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Hoarding

Well…where do I start… I’m not impressed by the way my Mom lives but she’s hoarding everything under the sun! She is in between moving from her old suite to a temporary suite until her permanent suit is ready. I try my best to make sure I don’t upset her…but it’s making it very hard to move her if she doesn’t want to throw anything out or even donate it. I tried telling her that she lives a lone and she doesn’t need 20 plates and cups and so on! She even keeps margarine containers and cans!

I truly want her to feel comfortable in her temporary suite… but I’m at my wits end what to do about all her stuff. She has a one bedroom suite… and all I see is boxes and bags everywhere in the middle of her her current suite floor.

How does one try to make her see…that it’s only material things and she will live without all the stuff?!

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19 Responses

  1. If you find dead cats then it’s a problem

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  2. Felicia Rene Felicia Rene says:

    Usually hoarding is an indicator of underlying issues. The need to hold on or gain pleasure from useless items is feeding something. I would put your frustrations aside (and I know that can be difficult) and sit and chat with her about how she’s feeling.

    Sometimes we’re programmed to default back to times when we struggled and we hold on to things “just in case”.

    Maybe look into some counselling for her. Also sometimes just sitting down and sorting things into a keep, maybe and donate/trash pile can help get the ball rolling.

    Any-which way, I hope you’re able to find some resolution with your mom.

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  3. It’s important for you to understand that hoarding is a mental illness. She will need professional help to change her behaviour. People begin to hoard usually because of some unresolved trauma. Taking it upon yourself to remove her hoard will also cause her psychological trauma. I know it is hard and doesn’t make sense to you because it is just “stuff”. To her, there is an emotional attachment to her things. They aren’t just stuff. Try to get her some counseling….it might make a difference. Good luck to you both. ❤️

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  4. There are resources available for this exact scenario. She isn’t trying to upset or frustrate you. She may not even understand the root cause of her compulsion.

    Start here – call 211 with the City of Edmonton.

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  5. She might be overwhelmed and unable to make choices between what stays and what goes. Marie Kondo (I think that’s her name) has this great philosophy about tidying up. Maybe have her watch a few of her shows or get her a book or two. Basically, you only keep the things that bring you joy. Simple philosophy but quite interesting. Who knows, it may connect some how.

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  6. Hoarding is an illness. People hoard because it makes them feel in control of something and it’s usually because something traumatic happened to them.
    Be patient.

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  7. Amber Dawn Amber Dawn says:

    Maybe offer a storage rental – when it’s out of sight she may realize she doesn’t need it all.

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  8. I had- have a hard time throwing things away myself threw out and gave away lots but my Mom thinks there still needs to be more out lol. For me it was hard bc a lot of it is-was Sentimental. Maybe that’s how your mom feels right now & maybe just a little stressed over the move 🙁 give her time to adjust. the 20 cups and plates could be a china set from back in the day maybe she could sell it? it will be ok 🙂

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  9. Maja Black Maja Black says:

    Her stuff is none of your business. She is simply holding memories. People hold on to things when family is #1 not there, #2 using them, #3 overbearing and controlling. …. You are a category 3 person. My sis controls my mom like you. Leave her alone! Help her move but let her have her life. My mom would be better off just having her stuff, comfortable

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  10. Becki Kehler Becki Kehler says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that she lived through the dirty 30s. Imagine having nothing. Not even a margarine container. It’s hard to change the mindset that you grew up with. They saved EVERYTHING. And reused everything. They were the ultimate re-users. It’s hard to teach old dogs new tricks. What you see as worthless because you can go out and buy new Tupperware, she sees as a useful container. Don’t underestimate the value of the items she is saving and remember she’s find a lot of living before you were even born.

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  11. Is she in an unsafe environment with all that stuff around? 20 plates and cups and margarine containers sounds like literally any Baba I’ve come across… margarine containers are free Tupperware and maybe she likes having her cupboards full hoping someone will come visit her. This hardly seems like a hoarding situation and I’d say you probably need to check yourself to find out what the issue is… if she’s safe be happy she’s safe.

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  12. If there’s tons of plastic containers throw a bunch out. Tell her you know a lady needing household stuff and clothes she might offer some things,then go donate it. Ask her if she’s tired of living out of boxes and offer to help downsize,tell her how good it feels to not have the burden of overwhelming items. How about a garage sale. A list of what things she wants to keep ,that’s important to her. Step by step

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  13. Watch for mold and soft floors !

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  14. Irene Gaudet Irene Gaudet says:

    Is it hoarding? My parents threw little away, but as I often said, they were children of the depression and ‘you never know when you might need whatever it us you threw away.’ Unless it is unsafe, let her be. Stop being so controlling.

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  15. Twylla Beer Twylla Beer says:

    I am a recovering hoarder. It is a truly difficult thing to process. With the help of counseling and the support of my family I was able to get rid of four large garbage bins. That has been over the last 5 years. What I did was took a picture of the things I wanted to keep and had value. I put them all in a folder and now I can see any of my stuff anytime I want but I don’t actually have The Possession of said item. It was actually the only thing that did help me in the end was to take pictures and make a folder of my stuff. I don’t know somehow it help my brain to process that I didn’t need all of this stuff. It’s usually stems from significant loss in their life whether it be emotional or physical things. I truly hope your mom gets the help that she needs and it sounds like you have been supporting her. That’s the best you can do for her. She has to make the decision to get rid of the stuff. Cuz you can throw it all away but she’s just going to keep accumulating again. Sending my best to you and your mom.

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