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  • Are you a hoarder or come from a family of hoarders? ?
  • unfitgeezer
    Full Member

    As in a proper hoarder ? Do you keep everything?

    Think I could be ! Garage is full of bits of stuff I may need, you name it I’ve probably got it !

    My dads house (he’s 88) is like the Mecca of hoarding, my brother is the same.

    Let’s hear your stories and see pictures if appropriate.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    No, i have spares…. but that’s about it.

    Ambrose
    Full Member

    I have ‘spare’ spares, just in case.

    nickc
    Full Member

    Nah, I hate clutter, if it’s not used within [insert random no of months TBD] then it goes. I have spares, but they must have a use for current bikes and be in a stackable box. The only things I really keep are books, even clothes are one (new) in one (old) out.

    avdave2
    Full Member

    I have a collection of interesting things

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    Not a full on hoarder, but i have a great knack of collecting loads of things.

    desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    Yep, I’m afraid so. Not “can’t get in the living room for piles of newspapers” type hoarding, but can’t get in the spare room for piles of magazines.. and VHS cassettes (yep!) bad. Box full of junk “spares” in the garage. Tried to find a headset the other day for a friends bike, pulling out of the way bar ends, 7 spd shifters, square taper bbs, single crank arms, even some toe strap plastic things. You never know though eh?!

    lerk
    Free Member

    I’m certainly “at risk”…

    My dads loft is fully floorboarded out with archive room like shelves between every other pair of rafters.
    He has at least recently started to thin out the stuff up there to add a bit more insulation, and out came the cardboard boxes for at TVs dating back to the 80s – well it might break and need the box for warranty.

    His garage was a thing of beauty – if you needed a spare wing mirror for a 1972 Mini clubman, he’d likely have one…
    …he wouldn’t have a **** clue whereabouts in the piles of boxes it was, but he’d know he’d got one. Unfortunately as he’s gets older he can no longer remember what he has got either.

    With some serendipity, a tumble dryer burnt the garage down and so much of his hoard was disposed of, but last time I looked in there it was starting to build up again.

    Knowing this, I try to be brutal when I’m keeping stuff… “am I actually going to use this in the next two years” then sling it if the answer is no.
    I have still managed to accrue many boxes of lots of things…
    I have at least four sets of mtb bars, cranksets, brake rotors cassettes saddles shifters, derailleurs, etc.

    Granted it’s my job, but I have around 5 folding baskets full of various electrical components, which invariably get left in the basket while I go and buy a new one from screwfix…

    Same goes for plumbing bits, paints, oils and greases…

    Hmm. Maybe I am inflicted!

    thepurist
    Full Member

    I’m a keeper, not a hoarder. I keep old magazines, books I’ve read, nuts and bolts and potentially useful stuff I take off broken things before binning them, bike bits etc. But I also have a clear out now and again to make sense of what I’ve got and chuck out the chaff. I think ‘hoarders’ find the chucking out difficult but I find it quite enjoyable when the time comes.

    ads678
    Full Member

    I do have far too much crap in the garage that needs getting rid of. Its a process though…. In the house though, no chance. I can’t stand clutter.

    configuration
    Free Member

    My mum was at the extreme end, it was a pathological condition. She was in denial about it her entire life. When I was a kid, it was mainly just bits of material (she was an avid clothes maker) and books (she was a voracious reader). Sadly, in her later years, it progressed into not chucking anything away, bar food waste. Her bathroom was filled with empty plastic milk bottles, many of them unrinsed. You literally could not get into her flat, as the door opened like 6″ (being tiny, she could squeeze in and out, but nobody else could). Eventually it became a safeguarding issue for social services, who rehoused her in sheltered accommodation. Her flat was deemed a ‘serious fire hazard’ (she was a heavy smoker). How it didn’t go up in flames, what with all the paper etc around, is a **** miracle.

    It can be an extremely debilitating condition; remember Mr Trebus on that Life of Grime documentary? My mum’s was on that scale. The roots of it are very complex; but many hoarders are in fact deeply creative and highly intelligent people. There is meaning to everything they keep. Deep set trauma is likely to be found at the root of it as well. Hoarders can be incredibly defensive to the point of violence; my mum would never let anyone help sort it out. ‘Leave it alone; it’s just a bit untidy’. She physically attacked me on a number of occasions, for trying to get rid of useless rubbish.

    ‘Treatment’ isn’t easy, or in some cases, possible. My mum did show signs of returning to the same behaviour in her new place. She was trying to create a ‘nest’ in which she felt safe, where she could hide herself away from the outside world. Her things were her ‘power’.

    Hoarding is a condition where, at the extreme end, people can suffer ridicule and abuse. There is not enough understanding of it, or any effective form of treatment. We found support in a local hoarders self-help group. That was truly enlightening. I now see ‘hoarding’ as being at one end of a spectrum of behaviour; at the other extreme end are people who cannot have any clutter whatsoever, and end up throwing away things they actually need. Most of us are int he middle somewhere. I have hoarding tendencies; learned behaviour? My dad was also quite a hoarder, but nowhere near as bad. My wife is much more of a minimalist; she’s helped me get rid of loads of useless stuff, and was incredible in getting the right support and systems in place for my mum. Very organised mind. I do sometimes have to persuade her NOT to throw some things away though! No; I need those old football boots from when I was a kid, because reasons

    Perhaps for some it’s a form of transference; my mum was very solitary for most of her latter years, so perhaps she gave things some form of sentimental ‘value’, thus forming an ‘attachment’ that she couldn’t have with people. She got very upset if we threw actual rubbish out, without her first checking the entire contents. Just in case something ‘useful’ was in there, like a practical jar or container etc. She was the bane of social services and carers.

    So when you talk about ‘hoarding’, think of where you are on a ‘spectrum’. Is it hoarding, or just ‘collecting’? There is a big difference.

    avdave2
    Full Member

    he wouldn’t have a **** clue whereabouts in the piles of boxes it was, but he’d know he’d got one. Unfortunately as he’s gets older he can no longer remember what he has got either.

    I posted a thread about my old neighbour Steve’s garage when he died. He was 96, hadn’t been it for years had everything you could ever imagine and more besides and knew exactly where it was if he wanted you to get something for him.

    TiRed
    Full Member

    I’m a serial disposer. Tend to accumulate then have a mass clearcut. Garage is an example with a LOT of bikes and spares, but everything in its place. In-laws are, however, serious hoarders. Every bit as bad as the TV examples. House is a fire hazard and FIL is disabled. I’ve offered to clear the house on multiple occasions, but the problem is “everything is important”. It’s a serious, debilitating affliction and has affected them over the years. If/when MIL is taken ill, only then will the problem be broached properly. Needless to say, mrs TiRed is sensitive to the problem so our house is relatively tidy. Her sister’s house is more in keeping with their parents. I won’t post pictures, but suffice to say there are bedrooms that it is not possible to enter.

    Based on conservation of mass, you have to remove matter. My tip is to sort clothes and shoes every six months and dispose to charity shops on a routine basis. Same with children’s toys. And kitchen drawers. The true test is not the tidiness of the house but the shed and garage.

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    I have some tendencies, probably learned or hereditary.  My gran who looked after me loads as a nipper used to hoard bits of string, carrier bags, plastic yoghurt pots etc.  When she wore out a pair of marigolds washing up, she’d make her own elastic bands by chopping the fingers into rings. She had draws and cupboards rammed with this stuff. Late in life it progressed to newspapers and magazines. She hated waste. She had fruit trees in the garden and would always use the bruised, mouldy windfalls first, despite there being ten times more pristine fruit on the branches than we could ever eat.

    My dad has hundreds of jam jars full of screws, bolts and fasteners.  Most of them are second hand, odd sizes, recovered from dismantled gadgets and furniture.  He grew up during rationing in WW2″, so I put some of it down to that. To be fair though, if you ever need anything, it’s guaranteed he’s got it!  I used to take the piss, but now do similar myself, ‘in case it comes in useful’.  If I chuck an old electrical appliance, I’ll chop off the plug and sometimes fuses and components ‘just in case’.  I keep packaging for tellys and stuff for a couple of years at least and file the instructions for any gadgets i buy.  I do have a blitz and sling all the crap out every now and then, so I’m not a complete lost cause. I know I need to keep it in check though!

    nickc
    Full Member

    I had an ex who’s mum was going the same way as @configuration’s mum, she had a piles of old letter/circulars and a waist high stack of newspapers in the kitchen, she needed them as firelighters apparently (they did have a stove TBF). Ex was quite distressed/surprised by it, as her parents had recently retired, an academic and a consultant, both shuffling around this giant stack of paper in the kitchen.

    NewRetroTom
    Full Member

    Something my mum has been battling for years I think. My dad tries to make her keep it under control, but there are still 10 year old newspapers floating about the house/shed.
    I think she inherited it from my grandmother. It took my mum and my auntie 2 years to clear out the house after she died, and a lot of the junk got brought back to my parents’ house.
    I fear that if my dad dies first my mum will lose all control of the situation and things will start to accumulate very rapidly.

    misteralz
    Free Member

    Like whoever it was that said it up there, I’m a keeper rather than a hoarder. I will get rid of stuff, but that point is probably a good bit further than others’ points.
    I really don’t doubt that it’s a combination of growing up poor, autism, trauma, and probably umpteen other factors as well. Atrocious short-term memory is a relatively new thing for me, but trinkets and posters and what have you really seem to help me keep those memories.
    Currently in a cleaning, clearing, and tidying phase. Don’t like living in a tip, but no way could I live like some folk whose houses look like Roblox. I had a friend who put his kettle in a cupboard after use because he wanted empty worktops, and he didn’t have a single book in his house. I don’t have a single room in my house without a book in it, FFS!

    RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    Me and MrsRNP are opposites on this – her parents had a old spare toilet stored in the loft amongst tons of other junk ‘just in case’ and MrsRNP has slightly inherited this approach.
    I’m opposite in that I won’t keep anything ‘of use’ as I know I can always buy it again at a later date if needed. I balance the cost of buying the item against a ‘cost’ of storing it – ie the space it would have taken up is far more valuable than the cost of the item to buy.

    …..saying that I do have a spare Volvo XC90 in our garage/creative space.

    bfw
    Full Member

    I am a compulsive tidier. In fact I have made a good living out of it building and clearing out useless cr@p for companies IT departments.

    I clear everything in out house, for the kids, my wife, in the garage everywhere. If it has a value I sell it, if not really, recycle it on Free-cycle, give it away, dispose of. Every now and then I make a mistake but generally its all good. This week I am selling (in time for Christmas) two Fitbits that my wife and son wanted but never used past the first two weeks, both sold on Ebay for £80, I have a track bike I built for one son but he isnt taht keen on track and the nearest one is an hour away, and one son Orange Zest as he has outgrown it.

    We had the house valued the other day and the Est Agent was blown away how a house with four people and a dog can be tidy. Guests always say the same thing. I like life this way. Clutter makes me itch…

    mashr
    Full Member

    Had to clear out an Uncle’s house last year after he died. Although we had some suspicions the full extent only came to light when we got in there and understood why the invites had gradually dried up over the years, and he no longer wanted any outsiders at all through the door (went for years with no heating for example).

    The house wasn’t dirty as such, no food waste or empty packaging of the likes. He always had the latest of greatest of things, including his hoover, you just couldn’t see the floor to actually use it. Just huge piles of “stuff”, from raiding the Aldi middle aisle for the largest drill bits I’ve seen outside of a North Sea oil rig, to the car insurance renewal quotes from as far back as 1998. Piles and piles of “stuff” in every room, but also multiples of the same kind of thing stashed away. e.g. He’d bought some Airpod Pros, but then he’d bought a spare charging case from some reason, and some nice Bose over-ear headphones but also some really cheap and nasty ear pod things too. Don’t think any of it was ever used. Think I couldn’t at least 12 cameras – none cheap. Masses of old computer equipment, ancient videos, CDs, books, and more tools than one person could ever use.

    The garage had a Yamaha R1 that he was keeping as in investment (but it was screwed and just losing money) and a much newer Kawasaki something that had basically never been used. 3 different inflatable boats, several outboards, 1990s windsurf kit and so on and on. Of course, it was all piled so high that you couldn’t even get any of it out. I had to dig out the 2 bikes so we could sell them.

    We brought in a clearance company, who were fantastic, and even they underestimated just how much stuff was tucked away. We now understand why it appears to was looking at having to strengthen the attic and was planning on installing a bloody electric hoist to get stuff into it!

    Proper hoarding really is a horrible thing. From the outisde you’d never have expected a thing. He always had 2 nice cars and a fast boat – all immaculate and tidy inside. If you’re wondering about the sort of person, he was earning very well worked at a fairly high level in a high security aspect of a credit card company. Complex indeed.

    TiRed
    Full Member

    Proper hoarding really is a horrible thing

    This. It’s a serious affliction, invariably due to some previous mental trauma. My MIL conflates possessions with memories. But can’t selectively choose things to keep, so everything is important. By contrast, removing stuff (even bikes – gasp) can be liberating but needs doing regularly.

    fasthaggis
    Full Member

    I have cupboards full of Jam,if it never gets used I can sell it for a fortune.

    el_boufador
    Full Member

    @rustynissanprairie

    garage/creative space

    Conceptually, I really like that 😀

    I’m probably about a middle ground, but the tidier end. In that I keep a lot of stuff, but pretty well organized as I can’t stand clutter (as above, makes me itch)

    Unfortunately for me, not all Family members are similarly wired.

    desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    I exaggerated, I can get in my spare room, my computer and printer are in there, but I have got too many mags and videos in there (no, not that sort). And the are more collections than hoards. Hoarders, as said, keep any old crap.
    It can be a seriously dangerous situation.

    mattsccm
    Free Member

    Anyone want a 20 foot tall stack of Land Rover mags. Just been keeping them just in case but haven’t bought a new one for over 10 years.
    Every single On the Edge magazine?

    revs1972
    Free Member

    I don’t like throwing stuff away.
    I have a friend that I “donate” stuff to that is too good to go in the bin. That makes me feel better.
    If he chucks it in the bin *, then that’s his business, but my mind is happy that it has gone to a good home.

    * Pretty sure he chucks it in the bin 😉

    revs1972
    Free Member

    The wife also collects up my copies of magazines (cars / bikes / shooting) I have read and drops them up at the hospital A & E. Some of the ambulance crews had asked on facey for some reading material for them and the patients whilst they wait in the queue.

    n0b0dy0ftheg0at
    Free Member

    We’ve been hoarding cardboard boxes, usually keep hold of the boxes of new toys for 12+ months, must have disposed of ~20 in the past month and there’s still some to go! :lol

    Cougar
    Full Member

    I have cupboards full of Jam,if it never gets used I can sell it for a fortune.

    I thought STW didn’t have many conservative users.

    Cougar
    Full Member

    That reminds me actually.

    In the supermarket a few years ago I spotted a tin of Bisto in an arty-farty old-time style tin labelled “collector’s edition”. Who the hell collects gravy?

    (Stock market traders?)

    Pieface
    Full Member

    I have a lot of stuff I can’t bear to throw away as it’s probably collectively worth about £300 if I could get round to selling it, but never have done

    redthunder
    Free Member

    #cougar

    Chapeau!

    Made me laugh that one 🙂

    Rich_s
    Full Member

    Who the hell collects gravy?

    Boat owners?

    reeksy
    Full Member

    I’m a keeper rather than a hoarder. But i’ve got three reasons.
    One – i’m quite sentimental
    Two – i don’t like wasting things that might be useful
    Three – i’m really bad at making decisions. Hopeless at filing things consistently so a lot of things just get left where they are because I can’t think what to do with them.

    mboy
    Free Member

    I’m a keeper rather than a hoarder. But i’ve got three reasons.

    As a “Keeper” myself, I have also come to the conclusion that this is a label that hoarders like to use to somehow justify their actions… It’s a condition, but many of us realise need to understand that whilst there are different severities of it, we are all suffering from ultimately the same affliction. I do understand that those of us who are Keepers do so far more selectively than generic hoarders who can’t throw anything out (I can be ruthless with other peoples stuff I see no value or emotion in keeping ironically!), but it’s all part of the same affliction…

    I have some similar issues to many on here. I was predisposed with parents who hoarded… My Mum was terrible, she sadly died in 1994 and amongst other things we discovered maybe 100 pairs of shoes she’d worn once at most, many unworn. My Dad has never been as bad as my Mum was, but he has always been far too slow to let go of things and placed far too much sentimental value on many things too (I am similar in this respect). But I have also witnessed my Dad have several significant clearouts in his time too, he is not beyond reproach for sure… I take after my Dad in this respect, I often hold onto stuff for far too long, but when I do have a clearout it feels incredibly cathartic and I can feel quite proud of myself. Of course the issue then is not filling the void with lots more stuff… My sister is more like my Mum… I helped her move house once, 15 years ago… NEVER again! As someone who suffers with hoarding, I was shocked and sickened that someone I was related to was quite so bad! I was staggered to be moving so much needless stuff from A to B, it made me feel relatively normal… But this in itself is a problem, because I have a tendancy to justify my own hoarding by being nowhere near as bad as some others (My Garage is a bit crammed with my stuff, as is my dining room, rest of the house is perfectly liveable though) which in itself isn’t especially healthy…

    The problem I have had dealing with it, is although she is very supportive of me as much as she can be, my GF doesn’t understand how best she can support me. On the occasion she has offered to help me clear out my unnecessary stuff, she quickly loses patience with me because of the lack of pace, and the fact I can’t just chuck stuff out easily… When she has tempered her patience, she has been incredibly helpful, but you can literally see she is bursting at the seams ready to scream at me for not getting through it quickly or efficiently enough! So the problem tends to perpetuate. I am not so bad as I can’t ask for help, the problem is the only help I’ve had has been a GF who is impatient, and a best friend who has been known to come home from work and lose his shit with his wife and kids for the house not being tidy enough and banish them all and do a top to toe deep clean of the house to make himself feel better! 3 weekends out of 4 he’ll schedule all day Saturday for a “deep clean” of the house FFS… A house that never gets dirty in the first place! I’d argue his problem is worse than mine, but of course society being as judgemental as it is, the fact he’s always early for work (even if he’s chomping at the bit to leave before time) and the fact his house is always spotless (even if it is a severe mental problem that causes it to be so) is judged far more favourably than the fact I can tend to hoard things and my timekeeping isn’t the best! 🤷🏻‍♂️ Society eh… 🤦🏻

    If you’re wondering about the sort of person, he was earning very well worked at a fairly high level in a high security aspect of a credit card company. Complex indeed.

    I don’t work for a credit card company, but I can relate… I have a good job, pretty well paid, I understand how important my spare time is etc… And yet I still can’t bring myself to get rid of stuff at times! I think my biggest problem is I am so reluctant to let things go for less than I think they’re worth, especially as I have always prided myself on buying things at the right price… Which leads me to this point…

    I have a lot of stuff I can’t bear to throw away as it’s probably collectively worth about £300 if I could get round to selling it, but never have done

    I worked it out recently, that at any point, I have many £thousands worth of stuff that I have never even used in my possession, let alone the stuff I’ve only used once or twice and can no longer justify keeping! Without wishing to be dismissive, your £300 worth of stuff is a small single ebay sale for me compared to the mountain of stuff I still need to get rid of! The thing is I will turn around and say “well I bought it at the right price”, which of course is true more often than not… But being rational I understand that owning something I haven’t derived any use or enjoyment out of is irrational. But the problem is that all too often, I’m not a rational human being! I am currently working through selling a few parts for cars and bikes I haven’t owned in years, successfully I might add. The problem is of course that when the cash goes in the bank, the temptation is there to replace them with stuff for cars and bikes I currently own but probably won’t use or can’t justify purchasing at least.

    The irony of all this is that I hate it when my GF has to take the kitchen sink with her when we travel! I can happily go away for days with little more than a change of underwear, a toothbrush and a phone charger in my possession, and it feels really good to do so. My GF always worries about the quality of the shampoo, the hairdryer, the towels etc. in any accommodation that we might stay in (and packs accordingly!) as well as the requirement for different outfits depending on the occasion! When we go away on my motorbike, she’ll have 2 full panniers full of stuff with her and I will barely half fill the top box… I’ve gone abroad for a week with a normal sized rucksack, she needs a suitcase for anything more than a single night away! Go figure… 🤷🏻‍♂️

    These days, somewhat ironically, my biggest issue with getting rid of stuff is that I’m so comfortable in my role that the financial pressures aren’t there like they were 3yrs ago when I had closed my bike shop but didn’t know where the next pay cheque was coming from… I’ve just had almost 5 weeks off work due to illness, and have made some headway on the mountain of stuff I have, but not nearly enough and have also rather embarrassingly contributed to it too with some recent purchases that I can’t see I will use any time soon…🤦🏻

    batfink
    Full Member

    My MIL is definitely on the hoarder “scale” – and her house is getting worse.

    It seems to me that she has the (obviously related) dual issues of “over-accumulation” of low value items, and the refusal to part with anything.

    The kitchen is particularly bad: cupboards filled to absolute bursting with packs of napkins, cupcake cases, the last few paper cups saved from every pack ever bought since the 1970s (the used ones of which were rinsed out and are themselves in another cupboard) etc. It’s got to the point now that the week’s shopping is just left out on the worktops, as are all the plates/pans etc that are in use, as they can’t be put away.

    We visited a few Christmases ago when we were back in the UK (pre-covid) and my wife found it quite upsetting, as she hadn’t made any attempt to even tidy-out the spare-bedrooms for us/the kids to sleep in (and so were unusable as bedrooms). She’d bought a mountain of (again, very low-value) presents for the kids, but hadn’t really bothered to wrap any of it – despite having a cupboard full of wrapping paper, and as such these were kind-of awkwardly handed-over as carrier-bags of assorted random stuff. There was all sorts of strange psychology going on in that whole episode.

    My wife has the same tendency for sure – when we moved to Australia in 2012, we were clearing out her flat, and she got pretty confronted at how much rubbish she was just storing, and that had to just be thrown away. Its a bit of a joke in our house that she will leave the rubbish on the kitchen worktop rather than put it in the bin/recycling, or return a wine bottle to the fridge with a thimbleful left in it, to avoid having to put the empty in the recycling.

    ajantom
    Full Member

    I could/potentially would be. Luckily my wife is ruthless 😆

    She has designated two areas as ‘mine’ – my music studio and the garage.
    I do tidy and clean the studio, and it’s not too bad. But she refuses to go in the garage!

    My dad’s a bit of a hoarder. He has rolls of credit card receipts from the 80s in the attic.
    Never chucks away a magazine supplement either. They often come to our house ‘as you might be interested in this article’. It’s on the recycling as soon as he leaves 😁

    Dickyboy
    Full Member

    We used to joke that our dad collected collections of stuff, hated his to me cluttered house but on the scale of things he wasn’t really a hoarder – he was more penny wise but pound silly, being economical to the extreme but spending ££ on useful things he never actually used.

    Marin
    Free Member

    I went to view a job on a house once where the ex tenant had collected his urine in jars. There were thousands of them all over the house. That’s hoarding! My co worker at the time whose nickname was Mad Jon demanded a half days wage and an apology off the landlord who thought we’d sort it out for him before we did the decorating.
    We went for a nice lunch with the cash and then went home.

    Caher
    Full Member

    Nope not at all. Both my garage and loft are empty. I do have 2 Asgard sheds full of bikes though.

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