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Old 04-27-2015, 10:12 PM   #1
CanadaSue
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Post Hoarding - Buried Alive: Return Visits

Over the past month or so, Hoarding - Buried Alive has been paying return visits to clients who were on the snow, mostly in 2010 or 2011. I remember all the episodes as originally aired & they spend much of the 'new' episodes revisiting the original story. Sadly, most of the clients are not doing well. It's a classic example of what happens after the TV cameras & paid help goes away. A few quickie "therapy" sessions done for the camera, some televised bits with professional organizers isn't nearly enough to get these people through the enormous issues they have to deal with in order to truly combat hoarding disorder.

The issues are, as a rule, far more complex than are outlined on the TV episodes. A lot of research is being done on hoarding currently & the root causes are still poorly understood. There are a lot of co-morbidities & it remains unclear if they result from hoarding or simply accompany the disorder. What is increasingly clear is there are impressive gaps in what is known as executive function in the brain. The brain simply can't process or organize or prioritize information or objects the way non-hoarders do.

We non-hoarders 'see' this most clearly in how hoarders describe their stuff or how/why they obtained it.


"I got it free or very cheaply."

"I got this to remind me of my son's trip to Mexico."

"My daughter's best friend might like this."

"I may go on a trip to Florida next winter - look at the wonderful clothes I bought - just in case!"


Getting rid of stuff or NOT getting rid of stuff is poorly explained as far as non-hoarders go.

Many hoarders claim they're keeping something to give it to someone - even if that "someone" has expressed no interest or lives so far away, it would be far simpler to obtain a similar item where they live. Or, an object was obtained as a gift & the giver would be offended if it were disposed of somehow. Or - my favourite - "I'm going to recycle this." - never happens.

Even if a hoarders, wants on some level, to eliminate stuff, they ritualize the process with such a degree of elaboration, it's not possible. Stuff simply gets shuffled from one pile to the next. Their process is completely impractical & they speak as though practicality were a sin.

Many of the hoarders who were re-interviewed, after their homes were shown, spoke of their homes being a work in progress.

Sadly, little if any, progress is visible.
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:53 PM   #2
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That's sad, but niot unexpected.

Right now I feel for them. I have half my usually clear living room full of boxes of my Mom's family history research. My brother has requested I find him proof some native ancestor lived in our immediate region before 1867, so he has local harvesting rights as a Metis.

I am paralyzed by the quantity of paper. If I don't deal with it soon (it's been at least a month), DH may have a backyard bonfire.
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:03 PM   #3
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I used to enjoy those shows but have cycled off of them but I dip in the pool every so often kind of like I watch LiveLeak intermittently.

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Even if a hoarders, wants on some level, to eliminate stuff, they ritualize the process with such a degree of elaboration, it's not possible. Stuff simply gets shuffled from one pile to the next. Their process is completely impractical & they speak as though practicality were a sin.
This is the main reason I cycled off. The process you described is what they all use and it does very little good. Sometimes you do see them engaged and changes occur but I don't think those are true hoarders. I think they are people whose life has gotten away from them.

Most of their "hoard" is trash, etc. and they are happen to have someone clean up.

Stuff hoarders have mental problems which need deep work even before you start the clean.

Back to the quoate. I find that part frustrating. They want to touch every thing in every box. I think it evokes those "good feelings" they have when they first got it. Kind of like doing drugs excep they overload.

Box of old trashy unsanitary stuff which any normal person would look in the top and say "toss it out", they want to unload and touch and check everything.
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:15 PM   #4
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Yup. I got a classic example of that this winter. My brother went to my mother's & in order too at least make it possible to open her front door more than 12", filled 4 trash bags, (curb sized), with old flyers, junk mail & that sort of paper crap. He took it away with him. He called me that night & told me that was an hour of his life he'd never get back. Mother tends to slip "important pieces of paper" within flyers, catalogues, magazines - whatever is in reach. He had to hold everything up & shake it to make sure nothing of that sort was accidently tossed.

She called me 3 days later, fussing & fretting. She was thinking out loud - about calling my brother & having him bring BACK, this crap. After all - he was SO FAST! Surely he'd missed something important! When pressed, she couldn't bring an example to mind but just KNEW there had to be something there! All that important & INTERESTING information lost - forever.

Yup - it was checked again & went right to the burn barrel.

I wouldn't have the patience to deal with it.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:08 PM   #5
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I just can't comprehend the mentality. I'm not just being snarky, I mean I'm wired exactly the opposite. More than once I've thrown out stuff and 6 months later wish I hadn't. But, I can't stand clutter. I clean my desk twice a day. I don't like "nick-nacks" sitting around. I have a couple, but they were gifts and I'd feel bad if I threw them out. Even that hideous horse my sister gave me. I need to find someone still racing rotary engines. I've got a bunch of stuff to get rid of or the recycler gets it. I'm not moving it again.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:18 PM   #6
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I only throw out the good stuff. I have all sorts of crap stuffed away in closets and drawers. (I hate clutter too - out of sight, out of mind!) But throw it out and I'll need exactly that one thing, IMMEDIATELY.
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:57 PM   #7
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I'm constantly at war with my hoard. My problem is that I only collect good stuff.
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:48 PM   #8
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I hate clutter SO much that I do not own knick knacks. None. I have three framed pictures on the walls of my house...a large photo of an early plane that my photog grt-grandfather took in 1920 in my dining room, and two framed group family pics in the basement family room. Not another thing on my walls. Can't handle it, but love the way others decorate their houses. My house is small so wall space is door openings, closets, windows, etc.
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Old 04-30-2015, 08:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaSue View Post
Yup. I got a classic example of that this winter. My brother went to my mother's & in order too at least make it possible to open her front door more than 12", filled 4 trash bags, (curb sized), with old flyers, junk mail & that sort of paper crap. He took it away with him. He called me that night & told me that was an hour of his life he'd never get back. Mother tends to slip "important pieces of paper" within flyers, catalogues, magazines - whatever is in reach. He had to hold everything up & shake it to make sure nothing of that sort was accidently tossed.

She called me 3 days later, fussing & fretting. She was thinking out loud - about calling my brother & having him bring BACK, this crap. After all - he was SO FAST! Surely he'd missed something important! When pressed, she couldn't bring an example to mind but just KNEW there had to be something there! All that important & INTERESTING information lost - forever.

Yup - it was checked again & went right to the burn barrel.

I wouldn't have the patience to deal with it.
I was wondering the other day how successful your brothers were in that whole situation, or did they have to give up?
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Old 04-30-2015, 02:52 PM   #10
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I collect things ......... Things I feel passionate for BUT, I also take care of them and when so inclined, will give them away to people I know will enjoy / appreciate / give a good home, to. So in that sense I enjoy them but aren't 'owned' by them..... And in a way it's about joy .... Joy in using something and joy in sharing it and joy in passing it on and letting someone else feel that joy.



So my attachment to them is limited and not obsessive. Doesn't stop there be a clutter-ness to closets and drawers.

I truly want to downsize but downsizing from CA to MN and now here, I can handle the smaller spaces but I lament the loss of walls. Yup, Way too many paintings and tapestries that all need wall space. Have winnowed the tapestries down to just a couple small ones and thinned out the paintings, but decades of living in Victorians and vintage houses, my 'collections' were part of the charm of the homes....... Still not quite gotten the right eclectic mix of vintage / shabby chic / beachy, worked out.........
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Old 04-30-2015, 03:47 PM   #11
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am a collector of beautiful objects. Sometimes of great value,other times simply beautiful of no value whatsoever, A found object, a feather, a stone, some moss.

I want my eye to fall on beauty as I see it. I don't much care what it is, natural or man made.
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Old 04-30-2015, 04:22 PM   #12
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According to my DIL I'm a hoarder. She sees my tub of clothes and calls it junk, I call it off season clothes that I will wear in the right season. I'm not wearing sweats in the summer. She saw the box DH packed of Tupperware as junk, I see it as DH being a pain in the fanny because he likes glass. She thinks she will be the one to go through stuff when I die but she's wrong on all of it. Her aunt will be overseeing my will and will be the one to go through it all. She just doesn't understand that I'm not a hoarder, I'm just lazy
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Old 04-30-2015, 04:32 PM   #13
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Exactly!! Vacuum bags and storage tubs are meant for out of season clothes and linens!! Saves some space and makes for easy access.
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Old 04-30-2015, 05:03 PM   #14
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Vacuum bags and storage tubs
This is the dry goods equivalent of leftovers in the refrigerator. Just because I can't use it now doesn't mean it's garbage! But when I do take it out and look at it again, that's where it will end up. Meanwhile, I'll keep it!
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