Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Flip side of the same coin?

When I was a little girl, I was apparently a clean freak. Everything had to be in it's place. It had to be perfect. So it has been very frustrating to me that I can't seem to get away from this hoarding thing.

Still. It got me to thinking. Are they possibly opposite sides of the same coin?

My mother in law is a neat freak. It is fairly extreme, and it can be hard to feel comfortable when you're there. Like you're somehow infringing on a museum space. If you've been drinking a soda or a glass of water and get up to use the restroom, the glass is gone when you get back. It's either been washed and put away, or it's been rinsed and put in the dishwasher. No matter how many times it happens, you're never quite expecting it, and it always feels like you're not quite welcome.

And I know for a fact that the inlaws are not comfortable at our house. There's too much clutter for their taste, even when the house is clean. I understand that. I'm uncomfortable in my house sometimes, too. Certain times are worse than others, but I'm okay when I'm making headway in the dehoarding progress, or if there are rooms that are relatively clean but just a little messy. You know. Lived in.

I just can't help wondering, if they're the same disorder manifested in opposite ways.

It sure would explain how I now appear to be the polar opposite of a younger me.


  1. My sister inherited a pair of kittens a couple years ago. Now we grew up with cats and one of them was much beloved. BUT my sister complains bitterly that she just can't stand the HAIR! I mean, what? Seriously? She grew up with cats! She tells me that the cats are SO MUCH work because she has to vacuum at least once a day. The whole house. She has anxiety when she can see cat hair and she can FEEL the hair choking her. So, I would think that you are on to something!

  2. When I was a kid my Mum used to tell me that my jeans would learn to walk on their own if I didn't put them in the wash... now I am an OCD freak who needs to clean everything... twice!

    I blame my mother ;0)

  3. I'm not a neat person and will never be. I'll never be on that spectrum.

  4. I was a fairly neat person when I was in college and had roommates, I felt like I had to make my side cleaner than theirs... Whatever, and NOW??? Oh my... We don't live in filth but the clutter and the clothes..... YIKES!

  5. Oh my God you would so HATE our house! Mess and clutter EVERYWHERE. I am possibly the messiest scattiest person in the whole world .. I yearn for a little clean-obsession in my life!!!

  6. You may be on to something there.

    Makes ME think of a question.
    If the two conditions are opposite sides of the same coin, which would you choose if you were given a choice? To be a neat freak or relax and just live?

    My home is cluttered. I haven't ever dug my way out. I've made progress of the two steps forward, one step back variety, but never caught up.

    And although I don't like the mess, I am glad that I don't freak out over stuff getting spilled or craft projects gone awry or wood chips on the hearth or dog hair all over the place...

    Interesting post.

  7. Maybe you're subconsciously trying to find balance!

    Or not.


  8. Thanks for stopping by today and for following. I am following you back. I enjoyed reading a few of your posts.

    I don't hoard, but we do have a fair bit of stuff. I would love to purge, but a lot of the stuff belongs to the kids and they don't want to part with their 'treasures'. I look forward to a clutter-free retirement, because for the next twenty years or so, it is just not gonna happen!


  9. interesting husband is both. he us a hoarder and a neat freak! how can that be? His hoarding is in boxes and collections that take up a spare room or when renovating -the dining room , it moves around depending on what hes renovating or painting next. so its mostly in one ..largeish place(and under the bed and on tops of and in the wardrobes....
    But everywhere else is neat.he will stress over a spot on the carpet or the washing up not done etc....


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