Monday, 24 January 2011

Hoarding

How does it happen? How do we get piles of crap? Even if it's tiny piles, it's still crap. No matter the size of the pile, it still stinks. When did we decide we needed that much crap? It just boggles my mind that we do. And all of us seem to do it, even if it's on a small scale.

There are those who are much worse, though. Yesterday, I was watching that show "Buried Alive: Hoarders." I'm looking at these people's homes and thinking, "This looks familiar."

No, my house isn't covered in crap. My daughter's room, though, looks like a toy store and a recycling bag blew up in it. Is it just me, or do children seem to hoard?

My daughter comes home with two to three pieces of homework four nights a week. (She's only in first grade. That's a completely different rant.) If I let her, she would keep every single piece of homework. Our house is small, but even if we lived in a friggin' mansion, where the hell would we keep all of that paper?

But it doesn't end with paper. Paper is only the beginning. Grandma used to take her once a week to McDonald's, and she would get a Happy MealTM. You know what kind of shitty toys they put in those Happy MealsTM. Crap made in China that probably has lead in it, right? So, every week, she'd come home with one of those stupid toys, and the only way to get rid of them was to wait until she was out of the house and to surreptitiously recycle them.

Not only are those things crap, they are ugly and, sometimes, they stink. I remember one that was a Strawberry Shortcake advertisement. I don't remember the character beyond the fact that she smelled chemically sweet. For some reason, children seem to love this. God knows, I don't. That toy stayed in her room for nearly a year. When I found it one day in one of the piles, I palmed it and passed it off to my husband to recycle. She never knew. She has so much stuff she doesn't even miss it.

And then there're the cheap toys/party favors that come with every birthday party we attend. Parents, my child does not need a bag full of shit to bring home. If you would just let your child open the presents while the other kids were there, these stupid bags wouldn't be necessary. Matter of fact, I think these bags send the wrong message. Whenever I see these bags, I grit my teeth, as do all of the other parents. So, why are you giving them out? Nobody wants them, I've stopped doing it, and... this is a topic that deserves its own day. I will stop now before I burst a vein.

But it is a challenge. Her grandmothers like to buy her things: books, toys, clothes, etc. I finally had to tell them to stop. I do appreciate it, but we are being overrun with things. I am not Aaron Spelling with a Beverly Hills mansion. I don't have a room just for dolls. I don't want a room just for dolls.

On top of this, her school has been teaching about recycling and reusing trash as art or using it to create something else. Well, that's all fine and dandy, but we are not saving that plastic bottle for an art project. Nor are we going to keep that small plastic container for, I don't know, but we aren't keeping it. No, we are putting it in the recycle bin. Okay? That's what the recycle bin is for. I am not going to fill my house up with trash. And if you're school thinks this is such a great idea, I suggest we take all of the trash to them and let them find uses for it.

I do hoard a little bit, too. I admit it. I have a few things I cannot part with: my costumes from when I used to portray historical women, my wedding dress, sheet music, reference books, and the like. I won't ever be able to wear those costumes again unless I lose fifteen pounds, that is. I just can't see that happening. Toothpick was fine at one time, but not any more. (Not to mention that after childbirth, my hips and ribs will never be the same size, unless they are trimmed.) I won't ever wear my wedding dress, but I hope to give it to my daughter some day. I do pull out the sheet music and read it on occasion, and my reference books are frequently, well, referenced. There are some clothes I could probably part with, though. Perhaps later today when I'm done working, I'll start cleaning.

Now, after watching that show yesterday, I was galvanized to clean. Clean that pile of paper off of my dining room table. Clean the coffee table. Clean everything in sight. It's an eye opener. Many of these people could have very well started with a small pile. All of them turned into massive hoarders. I have no intention becoming one of them.

Ever.

And how can I teach my daughter to get rid of stuff if I don't. Of course, when I clean, she's inspired to do so, but usually with my stuff. She'll pick something out and say, "Mommy, you could give this away, too."

"Except I wear that shirt all of the time. Why don't you look at your own stuff, huh? You're room is a mess."

(grin)

And yet it doesn't happen. Her room is obviously still a mess.

Somehow, I think her idea is to clean all of my stuff out of the house so she can fill it up with hers. I mean, hasn't she already tried to leave her toys in my bedroom, the dining room, the living room, the bathroom, the...

Do we really need that much stuff? Yeah, um, no.

So, am I the only one with a hoarding child? And if not, how do you deal with that type of behavior?

25 comments:

Faith said...

No, Loghan is the same way. It doesn't matter what it is he brings home from school, he wants it taped up on the wall at the top of the stairs, on my office door, on the wall around my desk or on some surface in the kitchen.

I had to explain to him that I can't keep everything due to space, and he understood, so we've comprimised and some of the things special to him for some reason get a little "hanging" time then they go to the trashcan, but the things I see special, goes in a folder after they hand on the hall of fame wall at the top of the stairs.

Now for my youngest, Ivory, it's clothes, clothes, clothes... Even stuff she can't wear anymore. I'm constantly putting too-small clothes in bags and boxes to cart off to Salvation Army or up to the clothing drive at church.

Jade, it's hair products.

Me? Books. But like you, I use all my ref books, keep the fiction books I enjoy, and those ones I don't get recycled.

Faith said...

Btw, don't even get me started on the hubby. There is not enough room in cyberspace for HIS pack rat details.

Kate Richards said...

No kids in the house, but I am guilty of having clothes in multiple sizes. Am I going to get that small again...and if I do, will that thing be in style? No! I am trying to eliminate these things before my friends come in april. Because if I'm slim and gorgeous, I want some new stuff anyway!

Terri Talley Venters said...

My parents are hoarders which caused my brother and I to become anti-hoarders. My parents still have my crib and high chair from my baby days. Did I mention I'm now 40? They saved it for their grandchildren and they are far from safe. Dad likes to refurbish household items. He made a playhouse out of old wooden doors and he made a toddler chair out of an old toilett seat. Wish I was kidding!

Terri Talley Venters
Author of Carbon Copy

Anthology Authors said...

Faith,

She has art she made in preschool still on her walls. The two walls next to her bed are covered in art. Her art. She also has a very large card that her classmates from her preschool gave her after her first seizure hanging up on her closet door. Her bedroom floor is covered with toys and books because all of the storage units in her bedroom are full. They are organized, but spilling over. She doesn't really know where to put things. (Nor do I.) Things get lost in the piles on the floor. It's just time to decrease, you know.

I hoard contracts. Oh, wait! I need those to do business. LOL

Anthology Authors said...

Oh, Faith, I didn't touch on Charlie's either. He finally got rid of some Mac laptops that dated back to the 80s around October. We still have an old Mac G3 from like 1999. (sigh) Yeah, I know about pack rat husbands.

Anthology Authors said...

You know, Kate, you should get rid of those old clothes because when you do lose that weight (and you will. :)), you'll need space for the hot new clothes you will buy. You need to create that space now and give yourself an excuse to fill it. (g) That empty space could also provide motivation. :)

Anthology Authors said...

You know, Terri, my mom started collecting angels after my sister died. And then Janna's bedroom became the depository for paper she didn't know what to do with. Now, that one room is a huge mess, but Mom has stopped collecting angels. So, she's healing. I was talking to her this morning about hoarding. She admitted to doing it. As I said, I think all of us do to some extent.

Now, you might not because of your background, but the rest of us... :)

Cassie Exline said...

When I read about girl child wanting to keep all the paper, I cringed. Ouch. I'm so bad at that. I toss, eventually, but I hoard first. Hubby has me beat. He keeps everything, because he's going to fix it someday. Ha!

Anthology Authors said...

You know, Cassie, my husband is like that some times. He kept his Apples from forever. They still ran. He had files he wanted to recover from them, but he just had them sitting in the garage collecting dust. I got pissed off. LOL You should see the G3 Mac sitting on the floor in the middle of our bedroom. Yeah, that makes me so happy.

Fiona McGier said...

Last week my 17-year-old daughter FINALLY decided to clean her room. She filled 2 garbage cans, 2 recycling cans, and now we have 2 huge trash bags of clothing she no longer wears to give away. Did I mention she has the smallest room in the house? Honestly, you can see the floor in her room now! And her closet? You can open the door without fear of imminently being crushed to death by the falling crap! I don't nag any of them, because it never does any good. I just don't go into their rooms. Safer that way. And if the county health dept. comes to call, I can honestly say I have no idea what is in any of their rooms!

Celtic Chick said...

Watching that Hoarder show should scare anyone from ever becoming a hoarder. OMG. It freaked me out. And then there was this lady in Las Vegas that died in her house and no one could find her for weeks because she was buried under all of her stuff. Talk about freaky.

I have a hard time parting with 'things.' I always think I might use it again, but never will. Still working on getting rid of stuff I will never use again.

Anthology Authors said...

Yeah, Fiona, nagging may not do any good, but we've got to get it done. Her room is just too much. She's not bad about getting rid of too small of clothes. We'll go through those together. It's just everything else. (sigh)

Anthology Authors said...

I think I need to watch it once a week just to motivate me to cull crap out of the house, CC. Seriously.

One way to think about getting rid of stuff is that you are making room for things that you can use. :)

Sarah Masters said...

Gawd, we have a proframme here called How Clean Is Your House? It's GROSS! Makes me do the same as you--as soon as the show is over, I'm up off that sofa and cleaning.

:o)

Sarah Masters said...

I meant programme. Effing nails.

:o)

LB said...

I hoarde clothes, I can't help it, it's a compulsion. My wardrobes are crammed full of clothes, not just modern stuff, but vintage dresses I've either inherited or bought, but which I no longer wear, either because they're too small/too big or I'd look strange doing the grocery shopping dressed in an early Laura Ashley ball gown. I rather hoped I'd have daughters who would grow up and be thrilled by my dress and shoe collection, but I had two sons and not one of them with the decency to be a transvestite. I keep meaning to have a clear out, but most of the stuff ends up back in the cupboard. Maybe I'll eventually have granddaughters?

Libby :)

KarennaC said...

I have lost count of the number of times I've had to go through my daughters' bedrooms with trash bags, just plain getting rid of stuff. We've had a deal since they were about six or seven: If they can't clean their rooms, Mom will do it, and they might not like the results. They're now 12 and 15, and I still have to do that sometimes...

I used to hold onto anything and everything. I guess one of the few good things about my first marriage is that it broke me of that habit. My first husband made us move so often (17 times in 14 years) that I learned not to hold onto too much, because the more I had the harder moving was.

My older daughter keeps stuff because she forgets to get rid of it. When she's reminded, she's pretty good about clearing out the mess. The younger, though... she has Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism, and to her, her belongings ARE her. So getting her to pare down can be very difficult sometimes. We're working on it, though, and at least now when she hoards she organizes it...

Shannon Leigh said...

I am not a hoarder. The opposite in fact. I tend to throw things away that I need later on! I would classify my mother as a hoarder. She takes things to the Goodwill, then buys more than she brought in. I swear, I think she's rebought things she took in there herself. I can't stand clutter, makes me crazy. It's a proven fact, clutter is one of the top ten stressors.

Anthology Authors said...

Yeah, Sarah, this one over the weekend was gross. The woman had so much trash in her house that you had to step on it to walk through the house. There were gnats flying around and bugs. It was just disgusting. I didn't even wait for the program to finish. I started cleaning right then. LOL

Anthology Authors said...

HAHAHAHAHA, Libby. Darn boys! You are right, at least one of them should have transvestite tendencies just so they can appreciate your clothes. (g) When they were little, were you ever tempted to dress them up in them? ;-)

Anthology Authors said...

Oh, that's hard, Karenna. My daughter has some light Asperger tendencies, but she seems to be growing out of them as she grows out of the seizures. She was telling us the other night when I talked to her about cleaning out that she was thinking she needed to give her rocking horse away. And then she promptly said, "Then we can get me a bigger one." Um, no. HAHAHAHA

Anthology Authors said...

Shannon, the clutter does stress me out. I try to tune it out, but it only works for so long. There's going to be some major cleaning again soon.

Jaime Samms said...

Funnily enough, the day we moved our hording daughter into her own room and set her to organizing all her 'stuff' she came back with a garbage bag of clothes to give away and two boxes of toys, an entire blue box of old art projects she no longer needed. She didn't want her room to look like a pig-sty, I guess. For this reason, I think it was a good idea to wait until she was ten and understood the privilege of having her own space.

Anthology Authors said...

Jaime,

Our daughter already has her own room. (sigh) if only that would work.