Back to heartsupport

Hobbies.... and Hoarding.... and Not knowing what to do

This is going to be really really long, just like the other posts I’ve made, so if you’re in for a long boring explanation of some of my boring life, feel free to continue. If you’re not, I don’t blame you for stopping here.

So a week or two ago someone brought up the subject of hoarding in one of the live Twitch streams. I don’t remember what was said, but I’ve been thinking about hoarding ever since then. I feel like I can understand the mindset, although whether or not I’m really a hoarder, I really have no idea. Despite my selection of the subject as “this will never get better,” I realize that there is a point where it can get better. It just feels like it will never happen because I can’t afford a therapist, much less a therapist that specializes in hoarding. I can barely leave the house without having an anxiety or panic attack, so finding a job to get an income to be able to afford one isn’t an option. Jeez, sometimes I have panic attacks while I’m in the house just with the traffic moving by. I know about the free week with better help through heart support, so please don’t tell me about it.

Back when I was a half normal person, I used to tell people that I thought I was a hoarder. It’s not even that I don’t get rid of stuff, it’s just the amount of things that I have. And the fact that I like to know that my things are going to someone who can use them and really will use them in a good way. Otherwise whatever the thing is sits there until I find someone or it goes bad and I have to throw it out. I guess I should explain more about my things and my mindset.

I live in my parents house, and the third floor is my living space. Basically, it’s my apartment. Before I stopped working, I paid rent to them every month. I know I will never find a SO, so there was no point in me searching for something to make me get out on my own and it was a good solution for all three of us.

There’s two rooms that are mine. One is my bedroom, the other is my craft room/library. Everything I own is in these two room.

Shortly after I graduated from high school, about twenty years ago, I found these Disney Princess porcelain dolls that are absolutely amazing. Over the next few years, I bought every single one that I could find that was different than any of the others I had bought already. I did accidentally buy a couple of doubles and gave them to one of my sisters. The reason I bought them was because to my thinking, it was an investment for the future. A lot of things gather value over time, and since they are Disney, I thought for sure they would be valuable one day. So yes, instead of saving the money in a retirement account, I spent it on dolls. I guess that’s better than spending it all on drugs or alcohol. I think there’s 52 of them sitting in my closet in my bedroom at this very moment. My closet is the length of one wall of the room, although it’s not a walk-in. It’s just long. They take up half of the closet. I’ve realized that if they ever are worth money, I’ll probably be long gone and buried by then. But still, despite the amount of space they take, I feel like I shouldn’t get rid of them. So they’ll continue setting in my closet for god knows how long. But at the same time, it feel pointless to leave them there. Someone else could have them that would enjoy displaying them rather than letting them sit in a dark place.

I have a bunch of DVD’s. Not many newer ones as I don’t watch much TV, nor do I watch movies very often. I went through them one day about a year ago, and put aside every dvd that I don’t want anymore into a box. I didn’t count how many there are, but I believe there are a few hundred. They still sit in the box to this day, waiting for me to do something with them. But I don’t know what to do with them. I don’t know where to take them. So they’ll continue sitting there for god knows how long.

I have a lot of books. I don’t have as many as I used to, but there are still a lot of books, and I don’t know if I should keep them or not. I used to have over 2000 books. That was because my uncle gave me over 1000 books and I kept them for a while before donating them, although I don’t remember where I took them to. Over time, I thinned out my personal collection. I think I’m down to somewhere around 400. The thing is, I don’t read them anymore. Ever since the trauma in 2016, I hardly ever read. I lost interest in all of the things I used to do, and I miss them so much. But I don’t have the want to do them, nor do I have the mind capacity to do them anymore. I want to read. The books I have are authors that I used to love. And that’s why I’m having trouble getting rid of them. I know I don’t use them, but what if I get rid of them and then regret it? I would be so mad at myself.

When I used to work, I used to crochet. I crocheted for about fifteen years. And I used to crochet a lot. I would buy yarn every couple of weeks, and I would go through a lot of the yarn by the time I went back to the store. My stock was constantly going up and down and, except for the few I kept, I always gave the blanket away as soon as it was done.I would always make sure to have tons of yarn on hand. I don’t know how much I really had, but I can tell you there was literally 2 four shelf book cases that were packed, plus an old display stand for Klutz books that was also packed. I eventually donated almost all of them to this one lady who knits sweaters and then gives them to an organization that sends them to people in need. I have a small bag to give her yet. Otherwise it’s all gone. I miss crocheting, but I don’t have the want to do it anymore. I feel my whole body rejecting it and I feel disgusted when I even try.

My art supplies have taken over the space where the yarn was. I do use these things, but I don’t get to use them as often as I’d like, and so they sit here, staring at me. I’ve wondered if I should just get rid of my art supplies and just stop trying to create altogether, because I have trouble remembering everything and anything to do with making art. They take up a lot of space and… I don’t know.

Heck, I even have all of my tax forms from when I started working in 1998 all the way up to this past year. I know they say to keep them seven years and then it’s safe to get rid of them, but what if I need proof of income from 1998 for some bizarre reason?

Thing is, I don’t know how to decide what to get rid of and what to keep. I don’t want to get rid of something and then regret it, especially while I don’t have the money to get another one. The things I do want to get rid of, I have a hard time deciding on where it should go and so it sets there. I realize that once it’s out of my hands, it doesn’t really matter, but there are a lot of organizations that I don’t personally believe in. Salvation Army? No. My sister is a salvation army minister and I live next to a salvation army house, and from the things I’ve heard from both of them, I don’t believe they are the best place to donate. I realize that there are good things that they do, but I don’t believe that most of the donations and money go to what they say. There’s several organizations that I have this outlook on, so it makes it hard for me to donate anything. I’ve given things to firehouses in the past, but the only ones who will take these donations are too far away from me. Maybe I should give those organizations the benefit of the doubt, but I can’t seem to make myself do that. It’s so frustrating.

Ok. That was my “rant” or whatever you want to call it for today. I’m sorry this was so long and thank you for reading if you made it this far.

~Daisy

2 Likes

First I have to say this was amazing to read and to see your ability to get your emotions out there. It takes a certain talent to put words to feelings since we’re so complicated. That being said here’s my long and boring opinion/advice, enjoy!

I do have to say that if you put a label on something, in this case it’s being a hoarder, on yourself then you’re just making your mind think about it more and eventually falling in that very category. There’s a possibility it’s just that you’re a collector. However, be open to the various healthy behavior and to the unhealthy behaviors to decide when you need help. If your collections aren’t impeding everyday life then in my opinion (remember I said my opinion) it can be considered healthy. Otherwise, you can get help from the very people living under you if that’s an option. Even the tiniest nudge from someone you trust can set you on the right path. Set limits and routines so that you know when you should act.

With that spoken for everyone’s hobbies can change. Even so we lose passion for some things we once love. I’m sure you do love every single hobby you’ve stated. I for one love art, but only recently did I get that love back. I didn’t think much about art and focused on another hobby I wanted to hone. After several years someone jump-started my passion again and made me love every bit of it. Without going on a rant I’ll get to the point. Humans don’t like consistency, at least I don’t. So experiment with things and find your passion. It’s a morning wake up call just waiting for you to answer it to start your new journeys. You may find it or you may find something else don’t sweat the small things or you’ll be stuck in a loop.

Hoped this help and thanks for reading!

3 Likes

Hi @Daisy,

Sorry if this reply is a bit destructured, I’m gonna try to reply to some parts of your message, here and there. :slight_smile:

This is going to be really really long, just like the other posts I’ve made, so if you’re in for a long boring explanation of some of my boring life, feel free to continue. If you’re not, I don’t blame you for stopping here.

Alright, your life is not boring. What happens in your life and what you have to say is important, whether you find it interesting or not. I’m glad you came here!

I feel like I can understand the mindset, although whether or not I’m really a hoarder, I really have no idea.

I don’t know if it could be helpful for you, but I personally like to think that what remains important is if you suffer because of the situation and/or if it prevents you to take the actions you want/to live how you want. When it’s causing pain or negative feelings (shame, guilt, sadness, feeling powerless, stressed, having obsessions, etc.), then it can become an obstacle in your life. And it can be due to different reasons, such as: - what you’re doing doesn’t correspond to your personal values or to what fulfills you / - what you’re doing is something you can’t control and it’s putting you in danger (whether it’s physically, mentally or materially) (…). So… it’s just some random thoughts, and maybe you can start to ask yourself some questions related to that. Because even if there are many mental health issues that were identified by doctors these days, what remains important is how you live with it and to identify what impact it has on your life, so you can work on that if you need to. But again, it’s only my personal point of view.


From the different examples you mentioned, it seems that it’s more a difficulty with giving these objects, being seperated from them. I think many of us have this problem with thoughts like “what if I need this in the future?”, “it can be useful one day…”, “I don’t use it anymore but I love it”. I struggle with that too! But I also LOVE to have a clean space, to be able to take what I need quickly without having to look into plenty of other stuff before I find it. In fact, it helps me to feel better to have few things but mostly things I actually use. So I had to change the way I buy things and the way I stock them.

So you mentioned your difficulty to give away your stuff, but do you also struggle with buying new things/how do you feel when you buy new objects?

I know that, for me, this “hoarding” thing was because I grew up in a family where we didn’t have much money. So when I was a kid I was often frustrated due to the restrictions we had, whether it was for toys, food, clothes, school stuff, etc. I’ve also been homeless for a while after I left home at 16. I had different jobs and it took some years before I was able to know that you can get pleasure by buying new things. Worst part was Christmas: I couldn’t buy anything for the people I love and it made feel so ashamed. But at first, even when I had a job, I was so used to restrict myself that buying good food, going to the cinema or a restaurant, buying new clothes for example, felt like something I wasn’t allowed to do. So clearly, when I started to allow myself to buy new stuff, I tended to compensate some frustrations that accumulated. But I wasn’t happy at all and I still had this guilt everytime I bought something, except when it was a gift.

Over time I found some interesting insights in the “minimalism” tendancy. It helped me a lot even if many people tend to be to extrem with this. Like minimalism = having the fewer objects possible. I prefer to view minimalism as a way to put real value in your objects. For me, it’s not much about having less than being surrounded by things you love, things that are useful, things that makes you feel great. There are many readings, blogs, discussions on forums even reddit for example, about people experiencing minimalism as a new way of life. Maybe you can find some useful advices or insights in these discussions. Even if, as said before, I really think it’s not healthy to take everything in consideration. Because you’re right: we can have regrets when we throw stuff away, and that’s not what we want: we want to feel better. :slight_smile: For example, if I’d followed minimalism from some radical perspective, I should have get rid of my grandmothers and my brothers stuff, because I don’t “use it”. Well, it’s meaningful for me to have this stuff, and it will break my heart to get rid of it so… no way!


Heck, I even have all of my tax forms from when I started working in 1998 all the way up to this past year. I know they say to keep them seven years and then it’s safe to get rid of them, but what if I need proof of income from 1998 for some bizarre reason?

Just scan them and get rid of 'em! We are lucky enough to have computers and technology to file every paper we don’t really need. Also when there are objects that you appreciated in the past but you want to donate them, don’t hesitate to take a photo of it. You won’t have the object itself, but you still have an image of it to remind you of it and bring you the same feelings. :slight_smile:

I miss crocheting, but I don’t have the want to do it anymore. I feel my whole body rejecting it and I feel disgusted when I even try.

I can understand that. It’s different but end in the same result: I tend to love to try new things. So I get new things but then I try something else and I don’t use anymore the stuff I have. From what you said, I’d like to ask you one question: how do you feel about crochet? Do you think it’s something you will try again, even if it’s not soon? If you’re not sure, that’s okay. It could be safer to keep it until you can make a decision. But as you said it’s something that makes you feel disgusting, then I think it’s more than important to hear that. If you can’t crochet anymore and if it makes you feel guilty to see these yarns, then give them. Whether it’s to an association, your beloved ones or through a donating website. You don’t need to be surrounded by things that makes you feel uncomfortable. And if one day you get back to crochet, then you’ll just get back to it. :slight_smile:

I think I’m down to somewhere around 400. The thing is, I don’t read them anymore. Ever since the trauma in 2016, I hardly ever read. I lost interest in all of the things I used to do, and I miss them so much. But I don’t have the want to do them, nor do I have the mind capacity to do them anymore. I want to read. The books I have are authors that I used to love. And that’s why I’m having trouble getting rid of them. I know I don’t use them, but what if I get rid of them and then regret it? I would be so mad at myself.

Try to take each book and ask yourself why you would like to keep it or not. Do you think you’ll try to read it again one day? Did you like the story? Why? Is it a book that looks beautiful? Is it a books that is part of your personal story? That brings you some positive feelings? Is it something that has been given to you by someone you love?

I also tend to have too many books because I don’t like iBooks at all. I love the scent and feeling of physical books, turning the pages… The only “collection” we had when I was young was books because my father always valued reading. So there’s also a sentimental aspect in it. Now I regularly donate some books if I want to buy new ones (I tend to apply this rule to myself to many other things, including craft stuff). I also buy books on occasion and nothing unused. Somehow, my “collection” is always moving and I’m okay with that. Maybe try to select and donate just a few of them, like 5 or 10. It’s better to do it step by step. :slight_smile:


Donating stuff can also be a way for you to have a fresh start, to turn some pages of your life. It needs time and, somehow, mindfullness. It’s an intimate thing to do. Yes, giving things away too quickly can be harmful. It’s okay to take your time, to ackwnoledge how it makes you feel and to make decisions at your own pace. It sounds that you already know what you want to do and you want to get rid of most of the stuff you mentioned. If it’s hard for you to donate anything for the moment, then start with giving one thing! Those organizations you mentioned are certainly great. And whether it’s really used by others or not, what remains important from now is that giving them or not is useful for you and makes you feel better. So just take the time you need to identify how it makes you feel when you think about keeping or giving an object. You certainly already know it for most of the stuff you have. :wink:

You got this! Hold fast. :heart:

2 Likes

Thank you for your reply, @Token. I’ve had a lot of time to think about my feelings and to study my health issues, so I guess that’s why I can be so detailed. Plus details are important. I used to study my feelings on purpose just so I could recognize what I was feeling and I could try to change what I was doing or whatever if it was needed. Something that I’ve found harder to do in the last few years.

I guess I could say they are collections. I don’t think that my stuff impedes my life. It’s just that I feel like there’s a lot of it, and some days I think it’s a burden that I don’t want. It’s just stuff, so it should be easy to get rid of. But it’s not. I know everyone has different thought processes and their minds work in different ways. My parents aren’t really a source I can go to for help. My dad isn’t in very good shape and my mom is working on her own health issues. I’ve asked her to talk to my doctor so she could understand my health problems but she wasn’t interested, so that’s basically where that stands. I’m just grateful that they are putting up with me and letting me live in their house for the moment.

Thank you again for your reply. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hi @Micro.

Yes! You get the book thing! There is absolutely nothing else in the world like the feel and smell of a good book. It’s not just reading the words and getting lost in the story that makes reading so awesome. The physical book is part of the experience as a whole. I may not be able to read much anymore, but it’s something that sticks with me.

I don’t really remember a lot of my childhood, except the things I’ve written about and a few other small memories. I don’t remember what we had or didn’t have. There were five kids so I doubt we really had much. I know my dad was always terrible with money.

I don’t really buy much anymore, and when I do, it’s usually to replace something that I’ve run out of (like food) or is in bad shape (like clothes) and then I feel bad for spending the money on it. If I buy something (like a game or art supplies) I use a gift card, and then I feel bad for spending the money on it. Otherwise I tend not to buy anything.

How do I feel about crochet? I would like to be able to do it again. I loved the art of it. I loved the way the yarn flowed throw my fingers as I was working and the way my hands moved when I was making the stitches and the beauty of the project coming together. But I don’t think it’s something that I’m ever going to get back into. I tried this past summer to do it again, it’s been over three years, and I couldn’t wait to get the project done. Not so I could start another, but so I would have it done and over with.

I have given most of my yarn away. It’s just a small bag that I need to get rid of yet, but I’ve been putting it off because the lady I gave the rest of the yarn to likes to talk, and I can’t handle it. She’s a good person, but she causes me to have an anxiety attack.

I’ve heard of the Konmari method of deciding on what to keep and what to get rid of. There’s a popular crafter on YouTube that did it a few years ago. I don’t think it’s minimalist, but basically what you do is you take an object, hold it in your hands and decide whether or not it gives you joy. If you don’t get anything from it, then you know it’s time to get rid of it. Something like what you were describing. I’ve thought of trying it. I actually forgot about it.

I guess that for 2020 I’m going to work on deciding what I should keep and what is good to go. And actually work on my mindset of where it’s acceptable to donate stuff. I know I shouldn’t be picky about it, I just want people and places that I believe in to benefit from it. But the easiest place to donate items would be right next door to me. :woman_facepalming:

Thank you for the reply. :hearts:

1 Like