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.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bugster's Cameo

Mom and dad are on their way to their semi-annual date night, so mom asked me to be her "guest blogger."

As you may know, I also have the hoarding gene. Thank goodness, since my new husband and I have lived in our new home, the tendency has yet to rear its ugly head. This is a result of diligence and a strict "it-doesn't-come-home-with-us-if-I-have-no-intention-of-using-it" policy. But it was not always this way.

Shortly after my husband and I met (and by shortly, I mean a few months) he was deemed trustworthy enough to enter our house, (which embarrassed me enough) and significantly more mortifying, my room. He was never judgmental and always polite, though I knew he didn't really like the waist-high mess in my room. I was 18 at the time.

Fast-forward a year or two. "Bubster" and I were considering marriage (for the first time, lol) and he expressed a concern that the as yet unnamed hoarding would enter our adult lives and settle in, resulting in a problem similar to my mom's. Again, he was never judgmental, he just didn't want it to be a part of our lives, and who can blame him? I didn't want it to be a part of my life any more than my mom or my dad or anyone for that matter.

This, I think, was when the "anti-hoarding" seed was planted. It terrified me to think that, 20 years down the road, I would be facing the consequences of my inability to get rid of or say "no" to things. This was made worse by the fact that it bothered "Bubster" so much. So I made a concerted effort, when I moved into my first apartment at age 21, to pare down all the junk, and be extremely discerning when adding new things. I wanted him to realize I could have a tidy house, without all the junk.

The reason I decided to post about this particular topic during my cameo on "Confessions of a Closet Hoarder" is that today, after a session of frenzied cleaning, my husband asked me why I was grumpy. I replied, "Because there are three people living in this house and I am the only one cleaning it. I can't do it all myself, and you were the one who was worried we would have a messy house someday." Now, don't get me wrong, I love that man more than anything in the world, and I know what I am experiencing is completely normal. Men don't like to clean house. But there's a slight difference. There are actually four of us living there: Bugster, Bubster, Frank, and Hoarding.

This afternoon, Bubster told me to sit down and relax while he did the dishes. This little gesture may seem insignificant but it kept me from just giving up and letting the boys suffer with dirty dishes and a messy house. And I appreciated that oh so much. <3

The point is, it is vitally important to have not only the support of your spouse and family, but also to have their active participation. I'm sure Mom will agree that she needs my dad's participation and support as much as I need Bubster's. Participation isn't always there in spades, however, so on mom's behalf and my own, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your supportive comments (which she has shared with me often), because they have filled in the gaps, and inspired me to keep it up.



  1. Nice to meet you Bugster! Your mom has been doing such a great job and articulating her feels so well on this blog. She is an inspiration to others. Although we have never met I count your mom as a friend after chatting with her for over ten years! She is very proud of you!

  2. Pleased to meet you too, Portia! Thank you for supporting my mom!

  3. Bugster, I love that you're guest staring tonight! I have everything from having the cupboards stuffed with foods, extreme hoarding, to animal hoarding, throughout my extended family. I went in a total oppisite direction. For years, if it wasn't used in 3 months it gets donated. I'm trying to change that, for my two children's sake and for my "collector" rent-a-hubby, but it's hard. Just as it is for your Mom. Even though they are oppisite extremes, I find comfort in your mom's progress that there can be a happy balance.

    My boys and I have a twice a year cleanout, strategically scheduled before Christmas and birthdays. WE clean out to make way for the new. They get to hold on to their memories, and I get to minimize some of the clutter. The rent-a-hubby gets ONE room for all his sports collectibles. WE both work on keeping it organized so I can not feel suffocated by his passion. (And, so I don't feel like I'm living with the 40 year old virgin.) :)
    Life is a team sport. Everyone wins when we all participate. Enjoy your night! -J

  4. Nice to meet you and ,this is an excellent post!

  5. I have adored your mom for years and years... we've been imaginary friends since you were about, hmm, 10.

    She's inspiring in many ways, not just because of her amazing honesty on this blog.

    Nice to 'meet' you, too.
    Going to go check out your blog now.


Welcome to The Closet. Feel free to take off your coat, hang it up, if you can find the space, and sit a spell. I just love your visits. :)