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.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Me and my hangups.

When the court visitor was here last week and looked in Scooter's closet, she said, "Wow. OCD much?" She thought Scooter had arranged the closet, but I told her I had. I explained that it just made things so much easier for Scooter to find what she needed at a glance. I had all of her clothes sorted and hung neatly. Starting at the left were the long-sleeved blouses followed by short-sleeved blouses, short-sleeved t-shirts, long-sleeved t-shirts, pants, dresses and skirts, and each section was arranged by color. To me, it just looked nice and neat. It makes things much easier for Scooter to see what's available in her closet and to pick out what she's going to wear for the day. 

I was thinking that her closet was the only one that looked like that, when I realized all of them do. Hopper's closet has one of those wire closet organizers installed, so it's organized a bit differently but even the coats in the coat closet are organized by who wears them with the winter coats to the left and lightweight coats to the right. And the linen closet looks amazing, if I do say so, myself. Everything is folded neatly and in its place, and looks great. Best of all, things are very easy to find. 

When any of the closets start to get messy and disorganized, I find my anxiety level goes up. It's just disconcerting. Maybe it's because they're the only truly finished areas in the house. All I know, is that I have to have them looking neat and organized as much as possible.

It can be a real hangup for me. 

Almost 2 years ago, I wrote about the struggle I was having with my hangers. I had so many different types  of hangers that I was compelled to sort them every time I passed them by. I had to have a different color for each person in the house, and it drove me absolutely nuts when the colors were mixed up in the closets. I wasted so much time and energy on them.

At the time, I realized that the best thing for me to do for myself in regard to the hangers was to start over from scratch, and I gave myself permission to buy all new hangers for our tops. It was hard for me to justify the expense, but I'm so glad I felt I was worth the small cost. It has helped tremendously. 

At the time, I thought I could get away without doing anything about the pants and skirt hangers. Well, that's not entirely true. I did get rid of a hodgepodge of pants hangers (at least 4 different styles and 4 different colors), but I still had 3 different colors and 2 different styles left. I've found that it's still too many choices for me.

In the last 2 years, we've had black, opaque and clear hangers that had the pinch things on them that opened like a clothespin to hang the pants or skirts. The clearest ones were supposed to only be used for Scooter's clothes, because her pants and skirts are the lightest weight, and they'd be least likely to break the hangers. Then the black pinch ones were Hoppers, and the opaque pinch ones were Scooter's. Hubster's hangers were black, but instead of pinching open and closed, there was a little part that went over the clothing and then a silver piece slid down over the plastic to hold the fabric in the hangers.

It's bothered me over the last 2 years, but it hasn't bothered me enough to do anything about it. 

Until today. 

This past week, I realized I've been wasting a lot of time and emotional strength and energy on these stupid hangers. It was frustrating when one of Hopper's was used to hang my clothes, because none of mine were available, or when some of Hubster's clothes were hung on Scooter's hangers and were heavy enough they snapped the hanger in two. Never mind the amount of time waste looking for the 'right' one to use when I had something to hang. 

I've tried for years to make the hangers work. But now that I've come to the conclusion that they aren't working for me, I've decided to do something about it. I realized that it was worth it to buy pants hangers in bulk on eBay, so I'm not obsessing over the mismatched hangers anymore. I will donate the old mismatched ones. The new ones will take the stress over who is using whose hangers away completely, and they'll cut down on the time looking for the right hanger to nothing. The choice will be gone. 

I'm already looking forward to their arrival next week. It will just be one less hangup for me to deal with on a daily basis.

I can deal with that.


  1. And right about then, I would have rolled it up and thrown it in a drawer. :)

    I also have a thing for hangers though. They must be all the same color throughout the house. All plastic tube (no wire or wood) and it makes me crazy when Tony brings out the odd colored ones or when stuff doesn't hang right on them.

  2. My kitchen cabinets must be neat and in order. Weird. I have Fiesta dishes in many colors and I don't even like when there are too many blues or greens together. I know, weird.

  3. I soooooo understand where you are coming from.

  4. Excellent solution to the hanger problem! When the things that organize your stuff starts making you crazy, it's time to find a better way.

    You're doing SO GREAT! I'm amazed at what you've accomplished, and the challenges that you live with.

  5. I love reading your posts and am so happy you are posting more often. I totally get what you're talking about. I don't care about hangers but there are lots of other things that drive me nuts and my family just says "Get over it" or "It doesn't matter mom" but you know what? It does matter. It took me a while to realize how much time and energy I was throwing away on this stuff because I didn't want to spend the money to fix it. It's hard to spend that money when no one else understands why it's such a big deal.


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