Ten Hoarding Warning Signs

Crozet, VA

I will start off quoting a few things the article I read stated.

A 2004 UCLA study of hoarders brains showed lower activity in the decision making, motivation and problem solving areas of the brain.

It was once believed that hoarding could be categorized under Obsessive Compulsive Disorder but is now classified as being a separate condition in which OCD treatments won't work.

The following are ten red flags that may warn of hoarder tendencies.

1 - Acquiring items brings a rush.

2 - You have trouble finding things.

3 - Throwing things out upsets you.

4 - Fix it projects pile up faster than you can repair them.

5 - You avoid having visitors.

6 - You put off having repairs done because the house is a mess.

7 - You are saving items that may be valuable or useful some day.

8 - You've maxed out credit cards.

9 - You are afraid to throw out magazines and newspapers because you believe you might miss something important.

10- You can't use rooms in your house because they are too cluttered.

So, these are things to look out for that may possibly lead a person down the road to becoming a hoarder. I have to admit that there have been times when I fit in to a few of these categories but thankfully I currently have things under good control and these aren't currently happening with me. I still find the whole topic very interesting and can't get enough of hearing about it.



Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

#1 fits me. I do enjoy acquiring things--but not just anything. I look for good quality items that can last a lifetime. And I do get a rush when I find a bargain. But I've gotten good at not bringing home things just to bring something in. Everything that comes into my house must have a purpose and must fit.

I've also gotten good at getting rid of stuff when I get something new. Recently I got a beautiful new cabinet, like a fancy credenza. So I sold the small rolltop desk that really wasn't functional for me. I've also finally admitted that the two barstools I love take up too much room in my kitchen, so today I carried them to the flea market, along with a couple of pedestal plant stands I'm tired of sweeping around.

As much as I enjoy bringing new stuff home, I enjoy getting rid of stuff even more, especially if I can sell it and recoup some of the money I paid for it. I'm saving up for a newer vehicle, so every little bit of money I make certainly helps.

I would say I'm not a hoarder, but I was an avid collector of many things (books, lighthouses, ships, teddy bear figurines, tons of tropical houseplants, and other useless clutter). At one time I wouldn't consider parting with them. But eventually I just got tired of my shelves being so cluttered and it taking so long to dust.

The thing I'm battling now is trying not to give into temptation to bring in another pet. I'm a real sucker for poor defenseless animals, which is how I ended up with the two big furry companions I have now. I have to avoid the ads on Freecycle and Craigslist in which people are offering free puppies/kittens. I could fill my house up with neglected, abandoned animals. I'm thinking I should just go volunteer with a shelter so I can get my "furry friends" fix. LOL

Coral Springs, FL(Zone 10b)

Read with interest Ruby! I watched the television show a couple of times, but had to stop, it was just so sad. As I first read this I immediately thought yep, thats me alright! Then I reread it more carefully and analyzed each one and breathed a sigh of relief. While I have done some of the things on this list like the magazines, its never been to the degree that would constitute hoarding. (I have 8 House Beautiful magazines from the 30's through the 50's that I simply cannot toss) but I stopped buying decorating magazines years ago. Why bother when its all out there on the internet! I am in better shape than I thought I was, though there is still much to do.

I get what you mean ButterflyChaser, I am a total sucker for any abandoned dog. I tried fostering for awhile, but had to stop because it was getting too hard to let them go. They call it a failed foster. Now I just click on every donation site like "Free Kibble" I can find and try to send a few dollars once in awhile to my local no kill shelter, or to a rescue network.

Crozet, VA

Yes ladies....on occasion I could have answered yes to several of these questions myself, but not to the level of any of them being chronic, so I am letting myself off the hook too. The tendency to hoard is like some other areas of my life in which upon becoming aware of an issue....I then begin to address it and thanfully no more damage than necessary is involved.

Alright, big hearted, sucker for a pet BC, watch out in regards to hoarding animals. Dogs needing homes is the reason that we once owned four of the furry friends at a time. Two have now gone due to old age but we are still paying Vet and medication costs for the two still here. One of the boys had surgery on Monday to remove a growth on his eye on Monday to the tune of $460.00. Thinking of the added cost of keeping a pet may put a new slant on the desire....for me at least.

Anyway......this information came from a website that sends daily messages to my email and I believed this to be important enough to share with others. Thank both of you for your comments.


Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Collections that gather dust..knick nacks..suppose you would drop dead today or become seriously ill and could no longer take stay in your home..do you have children or grandchildren that would be interested in your collections? I bet if we are all honest with ourselves, our kids don't want our "stuff." Today's young adults can't think ahead..they don't want anything they have to polish(like silver)they don't want anything that they can't use right away, like nice glass serving pieces. Today's kids entertain off paper plates, unfortunately. Their taste are not like ours or our Mother's.

Butterfly chaser has the right idea of taking it to the Flea market and hopefully get some of it sold. Some consignment shops will only keep your goods for a specific time, then they donate it to charity and take it off their income tax or sell it to somebody that goes around collecting other people's discards, sets up his or her own business or flea market. Yard sales are fun but they are a lot of work and sometimes you make out good financially and then sometimes it wasn't worth the effort and time you put into it. I saw gather up the stuff and give it to some of these charity organizations, take it off your income tax then.

Crozet, VA

I am hoping that my kids will do what I did when left with a huge household of items belonging to my parents after they died. Family members take what they want and sell the rest at auction. I don't know if it is a southern thing or not, but when I was a kid going to auctions with my parents was an almost every weekend thing. If I were as financially set and had a house the size they did, I too would love to include visiting auctions whenever a good one came along.

Truth of the matter is.....I spent several years doing just that and always found it to be lots of fun, but lifes circumstances have changed and I no longer attend them. During the time I was attending auctions, I also had two online stores going and enjoyed that but again, different life circumstances and it no longer works for me.

I did a major de-clutter last winter and I too was able to make some money off of getting rid of things. Again, if I were honest, I could probably go back through the house and sheds again and come up with just about the same amount as I got rid of last year and not be bothered. I purposely set aside some of the better things in hopes of selling them at some point.

I no longer have the time nor inclination to sell online and other than using Craigs List from time to time, I believe my best bet would be to once again, send the greater amount of things to auction and pray that good buyers happen to show that day and I be reimbursed for the time and energy I spent in getting the things together.

Anyway....I suppose if I can continue the pace I have set over the past ten or so years, buying and selling I won't have to worry too awfully much about being labeled a hoarder. I cannot stand filth and clutter so I have a certain point I will allow collections to grow to, at the over the top for me time, I begin the elimination process. Keeps me involved if not rich. hahaha


Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I'm trying to make things as simple for my loved ones as I can. Not only do I NOT want to deal with my own clutter, I don't want to leave it for family members. When I die, I hope that everything I have left will be something someone in the family would use--my queen size bedroom suit, my 32" LCD flat panel TV, my computer, my power tools. I don't want to leave behind a butterfly nic nac collection or a useless china set no one cares about or a large collection of ships and lighthouses people will just have to haul to goodwill. Face it, our kids and grandkids are from the ME generation--they don't want our crap and they don't want to have to deal with our crap. They hope WE will take care of it and just leave them the money. LOL

I helped a friend clean out her mother's large house after her mother died. Her mother did oil painting and the oil paintings she painted are about the only things in her house that friends and family wanted. I inherited all of her painting supplies and just about everything else was sold or donated. I remember how much work my friend and I did sorting thru everything and hauling everything to various places. She was so relieved when, months later, it was all done and the house sold and she was out from under it. With full-time jobs, cleaning out her house consumed any free time we had for weeks. She only made about $400 selling a houseful of stuff--much of it old and ugly--not even antique--just old or in poor taste. $400 for several weeks worth of her time--she'd tell you it wasn't worth it.

I've already gone thru my mother's hoard once and I'm dreading going thru it again. I remember how testy my brother was as he hauled away trailerload after trailerload of junk when mom had her stroke. When she recovered from her stroke, she was mad that we'd gotten rid of her "precious treasures". And she's been trying to fill the house up again. So one day, when she passes, we'll haul several more trailerloads of crap to the landfill. Why? Because my mother is a hoarder and hoarders are selfish.

It's a lesson I hope I've learned so I can break the cycle. When I die, I don't want people to grumble, "Why did she keep this?? It's useless! It's junk! No one would ever want this! What a mess she's left us with!" I want people to fight over what I have left. LOL I want my brother and son to fight over who gets my compound miter saw and electric drill. I want my siblings to fight over the oil paintings I've done. I want someone to claim my beautiful mahogany rice bed and matching bedroom suite. Maybe I'm selfish, but I want people to be proud to own some of my stuff after I'm gone rather than wishing I hadn't left them a major chore to deal with.

I do keep going thru my house, pulling out more stuff I've decided I don't need. I'm now able to part with things I didn't think I'd ever give up. But I'm trying to be realistic. Will I use it? Have I used it recently? Will I use it soon? How much longer is it going to take up space and energy? Can I fix it? OK, TODAY I'll fix it or tomorrow it's outta here. Do I LOVE it? Does it fit my decor? Yes? Then where does it belong? No? Then why is it still here? How much more energy do I want to spend on this item? None? Ok, it's going in the flea mkt box!

Soon, I'm having a lady come by to put fresh eyes on my stuff. I'm going to pull out pictures and things that I want to incorporate into my house and have her help me decorate the house. Then whatever we decide doesn't belong will be sold in my flea mkt booth, unless the lady wants them. I want my house to look done, but not overdone. I want people to feel comfortable here, not overwhelmed with too many pictures, too many nicnacs or floral arrangements, etc. I'm really excited to see what this lady has to say about what few "treasures" I have left. Once the house is decorated, I think I'll feel "accomplished" and can finally relax.

Eagle Point, OR(Zone 8a)

#1 -Yes
#2 -Now that I have so many items and am older, Yes
#3 -So true
#4 -Oh, boy
#5 -Too busy sorting thru stuff
#6 -Alot of this stuff is for fixing up this dump
# 7 -Just sold a broken child's bracelet I had dug up in the yard for $115.00 American. No kidding! 10,000 more items left to sell
#8 -No! Good thing yard sales don't accept credit cards
#9 -Such as article #1,000 on how to get clutter under control. Yes
#10 -Add "surfaces" to rooms

Doing better. Thanks for the wake-up quiz, Ruby!

Crozet, VA

Thanks for the giggle Huckleberry. I could always count on you to give some funny comment to a situation. That is how I like to take things that happen with me......take it with a grain of salt and laugh if I can, guaranteed on down the road after I experienced a lot of angst over any situation, years later it is laughable to have become so involved, feel as though it is the end of the world type of scenario and most was for naught.

BC, if everyone in America decided to do as you are doing, and have things in order at their deaths so family members won't have it to deal with, you would take away a great American pass time. It has been going on for years and years and is likely to continue, because let's face, not only are hoarders selfish, but most of man kind is, if we get right down to it honestly.

On the other side of the coin, I have spoken with people who haven't been left any thing of sentimental value by their parents and they are probably more hurt in their souls due to not having anything to recall memories from than the generation of us who complain about being left with dealing with folks belongings.

I was not left with a hoard, though house keeping practices towards the end of my mother's life had worsened, but I regarded it an honor to be allowed to have decision making opportunities regarding the things they did collect over the years. The things my parents had were valuable. Ninety percent of the their furnishings were hand made by a local company who is in the business. I received several of the furnishings and feel honored to have them. They are true heirlooms and my children will be passing them to their grand children. Clore furniture in this area of the country is regarded as some of the finest quality being manufactured these days. My grand children are using a rocking chair that was a Christmas gift to my dad some ninety years ago and it is as solid as the day it was gifted.

Heck, I still have a couple boxes full of paper work from my grand dad dated in the 1920's and 1930's. I suppose they made their way my way because my folks were left things to deal with when grand daddy died, and they never did any thing other than keep them. I plan to make them available to my cousins whenever another family reunion is planned.

We may do things differently in this area of the country, but most folks I know feel very honored to have sentimental things to recall good memories from. It was a lot of fun for me to go through those papers which are reaching near being one hundred years old and imagine the times back then.

Again, to each his own, everyone has different ways of doing things. I have made a major dent in what I will leave and in the mean time will continue enjoying my pretties. For about fifteen years I have been fortunate enough to have someone else do my weekly dusting and other household chores for me. Some months back I had to cut it to bi-weekly and do for myself in between her visits. It has now been about a month since she has appeared and didn't answer my phone call last week, so she may have flown the coup. I might be needing to re-assess the chotskies sitting around here too if I am to become head house duster.

Anyway... glad to hear from you Huck. I miss you.


Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Not everyone is as fortunate as you are, Ruby, to have a husband and housekeeper do some of the chores. And not everyone has parents who can leave them good quality stuff. If my mother had taken the time to sell some of her junk, she could have bought a few good quality items instead of having a houseful of junk we'll have to haul to the dump someday. The new flat panel TV we bought her for Christmas is about the only thing any of us would want. My mother felt that quantity, not quality, was more important.

There will always be auctions, Ruby, because many people will always hoard and others will always be getting something better and putting up for auction their old stuff. So you don't have to fear that an American pasttime will ever die. But auctions are no reason to perpetuate hoarding. Much of America is ridiculous in their selfish need to acquire and keep. Storage facilities make a killing off hoarders. These people pay big bucks to store stuff that usually isn't worth the storage fees. And then one day they can't afford the fees anymore and their stuff is then auctioned off to pay their past due fees. Such a shame. They could have sold that stuff in the first place and pocketed the money themselves.

Years ago I was too attached to my stuff. And I had a houseful. I wasn't exactly a hoarder but I did have too much. I had some nice cheap stuff but it overwhelmed visitors. As I cleared out, I began to lose that attachment, and I view that as an accomplishment. My stuff used to control me; now I'm in control. And it feels amazing! I'm always reminding myself of how simply the people in Korea live, as Juney talks about. I don't think I want to live that sparsely, but I don't want to overwhelm my quests with too many nicnacs or too many pictures on the walls or too much greenery jumping out of corners and off shelves. I've learned that not every inch of the walls needs to be covered, not every bookshelf needs to be full, and not every surface needs to be covered by nicnacs. Clean, decorative, but comfortable is what I'm striving for. I try to think about the homes I enjoy visiting and the ones I feel a little tense in, with an urge to escape. So I'm trying imitate those homes that leave me with a sense of peace.

Apparently what I'm doing is finally working. My brother asked me the other day to come to his house and go thru his stuff. He feels the walls closing in. I told him I came over, I'd be throwing out a lot of stuff. He said, "That's exactly what I want! I know things need to go, but I just can't do it myself." So that may be my next project--to transform my brother's house into a home again.

Crozet, VA

It feels good that others have confidence in our ability to help them. Yep, the example you have sat for him made him go home and re-evaluate his surroundings. Cool beans. I know you have a lot of anger towards your mother and her hoard. You wouldn't be human if it didn't bother you. The poor family members on the Hoarders TV shows are so sad to watch. They feel helpless to help and I feel badly for them and for your situation. Heck, who knows, but this could eventually rub off on yor mom.....and she will decide to do something sooner rather than later.......stranger things have happened.

Anyway.....continued good luck with all of this. I feel you are the right woman for the job. Have a good week coming up.


Coral Springs, FL(Zone 10b)

I really need to get my kids on board with the stuff they want and the stuff they could care less about. For instance the sterling can go because nobody wants to polish it, but the good china is spoken for. By all of them. Thats a pain in the butt, because I dont want to break up the set, but the only thing that is of equal value is the silver! And I absolutely will NOT do to them what their dad did so all things will be equal. What the heck, maybe I should just sell it all, throw the proceeds in a cookie jar, spend what I need to keep body and soul together and if there is anything left they can just count it out and divide it themselves.

I started to use the old glasses for everyday, if they break, (and they do)- at least we got to appreciate them! I was going to sell them off, but they are just too fragile and selling and then shipping glasswear on line is just too expensive and work intensive.

I do have a really big problem just throwing clothing away, I have to admit to that one. I had so many really expensive and pretty clothes from back in the day that it's hard to just donate it all, plus I'm getting so old now that more and more of it is getting to be truly vintage... LOL!

Okay- back to work. Theres a hurricane headed our way and i need to batten down the hatches!
Happy cleaning everyone!


Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Amy, with the china, which of your children would be hosting the Christmas dinners when you're gone? That's the one I'd give the fine china too. Then everyone can benefit from it. If no one wants the sterling, sell it and do something nice for yourself.

Check around for a vintage clothing consignment shop and sell some of your old clothing. Or donate to a drama class at your local high school or college. Wouldn't it be fun to see a play where the stars are wearing your old dresses?

Does living in a hurricane-prone area force you to minimalize--keeping only what's important? I live in tornado alley so I often consider what I could lose if a tornado smashed my house to smithereens. At least if I sell off what I don't actually need, I can leave the money in the bank where it will be safe.

The decorator helped for about 3 hours last night. She's coming back tonight to finish up. We've found a few things that I don't need and found some other things I want to incorporate in the house, but one or two of them just may not fit at all. I love them but if we don't find a place for them tonight, they have to go. One is a winter landscape I painted; all my siblings want it so when I part with it, I can still visit it from time to time.

Here are some befores and afters of the living room.

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser
Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Here's the after. The small seascape in the above picture doesn't seem to fit anywhere so I'll take it to my flea mkt booth. I love it, but I like my other stuff better, and it's not one I painted, so I can let it go...I think. Wonder if my brother might like it. Hmmmm.

In this picture, the painting on the right, I did. The painting on the left, a friend did. We took Bob Ross painting classes together.

Please ignore the blankets covering the furniture. That curious little rat you see in the above picture has chewed holes in my leather furniture. I keep blankets over them to keep him from climbing INTO the holes. Silly little puppy!

This message was edited Aug 22, 2011 8:11 AM

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser
Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Oh, I thought I was posting on the Accomplished Declutterer post. Sorry Ruby, I didn't mean to intrude on your thread! I'll post my other pictures over there.

As for being angry with my mother, it's more frustration and disgust, as well as concern for her health too. Anything that comes into her house does not leave--ever--except true trash. She doesn't pile her house up with paper plates, bottles, cans or anything that is absolute trash, like some o fthe hoarders on the shows. Occasionally I "use" her bathroom so I can sneak out a 20 yr old bottle of aspirin or a 15 yr old bottle of benadryl. She's never allowed me to throw out a can of food even though she'll never eat it. I've been taking care of her for 12 years, and all the canned food she insisted on bringing to this new house is still in the cabinet.

She has a broken bookshelf shelf that collapses if you touch it wrong. I had an identical one so carried it over there to replace the broken one. She refused to let me swap them out and put the new shelf in the bathroom between the toilet and the wall. It's a very tight fit and totally useless. She keeps ONE roll of toilet paper on the shelf. And you still have to be careful not to bump the bookshelf in the kitchen.

Last year her water heater busted and flooded the guest room which is piled up. The water heater is in the crammed full closet in the guest room. She would NOT let me in that room, fearing I'd throw stuff away. So it took my brothers all day to clear out the junk so they could get to the water heater. Mom sat in the living room watching TV like a princess. Once it was all done, my brothers snuck a lot of useless stuff out the back door. Later Mom accused ME of taking her stuff. I reminded her that she wouldn't allow me in the room, but she still thinks I can't be trusted. Her stuff (much of it empty boxes) is more important to her than her family. So yes, it's frustrating.

Ontario, CA(Zone 8b)

I was just reading through this post, think I missed it before.

Pippi Ė your comment about todayís kids entertaining off paper plates made me laugh. That is totally me and my husband, though we are working on it. But we both hate, hate, hate doing dishes, so for years now, weíve lived off paper plates, bowls, plastic cups. Very sad. Itís not even so much that I donít like the nice stuff. I do. But itís the taking care of things that is the drawback. Weíve been getting better lately though. I havenít bought any paper plates or anything since beginning of July! (Hey, itís a start.) =)

Ruby Ė good call on keeping those boxes of paperwork from the 20ís and 30ís. Those may be of interest to anyone in the family who does genealogy. I know if anyone in my family came across a find like that, I would be super excited to go through it and see exactly what might be in there.

I was thinking as I was reading through about furniture, and the attitude that the more recent generations tend to have towards stuff. I think part of the problem may be that furniture (and lots of things really) nowadays is made so poorly and made only to last a couple years. At which point, to the dump it goes and new furniture gets bought. I admit, I am of the Ikea generation, and that stuff is just not made to last. Up until we bought our house 2 years ago, almost every single piece of furniture we had was from Ikea (except the hope chest my mother gave me for graduation). Now that we have the house, we are slowly replacing everything with better quality items. If it was the right style, I would be ecstatic to get good quality used furniture passed down to me. Good quality furniture is expensive!

BC, it is so sad that your mom is hoarding to that extent. Very good, at least, that she doesnít keep all the true trash. Those are the ones I really canít understand when I watch the hoarding shows. When itís absolutely trash, not even anything potentially useful. After the water heater broke, did she get rid of anything that was water damaged, or did she insist on keeping that stuff as well?

Crozet, VA

Oh gosh......your closing line says it all and gives me a truer sense of the frustration that family members must feel......the hoarders stuff seems more important than their family members do. That would feel like a big old sock in the gut I imagine. You are handling it all a lot better than I would probably be able to do. Another thing you mentioned and I have seen first hand is health issues stemming from hoarding. I had a great aunt that my mother and I used to visit a lot. She had paths leading from room to room. She eventually died from complications of asthma and emphysema. I am sure that inches of dust on every surface didn't help the breathing issues at all.

I love the looks of your living room, before and after BC. You have a good eye.

Amy dear, I like your idea of selling some items and pampering yourself with the proceeds. All of your life you have been giving, giving, giving. It is time for you to begin giving to yourself and making sure that your remaining years are happy ones. I have seen a decal on some Recreational Vehicles on the road that read - "We are spending our children's inheritance." I loved it.

As for the clothing, I like BC's idea for selling it on consignment. I did that with some of my mother's stuff after her death. The majority of her clothing I donated but things that were special I put in a consignment shop called Glad Rags. Glad Rags does a booming business being located near the University here. She sells about half clothing and half jewelry. She says her busiest time is halloween because so many of the students and other folks looking for unusual dress for the occasion. So....if you have the time and inclination, you might want to go through some of the clothing and try getting it to them before the end of September. Glad Rags is so busy during the month of October that she doesn't even take clothing to consign during that month.

Anyway......there are endless possibilities. I am with you on the time consumption of selling on line. I did that for a while when there were no kids at home and John worked away from home. My current home situation is not at all condusive to trying to do that these days.

Also as BC has pointed out many times, selling on Craig's List is usually a quick moving process and you can set your price and people can call or not. I thought that you mentioned a while back that getting some things together and getting Jesse set up to sell online was something you were thinking about.....did he not agree to doing it or what happened with that? Again, many possibilities with some creative thinking. It helps that you are not hurting for money at the moment and won't have to let it go for less than you want to. Hold on to something and try again later if no takers the first go round.

After things at your place have settled a bit, you can begin focusing on getting rid of things. You are currently busy with other things and there is no rush.

Thank you both for the dialogue today. Always fun hearing others ideas.


Crozet, VA

We cross posted Sharon. Good to see you. You have a good point on the quality of things we buy these days. My dad was famous for saying that a good vehicle hadn't come off the lines since the early 1970's. I always laughed whenever he said it, but there was probably a whole lot of truth to the statement.

Just a few minutes ago John and I were discussing the re-arrangement of some furniture. I will be storing a few good wooden pieces unless Tucker can use them in his bedroom now. Some day we will be helping him furnish a place of his own hopefully and some of this stuff will come in handy then.

Sharon.....I hadn't though of contacting kin folk who are interested in Geneology. I have a distant cousin who once upon a time was big in to it. I will try to remember to contact him and see if he'd like to have some of the paper articles. Thanks, hadn't thought of that until now.

Anyway....thanks for the chat all. Hope the upcoming week is a good one for all reading.


Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Today's generation is very hectic. So many mothers are single moms who have to multi-task and manage time wisely. Or households are two-income households with both people working outside the home. So there's just no time for menial tasks like doing dishes. I eat on paper plates too most of the time. It sure simplies my life. When I have guests over, though, I do enjoy REAL dishes. I mentioned before that I got rid of my "everyday" dishes and kept my "fine china", and I'm not afraid to use it. In fact, I treasure it and enjoy it. I also make sure my guests know that if they break a piece, no worries. The whole reason I have it is to enjoy it, and I'm not going to worry over a broken glass. It's Wexford glassware, from the 70's, and I can buy more pieces at flea markets should I need some. I love having just one set of glassware. There really wasn't any point in taking up extra cabinet space for dishes.

Like you, Sharon, I've spent the last couple of years getting rid of cheap, poorly made furniture and getting better, solid wood, well-crafted furniture. My most favored piece is a high boy dresser I found at a flea market. It was all scratched up and some of the drawers don't open right. But it called out to me. It wasn't anything that I was looking for...or so I thought, so I kept passing it by. But it just kept calling me. At one point I walked out to my car, intending to leave, and I heard it call again. I knew if I left it there, I'd regret it before I even got home. I walked back in and told the store owner that I would take the highboy IF he could fit it in my van--half-hoping he couldn't. I had really wanted light colored furniture for my bedroom. He managed to fit it in my van (it's a two piece unit) and shut the hatch. I gave him $100 and left. When I got home, I found the name of the manufacturer in one of the drawers and looked the company up online. I found MY highboy on their website...selling for $3200!!!! I have expensive tastes! I restained the highboy and fell in love. I pet it everyday and have since acquired a complete set of bedroom furniture to match it.

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser
Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

If your kids do not want it, who does?

When my older sister got married, my Aunt gifted her with lots of glass junk that she was getting rid of so that she could downsize (her whispered words to me) = it was all of that precious crystal and silver that had been handed down through the family along with a few shelves and a cabinet to display them in. This is stuff that had turned into Clutter for my Aunt and Treasures for my Sister. She dearly loves the 'stuff' and has decorated and furnished the dining room so that they are 'center stage'. It tickled my Auntie to death that Beth loved that 'junk' so much and Beth is still delighted these many decades later to have these bits of history.
btw, none of my Aunt's 4 kids wanted anything to do with that stuff. It requires upkeep and is too delicate for children to be close to, so they didn't want it - niece Beth treasures these family heirlooms.

My Mom started in '33 to collect costume jewelry and purses. I love the stuff and had hers and loads of my own. There was too much for me to deal with and I wanted to downsize.. My Son & DIL didn't want any of it...at all. At a family reunion I noticed a niece wearing some neat pieces of jewelry and we discussed The Collection. I was so very, very glad to bring it to the next reunion and she loves owning it ^_^ She has heirloom treasures and I have a wonderfully clutter-free bedroom.
At that reunion I had also brought some books and knick knacks that were family mementos and saw that it was the young folks that were most enthralled with them. For them it was ♥Family History♥ & Heirlooms♥ For us grey-haired ones; it was a really neat way to pass this ~stuff~ along to someone that would appreciate it. Every reunion after that had tables covered with 'stuff' to pass on and plenty of folks sitting around that could give the history of each item. I hear now that it is turning out to be the best part of our twice a year reunions.

This is an excellent way to get rid of lots of the stuff that our kids do not want.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Great idea, Juney!!

Crozet, VA

My mom had also acquired a great deal of costume jewelry and none of the grand kids seemed interested and I took the opportunity some years ago to go about selling it. I first visited a high end jewelry store who bought up the gold and silver and she then referred me to Glad Rags the local consignment shop specializing in vintage clothing and costume jewelry where I sold more of the gems. I have a running account with the consignment shop but haven't taken any thing in for some time now and the thought of shopping there is out of my financial ability because she marks things really high.

Juney, maybe my idea to take the ancient business papers to a family gathering must have been from you mentioning doing this some time last winter when the boards were more active. Anyway...I love the idea. First ask in immediate family if folks want anything and then spread out in to extended family. It does feel great when there is someone who will take the gifted item and cherish it.

A childhood memory of mine which is now at least 45 years old is receiving a box in the mail post marked with a Florida address where my dad's aunt had retired some years earlier. In this box was all of her costume jewelry and she had picked my mother and myself to be the giftees. Much of what she sent during that time was stuff I later sold. When taking some of the things to the consignment shop years later, imagine my surprise when the shop owner put a price tag of over three hundred dollars on a Coro set. Good grief, I almost fainted. Didn't realize I was carrying around gold in the back of my car for months and months.

Now, if I can find a buyer of old dish ware I would be set. Haven't yet decided on my way to sell some of the stuff I packed back last winter. I am at the point though that I am willing to admit that I have no more space for display things and so even if some of this stuff is really beautiful, it needs to go elsewhere. That is stillmonthsdown the road. I have more immediate things to take care of currently.

You ladies have a good day. As always, lovely to hear from you Juney and your input is always full of great info. Thanks for sharing.


Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

BC..that highboy is beautiful. I can't believe that man let that go for $100. It looks like it was an expensive piece of furniture when it was new. He didn't have anymore of the set with him?

Ruby..if none of your family wants any of the stuff that your Dad had, or that cousin that does genealogy...check with the Historical or Genealogy society in the county where it pertains to. When my dear FIL died, we took stuff up that he and Mom had saved to the Historical Society where he grew up, and they have an activie historical society along with a museum and they were very happy to receive it and display it. He and Mom had a lot of Masonic and Eastern Star Jewelry. We gave away all of her formal gowns to the Eastern Star(about 30plus) and the long gloves they had to have with the formals and they had a sale and let some of the members buy it at good prices and also there are new members that were coming into the ES that didn't have the money to buy a lot of gown changes. For certain events, you have to wear white, for other events, you may have to have another color, etc. The jewelry was nice, expensive jewelry and we hired a lady that was highly recommended to us and she and her husband were in the Masonic and ES group and that woman sold a lot for us and her health declined and we sold the rest for the price of the gold to a jewelry. I know he probably took advantage of us but all their friends had as much as they had and didn't need anymore. The lady would go to Masonic conventions and set up a table and sell. She was well known for her quality pieces. She only took 10% to sell it. She knew her stuff and we were very pleased with her and what she had sold. A jeweler that we know well said his business for masonic jewelry, etc. has dropped off drastically because the older ones are dying off and the younger generation doesn't have time to belong to the Masons and they don't have the money it takes because they are paying big mortgage payments and running their kids from one sports event to another.

We still have a few pieces of Masonic stuff to get rid of..but just haven't put an effort into getting rid of it.

Ruby, you could probably google the Historical or Genealogy society and find out if they would be interested in looking at it and donate it. We donated my FIL's tuxedo to a local theatre here nearby. They were thrilled to get it and I knew it was almost brand new and the man at the theatre said the same thing and he recognized the designer's name and place where it was purchased and told us that my FIL had paid anywhere from $400-$700 for that tuxedo. He gave us a receipt for income tax purposes and I used the lower price. I think I gave away about a dozen tuxedo shirts and matching cumberbuns; many colors, same way with white gloves. They could have traveled all over the USA and stayed with Masonic and ES friends and never ran out places to stay if they'd chosen to.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Hi Pippi, I love that highboy. It looked really rough when I brought it home, but I sanded it and stained it over the weekend and made it shine. It was the only piece like it that they had in the flea market. But the next weekend, a lady here in town was selling a big tv armoire just like it! And I bought it. Turns out, she has the whole bedroom suit. She took me inside and let me see all the various pieces together and it was awesome! Of course I don't have room for all the pieces. The dress with the triple mirror was just huge! And incredible. To see all the original pieces together made me realize I made a great choice when I bought that highboy.

Then a few weeks later, I found a four post "rice" bed that matches these first two pieces. And I get so many compliments on my bedroom. It looks cozy and traditional with interesting pieces of furniture. The straight, clean lines of modern furniture just bore me. And of course this older furniture is well made, all wood--not that pressed board we see so much of today.

Crozet, VA

How interesting to hear of the Masonic and Eastern Start stories. Very cool, thanks for sharing Pippi.

What a great idea for donating this stuff to the historical society. That or The Virginia Dept. of Forestry which according to much of the paperwork, my grand dad was Fire Warden for that County. So, I will find some time in the next couple of weeks and go through it. There is a family reunion planned for the 15h of October and I will take what I don't want to it. I will offer it to kin folk and what isn't taken, I will first offer to VA Dept. of Forestry and then to the Historical Society of Madison County VA. Thanks for the tips, I now have a plan.

It being almost one hundred years old and in perfect condition makes me think that it will hold value to someone. Some of it I do want for myself and my boys, but there is certainly enough to share all the way around. Amazing that the records were kept in good shape for all of these years.

Hope everyone reading will have a great weekend coming up.


Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Ruby, Do you know for sure that the Va. Dept of Foresty has a museum? Maybe the Historical Society of Madison County, Va. can tell you if they do or put you in contact with somebody that knows. Maybe you can google and find out. I'm sure the Historical Society will put it to good use. Maybe make copies before you give away and give to your sons and let them be responsible for putting it in a safe place. Sometimes when our kids are young, they don't see the importance of keeping genealogy related information. Not every one is interested in their hertitage for whatever reasons. If anybody thinks doing genealogy is Free..I've got a lot of proof it isn't always free. It take patience, determination and sometimes an inquisitive mind. Sometimes people don't want to know their hertiage for various reasons scared of what they will discover. Every family has skeltons in it, believe me, even the most prominent families.

Highgrove, CA

i'm afraid i will be a hoarder one day....i like to save so many things. my house is not messy at all, but the things i keep are ridiculous. i have one of my favorite shirts from kindergarten, my movie ticket to my first date....etc. all memorable things, but i just don't know when to quit saving.

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

Jtaylor, that IS how it starts. You can get a handle on it now by what they call "respecting your stuff". Organizing and framing collections of memorabilia and displaying it (shadow-box frames are great for this) or taking pictures of it all and throwing it away while keeping the digital memory.

Take it from me: 'stuff' starts owning you after a while.

I immediately thought about your first movie date ticket in a frame with pictures of you and your life; covers from the hot music of that era and bits of bric-brac that bring that time to mind... I did one like that for my SIL's teen years and was able to copy lots of pictures from the web and print them on photo paper - her fav. bands, the advertising picture of the golf course she hung out at was used for a background, jewelry, a bunch of copies of school pictures & memories from the school's website, her first keychain that held car keys. All kinds of "junk" that had sat around in drawers and jewelry boxes mixed with photos pulled from the 'net all neatly kept in a frame. She has now done this for her DSons life: one for 1-5yo, 2 more for up to middle school and he has a box of 'stuff' to go through and put together for the years leading up to his marriage. My SIL had the most organized 'stuff' I had ever seen...but every space in her house was crammed with it.

In liberating our storage areas of all of that 'stuff', we are liberating ourselves, too.

Crozet, VA

Hi everyone - I haven't been reading threads for a few weeks now due to be ultra busy with other things. I am finally taking some time this rainy and dreary Monday to try and catch up with some of the threads I have been participating in. Good to see folks talking.

Pippi, I am not as far as checking on a Museum for the Div. of Forestry yet. I will contact the Madison County Historical Society and let them be the lead with this. First of all, finally got the three boxes of paper off the spare bedroom closet shelf and down where I can start going through them. There is a reunion for our family on October 15 and I plan to either take most of the paper myself or send with a cousin who will attend and let the first cousins have some if they are interested. I will give word that if it isn't all taken, I want it back and then I will contact the Historical Society. I want to go through and save some of the things for myself also. My grandmother was named Ruby also and some of the things addressed to her or pertaining to her, I will keep.

Jtaylor, welcome......always good to hear from new folks. I don't find your choice of memorabilia odd at all because I can just about assure you that I can go through one of my many jewelry boxes and find some of the same sort of mementos. Listen to Juneybug, she is one of the folks who helped me succeed in de-cluttering a very large amount of items last winter when that was a few month long project for me. Juney did sort of a running diary on one of the clutter free threads about her getting ready to move from the States to Korea and was only allowed a certain weight of items to take along. It was very interesting to read about her daily successes in ridding her home of the many excesses she had collected over the years.

Being involved with the clutter free threads and thinking a lot along the lines of downsizing or decluttering opened my eyes to a lot of my behavior that I have since been able to make some changes to. I had at one time taken shopping on as a sport. I have an addiction to everything for a Dollar stores and would often buy several plus of good deals. One of the things that really surprised me was a comment that Juneybug made one day about beginning to calculate the dollars spent on the things she was donating. She said that she stopped counting at ten thousand dollars. That one really opened my eyes and though not actually recording or keeping count of the brand new items I sent out of the house for donation, I knew that I could have easily hit that same dollar mark. Sickening.....man, what I wouldn't give to have a check for that amount. hahaha

I have always been interested in keeping a neat and orderly home and for several plus years it seems that I always had at least one room devoted mainly to clutter. I didn't feel that was making good use of precious space, so I began getting involved with the Clean and Clutter Free forum here at Dave's. I just chatted for some months and then one day it just kind of hit me that I wanted to begin what would be a major process of ridding my home of the things that were just taking up space and not serving any good purpose. It took some months but with the support and encouragement from the folks here at Dave's I was able to make a very major dent in my excesses. I still have some things that I held on to but at some point, I may decide that the time has come when I am able to let go of some of those things too.

Unless my health fails me and I am unable to keep up with things, I don't believe I would ever become a hoarder. I am much too sensitive to my surroundings and am bothered by messiness and unsanitary conditions. I do know to never say never, because I do have an addictive sort of personality and when I like something, I really like it and want as many of it as I put my hands on. Some might ever consider my obsessive number of house plants at the moment to be a sign of hoarding in fact. I do have plants to cut down on the number soon though, so that hopefully won't be an issue for too much longer.

Well, I have bent everyone's ears and eyes enough for one sitting. Here is hoping that all are having an enjoyable Monday and that the upcoming week is a good one for all.


Yucaipa, CA(Zone 10a)

Greetings to all that have posted comments on this subject. When I first clicked onto the topic title, I was expecting something else ~~ not comments on "hoarding or would be hoarding." Back in my Dad's day, this was known as being a "pack rat" and not a "hoarder." I've just finished reading the comments ~~ each one ~~ and some I feel that I, unfortunately, can relate to, while others I don't. I hate to say it, but I think some of my Dad's pack rat ways had rubbed off onto me too! I've been on my own as a single mom since 1985, but now both kids are grown with families of their own. The situations that I found myself in over the years, I'm sure haven't helped in my "clutter" ways, but am really working hard at changing this.

After going through a divorce in 1985, living in various apartments with the kids and then eventually finding myself living in a 'rental' house in Rialto, helped because it had a garage for all the overflow of stuff. After the kids were out on their own, the "owner" of the house that I was renting, decided he didn't want to deal with it anymore and came to talk to me. I had been living there for 6 years at this point and had hopes of maybe one day buying it. Well, buying it didn't work so then I set off in search of another place to live. As much as I wanted my own place, it didn't work out that way and I ended up renting a "room" from someone. My room that I rented was literally wall-to-wall boxes and totes. While I got rid of quite a bit of stuff before the move, there was still alot of stuff that came with me. Amazing how much stuff you find out you've got when it's time for a move!! I lived in the "rental room" for about 2 1/2 yrs until I had the opportunity to buy a mobile home. The person that I was renting the room from started acting all "psycho" on me to the point that I was scared to come home, but had to because of my animals. So I really needed something fast!

Fast forward to the mobile home, which is a double-wide, 2 bedroom with 1 1/2 baths. All the stuff I had at the room rental [plus my other belongings] came with me. I had been diligently working on my sorting technique while still working full time. I'm still continuing on that path, only now with more stuff to deal with. I ended up with things of my Dad's when he passed away 2 yrs ago. I have tools that used to belong to my Dad [which I do use] and also quite a mound of his old paperwork to go through and shred. If anyone has ever lived in a mobile home, then you know there isn't alot of storage space offered. I just put a new shed onto the lot early summer, 80 sq. ft, and will have to be careful about what I put in there. For now, my 2nd bedroom is totally a storage room. I've been renovating the rooms one at a time, so it gives the appearance of things piled everywhere. I can't have things in my way while I'm renovating the back bathroom, so everything has to go somewhere.

I do take alot of the comments that I have read here to "heart" and some have hit home too. Just like one day, my 11 yr old grandson asked me if I was a "hoarder" ~~ I told him, "no, I'm not a hoarder, I just don't have alot of storage space to work with." But, I tell you, it did hurt my feelings just a bit when he asked me that. So, that was an 'eye-opener' for me in that regard. One room at a time is the way I'm dealing with things now. Not only with renovation, but also the clutter. I want to have a place again that has a cozy feel to it and be clutter free ~~ and also one where I won't mind friends & family coming over. I am also trying to get away from the "particle board" furniture that is so common these days. I may pay more for it, but I want real wood from now on ~~ no more cheap stuff.

I also donate things to my local charity stores too, so I'm sure when the sorting of the cardboard boxes starts again they will be getting some of my stuff too, as I don't really have the time for yard sales either. Things that are still useful & in good shape, I may try posting them on Craigslist. I wouldn't mind some extra money !! :)

Sorry for this to have gotten so long, but I guess I needed to get it in print instead of just closing my mind to some things I have to deal with. They say when you put it in writing, somehow it becomes more real. Thanks for your patience with my venting. If any of you have any other ideas for me, other than what I'm already planning, I'd like to hear them please. I posted a picture showing the front of my mobile home during our "freak" snowfall in April 2011.


Thumbnail by Fleur_2011
Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Hi Jennie,

Welcome to our discussions. I remember the term "packrat". Isn't it funny how terminology changes over the years? Now that they've decided it's a disease, they change the terminology.

The front of your home looks so inviting. Use that as your inspiration as you work on the inside. And remember that at times, you may not be able to let something go, and that's ok. That particular time may not be the right time to give up that particular item. A year later, it may be quite easy to let it go. So if it's too difficult today, move on to the next item. The more you let go of, the easier it gets, especially if you're making a little money from it. Craigslist has really been instrumental in my decluttering. I had some really nice items that I would not have given away, but getting money for them was a great incentive.

The hardest things I let go of were books. I kept every book I ever read! Why? I don't know. But I just kept buying bookshelves and more books. Little by little I donated them to our public library and kept only ONE book--my very favorite book of all time. I still have it. It's the only book I'll read over and over. I've recently found some new authors I like and have bought up a bunch of their books and began reading them rather quickly. I feared the old compulsion to keep them all would come back to haunt me, but it hasn't. I've been passing the books on to my sister who likes the same authors. So as I read one, it goes into the stack I'm saving for the next time I see her. I feel victorious in conquering that compulsion.

I think it's important for us to see ourselves and our lifestyles thru someone else's eyes. We can't really be objective, so having another set of us give us their opinion can help if we're open to the criticism. Recently, when I decided I had completely decluttered my place, I hired a friend to come in and help me redecorate and declutter further. She helped me to see a few other things that just didn't belong here and rearrange other things in a cozier way. It was really helpful and now my house does look like a cozy little home. So be open to others' opinion and suggestions. Invite them to offer their opinions--what works and what doesn't work in your home. Have a friend over to help you work on one room. Allow your friend to take out everything that doesn't belong in that room and then fix the room up as it should be. Once one room is in complete order, you'll feel energized and focused on getting the other rooms in line as well. Keep us updated on your progress too. Some before and after pictures would be wonderful.


Crozet, VA

Welcome Jennie and thank you for writing. It is always interesting to hear what others are dealing with and as Butterfly said, maybe some folks will have some ideas to help that you hadn't thought of. I know that the support I received from the folks on the Clean and Clutter Free boards last winter were instrumental in allowing me to persevere and do a quite large de-cluttering job with my house and storage shed.

It did feel good as each item went out the door. I first began donating everything that could be regarded as clutter and I kept hearing Butterfly speak of selling a lot of her things and I too began selling some of the more valuable things rather than donating. The donating worked well in the beginning because it motivated me to keep at it. I sold through Craig's List also, I sent a load of things to auction and visited a pawn shop with gold and silver that I wasn't using or was damaged. Yes, we can always use a little spare change.

I too learned some good lessons on how my behavior had influenced the condition of my full house. I had a few year long habit of visiting everything for a dollar stores as often as I could and spending a lot of money at them. I had one spare bedroom, which sounds much like the one you now have where I had bags and bags of purchases and other items that I hadn't stored properly. I came to realize that I was wasting a lot of space by using it as storage. I also admitted my obsession with buying deals and not needing the things I purchased, so my trips to the dollar stores have been cut back considerably and when I do purchase things there these days it is usually edible or a cleaning supply versus every little cool gadget I saw.

I am sure that as you continue on your de-cluttering journey that you too will begin to see patterns in how you have accumulated some extra things. I cannot say enough about the excellent support I found with the very friendly and helpful people on these boards. I couldn't have accomplished what I did last year if I hadn't had a place to come and write about my journey and get lots of helpful tips while doing so.

I understand what you are saying about writing things down. I visited these forums for many months participating in the chats, probably giving lots of excuses why I hadn't begun the de-cluttering process yet, until the "bug" bit me and I too wanted the good feelings that the others were talking about with each item they sent away from their homes. I often use the forums here as a diary or a blog of sorts. I have found time and time again that I can have some issue on my mind and sit down and start writing about it and viola......the answer to my issue suddently appears in front of my eyes. Great therapy for sure.

Anyway.....keep us updated with your progress or just check in even if you haven't made any progress. It is all a process and one that for me personally took the support of others to accomplish. Good luck.


Yucaipa, CA(Zone 10a)

Hi rubyw and Butterfly Chaser!

Many thanks for responding to me. The reason the 2nd bedroom is currently used as storage is due to the time when I first moved into the mobile home ~~ the guys that were helping me move just put boxes or other furniture in there if it didn't already have a designated room to go into. And, of course, I've unfortunately added to it over the years.
Among my other daily activities, I'm presently renovating my back bathroom connected to my bedroom. I jokingly refer to that bathroom as my "mini onsuite." LOL!! All that is in that bathroom is the toilet and vanity cabinet. I've already taken out the ugly 'eyesore' medicine chest and will patch up the hole next week. While I've been unemployed since Dec. 2010, collecting unemployment benefits and looking for work, I've been busy with the room renovation and involvement with my 2 camera clubs. I've had my own photo business since Sept. 2009, but that's been really slow due to economy. I've made a little money with it, but not enough to consider self-supporting.

When I first moved in here, I was doing a little bit in each room, feeling tired at the end of the day and never really seeing any progress being made. That's when I decided to just concentrate on one room or area at a time. So far, this mode of reasoning has worked for me. I started on my kitchen first with painting and replacing all the hardware. This is still a work in progress. I need to get another tool to aid me in the next step for this room. Eventually I would like to have a whole kitchen redo with a kitchen design I saw at IKEA, but that's way off. My hallway bathroom is totally renovated, so now I'm just decorating it. I refer to it as my "cat" bathroom because of the decor. The back bathroom I'm currently working on is the "duck & bunny" bathroom~once again because of the decor.

I've always had an "eclectic" taste in my decorating style and don't want my place to look like a page out of a magazine. My decorating style is a little country and cottage [kitchen & bath areas], while the rest of the house has a more Southwest touch with the paint color and my Native American artifacts that I've collected over time. I'm a little bit sure that when I eventually start going through that back bedroom, I may end up getting rid of something that I bought long ago when I knew I'd eventually have my own place again. Well, time to sign off for now. Will check in with a progress report for y'all later down the road. I will post some before & after photos when I get the back bathroom done. The hallway bathroom was done by a contractor [my plumber, his dad & brother]. I can post some b/4 & after photos of that if you'd like to see that room. Just let me know. Y'all have a good weekend and will catch up later. Peace!

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Unfortunately my report will all be related to Gardening. The weather was absolutely delightful today and yesterday too. This is what I accomplished outside: pulled annual vinca plants up, transplanted the snow shasta daisies that I had potted up about a month ago, pulled up annual geraniums, emptied a 40 lb. bag of mulch into Rubbermaid Tub, and spread the overflow in flowerbed, used the electric hedge trimmer to mow down the Zagreb coreopsis, emptied potting mix/leaf gro mixture into Homer buckets, filled in hole where I had dug out last week. a large Zagreb coreopsis to share with a new gardening friend. put metal fencing up in garage rafters, moved around some of my husbands tools(Drills, saws, etc)to a different location so I could make room for my gardening supplies, emptied wheelbarrow and hosed it out and put it back in garage where it is supposed to be. Transplanted a tall garden phlox and washed nursery pots out with power spray of the hose. I feel like I accomplished a lot.

Tonight I'll work more on "weeding out " gardening paper clutter. The folder is getting thinner.

Tomorrow evening I'm throwing a pizza party for 7 of my neighbors/widows. We lost one of our widow ladies that was in our social group on 9/24 and Sat. would have been her 86th birthday. I had planned on hosting a dessert party for her. She was buried in Fla. on Monday. We're still planning on celebrating her birthday and she will certainly be with us in spirit. She was a wonderful lady and will be missed a lot.

This message was edited Oct 6, 2011 6:48 PM

Crozet, VA

Good to hear from both of you. Gosh, you are both really go getters. No worries about becoming hoarders for either of you. Fleur, I understand you coming to the realization that even though you were working hard when doing bits in each room, the pay off wasn't showing quickly enough. Good idea to work on one room at a time. That way you can see the progress sooner. That is what I did with my de-clutter process last winter. Went from room to room and completed one room before moving to the next.

Pippi, wow you go girl!!! That is a lot of work for one day. Today, later in the afternoon is when I am planning to head outside and do a bit of gardening maintence. I was appalled when looking at the front bed up close one day last week. I made a mental note at the time that when things were calmer here over the weekend, I would be attacking some of the weeds.

If a person were to walk in to my house presently, they would beleive me to be a house plant hoarder. This past summer my husband John set up a display at two local Farmers Markets to sell some of the extra plants we have in our gardens. I sent along a lot of my extra houseplants and I have been happy with the ones we have sold, but I potted a lot more than we were able to sell, thus I have lots of extras that I didn't have last year.

The pharmacy that I use has agreed to let us use one of the their front windows as home for some of the extra houseplants. I tagged them with a name and stuck a price tag on them so am hoping to be able to sell some of them over the winter when the Farmers Markets won't be open. Two people on staff at the pharmacy have already put in orders for two plants. Cool.

Anyway......thank you both for writing. Hope that you have continued good success Fleur and Pippi, don't work so hard. hahaha


Yucaipa, CA(Zone 10a)

Hi Rubyw!

Good to hear from you again! Among the many tasks that I've got ahead of me in my "declutter" process is going through alot of my Dad's personal papers and shredding quite a bit of it. Well, happy to say, that I started in on that task again on Sunday night. I'm now going through a large envelope that contained his retirement papers from his last job. I keep my shredder near the couch so I can watch t.v. at the same time as I shred. Smart idea huh -- might as well get in some t.v. time while I shred, right? When I'm done with that envelope, there is another large clear tote that has more of his papers in it. See, he was a packrat in the paper department. He never threw away a bank statement, paid utility bills or anything. I've found statements dating all the way back into the 1970's. He had a large desk and metal filing cabinet that housed all these papers. I'll keep you posted on the progress with this task.

If I personally had to admit to being a "hoarder" of anything -- it would have to be picture frames. Well, maybe it's not a "hoarder" thing ~ more like a "weakness" thing. Even though I already have quite a few "unfilled" picture frames [all sizes], for some reason most of the time if I go to Michaels or Walmart, it seems I walk out with a picture frame. I'm into photography big time [even have a small business], and have quite a few images that I'm in the process of framing. Even though I already had a tan colored frame, I recently bought a more rustic looking 8x10 frame for a 5x7 image of a 'Pelican' that I recently photographed on the Redondo Beach Pier in August. The 2 camera clubs that I mentioned my involvement with are always having print competitions or public exhibits; so therefore, I'm always buying mattes and frames. Most of the time the exhibit rules require a 16x20 frame, so again off to Michaels or Aaron Brothers I go. But ~~ I do have a plan for this "weakness" of mine ~~ I'm going to make use of all the frames that I presently have on hand before I buy any more. Unless, I need a 16x20 for an exhibit. I also noticed a "Photography" forum on here before I logged on here. Guess I'll have to check them out too.

Signing off for now. Have some photos to finish "editing" before going to bed. If anyone of you are on Facebook, let me know and what name you go by. I am, that's where I post most of my personal photos and for my photo business too. Yep, Rubyw, guess you could say I'm a go getter and not a couch potato either. Sometimes I wish I could be cloned then I'd be able to get everything done in record time! LOL !!

Crozet, VA

Such an upbeat and very positive update you sent Fleur. Sounds as though you are making good progress. One of my chores for the week, my deadline is Friday, is to go through and sort some old papers too. These paper are also very old, some dating to the 1920's. They were business records, personal correspondence and greeting cards that belonged to my grandfather. There is a reunion this Saturday for his side of the family and I plan to between now and then separate the papers by each sibling's family and offer them to them on Saturday. I will keep the special ones and any pertaining to my dad.

Hey, I wouldn't feel even an ounce guilty about purchasing picture frames. You have an excellent reason for buying them. You are going to use them at some point, so I wouldn't worry too much. Later, I will dmail you and get your name for facebook and I would love to see some of your art. I am in awe of photographers.

My son is wanting the computer. Must run. Will return later on. Enjoy your day.


Batesburg, SC(Zone 8a)

Hello all! I read with interest so many of these topics and the posts they get. My family has pack-rat tendencies. Badly. My dad, my mom, both my sisters, my mothers mom. Things come into the home, and never go out. I have always been the non-pack rat. Even more so when I had to learn what 4K pounds looked like for a household goods shipment as a military family, back in the 80's. I try to delete, discard, donate...as much as possible. I still do, in every room of the house. The kitchen, bedrooms and bath. Even so...things still manage to pile up. It is a never ending cycle.
I have been trying to remember to use my re-usable shopping bags...so I can use up my supply of the plastic ones. I have gone through desk paperwork, tossed and shredded. The shreds go out on my flowers for mulch.
I have weeded out the kitchen cabinets, several times. I sew, and try to keep that collection to a manageable amount.
Now that I am with DH...his mom likes to hand us things as we go out the door. Food, newspapers, mags, clothing, furniture. I think it is so she wouldn't have to dispose of it.
Anyway, it is continuous. And, as we do not have trash service out here, every bag we generate, has to be taken off site.
I am always looking for ways to Reduce-Re-use-Recycle.

Crozet, VA

Thanks for writing Moxie. Sounds as though you are doing your part. Must be difficult to have come from a family where everyone else was doing things differently from yourself. You said a great big mouth full about it being an on-going and never ending process. I know that I have re-organized my food cabinet in the kitchen quite a few times this year plus the cabinet that holds the plastic storage cups I keep for leftovers. Both of these cabinets have a way of getting messy very quickly and need my attention quite often. Thankfully most of the other cabinets don't need quite as much attention.

Last year another member here was downsizing in order to move under military orders too and it was fun to keep up with her progress as she worked to keep the move to the weight maximum. I learned much from her and was also motivated by her to begin my own downsizing project.

I need to be ever vigilent about bringing things in to the house now that I live in a smaller home than before. With the larger house I was always able to find space to put things. Since moving here whenever I even mention making a purchase my husband will ask where I am going to put it. I finally realized that he had a good point, I don't have any extra room for any extras, and I do need to give thought to storage before purchasing things these days.

Being involved in these boards has taught me a lot of little tricks for having a much tidier home and I am grateful to all contributors.


Batesburg, SC(Zone 8a)

Ruby! Good afternoon! I find the weeding out to be an exercise in self control. Being a tad OCD...on the other end of the hoarding spectrum....keeps me in line. I helped my older sister clean out her house. One and a half stories.....and I have a truck with a shell on the back. I took out 20 loads of donatable goods, to a thrift store. And I filled up the back with dry trash. Not the garbage. I could take the dry trash back to my house...as my trash pick-up wasn't limited. She is in the city, and is only allowed 1 bag a week. It is so much easier just to sort and toss when something comes into the house.

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