"Mom is a hoarder, Dad is not. He grew up with a nutty mom and coped by putting on blinders. Those same blinders let him continue living in a dump. He is passive and won't put his foot down.
Mom has always bought too much, but really went off the rails when she stopped drinking and traded one addiction for another.
I am an only child and my worst nightmare is if my dad dies before my mom and I have to help her move"
"My mother is a hoarder. She let two houses fall apart over the last 30 years. Every single place she's rented, she has been kicked out of for basically destroying the place. She now rents an apartment from me and I'm afraid to look at the place. She needs help but refuses everything.
She has a two bedroom apartment number and sleeps in her couch because both bedrooms are literally filled to the ceiling with garbage bags full of used clothing. It's been like this for as long as I can remember. I could never have friends over while growing up because we could literally never see the floor due to all of the garbage she collected. Last month I finally convinced her to give up a storage unit that she was wasting money on. She was paying $200 a month to keep old newspapers and magazines. She said she needed them in case she needed to read them one day.
Her car is filled with garbage. She can't see behind her. She doesn't shower. She unplugged her refrigerator to store other things inside other than food. She said it's to save money on the power bill. Her apartment has fruit flies everywhere. In her window you can see a cat litter box on the window sill. It's dirty. She hasn't had a cat in years. Not since I took it from her. I remember social workers being at my house every day trying to take us from her if she didn't keep her place clean. She chose to have us removed to keep her stuff and not have to clean-The socials workers didn't do it"
"I am the adult child of two hoarders. I am currently in my late twenties. I no longer live at home, however I still lived with my parents until about three years ago.
Going through life, I understood something was off, I knew that we were 'different' than other people. The hoarding got worse and worse over time. Some of my earliest memories are of my younger sister as a toddler trying to walk on a floor covered in junk. By the age of ten I could no longer sleep on my own bed because it was covered in 'stuff'. 'Stuff' was piled everywhere close to adult human height, there were 'paths', but even the path didn't reach the floor, it was at least a few inches thick. We almost never let anyone in due to the mess, so of course if something broke it wasn't ever fixed. There were some very cold winters without any heat. At the time I left my parents home, most of the plumbing either leaked or was broken.
I'm pretty sure that to go to the bathroom, my parents 'go' and just throw it away with the garbage. The toilets do not work anymore. My dad is a jerk and sometimes 'goes' in the broken toilet and makes my mom clean it up (I heard he blocked it up with a sock accidentally) We had a very bad mice problem by the end of the time I lived with them, to the point you could hear them screech as they chased each other through all the garbage at night. Near the very end the mice and bed bugs started biting me in my sleep"
"My mom has always been a hoarder. I never could invite friends over to my house growing up. There is just stuff everywhere. It doesn't follow any logic. I've seen some of those hoarding shows or pictures and I've never seen anything like my childhood house.
You cannot eat at the kitchen or dining room table. Dining room table is stacked about three feet high with stuff (and filled underneath too of course). There aren't even pathways into some rooms anymore. Everywhere is stacked about five feet high and all counters/anything with a surface is covered. They have extra furniture they won't get rid of even though it has no place, everything from our childhoods, random crap, literal trash, I just don't even know how to explain it.
The worst is her car is also packed to the point of being unable to seat people in the back. I recently visited them and was only able to get to the basement and my old bedroom. I just waited until I left (did not stay with them - stayed with other family) to use a bathroom. Everything is broken in the house now too, but due to the hoarding, no one can get in to fix it. No heat even though it's winter, refrigerator is broken, light has been broken in one of the bathrooms for about 10 years now, etc. But my mom still insists she's not a hoarder and is just messy-It's sad stuff"
"When I was little, my mom was not a hoarder. We had a clean house and a reasonable amount of stuff. My parents were long since separated.
One day, when I was 10, my dad came to our house and shot my mom with a .357 with hollow points. Once in the back and once in the arm and then put one in his own chest. My mom spent a year in the hospital. Me and my 2 siblings spent 2 in foster care.
When my mom got out of the hospital, she resumed school, got a job as a lobbyist for battered women and and resumed her weekend breakfast shifts at the diner as well as taking a job at the grocery store on week nights. 3 jobs and full time school. We never saw her. She would come home late and sleep and leave again before we woke up.
In this time, the government gave her social security for me and my brother. It's important to the story that we grew up on the bottom end of society. My mom was the oldest of 5 kids in rural Wisconsin of a divorced mother. They had almost no income and at a time when divorce was considered unholy in those parts. My whole family just 20 years before that were farmers that were hit as hard as anyone during the depression. These values of reusing and efficiency were passed on to my mother.
So fast forward. We have an amount of money coming in that we never had before. My mom gave us big Christmases, she shopped on HSN, she leased a new car, she bought a house, she took up hobbies. We accumulated crap.
But she was broken. She had no trust for men. She had no romantic future. She just had her kids and never ending work 7 days a week. I remember when I was 12 she got me a toy that made a sudden noise and she screamed. She broke down and started crying because I laughed. She told me that she wished my dad would have killed her. She was dealing with bone infections from the broken bullet pieces scattered throughout her body. Constant back pain from the muscle damage in her back. Screws from the metal bar in her arm she was allergic to had made her very ill. She had just received news that she had Displasia of her cervix from a rape she had suffered when i was 6. She had to relearn how to use her right hand and the bullet had made her forearm look like a shark bit a deep 'C' shape out of it. Everything sucked except money.
It was around this time that our house started getting really messy. Just old clothes piled up in the unused bedroom. 3 kids between 13 and 4 living alone with nobody to tell them to clean and a mother too worn out to do it herself. It just became normalized.
Fast forward to now. She's 63 and when I try to help her clean up and get rid of things she gets very upset.
It's not like diapers and food, its just inorganic clutter, books, boxes, papers, art supplies, and wads of animal hair. The worst of it is that her breezeway is full of old dog piss from years ago. Sometimes when she is out of her house, she smells a bit like dog pee"
"After my parents' messy divorce my dad just walked out of our lives. My mom didn't take to that well and started hoarding. After a couple months our very small house was filled with boxes and if she couldn't find anymore boxes she would just throw her stuff in the basement. It got so bad that if we even moved any boxes to access rooms she would get furious.
Well one day I got tired of going to the bathroom outside (she didn't work so she was always home guarding her stuff), so I decided f--k it, I'm going to use the indoor bathroom. My mom was shouting at me while I was taking my s--t. When I was done and went outside I couldn't see her. While I was moving the boxes back I heard this swooshing sound in the air and next thing I know, I'm out cold- When I woke up all I saw was my mom standing over my body with a frying pan in hand"
"My mom started turning into a hoarder after her and my dad split up.
My dad was always a very tidy person and hated clutter. Sometimes he would take things too far and throw out something that was needed or regularly used. Once he left my mom held onto everything. She has so many clothes that she can't fit in, but hangs onto in case she loses weight. Even if she did lose weight, they are 12 years out of style. She sees value in everything and develops weird emotional attachments to stuff. She won't clean, and is just generally an unhappy person. She met the guy that is now my stepdad, and he helped her do stuff around the house for a while, but after a bit he just stopped doing stuff too. I think he got tired of taking care of everything himself.
When I lived there she would come home every day and start screaming at everyone about how they don't help her clean and how we're lazy and she should come in to a clean house. She worked less hours than anyone and would spend all of her time off in a recliner. It got to a point where all of the house work fell to me. She would be too lazy to let the dogs out to use the restroom, so they would poop and pee in the house and she'd leave it for someone else to clean. While she was getting lazier and hoarding, she started gaining significant weight. When I moved out I was so happy to have a new, clean space without clutter everywhere"
"My Mother has been a hoarder for 22 years. Growing up, we had a lot of money and very nice houses. Unfortunately, my Father was an abusive son-of-a-b---h. They finally divorced, when I was 11. At that time, my Mother was still pretty young, and very attractive. But, he had pretty much broken her. After the divorce, instead of celebrating her escape from him, she just kind of... gave up.
She started drinking and was fired from her job. She quit even getting out of bed. She still had nice things, but, she also started collecting animals. She had cats everywhere, dogs, chinchillas, ferrets, parrots, rats, hedgehogs, possums, a flying squirrel, and a raccoon (yes, she domesticated wild animals). The animals ruined all her nice things, but, because they were all she had left from her previously 'successful' life she refused to throw them out. She also refuses to clean up after herself at all.
I have moved her from one dirty, soon to be condemned, apartment/duplex/house to another. I've moved her from Arkansas, to Oklahoma, back to Arkansas, then to another town in Arkansas, and another, then three more apartments. Two years ago, the State stepped in and threatened to put her in a state run nursing home if I didn't move in with her and make sure she started taking care of herself. I moved in.
This lasted about six months. You wouldn't believe the trash and dirt one person can create in 8 hours. I finally gave up, because every time I'd clean something I'd turn around and there would be another pile of garbage two feet away. I honestly don't know how the f--k she does it. It's like when she walks, beer cans and other trash just fall out of her a--. No one who hasn't lived with someone like that will ever understand. It's the most frustrating thing in the world. I left. I took my life back, because frankly I'm almost 34 and I've been babying her since I was 11.
I wish I could go to my Mother's house, sit on her couch, and ask her how life is treating her, but going to her house involves getting cockroaches in my hair because they like to hang out in her door frames, and, sweeping cat s--t off her couch to have somewhere to sit. It's depressing, and I hate it, but I just had to create distance and quit enabling her and making it my duty to wipe her a-- for her. I love her SO much. I know she went through hell- but, so did I, I didn't choose the man she married-she did- and It's time to stop allowing him to make us miserable"
"My mother was a borderline hoarder. Nowhere near the level you'll see on the TV shows, but we had a few rooms in house that were devoted to just storage. Notably, she had a large walk in closet, lined with bookshelves that were filled with every issue of National Geographic published since 1945. Had.
We were always told that they were being kept for arts and crafts. At 7, I learned this was likely not the case after cutting out a picture of an elephant to paste onto the cover of the folder I kept my dinosaur drawings in. My mother was adamant that it was wrong to hit children, but her verbal assaults left one longing for a nice simple spanking.
My mother also had, surprise, 10 cats. Cats that lived in a delicately maintained peace. Peace that held until the introduction of cat number 11. The intricate web of truces and alliances fell apart the first day he came into our house. That afternoon we watched a storm of claws, fur, and hisses tumble down the hall. A minute later, we heard the crash.
Of the 7 cats involved in the melee, only 1 wasn't instantly killed by the shelves toppling, though that would have saved him from a lot of suffering and my mother from a hefty euthanasia bill. The other 4 cats were found new homes or put in a shelter by the end of the week. The magazines, once too pristine for arts and crafts, were now too coated in viscera. I did ask if I could save the cleanest magazines with dinosaurs in them, but my mother made me wish I hadn't"
"My current SO's parents are ex-hoarders. I found out when i turned up to her house one day unannounced to surprise her with a gift.
She opens the door and goes pale. Over her shoulder I can see the mountain of garbage (a lot of magazines, books, furniture, and random a-- s--t) piled high, so high that it's taller than she is! She pushed me out the door and locked it.
About three hours later, I get a call from her dad, 'She tried to kill herself.' At the local hospital, her neck is bandaged and we talk it out and are determined to work through this.
As soon as I left the hospital, her mother rushed behind me and started yelling at me in the hospital parking lot. She was screaming about how it was my fault for being nosey. I yelled back, that her hoarding was the reason her daughter tried to kill her self and she was putting her children in danger. I guess that really hit her hard because she just stormed back inside.
A few weeks later and after extensive therapy we convinced her mother to stop. During thanksgiving break we cleaned out the house (most of it was old furniture from dead family members and books, we sold most of the furniture and made a decent buck and donated all of the books to the local library) and threw away all of the trash, cleaned the floors, even updated the appliances.
The reason why the mom hoarded was because she never got to meet a lot of her family members, so whenever she got anything from them she kept it as a memento, and eventually her family would just give her stuff they didn't want or didn't have space for. There was like 6 couches stuffed in her living room at one point, so it was pretty bad. Happy to confirm now that everyone is happy and healthy and her husband has hired and a cleaning crew (nothing fancy, i think they come like once a month) to make sure it doesn't happen again"
"My mom is a hoarder along with narcissistic personality disorder.. A fun combo I got to tell you. I think her kick was simply spending money. It gave her a little ego boost to go out and pretend she was buying gifts for people and brag all about how generous or rich she was (she was not rich or generous).
Most of the stuff she bought never got much past the front door before it was chucked on the pile to be forgotten and most likely trampled into the floor.
Her home featured the typical hoarder goat trails winding around piles of bags, boxes, old cloths and garbage she wouldn't take out because that was clearly beneath her.
Then there were her personal goals. She would set some stupidly simple life goal and determine some reward she would get for achieving it. She then promptly went out and bought all the 'rewards' in advance so she could have instant gratification when she reached the goal. Sadly she rarely even achieved her own goals. The rewards got lost under the piles and the cycle repeats.
Trying to clean up the mess with her around was impossible. Every paper had to be inspected for important information. That could be anything like a scribble on a newspaper margin she wrote down while binge watching C-SPAN. It was hell.
There were more than a few times where my friends and I were called in to help clear up after she had moved on to another city trying to escape her problems. Just to compound the chaos she would start packing everything in garbage bags she planned to move with her right before she took off. New laptop in a sack with groceries and dirty dishes? Yeah I've seen that. My friends didn't mind because it was like a damn treasure hunt and I let them keep a bunch of the stuff we found. One time they found a hand puppet with a new 35mm Nikon camera shoved inside it. Walkmans, CD players, head phones.. all high quality stuff we would dig out of her trash mountain because Mom thought she was rich and only bought the best s--t.
Finally she ended up moving back in with Grandma where she stayed for 20 years and almost destroyed the house.
Things blew up one day because mom wouldn't let anyone come over to visit grandma. She just took grandma to visit people. This went on for years.
Finally my Aunt had enough of that s--t and came to visit while Mom was out of the house. She found grandma all but trapped in a back bedroom because she couldn't get her walker past all the crap in the hall. My Aunt started packing up Grandmas stuff and tried to get her out of there. Then Ma came home, threw a f--king fit and called the cops claiming my Aunt broke in and tried to kidnap her own mother.
Cops arrive and look around the house. Cops call the health department and DSHS. DSHS says Grandma can't go back in there. The Health Department condemns the house and throws mom out until it's cleaned and levees fines until it's done because it's a hazard to the neighborhood.
Grandma went to live with my Aunt and had a happy life till she passed at 98. Mom ran away to live with my sister and left the mess for my Aunt to clean up. .
She bounced between my sister's house and my home for a few months until she got sick of us and managed to get an apartment through HUD under section 8. About this time she lost her license after her 4th car accident in 2 month. We talked her out of the apartment after a year and got her to sell the car. You could smell the place through the front door.. Gross! Yeeah.. Another mom swamp out. Things went down hill from there.. She bounced through a series of retirement homes after conflicts with the staff but then the s--t hit the fan.
Grandma died and left her $200,000 but with a twist.. You see Grandma knew her daughter was a train wreck with money so she put it in her will to place the money in a trust constructed to meet her housing, medical and food needs. It was controlled by my sister. Queue massive conflict! She tried to sue for control of the trust and lost.. All that did was use up more money paying for lawyers on both sides from the trust. So she took another angle.. Get a bunch of credit cards sent to her retirement home and go hog wild because she's 'Rich' and deserves it. Things got returned and we lived in a state of conflict until the worst possible thing happened
My uncle (Her bother) died suddenly with no will. Her and my Aunt split the estate so now mad mom has $40,000 in cash with no strings to keep her in check. Then things got weird.. She stopped taking her psych meds except for anti depressants that she popped like candy to keep up. She bought a toy poodle puppy and tried to keep it in her room at the retirement home. She never had a dog before and the thing s--t all over her room. She would go out shopping till dark, miss her med windows, miss meal times and scream at the staff when she got back late and they wouldn't make her dinner. She bought a wheelchair and a walker. She didn't need them but she felt the other ladies at the home got more attention because of them so she had to have them too.
Last time I talked to her she tried to get me to go pick up a table she wanted to buy off Craigslist from a town 60 miles away.. Oh HELL NO"
"I have a brother, who was more of a father to me than our father ever was, and he is a hoarder. My siblings and I were all abused by our parents in every way possible. We all have some kind of mental disorder from it. My sister has GAD. My younger brother had depression, but is doing much better now. My therapist hasn't told me my diagnosis, but he keeps using words like 'flashbacks,' 'hypervigilance,' and 'trigger' that make me think that he thinks I have PTSD.
Anyway, my brother always got it the worst from my father; beatings, locked out of the house in the snow wearing only pajamas, made to believe as a 4-5 year old that he was literally the antichrist and would cause the destruction of the entire world and all 6 billion people on it, and I think most significantly to this question, my father used to periodically decide that he was a sh--ty kid and didn't deserve any of his possessions, so he would go into my brother's room and gather up everything he owned from toys to books, and clothing to mattress, and drag it into the yard and burn it. So he grew up to have the worst mental health of all of us.
So one day, he was freaking out in public, and I don't know all the details but he got involuntarily committed to a psych ward where they drugged him so hard that he was drooling and crapping himself. During those three days he got beaten up by another patient and diagnosed with schizophrenia.
He was never the same after that hospital stay. He hasn't been able to keep a job since then, he lost all of his friends, failed out of college, and now rarely leaves the house.
When he does go out, it's usually on Thursday night because that's when the rich neighborhood has their trash day. He basically just goes trash picking. The house I grew up in is completely unrecognizable now because it's so full of other peoples trash. Furniture, electronic parts, broken colored glass, holiday decorations... basically if he recognizes what it is, he'll take it. He also doesn't ever clean. The place is full of bugs, he has a cat that is just as broken as he is that is litter trained, but is physically not able to make it there each time, and there's old food wrappers and packaging from everything he buys strewn around the place.
From what I've read, hoarding seems to be mostly about control and anxiety. So as the scapegoat in my family my brother had so little control over his life that he didn't even own his own underwear. He couldn't have a pet that he loved, because my father would kill it. He couldn't have a good sibling relationship with me, because it made my father angry and I would get punished. Even after moving out of my parents house, he didn't have control over whether he went to the hospital or not, or the medication he was given, or the diagnosis he was given.
I think the hoarding make him feel safe. His space won't be invaded because no one wants to venture into that mess- He will never lose all of his possessions at once again, because there's just too much for it to all go at the same time"
"My mother lived through several house fires when she was younger and they moved very frequently when she was still in school. She always tells me it was very important to her that I went to the same school k-12, which I did. She married my dad and they lived in the same house for about 40 years until he died.
She seems to have no sense of what things are worth; everything is the most important thing. Old newspapers and wedding rings are both on the floor because there is no hierarchy of importance. She is also obsessed with saving toys that are for babies even though all of my brothers' children are at least 10. She lost her first baby so I think that may be related.
I moved back in with my mom after my dad died. I took a break from college. I cannot keep up with the mess. I only work part time and the rest of my time is spent clearing paths so we don't have to crawl over stuff to get in the house. My stuff is still in storage because there is no room for it, but I did manage to clear out enough of a bedroom to fit a bed in it (I was sleeping on the couch for a while). I clean off the table so we can eat and it's piled up again within days.
She is almost never home. When she does come home she brings in bags and bags of stuff she accumulated while she was out, is too tired to cook (so I cook for her), and then she goes to bed. I have to schedule days for her to be home so we can do some of the cleaning together (so I can go over stuff that looks really important with her like paperwork, bills, etc).
I promise her I do not throw anything away, but she still goes through the trash to be sure anyway. I do manage to convince her to throw away expired food without mental breakdown, and she is pretty good about recycling the newspapers but she only does it once she has saved up a few laundry baskets which usually end up sitting in the living room piled on top of random things.
It's always my fault if she can't find something, even though she can't possibly have any idea where anything is in this mess. I try to organize stuff (bathroom stuff goes in the bathroom), but she seems to not understand why a toothbrush should be near the bathroom sink"
"This one kind of hits home for me. I recently just broke up with a longterm girlfriend and was forced to move into my dads place until I can get a place. He has always been a low-level hoarder, but last year both of his parents died. The year before he divorced his wife of 38 years. (She had drug and faithfulness issues) so as you can imagine, he was pretty depressed.
It sucked coming back to see the state of his house. It used to have clutter, but not messy. Just what we call 'catch-alls' (counter tops where you drop things). When I came back I saw garbage on the floor, the kitchen was barely usable. His dogs have matted fur. The porch was a mess, and many other things. He's getting older (58 now) and was a smoker from 10 years old, until two years ago when he quit. His health isn't great but he works every day as a logger. His oxygen drops below 85 if he simply picks stuff up, so he can't do too much right now. I don't blame him for any of it. Don't get me wrong, he is the worst person to clean around, because he wants it done his way, but I'm not going to complain to him, because it is his house.
I've been here for almost a week, and we've been doing a lot. The bathroom which once was like Chernobyl now is almost clean again (need to re-caulk and clean the toilet rim). The living room has no more floor garbage- The kitchen is my current project"
"It was my aunt, she began with old newsprint. That escalated to magazines, books, paper and from paper to furniture- From furniture to household goods & sundry items. She began hoarding food and would repeatedly get food poisoning. It once took two EMTs, a paramedic and 6 firemen an hour to extricate my aunt from her house. She went back at it, wound-up with terrible food poisoning and many of those same first responders had to come again. We began to cut contact after a few bouts of this and wound-up cutting contact a few years ago"
"My parents had this house built from the ground up on their property just before I was born and it was a work in progress throughout my life. From what I can remember, the house started how every other house started in the late 90's. It is a large house at about 3200 square feet with a full basement.
I remember the basement being relatively empty and the whole family being down there. As I got older, about 10 or so, I remember my brother bringing a girl over and at this point the house wasn't perfect but it was livable and at least moderately sanitary. It's very difficult for me to remember what the house used to be like and how it's changed. Similar to a hair cut and watching your hair grow. You never see the daily changes, but after a year of growth, your hair is a foot longer and you're looking like a bum. That's how my house is because I know it used to be decent and now, now it's the household equivalent of a landfill.
I'm in college and go home occasionally on the weekends but usually I just go to a friends house and sleep there because the house is that bad. The collection has been going since the house was built and it will continue to accumulate. My mom gained this trait from her childhood I'm sure and it will be this way until her passing"
"My mother was a meth addict... her favorite thing to do while tweaked was to go to goodwill in the middle of the night and grab all of the stuff people left laying outside. We had a garage on our property that could easily house three semis and it was full of a mountain of thrift store items-Needless to say I was popping tags at an early age"
"I'm currently living at my dad's place until I find a job and then I'm planning to move out.
My dad's place is so FILTHY! I can't stand living here! My dad claims to make about 85-90K a year, yet the house is a DUMP! Where the f--k does the money go?
Half of the food is rotten... There's no space on the dining table to eat. I have to eat in my bedroom. Its a f--king hassle to cook too, cause pots and pans are always dirty and just going in the kitchen disgusts me. Please don't tell me to clean! I have cleaned the kitchen for a whole 4 hours last time... it came back to the same state two days later!
Bathroom : Mold everywhere! On the ceiling, on the walls...The ceiling seems to be falling... it's cracked and it's peeling... it's f--king disgusting. My ex boyfriend refused to shower at my dad's place.. and he's in the army, so he's used to rough conditions... so you can imagine the bathroom...
The whole apt is cluttered with crap. There are two bikes HANGING ON THE WALL in the living room! I can't even relax at home... all I see around me is dirt, clutter and mold. There is carpet everywhere so it's hard to breathe.
I just can't do it anymore. Why does he make us suffer like this? Aren't we worth the effort of cleaning? Why can't I have a decent place to live... somewhere clean... somewhere I wouldn't worry about my health. A place where I could cook and eat at the table.
I've recently started to resent my dad a LOT for making us go through this. I feel like I missed out on something really important in my life-having a safe place to stay"
"My mom is a hoarder. I grew up in a fairly decent three story house with basement, except that the basement was unfurnished solely for the purpose storing junk in every single nook and cranny.
This went on before I was born and continued until the basement flooded. Me and my dad finally rented a dumpster to throw away the flood damaged items while my mom was gone for a few days.
Without saying anything to each other we not only threw out the flood damaged crap, but basically chucked anything that wasn't over 100 pounds. Unfortunately we were so caught up in the moment that we threw away some pretty valuable stuff from my childhood, but since our time was limited due to her absence we knew this was a once in a lifetime change.
She threw a fit when she found out what happened. The basement continues to fill with junk slowly but surely.
There is no happy ending here. I know that when I inherit that place I'm going to have to hire a crew of men to work no less than 24 hours to get rid of everything just so that there's enough room to clean the place.
Why does she hoard? I have no f--king idea. I do know it's the reason I'm scared to death of having trash just sitting around my place and why I clean up any mess I make immediately"
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