Monday, November 3, 2014

I Hoard Two Things, Is There Hope For Me?

Ever since I've watched the first episode of a hoarder's show I have been in awe.  I genuinely wish to know what possesses people to live in such squalid conditions.  Not judging them, just really, really want to understand.  One thing is for certain, if I feel lazy I watch an episode on my laptop to motivate me into action. 

I think in there somewhere I am doing some sort of judging that I don't feel.   I have made it a personal mission to understand hoarders.  It's taken me years to get even a small glimpse of what brings on this behavior.  This is where I should tell you I don't believe all the hype about it being a form of OCD.  I do believe, however, that a person who becomes a hoarder has been emotionally traumatized beyond their belief in overcoming the trauma.  They shut down, emotionally.  The stacks of things protect them from outside pain.

When we shut down emotionally there appears to be a down spiral in everything in life.  The  every day projects of cleaning, maintaining our hygiene, or even eating healthy are cast aside for the emotions that protect us from an unbelievable truth.

That's as far as I've gotten in a couple years trying to understand hoarding.  Not very far.  I hope this never happens to me because I know all too well how unhealthy  behaviors can sneak up on a person.  It may be safe to say everyone has experienced this phenomenon.

Then I cleaned out drawers and pantries.  I have a problem that I didn't recognize in the past.  I hoard two items.  Food and beauty creams.  Not just any creams, but the ones that come as a gift with purchase.  I dealt with the food when I cleaned out my pantry and saw my shopping was for a family, not a single person.  I try to remember in the grocery store that I don't need an item, it's just me now.  I'm moving along in that area, but I just recognized my problem with the free creams when I organized the bathroom drawers.  I don't use them, I 'collect' them.

How will I overcome this weakness?  Well, first I am giving away some of them.  They were never used so someone can appreciate them.  Next I'm having my daughters take a look at them and choose a few they would like.  Next I am beginning to use them.  On my hands and feet.  Just because they say face cream doesn't mean my hands wouldn't benefit from the contents of the sample size jars.  The last step will be the most difficult.  Pass by the offer of free gift with purchase when I don't need the purchase.  I won't pass it up when I can get my blush as a back up because I use that up rather quickly.

So there you have it.  I found weakness in myself when I was questioning the behavior of others.  As the saying goes; 'When you point one finger at someone else, four are pointing back at you".

I count 14 jars.  Do you have something you hoard, but don't use?  Please tell me I'm not the only one?


  1. As hoarding goes, I think you're pretty safe. :-) I've been thinking about what I might "hoard"... not sure there is any one thing, other than maybe jewelry, but I've started selling some of that off through a terrific online auctioneer. Books are another possibility, because I get many of them free for an honest review, but I generally pass those on to friends, family and even to be shared with my husband's coworkers. While I stockpile food, I also share that with others. Mostly, it's a mishmash of what I could say I hoard. Things I buy on deep discounts; I have a problem passing up a great sale whether I need the stuff or not. Plastic bags, because the plastic grocery bags have been outlawed in our county for a few years... making it contraband. Ha, Ha!

  2. I also have a food stockpile, but it has been trimmed down for a single person's use. I'm afraid - as I get older - that I will be prone to hoarding. Although I only have 5 rubber bands and 5 paper clips in the house! Life is such a journey that brings with it knowledge and, hopefully, compassion and understanding. (It's a walk up a mountain.) Oh, and I can save plastic bags for you! tee hee