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So I'm not a hoarder, BUT....


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But my house is a mess, and it's my depression and OCD's fault! Okay, no, it's my fault, but here's the thing.

I have strange fears about doing certain types of chores, like a fear of touching wet food on my dishes.

I don't want anyone else to move things once I've put them down, even when I've put them down in a very strange, temporary place, like shopping bags put on the dining room table. I'm very controlling of my environment.

My depression combined with social phobia makes it very difficult to go outside to the big garbage can, so sometimes things don't get thrown out for a week or two.

I have a hard time keeping a schedule for cleaning and organizing my house.

That being said, it's frustrating for me because people assume that because I have an OCD diagnosis, that I have a spotless home and that I must be obsessed with scrubbing the walls. And while I do regularly take out several garbage bags of refuse from the house, and get a room or two in order enough to be used or seen by company, I do also see episodes of "Hoarders" and cringe....because that could be me.

Anyone else feel that way and struggle with keeping your house tidy?

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My house is continuously untidy. I don't hoard - I regularly donate and throw out with no problem. Everything is just not in it's right place and dusty. And I never make my bed. My excuse is why bother if I'm just going to get back in it. It's not like it's dirty, like a used dish.

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yes. I am a recovering hoarder. My house is better right now but that is a slippery slope for me.

I wrote a little about it on my site before. I ended up having people intervene and taking everything out to trash it. Since then I've done pretty well. if you google "squalor survivors" they have a good scale of squalor and hoarding to use to judge how you are doing, and lots of tools and support for how to get started cleaning and then maintaining

They like flylady a lot but I have big problems with her approach for some reason, I like unf*ck your habitat way better, you can google that as well (if cursing doesn't bother you)

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yes. I am a recovering hoarder. My house is better right now but that is a slippery slope for me.

I wrote a little about it on my site before. I ended up having people intervene and taking everything out to trash it. Since then I've done pretty well. if you google "squalor survivors" they have a good scale of squalor and hoarding to use to judge how you are doing, and lots of tools and support for how to get started cleaning and then maintaining

They like flylady a lot but I have big problems with her approach for some reason, I like unf*ck your habitat way better, you can google that as well (if cursing doesn't bother you)

Thank you! Both of those sites were quite helpful, and I now feel a little bit inspired to get my house "unf*cked" a little bit tomorrow. Using the squalor survivors scale, Most of my house is at 1, with the bedroom at 2, and the kitchen at a 2.5. So it needs work.

I'm sure it'll be a constant uphill battle but hopefully I'll be able to get some things done. Thank you for providing those things as a little bit of motivation.

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If you ever need to chat about this stuff you can contact me

the maintaining is way harder than the initial cleaning steps, for me.

I'm glad the links helped you! I too find them really motivating

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I'm not OCD, but I grew up in an environment where I wasn't allowed to make any mess. That made me feel really uncomfortable. So these days, now that I live alone, I need a certain amount of mess. Tidiness reminds me of my family, therefore I cannot stand it.

My untidiness is not an issue. I know where to find things, and my mess is mostly in corners so I can get around without trouble.

Sorry if I'm just rambling here.

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I come from family of world-class hoarders, and can start getting sucked into the vortex, too, if I'm not careful.

It's really important for my mental health to have things tidy, or at least the rooms I use the most (bedroom, kitchen, living room, bathroom). I am lucky to live in a house, so my spare bedroom is filled with boxes and junk, and that allows me to keep the rest of the place neat.

Flylady is annoying as hell, she's too goody-two shoes for me, but she does have some good tips. Since my mother was a hoarder, I didn't learn how to keep house at home growing up, so Flylady has helped me a lot.

The most important skills I have learned from her are:


  1. I make my bed every day, first thing after I get up, while I am still too sleepy to argue about it.

  2. I wipe down the bathroom counter every morning when I am done using it, and I haven't officially had to clean it in months, since it never gets the chance to get dirty.
  3. I clean off the table, and counter where I lay my keys and junk, every night. It only takes a few minutes, but it makes a huge difference when I wake up the next day and face a clean kitchen.

The state of my house is a good indicator of the state of my head.

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My house is absolutly trashed but im in a state where I just cant do it. My family says they will help me but they never do. Im not horder level but its getting bad and overwhelming. Which makes me even more unable to do it

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Larkspur, is it possible for you to move your outside big garbage can closer to your door, so that you don't have to go far to get to it? I moved my outside trashcan closer to my door for a while, and slowly moved it further and further away from my front door over a period of many weeks. Something else I did to subdue my fear was to take my trash to the outside bin at night, or very early in the morning. It was easier for me to do in the dark, when I didn't think people were watching me take my trash out.

I don't know if there are levels of being a Hoarder. If so, I am a guilt Hoarder. I had a hard time throwing out newspapers, magazines, cardboard boxes -- anything that I thought could be recycled. I was so happy when my city started a recycle items pick-up. I was able to clear a lot of stuff out of my house. My recycle container was full for many weeks straight after that program started. I'm also a I-might-need/use-it-someday Hoarder. That has been harder for me to overcome. I've been trying to change that behavior by leaving a particular item out in the open, on a table or counter. I give myself a time limit, a week or two, to use it. If not, then the item has to get out of the house. I'm having some success, as long as I don't overwhelm myself by putting more than one thing out at a time.

My OCD comes out as checking, and re-checking things; counting things; sorting things (which in no way is related to putting them away, just sorting them). Housework? Not so much. My home is messy, and dusty. I'm going to check out FlyLady.

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