"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Too Much Stuff!

I have found myself fascinated by a show called "Hoarders" on TLC and I think I have seen it on A & E also. The amount of stuff, just piles and piles of stuff, from junk, to animals, to rotten food and all the filth that accumulates just because these people cannot get in or around all their STUFF is incredible. What is sad is most of these people are complete slaves to acquiring, hoarding, and coping with stuff. Many of the people in this show have actually sought help through no choice of their own, but because they are facing a final showdown about their stuff. Many are being evicted, or losing their children, or their families have given them an ultimatum, clean up and get rid of most of the stuff so the family can simply move around in the home. One show almost had me vomiting at the sight of all the rotting food a woman has hoarded. How often does one have so much food for so long in freezers that the frozen food is rotten?She had rotten pumpkins sitting around her kitchen. Needless to say, almost all of these people have rodent and pest infestations. I was saddened that with the exception of 2 families, the others finally made the choice to keep the junk and lose their home and children. If you saw these people out and about you would not know their living conditions, they seem as normal as you or I. This show has inspired me to de-clutter even more. I admit, I have a thing about magazines and books. I finally went through our many years of magazines and limited myself to a certain amount of storage space, easily accessible, for the magazines and then edited my collection. Mind you, I do re-read and use the magazines, really!But how many Christmas magazines does one need? Books however, I and my husband love. And hey, you can stack a pile of books and use them as a small table if you run out of shelf room. But we do have a lot of book shelves, and I did end up getting rid of quite a few books too. I would rather fill my home up with family and friends !
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy,and where theives break in and steal." Matthew 6 : 19
"Happiness is a place between too little and too much. " Finnish Proverb


Anonymous said...

I am not familiar with this show. How sad.
I have a creepy crawly surprise for you on my post!

LindaSueBuhl said...

I'm shuddering! Have seen interventions on various shows with hoarders and totally can't get in their mindset - raised in a military family my mom really had hard rules about "if it isn't being used NOW - out it goes someone else might need it". We are facing clearing out two huge lateral files - paperwork from years gone past we really don't need to keep - books I agree about - hard to let go of books - I do re read most of my books - Chronicles of Narnia I've read at least 3 times! Hope your weekend is all you hoped for!

Shelley said...

What a sad life for these hoarders! They need serious mental health assistance. I'm a big believer in decluttering. We go thru our closets twice a year and give away clothes we haven't worn in a while to the salv. army and purple heart. You are right about it being more impt. to fill a home w/ family.

Mary said...

I have a friend that claims to be a hoarder, Kathy. I can no longer visit her house. I am allergic to it. She has a few clear areas in her home; her side of the bed (he now sleeps in the recliner), the kitchen stove, and the sink and toilet. She no longer takes care of herself. When she leaves the house she eats at buffets (takes bags of food home), shops at W-M (again, food she does not need), and goes to flea markets, garage sales and thrift stores. She says, "Those items are my treasures, my life." It is sad, and she will not listen. The husband does not like it when she is mad at him, so he says,"As long as I have a path to walk through." Horrible! The original storage room now has a collapsed ceiling. So much for those treasures. Kathy, I watch the show Hoarders as well, mainly to try to make sense out of my friends situation. It makes me very aware, even of myself.

Julie Harward said...

I have never watched the show but I know that people do this..it is a sickness I think, and these dear people need help. We ourselves could get caught up in it too if we focus on the wrong things too long. It feels so refreshing to de-clutter and it feels even better to give it away to some one who needs it.
Come say hi :D

Mary said...

It is a mental illness and like all compulsive behavior very hard to treat. They must lead terribly sad lives.

Wobegon Cottage said...

I think I saw an episode the woman was trying to get help and it is an illness which makes me wonder about my mother and all the things she collected and couldn't get rid of. Thank goodness we could still move around the house so it wasn't as bad as the people on the show.

Flower said...

I like the Finnish Proverb! Somewhere between too little and too much is perfect! I shall join you in decluttering..right after I get the house dusted!!

Vickie said...

Very sad indeed. I've seen this show and I still don't understand how folks can get themselves into these predicaments. I think they must have something just not right their brains or some deepseated emotional thing that they think they have to live like that. Very sad...

Jennifer said...

I have not seen this show but it sounds interesting and sad. My Grandmother started getting like this when she first started showing symptoms of her Alzheimer's. (back then we didn't realize that is what was going on)

She was never dirty like that, no garbage or filth but she kept the oddest things and she was secretive about it. We once found an entire box that was neatly packed with clean laundry detergent scoops. The little plastic scoops that come in the box of detergent. She had kept dozens of them. Why I have no idea. Besides the Alzheimers starting to have some effects I think part of it was she was very poor growing up, lived through the depression and ate many biscuit and "water" gravy meals because that is all they could afford. I think growing up so poor she just couldn't bear to throw out anything that she thought could be useful someday. The clutter could get bad in her room but at least it was clean, not filthy like that. That video was just disturbing.

Daisy said...

I feel sorry for those who suffer with this mental illness. They are unable to let go of the things they hoard. I too need to de-clutter and clear out a few things here. It is surprising how quickly we accumulate things, but when it comes down to it, they are just things and aren't really what is important in life.

Susie said...

I didn't know they had a show about people like this Kathy. They obviously have issues.

Hubbie and I love books too but before we moved from GA we disposed of many. Sometimes you can recycle them by taking them to used bookstores. I had much rather recycle them than throw them away.

It's the same for the magazines. My inlaws take them to nursing homes.

Nancy M. said...

Wow, I haven't heard of that show. I really like shows like Clean House and I thought those people were bad, but this is shocking! I don't see how things get this bad for people.

KathyB. said...

Mildred, SPIDERS!!!! Eeeeeeeek!

LindaSue,I don't have much problem getting rid of lots of stuff, but books and magazines are something I love, and do re-read and re-use.

Shelley, on the shows you can see the distress these people feel just THINKING about tossing stuff and even filthy trash away...and to think most of them choose the filth and clutter over family just boggles the mind.

Mary, your friend says it truthfully when she says her clutter is her "treasure, her life" and that is beyond sad. What does that say to her family?

Julie, I agree with you! Giving away and getting rid of clutter is very freeing to me.

Mary, that is how I feel at the end of these shows, fascinated, repulsed, and then very sad for these people , but even more saddened for their families.

Wobegone Cottage, Alice, I thought of your Mom too, fortunately your Dad was able to keep things in check and he is such a good person for cleaning and cooking and keeping things the best he could for the well being of your family.

Flower, I'm with you! Just hope no one decides to do a show on homes in need of dusting...

Vickie, all of the people I have viewed on the shows seem to be very, very stubborn about their stuff and this seems to turn their battles into power struggles. I have watched the camera show close-ups of their faces as they ( the hoarders) finally shut down and resist any sensible solution, and as they run to the trash filled trucks destined for the dump and begin grabbing filthy trash back to take inside again. It is hard to think they are unable to reason and I am left with the thought that they are happy if they can be left alone to wallow in trash...their real struggle seems to be the resistance from the rest of the world's unwillingness to put up with them.

Jennifer, some of the people in the show do complain they were poor in their early years , or deprived, wonder why that affects some so badly and not others? Detergent scoops? An interesting thing to stash away. They could be useful ... my MIL would save such things and say they were for "crafts".

Daisy, you're right. In the end they are only 'things'.

Susie, I often take my address off good and fairly current magazines, and leave them in Doctor& dentist offices ,and hospital waiting rooms.

NancyM., after seeing this show I think many of the people om 'Clean House' were hoarders. I have always wanted that show to re-visit some of their worst offenders. I bet the homes are pretty much back to pre-clean up standards, but hope for their families that I am wrong.

Eggs In My Pocket / Yesteryear Embroideries said...

I love to watch this show as well...even though it hits close to home. My brother in-law is a dumpster diver horder. I cleaned out his house one time for him...it took 2 days...I wound up sick from all of the insect sprays and cleaners. Anyhow, in just a few weeks, it was back in even worse shape. Now after the years, it is so overwhelming...and he is not bothered about it all. I tried talking to him about it....but he just says it makes him happy. There is nothing else I can do. So very sad...especially when you think it wont happen in your family circle. blessings,Kathleen

Teeny Tiny cabin said...

I have not seen this show-but I am curious. My husbands grandmother was a hoarder--not as bad as the poor folks you describe. Her daughter always made sure it didn't get too out of hand.
I do the same as you with magazines, but also craft paper and saving stuff for Sunday school. Yes, there are times when it just needs to go!
It is the Truth that sets us free--thanks so much for sharing that all important verse to live by!
Also just want to say I am fascinated by your sheep! I thought I knew about a lot of farm animals, but I have never seen sheep like yours here in the East! They are wonderful!
Blessings to you!
Claudia O.