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Basic Info. Why & What do People Hoard. Treatments. Literature & Links. Support. Tips& Tricks.

   Why Do People Hoard.
   Look at What Some Visitors Sent In.
   Add Why you Hoard.

   What do People Hoard.


These are some of the Why's People Hoard which visitors sent in.
  1. I hoard because I hoard. It's a cycle where my home is a complete, unfunctional mess, so I believe that I will use all these items once I clean (or in order to clean) up the rest of the mess. I have known about my hoarding/OCD for a few years and have gone through much BT and it seems to have only gotten worse. I think it's because I truly believe that once I organize my house, I will finally be able to use all the items that have been 'hidden' or in piles or behind other things. So, I have blind faith that I will soon clean up, and that perpetuates the comforting and incorrect belief of future use.

  2. Fear that things will become more valuable in time, and if you throw them away, then you will miss out on their value. The Antiques Road Show is terrible for me. I hoard antiques, and fear selling them, because I might need the money some day.

  3. I am certain that the practice sessions in elementary school - for 'when the Reds drop the bomb' back in the days of the Cuban missile crisis influenced me greatly. Folks had bomb shelters and lists of things they should be stocked with. As kids we would play 'games' in which we would select 2 or 3 things that we would be sure to have when 'it' happened. We thought of what we would do if there were no stores... The message was "be prepared or you will go without". I'm 50, and boy, am I prepared!

  4. Procrastination. A lot of mine has been to set it beside where I'm at and "I'll throw it away later" and "later" never comes.

  5. The great depression.

  6. People also hoard because it creates a layer of insulation around them, a blanket between themself and the rest of the world. Its often a matter of comfort. When one surrounds themself with "things" they are less accessible. Other people who may visit often concentrate on the amassed goods rather than the person hiding behind the 200 boxes of Christmas decorations stacked in the living room.

  7. In my experience of Hoarding, items that people had given me were very hard to ever discard because the item or thing represented the giver. Pajamas given to me 15 years earlier from Rose, the mother of an ex-boyfriend, represented Rose, even though I hadn't worn them in years and they may be of use to someone else, to let go of this particular pair of pajamas meant letting go of Rose. Through reading and joining various support groups, I am now ready to give these pajamas to Good Will.
    Michelle M.

  8. Hoarding items replaces loved ones or others that have died or moved out of the hoarders life. This compulsive shopping and hoarding makes the hoarder feel less off a loss by replacing items for people. Also, it drives others away unknowingly by the hoarder, and the cycle resurfaces with more items. I believe that by hoarding food the hoarder believes that the people who have moved out of the circle of their life will return to eat it and that it will be there.
  9. In cases where an elder has children's possessions, the hoarder says they are "keeping them" for the children to remove.

  10. I lost 5 teeth due to a dental disaster - ever since I've been a "saver." - I wonder if this loss exacerbated my saving tendencies, which may have broached beyond the bounds of cluttering & entered the "clinical" sounding realm of hoarding. I wonder this is due to this loss over which I felt completely out of control over.

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  11. How about being afraid of change. Wanting things to remain the same and by keeping everything then nothing has to change. By making room in the house it means you are opening yourself up to the possibility of making changes ie having people come in to visit with no more excuses to keep others out. Also the idea of what I do that makes me feel good is to give things to other people, so I keep buying more things than I could possibly give away, just to have them around just in case I need a gift for someone. Just an observation of someone who only has 1 seat in their home and that is also where they sleep.

  12. I think that people hoard because of on an ongoing sense of financial deprivation. They don't feel they have or will have enough financial resources to obtain new possessions, so they want to keep everything that comes their way. An example of this kind of behavior in actions would be keeping certain items that most people treat as throwaway: bits of ribbons and bows and wrapping paper, balloons, advertising giveaway trinkets of all sorts. Each item has its individual beauty and value, but people who expect to have enough money to buy as much wrapping paper as they might like in the future might not feel so attached to a particular piece, either coming to themselves or purchased to give to someone else.

  13. I hoard clothing, shoes, jewelry and food because I always will have something to fall back on if I become poor like my childhood.

  14. My understanding of anorexia is that it is a control issue. The anorexia uses their food consumption and body weight as a way of maintaining control over at least this area of their life. Obesity shares the same characteristics in the opposite way. My theory is that in addition to the above reasons suggested, hoarding is one way a person tries to assert control in a situation, circumstance or life in which they feel they have little control. I now see why seniors who are loosing control in many ways use hoarding as at least one way of maintaining an illusion of control.

  15. I think I hoard to avoid any doubt or insecurity of losing/needing or having to let go of even the smallest thing. I know I have a sadly morbid thought that an item from someone may be part of the last interaction I have with them and that I may later appreciate I have saved it. There is something comforting to having all things safely surrounding me, not in a nesting way, but just for the knowledge that at least nothing is ever really lost, it is always somewhere locked safely in my home. In the end though, hoarding has separated me from friendships, made me feel isolated and paranoid, and rather uncomfortable and unhappy.

  16. I have an extremely difficult time getting rid of things if I don't have all the pieces or parts.

  17. Keeping items that belong to dead loved ones to "keep those persons around".

  18. Just to reminisce, just like listening to an old song brings back memories. Nostalgia. Society forces you to change whether you choose to or not.

  19. One who is extremely bright and able to repair everything will save thing to repair and accumulate more and more thing for parts. Thus we call it in our group the upc club the unfinished project club.

  20. Perhaps the person has "done without" or been needy at some time & unconscious of his hoarding.

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  21. Being raised by parents who were children in the great depression, and having a grandmother (sweetest lady that ever lived) who died with 9 mason jars full of rubber bands and 6 full of safety pins....) and because I am the oldest, and a daughter and was always required to be the "responsible" one and have whatever was needed available.....

  22. I think children of addicts and those suffering from PTSD tend to be hoarders. It's definitely a fear based behavior. Survival depends upon being prepared. Prepared for what? Anything! Later, I hoarded because I thought I could never financially replace items when I would actually need them in the future. I had learned (incorrectly) that you can't rely on anyone to take care of you and the universe isn't going to provide for you. Now, I'm getting better and can rely on myself. (I can't throw away anything useful, though. I have to donate it :)

  23. I hoard because I have a really difficult time making decisions, organizing, keeping track of time, etc. Sometimes, I literally don't see how bad it is. Hoarding that is truly pathological seems to be based in disorganized thinking. In other words, the mess outside of me is only a clue to the mess inside of me.

  24. I feel mostly is a cycle passed on. I too have the curse. Some in my family are need as pin and are ocd that way. I too can't get organized because I go in circles an feel guilty, its true the average person holds onto deceased family items. I am getting better by telling myself its just stuff they couldn't take w/them an don't need it now so why do I.???. It's hard but as long as you as the question an then give the answer its your decision an the guilt is lifted.. I too try to donate more then toss...

  25. Because they can't attain the materialism of the sought after "good life", they keep what they can get their hands on and thereby achieve by accumulation a sense of being surrounded by their things.

  26. This is weird, but for me about half of the hoarding problem stems from problems with how other people will view me. I can't stand for others in my apartment to see me bringing groceries or supplies in, nor can I stand to be caught taking garbage to the tip. It seems to be predicated on the idea that if people see what I bring in, consume, and discard, they will assume that I'm spendthrift, selfish, wasteful. I know that one bag of trash a week isn't all that much, but I'm still petrified of being seen with it. As though I hadn't made full use of the things I purchased. Anyway, I believe that I have to sneak the trash out of the building after all my neighbors are asleep... if I don't manage to stay up until three AM, the trash bag just sits there. At times, this has resulted in as many as ten trash bags awaiting disposal at an "inconspicuous" time. Nor can I stand to have identifying information (addresses from junk mail, e.g.) in my garbage. What if the bag were to break? I'd be associated with it. Which results in large amounts of paper standing around until I can go through and remove anything that might implicate me. It's not so bad if I can get the trash out in reasonably short order, but once it builds up, it becomes a horrible problem. I can't just take six bags to the tip. Have to sneak them out one at a time, two or three days apart, so no one will know that it's me who suddenly deposited all this junk. Sometimes I try to disguise the problem by using different colored trash bags, on the theory that they won't be associated with the same household. I know this is nutty behavior, but I really can't seem to get a grip on it.

  27. I think OCD is a good explanation of why some people hoard. I see collections of EVERY thing in a set as not just collecting but hoarding too. I call my self a pack rat and I had clutter but I have a hard time getting rid of things. I am working on it. The funny thing is that I married a man 14 years ago and now my name is Linda Hoard. (This is not a joke).

  28. Though I feel that to a degree hoarding may be learned behavior, I think the problem may be increasing in those people who take doctor prescribed drugs. I have a tendency to collect and then purge as does another member of my family. We do not take medication.

  29. I have a friend who hoards for fear that she'll contribute to our overflowing landfill problem and saves everything for recycling. In this throw away world, she feels this huge responsibility to save and help others save and recycle too. I believe recycling is good and necessary, but she's so obsessed with it that she can't enjoy anything new and always has bags of junk she's lugging about for something...

  30. I have a brother who is a hoarder claims that it is a hobby to repair the hoarded item and sell it, but never getting around to doing it.

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  31. I believe that hoarding is emotionally based first and then affects the brain second. It is an anxiety issue that is used,in my opinion,for mood altering purposes. I also feel that the main reason people hoard is to avoid dealing with deep, accumulated loss. It acts somewhat like drugs, that is, it medicates.

  32. I can identify with all of these....also, feel much of what I "save" relates to what I want my life to be like someday....lots of leisure time to do crafts, garden, paint, sew....which I cannot find time (or energy) to do now.....but if I have the ":supplies" someday when I am old and retired (and could not afford to buy the supplies) I will have what I need to do what I want......does this make sense?

  33. To get something for nothing. for instance if my husband sees something that someone else is throwing away, he will look through it, and take home anything he thinks might be of value, even shoes or clothes that wouldn't fit anyone in our house.

  34. I hoard crafts, sewing and holiday decorations. Most of these projects are never completed and the thought of throwing any of this away represents an "incompleteness of my life"...if I hold on to them, I think I will eventually complete them. Somehow this ties into a feelings of joys I've never had, memories that never were, and the voids that stood, instead. Holding on/hoarding of these items means that I have not given up hope of the "happy life" I'll someday have....yet never comes. It's a vicious, deceiving circle.

  35. A childhood full of losses, abandonment and lacking in security.

  36. The item may have another use, thus recycle. Example toilet paper rolls kept to have yarn crocheted around them for candles.

  37. Loss of loved ones through death, or geographical distance - sense of losing everyone and not being able to control.

  38. My mother-in-law hoards everything and I think the cause is that she was in a abusive relations,and lost both parents to suicide. I also believe that if you don't have control of your life you feel you are in control by doing this.

  39. Concerning the paper: I keep things I haven't read or dealt with, or want to access later. I feel horribly guilty if I don't read every word of every scholarly journal article that people throw my way...and they're a terrible bore! so I have a stack of 800 pages or so, waiting for the right moment... concerning clothing & art supplies, I just keep thinking I'll use them someday...

  40. If it cannot be organized in the most perfect way ( each item must have its own appropriate place), it should remain exactly where it is (on the floor in the middle of the room, on the top of the table, etc.) until I find time to find a perfect place for it. This applies to every single item, so stuff piles up and there is no end to it.

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  41. Lack of time to sort through things. So you keep things with the thought that someday you will have the time to go through them. Soon the amount of things you have kept for sorting at a later time becomes a mountain that outweighs any amount of future time you could devote to the task. And you know that it is going to continue to grow while you wait for that magical free time to come. It becomes too overwhelming to deal with.

  42. Recycling, reusing, environmental reasons, future projects, etc.

  43. Hoarding may happen in response to a loss of control (real or perceived) of life circumstances, when people believe they can no longer determine how their lives will unfold, and instead they are merely responding to outside factors/influences. It would be interesting to see whether prison inmates develop problems with hoarding, or any other symptoms typically associated with OCD et al, as a potential confirmation/elimination of this hypothesis.

  44. ...regarding the possibility that hoarding may result as a response to a lack of control over one's life circumstances (as opposed to being a reaction to an earlier episode of material deprivation, such as extreme poverty in childhood); this would seem consistent with the example of an elderly person for whom hoarding becomes a problem as they increasingly lose actual control over much of their lives...

  45. In my family it seems to be genetic....everyone has it to a more or lesser degree and the next generation is concerned.

  46. To prevent them from having to face their life or get a job. If they have financial support from someone and can spend all of their time with their stuff, they will. If they can continue with the excuse of "I can't do that or go there, I have to clean/organize my things", then they won't have to face life and where they fit into the greater picture of society. It's fear of themselves and of facing responsibility.

  47. I'm not afraid of being without any given scrap of garbage or item I own. You could take almost anything away from my home and I won't really miss it. BUT... I AM AFRAID of committing myself to change my life for the better. If I get started, I will either have to clean every day, or know myself to be incapable of doing so. I don't want to know that I CAN'T improve my life, and I'm afraid of finding out. So by not trying, I will never have to know. Removing the garbage would be the first step to improving my life, and for this reason, the first step is very frightening. Am I just a slob? Am I just lazy? I have always been this way, and I appear very clean cut in public. I really don't know if I'm the same as others who seem to have a need for the clutter itself. I don't need items, I specifically need a MESS. Am I different from the others, or is hoarding?

  48. A person that has lived no life of their own and has lived with only their mother has no personality...my aunt is this person. i believe that she puts her identity into a lot of her objects. So she feels as if they are a part of her...and how could she part with a piece of her self???

  49. Fear that they won't be able to get the item ever again.

  50. Because someone out there might really need it. I could give it to someone who needs it, I can't throw good things into the trash.

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  51. I wonder about "control of others" control of the outside world. I live with someone who has piles of "stuff" ALL OVER THE HOUSE -- to the point that several spaces, rooms, are filled with this person's things. I am not allowed to throw them out or rearrange them. The house is full of meaningless (to me) clutter. A lovely room is not inviting or useful because of the bird seed, tool box, gloves, power washer, fertilizer, seeds, books, papers, Xmas paper, gifts, broken plumbing pipes, etc., etc., etc. WHY?! I see this as very selfish behavior. It is ruining (has ruined) a 45 year marriage. The attitude seems to me to be: I am in control; nobody can make me do anything I don't want to do; I don't want to get these things from the garage or my office or the basement, etc -- I want them right here in the middle of the family room or kitchen or bedroom or wherever. "I will put them away later" (9 years ago....) HELP!

  52. Fear that you will not be able to find the same useful item again if you need it. Also, why should you buy something again when you already have it?

  53. Responsibility...to waste is to sin...to not use what is given to you is 'shameful' ,so to Hoard is to avoid shame of Wastefulness?

  54. Behavior learned from parent.

  55. I agree with all of the above reasons, and most of them apply to my problem in different degrees.. I think having a friend of person there to throw out the clutter ,or help assess it is essential..Then the actual physical act of disposing is someone else's responsibility..

  56. I have OCD Hoarding. People can walk out of your life...things don't. Hoarding is a form of security.

  57. "ADD WHY YOU HOARD" just appeared. I thought it said "ADD, why you hoard". I have ADD and it really creates a perfect hoarding personality. Save items to do projects or chores that rarely get done, procrastinate until you are in the 'mood" to do something, only by the time you are in the mood you can't find the tools you saved. Organizing and prioritizing are real brain busters for ADDers. Also being depressed makes one look at a pile of stuff and say you'll deal with that tomorrow. Meds really help a lot.

  58. I wish I knew! I live in an 8 room house by myself and there are paths in and around all my "stuff". I also have a storage shed and several (up to 4 at one time)storage units full of stuff. Until tonight I did not know this thing had a name and then I saw myself on Dateline. My husband left because we are both clutterers. I am overwhelmed by all this stuff and never have anyone over because "normal people don't live like this"! When I was small my folks traveled. We lived in hotels and all my worldly possessions were in a peach basket. I also have difficulty making decisions. Does this have any bearing on WHY I can't let go of this STUFF? I wish I knew.

  59. If I get rid of the "stuff," I momentarily feel free and light, but then I feel "exposed," and it doesn't take long again to have kinds of "stuff" sheltering me.

  60. I had very little when I was growing up. I don't know why I think something is cool, but I love a bargain.

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  61. Books obsession.

  62. I feel that any item that I possess carries a part of my energy, and therefore, I do not want to discard it, because I would be loosing part of myself.

  63. My mother always used to say "Willful waste is woeful want." I am a senior citizen and been saving (after washing them) plastic containers that margarine, cottage cheese, etc. come in, thinking there must be some place I can donate them where they can be used. (Years ago a teacher took about 30 of them to plant Mother's Day plants in them.) I also save the empty plastic medicine bottles thinking they too should be reusable. I find it upsetting to just throw anything away. I donate to charities when they contact me, because I feel someone will make use of the items. I save other items too, such as newspaper articles and the like; the advice can come in handy. I also keep some of my old, old clothes, always thinking I'm going to wear them again; although I have given away the largest amount of them. So, therefore, I feel "superfluous saving" is generational; like mother, like daughter.

  64. NO.8 AND NO.31 SUM IT ALL UP.

  65. When i was a child i was molested. I had no control over what happened to me. Now when people touch my things i feel that same kind of violation. I had no control over what happened to me then but if i can control my stuff, i don't feel powerless-like i did as a child/victim.

  66. I think that keeping alot of things in the house, ie hoarding., instead of getting rid of them, is kind of like a comfort. You can always count on these items to keep you company, and you can always feel needed because you know it is a job you must eventually do, instead it grows into something bigger and bigger; alot of times it being very difficult to handle.

  67. There may be an addiction component of hoarding also and similar to gambling- the thrill is in the RISK of winning/ acquiring or losing/ getting rid of something especially of you do it through auctions-lol. I actually feel an excitement and panic at the same time when getting something and again when I think about oe try getting rid of it.

  68. My things won't leave me. People will.

  69. I hoard items and also buy defective items in the supermarket or department stores because I tend to imbue personality and feelings onto inanimate objects. When I see a dented can or a perfectly new shirt missing a button I feel extremely sad for the item because I fear that no one will want it and it will not serve the purpose for which it was created due to a small defect... so I buy it. The mentality is similar, I suppose, to people who adopt lots of homeless pets or children (by the way, I also have 6 cats). If I cannot buy the item or if I make a point of consciously passing the item up, I am guilt ridden for days. Sometimes I think I buy these things just to avoid the guilt of feeling I have "abandoned" an item or "rejected" it by failing to provide an opportunity for it to "fulfill the purpose for which it was created." In the last few years I have developed rules for what I allow in my house and tend to buy things online where only new and perfect things are sent though the mail... thus avoiding the defective items sometimes seen and found in stores. I suspect my manifestation of hoarding is due to being an only child raised by an ambivalent single parent who abandoned me in many ways and on many different occasions. I suspect I'm attempting to "rescue" the child I once was by projecting unresolved feeling and issues onto items that would be deemed by others as "imperfect" and thus "unwanted."

  70. #32 is me! What I want my life to be like someday! Wow that's us, someday my husband and I just know we'll use our stuff. Meanwhile we don't have time for a hobby or want our friends over because there is too much stuff in our way. I think I'm afraid, to have the time and try to accomplish things. This site really made me feel better, thanks everyone!

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  71. I feel that if I FINALLY get rid of my piles that fill rooms in my house and garage, I will die. I know it's not true, but I feel that way. If I do manage to get rid of all the junk, then I will be bored. As long as there are huge piles, I know I will always have something to do. I can use it as an excuse to get out of a social obligation. I can always say I can't go to a party because I have so much cleaning to do. It's my safety pile and significant other.

  72. It's really amazing, but I hoard for all of the aforementioned reasons. I suffer from PTSD, and manic depression, was in an abusive marriage, lost family members that I haven't come to grips with yet, a job loss that I refuse to accept. And, I've recently gained over 100 pounds. I purchase books and magazines that I've never taken the time to read. I am a compulsive shopper. I have items in my closet that still have the price tags on them. Every room is filled with clutter, yet, I can't seem to part with anything. I realize there is a problem, but I don't know what to do about it.

  73. My father appears to hoard for many reasons I see here. Mainly, anything with perceived value should be brought home and saved, so you won't have to buy it later when someone may need it. I just thought he was cheap. But he has plenty of money and it seems to also give him a sense of security to have all this junk. He has no problem giving things away it to friends or family who could use items but for some reason doesn't easily make regular trips to the thrift store to donate or do garage sales.

  74. By surrounding yourself with "things" you care for you have a feeling of always being loved and cared for. Also, these "things" keep us busy... there is always something to do, that is meaningful or has heartfelt value. These "things" are taking the place of people we care for and/or want to be cared by. Sometimes we're afraid to reach out, and these "things" that we surround ourselves with comfort us and "pad" us from loneliness, lack of love, lack of material possessions from the past, and fear of abandonment. For these "things" are always here for us, no matter what. They can never leave us, until we say so (the control factor). Society may play a role in that, If I have nothing, I am nothing. Society dictates the more you have the more "important" you are as a person. Well, If you put the have's and the have not's in one room, strip them of everything "material" (the addition of color blind glasses may be needed), then who will be more important than ! the next? We have to realize that we are important as a human being not for what we have, but for who we are... Human. And every human wants LOVE.

  75. My parents were separated, an aunt raised my brother & I. The only things that were kept from our childhood were pictures kept by my father. I never knew my mother's family till really late in life, missed so much. I spent my entire first marriage saving pictures & not much else for my children. I tried to keep a clean & safe normal house, even tho I wasn't sure what normal was. I wanted my kids to have what I didn't have, a normal home life. After my divorce I had to give up so much, or box it up somewhere, really tore me up. This is my second marriage & my husband considers my stuff junk& keeps shifting me to smaller & smaller rooms. He had talked about us selling our house and I know he would go to something even smaller just to crowd me out. His favorite fight retort used to be that he was going to dump me and my junk on my kids doorsteps, so I would have to get rid of so much & box up my life again. I don't feel like this is my home at all & that he enjoys making me feel that way. Really sad that I ended up like this again. I do drive myself nuts because I can never get organized or keep track. When I lived alone had no problem keeping things neat & clean & even giving things away. I feel like I'm getting worse as I get older. I have gone through spells in my life where I have dumped everything I had & started over again, and within a few years I was back where I started from. Sewing machine, material, fabric, books are such a comfort to me. Reading & sewing are relaxing for me, knowing I can make something with my hands. The more anxious I am the worse I get about keeping my stuff.

  76. I love to acquire things to validate my self-worth. I quality and quantity shop as a signal to myself that my position in life has changed. I must keep these things around me - unorganized - because there is never a "perfect" manner to arrange and display them.

  77. I think one of the reasons that I have became such a pack rat is not to have to face issues. If I ever got completely caught up & organized then I would have to face life. Think about what am I really doing. Or maybe I'd be really lonely & have to think of sad things that I don't want to think about. Maybe I'm hiding from life behind all this chaos & clutter.

  78. I think my problem started when I gave away a HUGE portrait that was made for me of an old boyfriend and then he was killed in Vietnam. The girl I gave it to had gotten mad at him and destroyed it. I wanted that portrait back to give to his Mother who would have treasured it. I had trouble letting go of things from then on.

  79. I always thought I hoarded because my mother and grandmother just tossed things without thinking, something I cannot do. I have boxes and piles of magazines, newspapers(I box them to get them off the sofa or coffee table when company/holidays come then never get a chance to get back to them. I have been out of work for 2 months now and have made some? progress but to others around me it doesn't seem like I have done much. Husband is a wits end. I love to read (anything) and have been this way since learning to read. I throw certain parts of the newspaper away but keep at least 50% to read later. I cut things out to show my sons, sister, friends. I also cannot get rid of clothes (we were poor and often got hand me downs). I do have lots of things from people who are not longer here--mom, aunt, mother in law, grandparents. My kids school papers (at least one box each). My sons are 33,30 and 25. Only one keeps things. The youngest tosses with a blink. M! y uncle was a hoarder. I agree it has to do with not being able to make a decision and also somebody can use it. I remember getting extremely upset with my sons when cleaning the basement and we had to throw away practically new toys because the were broke or missing pieces (it was such a waste of money to buy these things I swore I was never buying them anything again). I do need help. Its gotten to be stressful. (I even have tons of emails I cannot delete)

  80. Yes I have this problem also I've been hoarding for many years now I'm now age 64 years old, I keep telling my self that some day I will get up the strength to clean up my house, I can identify with many of those who do the same thing over& over,I too save toilet paper rolls & also all paper rolls I plan to make things to sell I need the money ,and I also save papers I wrote something on because I might need that information some day also receipts because when ever I throw away a receipt here they come saying I still owe them etc,all so save paint to paint pictures some day,also save my magazines that's why I had to laugh at what I read in the lists I whole wholeheartedly identify with them as a fellow pack rat, I even save pictures out of news papers and magazines to copy in painting or try my hand with decoupaging you know like on boxes,pretty pictures,and the like,maybe to sell someday?also I save buttons & zippers& clothes that are to be repaired some day! y,ha,ha,also I save boxes to paint or decoupaged some day,I save all of my magazines ,also plastic containers food comes in & jars I use them to drink out of etc,you name it I may be hoarding it,ha,I save any thing I can use latter,that's me granny pack rat,I have stacks of boxes piled up yes we also have to squeeze by ha,I know I'm sick but I have a hard time throwing out any thing I think I can reuse,I even save my mail & stamps on them I think they may be worth money some day,I know I've got it bad,I also have many books I love to read mainly the WORD OF GOD the BIBLE,and about the last days we are living in BIBLE PROPHECY,I love it,well enough about me,bye bye everyone,malvinag@bellsouth.net

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  81. The things I hoard I call "collections". Almost everything I have has some value and could be sold at Antique and Collectible stores. I just can't pass up running into a Thrift store to see what I can add to my "collection". Many of the items relate to my growing up in the 50's. Things I had then or things I wanted then. I had a very abusive mother and a very sweet but submissive father. When I would go to school, my mother would sell or give away my things. She said that I was getting too old for the things. I was able to hide a few of my things but when I went away to college, she said she lost the things when she moved. So I do not have a single childhood toy or item. Even my yearbooks are gone. I believe this is one of the majors reasons I look for those things now. I am now retired and no one has been inside my house for several years. I have stacks of boxes and have difficulty in getting through my house. I think I am making some headway with medication. But it just seems like I can't get it done. Thank you for having this site. Perhaps I will overcome this OCD one of these days.

  82. I believe I am a hoarder because of the "empty nest" syndrome. I was a single parent for 20 years, and my entire life revolved around my children's lives and needs. When they were still living at home, I was a "perfectionist", and our home was kept clean and uncluttered. However, gradually over the years I started accumulating stuff, and I have to call it "stuff" because none of it meant anything to me. It was just recently that I finally realized I was simply trying to fill a huge void in my life, and I was subconsciously trying to comfort myself by surrounding myself with these things. However,it actually ended up causing me greater discomfort...too ashamed to let other people inside my house because I didn't want them to know how I was living, feeling totally overwhelmed when I tried to get rid of it, as well as feeling anger and guilt toward myself for allowing it to get so out of control. Therapy has been a great help for me.

  83. I agree with most of the above. Wow, I'm not alone. I hoard when life is going too fast. Too many changes, too much to do, too much paper coming in. I hoard because I want to do it all. I want to live 50 lives. I guess its a false sense of control. Also, depression, ADD, loss, lack. It's partly feeling deprived as a child, partly nostalgia, partly that I see such waste in our culture. Most everything can be recycled, and if others wont take responsibility, then I feel I need to. My art supplies? Hope. Christine.

  84. 43. I can identify with most of the above answers that have been written. I am finding I have a problem deleting e-mails! I also like to give gifts to people, unfortunately it has turned into a collection. what I don't understand is that my ideas for the things I have seem so logical and reasonable. ;).

  85. I hate the word HOARD. It is annoying. I just do not like how it sounds. I think my problem is that I am lonely. However most of the other ideas that were mentioned make sense too ; ).

  86. I only read to #22 but found myself in many of the reasons. I feel like I have to have these things because someone else might need it at some time and I will be able to give it to them. I feel like I have to take care of the whole world. I feel good when I can give to others. I do buy now because I might not be able to later.

  87. Ditto on #41!

  88. I have bought a new place, 2500 miles away, to live clutter free... I can always return to my treasure trove on the mainland when the spirit moves me. My new place is on the oceanfront in beautiful Maui and is not large, so there will be no clutter here... that is a promise. One bookcase [well... maybe two] and the internet... that is all I need. Aloha Jerry.

  89. I see myself in almost every paragraph. I feel more sad the more I read. I realize this is the way others see me. I hope it will encourage me to discard or/and trash many items. I think the death of my husband triggered the hoarding in my life.

  90. Sometimes I feel people hoard things to fill a void in their lives. Doesn't it seem useless to accumulate to the point where you have boxes of items and piles of papers, books,clothes,(you name it) and these things will either never see the light of day for YEARS, then get so moldy and mouse eaten that they are unusable. I have a sister who hoards, and the piles in her house are almost impassible. Hoarders sometimes cannot comprehend if they would get rid of the clutter, they could save so much time, because they wouldn't have to waste hours looking for something which they cannot remember where they put it. Sometimes I think only a house fire could free some of them.

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  91. I am the daughter of a hoarder. I remember seeing the movie "What's eating Gilbert Grape" and crying because my mother is the same way about her mess as his mother was about her eating. For years the apartments I lived in I cluttered and trashed in similar ways. I can clearly see it is evidence of OCD in my life. Since I found a new system that has given me routines and permission to let go I am actually a lot freer. It is not a curable condition though, I believe, since every morning and every day is a new battle to maintain my apartment clutter/junk free. At least I can walk without getting hurt anymore.

  92. I feel comfortable hoarding. My mother hoarded and so did my grandmother. I hate the clutter and I tell my self I don't have the time to go through everything, but I waste a lot of time doing nothing and the clutter grows and grows. It's almost like a second skin.

  93. I suppose I hoard clutter with important, nostalgic, useful things mixed in, things I would put in a new home. I also have accumulated creative/craft items ('the one who dies with the most cloth wins'), having no room to use them but representing what I would like to be doing. I lack a feeling of safety and security in my life and the clutter helps to insulate me. I have been clinically depressed for 25 years, mostly on medication. I was also a therapist who marvelled at hoarders and their inability to rid themselves of junk. Go figure.

  94. Things are like photographs, remembrances of times and people in the past (of course they take up more space than photos and that's the problem). I already had the "if you throw it out you'll need it later" from my mom and seem to have built on to that. The problem has really taken hold since my husband died. Every thing we bought, used, gave to each other, etc. seems precious and truly is irreplaceable. Objects bring comfort as well as grief. It also seems disrespectful somehow to give away or throw out the things my husband cared about.

  95. I think my mother hoards because she has lost many things in the past - her house, all her money, her husband, her parents and it gives her a sense of security. She loves to organize her stuff and I think that she ultimately collects stuff to give away to people who need it like the homeless, or sell it at garage sales for extra cash, but it has never gone anywhere,and I doubt it ever will. When we do dump everything behind her back, she brings everything right back. She collects from churches, the street, garage sales and thrift shop, and never parts with any of it. She just keep organizing the stuff over and over again.

  96. Having things I have kept a long time around me makes me feel safe and secure.

  97. I hoard items that have sentimental value, natural beauty (rocks and wood), were a great deal, someone put alot of time, care, and love into making, I can make something out of, can be used and should not be wasted, have a history (known or unknown), or I intend to read. That covers just about everything! One is never enough. The item has to be a bargain. My mother died when I was 12 and my whole life changed. My father died when I was 30. I think I am trying to hold on to the past. I never considered it a problem, but my husband does.

  98. I so agree with comment 32. I have yarn and books and needlework EVERYWHERE because I keep hoping I will have the time to do it someday, like when I retire and will have less to spend. I keep thinking if only I didn't have to work then I could clean up this clutter and work on my projects and feel creative. Don't see this happening any time soon. Sometimes I wish someone would come in and clean up and organize for me then I would stand a chance of possibly keeping it that way. But cleaning cuts into my "play time" - knitting, reading etc. and I guard that time sacredly.

  99. Depression and helplessness.

  100. I hoard because I think that the items will be useful in completing my dream projects (I have three major ones: build a business, build a model railroad, and write a book) I hoard books and printed material, including copies of printed material on all three subjects. I have small projects too that distract me from time to time. But the big three are the recurring theme. I think that I will have time to work on my dream projects sometime in the future – neither the time nor the energy ever come. I have big ideas to start with but then the excitement of the next “project” or idea comes and I forgot what I was going to do with the newly acquired item. I envision the items use and how much fun it brings my family and me as we enjoy or play with the item. Or how people will marvel at the cleaver use of the items. Both never happen, I lose track of where I put the item when I need or want it. When I find it latter I remember why I acquired it in the first ! place, and I set it aside to be worked on another day. All of my acquired things must be modified to be used in my grand scheme; few if any can be used as is. I acquire things because I feel that they will not be available to me in the future when I have the time to work on them. But like I said the time never comes anyway. Fundamentally I believe that things are scarce and money is more abundant. Therefore money must be converted into “bargain” items.

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  101. My buying and hoarding got out of control following two burglaries in one week. I discovered the first burglary by noticing a chair was 1 inch moved from its normal spot. I have never had a neat house since. Now the burglar would be hard pressed to find my valuables.

  102. My boyfriend is a hoarder and he always feels he is getting something special when he takes things from other people's trash. He knows that I will not live with him since his bed is surrounding by mountains of stuff that he never uses and will not throw away. I get frustrated..I love him but I do not love all of his stuff and I know I would throw things away if we got married. After all, what person needs ten broken tvs, al least three hundred t-shirts, five coaches, four desks and God knows what else!!!

  103. My father in-law hoards, He is single, has 2 homes full of junk and 5 storage units. We can not touch his things. He loves the thrill of the deal. He has purchased big ticket items at a "great" deal and never picks them up, A tractor and motorcycle. He stopped his meds it makes him to tired and can't shop as much. He avoids the family now because we want to clean things up and he refuses.

  104. I can also relate to many of these people above. I buy many things on sale for birthday and Christmas gifts, I put them in boxes in the garage, but when the occasion comes, I can never find the thing I bought so I go buy something else. Why don't I just stop -I don't know? Your site is very interesting - hoping it will help me. Plan to tackle a pile tonight and finish it before I go to sleep. thanks.

  105. I like to acquire things to do some day when I have the time. Some day when I don't have money to do anything else. However, I bring these things home and don't take care of them, resulting in a cluttered mess. I don't have excessive amounts of one particular item or have trash and broken things, but I do have a need to go out for that temporary high and find something cheap that I can use later, give to someone, donate to a cause, etc. I don't have a hard time throwing things away unless I realize that I spent a lot of money on the item and then it feels just like placing the money in the trash instead of the item. I think it is a temporary high (treasure hunting) with a fear that I won't be able to have what I want later and a frustration that I can't seem to organize things until I can use them. In addition, I come from a long line of hoarders. Both parents are hoarders to the extreme. I feel like I could get worse the older I get (as my parents both have). I also feel like I am filling a hole, a pain, with a temporary high. There is a lot of unidentifiable pain involved in this.

  106. hoarding is a way to avoid facing one's inner self. An empty room represents that self, so it has to be filled up with things. Emptiness creates fear, but once the room is filled with things, the hoarder feels safe.

  107. I hoard to feel safe, secure.

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If you have any suggestions of what could be added to why people Hoard, feel free to send this by using this Form.
Entries are added to this site on a monthly basis, although this may vary depending on how many are sent in.
NOTE: If you don't hoard yourself, please don't submit reasons that are of a purely non- constructive critical nature. They won't be added for obvious reasons. If you find yourself frustrated due to someone else's Hoarding behavior seek professional help if the situation doesn't change.

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