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.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How do I know, if I'm a hoarder? Pt 5 - It's about time.

For as long as I can remember, I've struggled with time getting away from me. It extends into so many facets of my life, and it can be so incredibly frustrating.

Its taken years to realize that I need at least 2 to 2.5 hours to get all 3 of us girls showered and ready to go anywhere. It takes time. Lots of it. If we don't have any plans, and we're just hanging out at the house, it still takes about an hour and a half. If we don't start getting ready soon enough, I end up scrambling to get out the door on time and rushing to wherever we're headed. 

That's about the only thing I have a clear idea of how long it should take. I'm not sure, if it's because my mind wanders, and I think of everything else that needs done when I'm working on a project, or if I get too distracted with other things that I end up doing, and it just takes longer or what. I just know that, if I think it should take me 15 minutes to do the dishes, and I allow for 30 minutes just to be safe, I'm still usually not done in an hour. 

It's maddening. It's like I have no concept of time.

Any painting job I've started in the house, whether painting a room or painting furniture has taken at least twice and sometimes three times what I thought it was going to take. I sort of understand that, because I tend to be a bit anal retentive when it comes to painting. Once I'm done with the main part of the painting, I end up going back with a little tiny paint brush to fix my mistakes. I'm always satisfied in the end except for the length of time the project has taken. 

And the dehoarding has taken so much longer than I expected it to. I was hoping I'd be done by this past Christmas, but realistically I now think it will take at least another full year. Maybe two. And once I'm done with the whole house, it will be a constant battle to make sure I keep it under control. 

Besides struggling with time management, I also find that I'm constantly planning. It's like my mind won't shut off. I'm always rearranging furniture, hanging pictures, painting, sewing, dehoarding, or designing something in my head. In some ways it's great, because I always have an idea of how I want a room to look or what I want to dehoard well before I start working on it. I can see it in my mind's eye, and that can be a really good thing.

But it also has its pitfalls. I often find I'm lost in my head living in the future or even spending so much time in the past, relishing moments that have long gone, that I am not here in the moment like I should be. Don't get me wrong. Memories are a good thing, and we should all be able to enjoy them, and planning is essential. But it's not good thing, if it keeps you from living in the present. 

You know why it's called the Present, don't you? 

Because it's a gift. 

I've been working on living in the present more often. I do something Hubster taught me years ago... 

We were on a date for our anniversary when he suddenly went very quiet and started looking around. I thought maybe something was wrong, so I asked him what he was doing. He said he was taking a mental picture of how he was feeling, what he was smelling, what he was seeing, and what he was doing, so he could remember the moment. 

I was bowled over. It was one of the most romantic things I'd ever heard. 

It also reminded me how to live in the now, so I have wonderful memories of it later. 


  1. Seeing things spelled out I can see....sooooooooooo much of me in you m/f.
    Love the way that you express your thoughts with words.
    You have a "gift."

  2. Your hubby is a wonderful and wise man

  3. That hubs of yours, he's a real a charmer! How sweet is he?

    Sounds to me like ya got a pretty good handle on things sweetie.

    I too am blessed with one of those brains that just won't lay still! I'm a bundle of spastic energy. 'Guess that's why I love cleanin'...heeehehee!

    God bless you my friend and keep on movin' forward, take your time, you'll get there!!!

  4. Every time I read a post of yours I find myself identifying with it.
    Have you tried the Flylady system? It might help you bite off smaller chunks. I'm sort of trying it......


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