - and amazingly that your Mum doesn't notice! My Mum would notice if we did that, which is why we've never attempted that before.

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  6. Can't blame her for keeping the Maccas sweet and sour sauce, it's good stuff.

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