Post # 17
I used to work in casting for a hoarding show and know that children of hoarders often have some serious things to work through and get over. The value of their parent’s things are often perceived as more important than their own lives. It’s hard growing up seeing a parent who cannot detach themselves from objects or are fearful that there things will be taken from them but if CPS comes knocking they won’t try to change. A lot of people do not understand and cannot sympathize with people who hoard. I’m not saying that your husband is a hoarder, he’s probably just being nostalgic about the playstation, (I had to allow my Fiance to keep his original nintendo with all the games, and he is in no way a hoarder) and maybe wants the possibility of playing it again in the future. Please be sensitive to his feelings about hoarding and be careful about calling him a hoarder. The word is very negative and if his mother is one and he lived in shame of the house he grew up in, the last thing he will want to hear is anyone accusing him of being like that.
Post # 18
I saw this, and though it’s 5 mos. old had to post that hoarding isn’t just people being messy or lazy – it’s a disorder very similar to OCD, but with opposite results. They tie their memories and personality into their stuff, so what looks like junk to you actually houses some memory (crazy as it sounds) to th hoarder. My BF’s mom is a hoarder, and to a lesser extent, so is my mom. I have a 6 mo. purge of clothes and items and get them sent out to Goodwill, and though it’s hard for him, my BF is finally starting to feel comfortable doing that, too.
Don’t ever force your SO to get rid of something or do it without his (her) knowledge. That can cause untold stress to the person fighting or with the hoarding mentality, and can acutall make them MORE likely to hold onto what looks like junk/crap.
I think leading by example is best, showing how painless it can be to clean a closet, how nice it is to have shelf space, how other people can benefit from your trash and make it their treasure – for instance, many game stores will buy back games and consoles. You might be able to convince your SO to sell things for parts on eBay, or point out that Item X that he hasn’t touched in 3 years could be making some kid happy NOW.
Your house won’t turn into piles and paths overnight, so don’t fear that your SO will destroy your living space without you being able to do something about it – just be positive in your efforts, never badmouth his hoarding parents, and emphasize how you enjoy clean, orderly space to unused possessions.
Post # 19
I’m seriously contempting not marrying because of his mom being a hoarder. It scares me to death that my children can’t have a normal relationship with their grandparents because of it.
For those of you who are married to sons of hoarders, does it really affect your lives?
Post # 20
Actually it’s my mom that’s the “hoarder”, it’s more of she’s too lazy to clean up, because if you clean or she’s finally in the mood to clean, she will let you throw most things away. It all started after my dad died, because before then she was a crazy clean freak. I’m in the process of trying to clean about 16 years of crap out of some areas of our house so we can have the bridal party meet at our house a few days before my wedding. It sucks big time. I’m going to try and get the rest of her house clean and then after that I’m probably going to have to clean up after her from now on so it never gets to that point again.
It sucks and that’s kind of sad that some of you are considering not marrying someone because their parent is a hoarder, I couldn’t imagine if my fiance decided he couldn’t marry me because of my mom’s hoarding, I try my best to be the opposite of her and be as organized as possible. I understand where you’re coming from, but yeah, that’s rough.
Post # 21
YUPP. FI’s mom is bad and he got some of it. Hhuuggee clutter bug and it drives me NUTS!
Post # 22
My FI’s father is a legitimate hoarder, but luckily my Fiance is not!! Sometimes he’s reluctant to give away useless crap but we all have a few weird things we like to hold on to.
Post # 23
My husband parent’s like to hang out to things. My husband doesn’t like to throw anything away. We’ve worked on it because our place isn’t very big. I’m a minimalist, so I’ve been able to help him and he’s open to my help but it’s still a struggle some days.
Post # 24
@nqz100: I don’t know if my mom is a “hoarder” in the extreme sense, but she does collect ALOT of antiques. ALOT alot. She claims she resells them but it always seems like more comes in than goes out.
My boyfriend is an INCREDIBLY tidy person. When I first went to his apartment when we met, I was SURE he’d had someone come in to decorate and clean, It looked like a show home…nope, lucky me, that’s how he is. Not so lucky for him, however: I’m quite cluttered. I have a very hard time getting rid of anything because I attach sentimental value to EVERYTHING (not garbage or anything, mainly clothing).
Case in point: back when I was a server, some nice Navy servicemen sat in my section and gave me a Navy pen. My dad was in the Navy and I kept it for years. I broke last year but i still kept the pieces in my glove compartment. My boyfriend found them cleaning out my car, and when he went to throw them away I started crying. He had to sit me down and explain to me that the pen wasnt my dad, it was just that: a pen.
For me, I think it has ALOT to do with my upbringing: my mom had custody of me for 11 years and was living in absolute squalor because she was too busy being an alcoholic to clean. When she moved out, the property was so damaged they almost had to demolish the house. Because of her issues, I had very few toys or nice clothes, so I held on to everything. Then my dad got custody of me at 11 and had to “break” me of being so messy. When he died at 16, I started attaching sentimental value to things of his and the cycle has kind of continued.
There definitely is an emotional component to this “pack-rat” mentalities. It doesnt sound like your BF is so severe, but I know it’s helped me alot to have my BF be real with me.