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Mother Hoards

While not as bad as some people whom I've seen, my mother is perhaps a mild hoarder. In short, she has way, way too much crap and refuses to dispose of anything. I think her problem is more she likes to throw stuff in random spots and then not pick it back up or throw it away. What I hate the most, though, is the fact that she will not allow me to throw away or donate anything I no longer want. Why? Because SHE did or may have spent money on the items in question at one time. So not only is she a hoarder, but she can be cheap at times. Here is a lovely little list of things I've had to listen to over the years:
  • Tried to sell old video games I no longer wanted from older consoles. I was offered 50 cents per game; I just wanted to get rid of them, so I said okay. My mother screamed at the store clerk that she purchased them brand new at about $50 apiece, and that if I didn't want them, she'd take them home and burn them.
  • Dug my old, crusty, unused make-up out of the bottom of the trash because it was still full and she claimed that she'd use it. Five years later, it sits untouched.
  • Flat surfaces are covered with trash (like yogurt wrappers, foil, and receipts).
  • Will not allow me to donate anything, even if I bought it myself. She figures if I'm trying to get rid of it, she bought it. If she spent money at any time in her life on anything, she will get very irate if you try and give away that thing she spent money on.
  • No room in her bedroom for clothing because of boxes of crap everywhere.
  • Basement and laundry room are both loaded with clothing she hasn't worn in years.
  • The closet in my room, while enormous, cannot be used because it's full of Mom's clothing from when she was younger (and far thinner). Again, stuff she will not get rid of.
  • Had a fit when, after losing 70 pounds, I wanted to donate all my plus-sixe clothing because it was falling off me.
  • A bag full of papers/scraps from my room (I sew a lot) seen in the main trash can will get opened and rummaged through to ensure nothing of "value" is being discarded.
  • Found me an art table someone tossed out on their curb (great find; love the table). I wanted to replace my desk with it. Since my mother bought me that desk for a whopping 60 dollars, she refused to get rid of it. Now my desk is in the kitchen.
Trying to clean stuff up is futile; sometimes, all that needs to be done is just putting stuff in a neat little stack as opposed to spreading it out as far as possible like peanut butter. But the arrangement only ever lasts about two days tops, and then the counters are loaded up again with trash. And my mother's idiot housemate/"boyfriend" is the same. He actually has a stack of losing scratch-off lottery tickets about six inches thick saved. He also likes to do some in-house dumpster diving. Case in point...when I cleaned out my room, I got rid of a lot of old junk papers from high school. Things like Spanish class worksheets, school announcement, and study hall drawings. The idiot had to open the trash bag these papers were in and look at every single paper to ensure nothing of his was being thrown away...or because he was just nosy and wanted to find something juicy.

I've been trying to throw away an old art project for years...a ceramic shark that looks godawful. Yet it manages to always find its way back to my room. My mother also always gets irate with me if I dare to get annoyed when she dumps crap of hers in my room. My room is a bit full, but I know how to actually arrange my stuff so it looks nice and so I don't feel cramped...somethimg my mother has not yet mastered. My mother does not ever EVER entertain guests, which is why she doesn't care if an empty soda can sits on the television for two weeks.

Honestly, I would clean out her whole house for free with a big smile on my face in high heels and pearls if she would just let me. So much stuff could be donated, and perhaps some could be sold. I think the basement has the potential to be comfortable and not loaded to the gills with junk. Heck, I'd love to write to one of those home redecoration shows to see what they could do. But I know if my mother allowed them to visit, she'd be standing with her arms crossed, watching them and smacking them with a fly swatter while screaming that they can't get rid of some candy wrapper from 1985 because she spent money on that candy.

I don't know why, but I just can't understand how people can live in such hovels. I'm not the greatest housekeeper ever, but something goes off in my head every so often that says, "It's feeling messy in here. Time to clean/rearrange/sell/donate!" I'm convinced my mother is trying to see how much stuff she can pack in her house before the floor collapses.
StrawberryPocky StrawberryPocky 22-25, F 4 Responses Jul 6, 2010

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I feel your pain! I live in a similar situation, I gave this person my old desk chair (I no longer had the room for it) and it has been sitting in the hall way for 10 months... its use, ACCUMULATING DUST! and god forbid if I throw out old toilet paper rolls because they may have "another use" (even though theres boxes full of them), throws tissues at and around the bins so she can later pick them up and sort through them before actually putting them into the bin.
2 Lounge rooms, kitchen, dining room, 2 bedrooms, 4 car garage full to the point that nobody can use them. One of the spare rooms is so stock piled with useless junk that the floor has sunk and the walls are warped and damaged from the excessive weight.
I have resorted to either completely breaking things to throw them out (which she still goes through the bin and looks at) or sneaking things out of the house while shes sleeping and disposing of it in a public bin.

I know exactly how you feel. You may never totally fix the problem, but you can fight back.<br />
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The only way you can get rid of things is to completely destroy them before you throw them out. So you're old papers rip them up to shreds. Old clothes take a knife to them and cut them up beyond repair, or take them to school or work and throw them out there. Your old shark just drop it hard on the floor and say goodbye to it. Just start being "clumsy." She'll get mad the first few times, but what can she do if it's totally ruined?<br />
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If you are ever in the house alone then find a things you know she will never miss and take them outside to a garbage can somewhere away from your house. Like go in the old box of clothes and remove a few pieces at a time. Nothing major. Just keep slowly getting rid of things when she isn't around. If it just sits there in boxes she will never know and at least you will be removing something slowly. You can also test her this way to see if she misses things. Like move something to another box for a few weeks. If she never says anything than toss it the next time. If you do it enough and careful enough you'll start to get confident about it.<br />
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I have break or knife anything I want to get rid of. They just can't let go. You need to force them to.

you could throw things out in other garbage cans, so they can't retrieve it. Like in public dumpsters. Obviously she sounds like she's got some serious issues. But more than that, reading this is kinda familiar. I'm a former hoarder, but I'm getting over it. And my mom's a hoarder (guess I know where I got it from). So yeah, good luck. And maybe when you move out you'll get the clear space you want.