Hoarders

There’s been a lot of media coverage and programmes about hoarders the past few years. Those who know a hoarder will know how frustrating it can be to live with them. To live amongst the clutter and mess, not being able to clear anything out without causing distress.

What if that hoarder was your nearly 7-year-old child. This is what we have to face on a daily basis. Along with his ADHD and traits of Aspergers Syndrome, J also has “Magpie Syndrome” and is a hoarder. He collects things that you and I would perceive to be rubbish. This means every few weeks I need to clear his room out, not only of the collected items but also to enable us to actually get into his room. Despite having the smallest room in the house, only managing his bed, a chest of drawers, a bedside cabinet and some drawers on wheels; his room takes the longest to clean.

I did the big clear out on Friday (22nd) whilst he was at school. It took me 5 hours from start to finish and I cleared out 2 black bags of rubbish, wrappers, broken toys, cut up bags/clothes/cables. Everything was put back in its place and his room looked fantastic (even if I do say so myself).

Unfortunately, it won’t stay this way for long. Within a few days (possibly a week at most) we will see things start appearing in his room, clothes thrown out of drawers, books off shelves and being unable to open the bedroom door due to the mess. So I’ll then have to spend another day tidying whilst he’s at school. I’m dreading the 6 week summer break.

Is your child a hoarder? How do you deal with the mess and trying to encourage them to not keep everything?

 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amy
    Jun 24, 2012 @ 09:55:52

    My older two are hoarders. Both of them like to keep shoe boxes (for stuff), or price labels off clothes if it happens to have an image of a character they like. Every single drawing they’ve ever done they want to hang on to. For them, everything seems to hold a memory or it is seen as a personal slight if I suggest to them that they might want to throw it away. I always feel a bit mean when I surreptitiously chuck great reams of paper with their childish scribblings on them. The other day I did persuade my daughter that it might be a good idea to chuck a big paper folder filled with bits of work she’d done in Year 2 at school. Part of me felt horribly mean. Part of me felt that it made me a bad parent to throw out something she’d worked so hard on BUT…. I am the daughter of a hoarder of stuff. My Mum kept loads of our stuff from when my and my three sisters were in school and, quite frankly, when she asks me if I want it…. I really don’t lol! I remember helping Mum go through the two double garages and boathouse that they’d got crammed filled with stuff from the years we’d spent growing up in Switzerland and from before then, quite frankly, it beggared belief. It took literally weeks for her to go through it all and so much of it still got kept. I don’t have that kind of space lol! So yes – like you I’m not a fan of the hoarding. I wonder if it skipped a generation?….

  2. Confessions Of A SAHM
    Jun 24, 2012 @ 10:26:14

    There are certain things that I like to keep. The children have scrapbooks of 1st birthday cards & Xmas cards from family members etc…but they’re all in a book. I’ve also still got all the cards that hubby has given me & cards from the kids, and I keep certain baby items (first shoes, Xmas outfit etc) but I wouldn’t call myself a hoarder as I can easily part with unwanted items, whereas J can’t and will keep everything and anything! I do feel mean throwing things out, but seriously, does he really need a broken car radio??

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