The Hoarding Gene

There is something I need to tell you.

My son is a hoarder.

A serious, hardcore, hiding things under his bed, keeping every piece of trash, clutter piled up to the ceiling H-O-A-R-D-E-R.

And apparently these things skip generations.

My grandmother? A tosser. Meaning she threw away everything. Not that she wasn’t sentimental – she just didn’t want all that crap sitting around her house.

My mother? Hoarder. Just thinking about her basement sends a shiver up my spine.

So, yeah, you can bet I’m a Tosser with a Capital T – just like my grandmother. Ask Bryan, and he’ll tell you about the multiple (yes, MORE than one) paychecks I have thrown away. (HALLELUJAH FOR DIRECT DEPOSIT).

Then along comes Declan. Soooooo like my mom. Needs to keep EVVVV-ERYTHING. Cause you know, he MIGHT need it sometime.

Seriously, Other Hoarders. WHAT is the deal? Do you like to have piles and piles allllll around you just so you can pretend you live in a medieval castle and allllll those 30 year old Good Housekeeping magazines might fend off marauders? Really!? Awesome plan. Cause the marauders WILL NEVER FIND YOU under ALL. THAT. CRAP!

Everyone talks about the A&E Hoarders show – but I simply can’t watch it. For one, it comes way to close to home. Not to mention the fact that we don’t have cable, slight problem.

But maybe if I watched, I would get a better sense of the why’s and how’s of hoarding. I might be a little more sympathetic.

All I know is I threw away 3 bags of trash from my near 8 year old’s room last weekend. THREE BAGS. If he wakes up before me on a Saturday morning, his drawings are taped up all over the living room – and I mean ALL over – lamps, fireplace, windows, the dog, – EVERYWHERE.

I *cannot* contain his ooze.

What happens when he becomes – heaven help me – a TEEN?


P.S. One thing I encourage you to hoard is a Greeblemix. September’s contest is still open until Thursday night!

This article has 10 comments

  1. Beth Fish

    Mia wants to hold and love and cherish every piece of trash that crosses her path. I spend some time helping her (sometimes gently, sometimes not) identify what is not useful to her and should be trashed/recycled/donated and some time taking stuff out of her room when she is not there. She never misses a thing I take.

  2. ZDub

    It so does skip a generation. My mother? She hoards and she moved in with us, you should see my garage. Actually, you shouldn’t because it will give you hives on your retinas.

    I donate junk (mine and my mother’s) every week. The Veterans will even come pick it up, no lie.

    My daughter? Total hoarder.


  3. Hannah

    I’m a recovering hoarder. And I have no advice. My mother used to “black-sack” my room and the thought of it still strikes fear in my heart. I guess a therapist might tell you to involve him in the tossing process so he knows how it’s done and try to teach him to find catharsis in purging his belongings. Good luck.

  4. msitarzewski

    I’m a tosser, Heather’s the hoarder. I admire the position Andrew Hyde is in right now 🙂

  5. Dawn

    I watched Hoarders this week for the first time…incredible. After Hoarders came a show called Obsessed about people with OCD. There was 1 girl who wouldn’t let her own mother hug her because of the germs.

    At least you can still hug your son:)

  6. Oderixi

    What happens if your partner is a hoarder? Do you think any children we have will be free of this addiction? He’s rather atrocious. Seriously. Keeps the BARCODES of cds just in case he ever has to take them back. I’m appalled.

    On the other hand, I think I’m fairly free of it. My mum use to convince my sister and I to do regular purgings. After cleaning out our own room (and giving back whatever belonged to the other) we’d swap and take a look at each others ‘throw out’ pile…. possibly not the best purge. But we DID toss some things…

  7. Sizzle

    There is definitely a psychology to hoarding. I’ve watched that show enough to know that. It can be treated and maybe it might help to have D talk to a professional about it if you’re seriously worried? Because from what I’ve seen people who keep a lot of stuff or give too much attachment to STUFF grow up to be adults with that same issue. There’s got to be a deep-seated reason for his compulsion. Maybe talking to a professional will help all of you?

  8. Tia

    I feel for you. My 8 year old daughter is also a hoarder. Once a month I head to her room with 3 or 4 trash sacks and she runs screaming behind me “NOOOOO!!! I promise I’ll put it away!” Of course, she never does.

    As for the show “Hoarders”, well, I watch that just to make myself feel better about my less than stellar housekeeping skills. My house has never sparkled, actually it is usually pretty dusty, but at least it isn’t unsanitary. And I do keep the kitchen and bathrooms clean. 🙂

  9. Anonymous

    that is hilarious! – m

  10. Nick in NYC

    I used to be really messy in the past, but never to that extreme.

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