what does an organized hoarder look like? [day 270]

I’ve used the term “organized hoarder” in conversations about hoarding, and it usually provokes some strange facial expressions.  These photos were take many years ago in the house of an organized hoarder.

Dining room

Guest bedroom

Home office

One of the photos is dated 1995, and since these photos were taken, the house has progressively gotten worse.  There are visual clues as to where this house is, but I would like to keep it anonymous, so please keep comments generic.

You know you’re an organized hoarder when…

…you add an exterior door from your house into your large storage room, for easy access to your piles of stuff. (last photo)

…there’s so much stuff in your storage room that you can’t get to your extra freezer of food.  You had a power failure, the food is rotten and you’ll probably need a HAZMAT suit to get it out of the house.

…all of your stuff is neatly organized into boxes, bags and piles.

…you consider keeping medication dated in the 70′s, as the little bin with your medications is nicely organized and still fits in the cabinet.

…you think that a plastic testtube jello shot container is a collector’s item and you have an organized collection of them.

…buying all of the merchandise left in the store because it’s 90% off is a good idea, even though you don’t need it and have no idea what you will do with it.  Oh, and you know exactly how you plan to store it.

…if your house caught on fire, you couldn’t get to the front door because it has boxes stored there, from floor to ceiling.  Don’t even think about crawling over them, not possible.  Even the skinniest person’s but won’t fit through a 6-8 inch aisle.

…you build the largest storage shed barn in your backyard to keep adding more stuff.

…your attic is so full that your house is in possible danger of a collapse in future years.

…you can’t replace the sticky 30-year old carpet, as there’s no place to move your stuff and it would take days, although it would be an organized process, as everything is in stackable boxes.

…you control the stock prices for Rubbermaid.

…your house is considered a maze.

…you can’t have people over, as there’s no place to put them.

…you’re wondering about that room off the living room.  What was that again?  It might have been a wet bar, but I’m not sure.

…livable space is down to less than 30%, but it doesn’t seem too bad, as it’s all in boxes and will be gone someday.

…your house gives new meaning to “cardboard city”.

Okay, you get the picture.  This is an extreme case, but most of us hoard on some level.  Those plastic bins lining your closet walls… when is that last time you used something out of them?  For me, it was 3 weeks ago, as I needed a blanket for someone staying at my house.  Before that, it was years.  I’m not saying get rid of all your stuff, but we should all be logical about what we keep in storage.  I gave that blanket away, as someone living on the streets in the cold can use it all the time, not once every 5 years like I was.

I’m making progress on my minimalism.  It feels good.  :)


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