So after a long day of cleaning, mowing, weeding, laundry, chasing the dog, grocery shopping, and endless other duties, I crawl into bed and need a moment of mindless TV to wind down. Last night I turned on the TV and got sucked into a show about real people who hoard. OH DEAR.....this was so unreal to me. Their homes are PACKED to the top with STUFF STUFF STUFF and more stuff.....garbage, old rotting food, and junk. One guy had so much stuff, his bathroom was packed to the ceiling and he had to go to the Y every day to take a shower. Food in the freezer was bulging and they still refused to throw it away. Many are faced with eviction unless they clean the place up. A team of therapists and cleaners go in and help them work through the stuff and they help them get rid of things. I seriously felt my skin crawling as I watched. These people really can't help it ....I mean they have deep seated emotions that go along with the hoarding, but the condition of their homes made me seriously itch all over.
I have the total opposite disease.......throw everything away disease. I'm almost OCD about clutter and organization. I get a little anxious when things are messy and when their is clutter sitting around. I'm ashamed at some of the things I throw away......seriously, you would not believe it. Perfectly good clothes, shoes, stuff......... One time I accidentally threw away our TV remote control because I was on a mission with a black garbage bag to clean up and I go on these rampages and start tossing stuff......oooops. My husband has asked me more than once to stop throwing away his golf magazines. ( I hate when they pile up.) I'm the FIRST ONE people come to when something is missing, they assume I've thrown it out (usually I have.) I get defensive about it. :)
I try to be less wasteful now, when I go on a cleaning rampage. Our Goodwill store has a drive up window which makes me very happy. I pack up stuff I want to get rid of and drive through. This week alone- I took a perfect computer scanner and copy machine to the Goodwill. We don't use them and I couldn't stand to let them sit in our storage closet.....it bugs me to have stuff we don't use sitting around. So I took them to Goodwill. At least it is a tax write off.
Other things I can't take to Goodwill- I simply put down by our garbage can with a FREE sign on it, and I'm not kidding you......usually it is gone within an hour. It is almost a game we play....one time I had our kid's old bikes down there, and before we could even walk up our 200 foot driveway from the garbage can, someone already stopped to pick up the bikes. Yesterday I put my son's old mattress down there and within ten minutes it was GONE. I can put ANYTHING down there and it is always gone. Furniture we don't want, an old swing, old bikes, a dresser mirror. Probably the hoarder people coming to get my stuff. We help each other.
People make comments all the time about my clean and freakishly organized home, I'm not bragging about that.....because seriously sometimes being a freak cleaner stinks. I don't have the OCD thing that makes me wipe doorhandles 500 times a day, or scrub until my fingers are bloody, but I have a strong need to have things constantly organized and neat. I can live with some dishes in the sink off and on and my kid's toys laying around.....it is the organization thing that gets me- not having clutter and stuff laying around. I can never rest until things are clutter free and organized again.
I remember being little and making my bed really slowly and neatly and running my hands over my fresh made bed to get all of the wrinkles out. I also remember always needing to have my stuff neat and "just right" in my room. My grandma had a mild case of hoarding, and I remember always feeling like I needed to clean after being at her house. She would have coupons laying everywhere......papers, bags, magazines, just stuff all over the place, packed in every inch of her space. Her basement was like a treasure hunt, she had so much clutter and stuff down there.
I'm so bad, I even need to keep my Recycle Bin on my computer cleaned out, and I always delete all emails I receive and send......it bugs me to have my inbox filled up with junk.
See.......I'm sick. Maybe soon there will be a show on TV about people like me.