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Topic : 06/21 "Throw It Out!"

Number of Replies: 359
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Created on : Friday, January 27, 2006, 02:40:01 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 02/01/06) Do you know someone who can't seem to get rid of their clutter? They keep newspapers, magazines, old clothes, and just plain junk thinking it will come in handy one day. Dr. Phil talks to extreme hoarders, who are embarrassing their families and destroying their homes. Nancy says her husband, John, is a packrat who turned their beautiful four-bedroom home into what she calls "the black hole." The house became so overcrowded with junk that they were forced to live in a trailer, and now the trailer is nearly filled to the brim! Will John and Nancy ever be able to live in their house again? And how is John's hoarding affecting their three children? Then, Misty saves every piece of paper her kids write on, and every article of clothing they've ever worn. Her husband, Greg, can't understand why she can't just toss them out. What's behind her inability to throw things away? Share your stories, join the discussion.

 

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January 29, 2006, 7:33 am CST

My sister believes that if she holds onto something long enough it'll be worth BIG money someday.

The only problem is that she and her family have spent untold money on building, adding on areas to their home just to store all these "treasures" to the point of insanity! Our family was raised in the house and 7 kids and 2 parents lived comfortably where now 4 people can barely move.
 
January 29, 2006, 9:29 pm CST

Misery Loves Company.....

Hiya Dr. Phil, Staff and Dr. Phil fans

   

 

  

I could think of at least two people who could really use this show and Dr. Phil’s help...a legally blind entrepreneur who just moved into her new dream apartment who has a vision of how she wants to see a her home -  

 

She knows the Dr. Phil Team has an "eye" for style and organization!  The second person - a sleep deprived shift working female nuclear power operator who plays good Samaritan to everyone and leaves no time to organize or de-clutter her own home and who is a little control oriented. What's she avoiding? She needs the "power and energy" of the Dr. Phil team!  

  

 

  

First the "blind" woman who has a vision of what her new apartment should look like – only problem I can’t see for the CLUTTER!  She’s a single 45 year-old creative type who sometime works on contract and sometimes works from home. Here's the challenge Dr. Phil and one that I'm sure would have the Dr. Phil Team thinking about solutions to my problems 24/7:

   

 

  

I am the “she” - I am legally blind! Okay what it means is that if you looked at me you'd never know I was blind - I have an invisible disability!   I can't drive - but I do sometimes sneak a ride on a bike - scares the hell out of people who have seen me use my white cane (which I only use at night or in low light). There are many levels of blindness, which most people aren't aware of. You should see the looks I get when I use my white cane shopping and then stop into a bookstore! "Tsk-Tsk! Must be a scam! The nerve" I told one lady when I heard this that "...my eyes may not work, but my hearing is just fine thank you very much!" She beat a hasty retreat!

  

 

  

So have limited vision (they call it high functioning low vision - that's not an oxy moron by the way).  I can read printed materials - best at 16pt font and yes I can use a computer (my monitor is big tho' 22").  I have to sit close to my 27" screen TV to watch Dr. Phil ! Where I am usually green with envy! Usually on the floor watching it or if I am alone with it pulled up close to me and sit on a chair! 

  

 

  

I have adapted to my disability over the years and have managed to hold very demanding jobs in Public Relations and Special event promotion. Including PR Director for the Harbour Castle in Toronto. So despite my disability - I have adapted quite well - except when it comes to organization and clutter. I can't see my way through it (pun intended).

  

 

  

Oddly enough, I love paper, books and magazines! Go figure..

  

 

  

But back to my plea:

I just moved into a second story three-bedroom apartment complete with utility/laundry room, inside porch area, deck, three-piece bath, three bedrooms and a living room overlooking main street with lots of light! Something I crave!  Once I was truly blind for 4.5 months (think of a window smeared with lots of Vaseline) after a second cataract surgery and now truly crave natural light and really strong task and reading lighting.  

  

 

 

  

Challenge: I am paralyzed with fear as to where to start! I had plans for a guest room, home office/creative studio, sanctuary/retreat/boudoir for guest room, laundry room/exercise room and myself. I'm not sure where to eat - kitchen or living room - so I usually eat in front of the TV. Dr. Phil says this is a "No-No" if you want to lose weight. Which I do - hence  

exercise room/laundry room. One of the reasons I moved January 8th, 2005 during a snowfall was more room for exercise equipment!

  

 

  

I finally have the apartment I always wanted but all the rooms are filled with boxes, paper, books, and clothes and yes those dreaded nick-knacks! None of my furniture is multi functional - hell it hardly functions at all!!! My furniture looks like I am living as a struggling college student - when I moved I just threw out the milk crates! Ta-dah! I did purge - but not enough obviously!

  

 

  

Reasons I need de-cluttering: I can't invite people over socially, overnight or even for dinner! At this rate I'm never getting a date, let alone get married! As for asking clients into my home and home office forget about it!  Not the image I want to promote. So there goes the chance of at least being able to be financial independent to support my still single self!

  

 

  

Second Reason for wishing a visit to Port Elgin by the  Dr. Phil team - and probably the best reason:  Joanne, my best friend of 11 years and former room mate (you can guess my clutter didn't bother her).

  

 

  

Background on Joanne:

Would do anything for anybody and has! How about helping someone move to their new home during a blackout - to make sure their kids had their beds set up for the night! Driving a single Mom to get groceries every week or making sure senior has a ride home after every one of her son's hockey games!

  

 

 

  

Challenge:

She takes time out her schedule to help others, but can't help herself organize. Bit of a control freak - friends have tried to help - partner has tried to help - so has her Mom!   Clutter is piling up and she's never got enough time to do the job "right". 

  

 

 

  

Add to this she is a shift worker at a nuclear plant- a rare breed - a female nuclear operator -  and is often sleep deprived and not a scheduler. She always running around at the last minute and always looking for something she can't find!  It's somewhere - often buys multiples, because she can't find the original purchase.  Under piles of paper and "things" to precious to throw out!

Challenge: Here's the Reader's Digest version of her home clutter situation - She has a spare room, garage and basement crammed to the rafters - really!  A kitchen that sorely needs an organizational makeover! Her kitchen table should seat eight - but barely seat three - due to the cereal boxes, bags of paper, piles of unopened mail, over-ripe fruit bowl etc. Her cleaning lady bags up the clutter each week and set it aside and then the search is on for that one elusive item. The stress rises yet again!

  

 

 

 

  

Reasons de-cluttering needed: The stress that the clutter is bringing into her life is beginning to wear down her relationship with her partner Fred (he was and tries to be a "neat freak" - I mean that in the nicest way!).

  

 

  

Having a "clutter overload" is really giving her a guilt complex!  She's a great Mom, friend, wife and employee. She deserves a reward and separately needs help with getting her home in shape and in order! So why not kill two birds with one stone!

  

 

  

I know she dreads people coming over - close friends are allowed in - but she avoids having gathering at her place. If she does they are outside and in the summer! Her 7 year old son's friends who do come over can't play in Troy's room, the upstairs living room and just the kids just barely squeeze into the basement - they really don't have any room to play! 

  

So here I am beggingSo come on - hit the road and after a day of "clutter busting" I can promise a dip in the Lake (starting in at least June), a stroll along the harbour. I will help you make all the accommodation arrangements and if you need local suppliers - I'm your girl - I used to be the Tourism Coordinator for the Chamber of Commerce! I know every accommodator and every business in town....

  

 

 

  

I can help you and your staff makes the contacts - and hey I live right by a Lumber Yard and Store and almost above a sewing shop and home decor store - what could be better! I can see Tim Horton's( equal to your Dunkin' Doughnuts) from my apartment! 

  

 

  

Need more convincing - If that doesn't convince you - I can readily send pictures as soon as you tell me you are interested. I'd use my camera - but I can't find it - so I will have to borrow Joanne's -- ahhh  better yet I'll run downstairs and buy a disposable digital camera at klik-it Photo Shop - it's only two doors away from me! I live above a clothing shop - Robin the clothes are great!!! Just your style!!!! I could get Elaine to give you a private showing after hours!

   

 

  

So what do you say??????????????????????

  

 

  

Take a chance on us and you would be giving me a more than a "room with a view", but the start to a new life and give a power worker the true "power and energy" to de-stress her life and home!  She really deserves it!

  

 

  

Het Dr. Phil if you can't do us both - please pick Joanne - she's been my rock and I want her to have some peace in her life when she comes home and it would really help her quality of life and allow her quality time with her family! Like I said no one is more deserving! 

 

If you call me - let it ring a couple of times - I will have to high hurtle the boxes and milk crates...  

  

With Light and Love

  

 

  

Cheers!

  Mini

 

 

 

  

PS I am about 2.5 hours from Toronto on the shores of bee-u-tiful Lake Huron. Why not visit "rural Ontario" for a change of scenery! Escape the city and the heat! Come on....Dr Phil work with me here..No really - I'm beggin' ya' - "work" with me "here" in Port Elgin!

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 
January 30, 2006, 8:18 am CST

I have a friend

Dr. Phil,

I have a friend who is such a hoarder.   When you walk into her apartment,  there is no place to sit, or any  place you would want to sit.

She comes over here, and always says "your place is so comfortable and nice", I have told her she needs to either get rid of the things she has, or organize it.   I have even offered to help her.   Still no change.  If only I can get through to her, the things that need to be done, so she can have a clean organized apt.

This person keeps everything, even little game pieces to games that are no longer available for play.  Papers and magazines.

Even her child likes to say, boy I wish we lived in a place like yours.  Oh and the child has the same characteristics as the mom.   Is there hope, hopefully she will catch the show and get some hints...
 
January 31, 2006, 7:22 am CST

I work in real estate

You would be shocked to know how many people out there are hoarders. The scary thing is that they really don't understand that most people don't live the way they do.  I have really seen it all in other people's homes. One lady was even piling papers and books on top of a gas stove!!!!   

  

I truly believe that hoarding is a form of mental illness. These people cannot make logical choices about things they keep. They attach a great degree of importance to everything and everything. I think of it as "If you think you care about everything, then you really care about nothing." Something along the lines of the Dr. Phil-ism "If you fight about everything than you fight about nothing."   I really hope there are some people who watch this show or read this board and decide to seek help. 

  

Steph 

 
January 31, 2006, 12:49 pm CST

Hoarding

I used to be a hoarder a few years ago. I think it partly could have something to do with not knowing how to be organized. I think there are many underlining factors that can be the cause of why people hoard so much. I don't know how I was like that! But I was never to the point of being a big hoarder, where there were stacks and stacks of stuff upon stuff. It would drive me insane if I was still like that now! I love being organized. I really like things clean and neat. That way you can find stuff when you need to.
 
January 31, 2006, 1:59 pm CST

If something has value to you, treat it with respect

My sister and I have been embarrassed for most of our lives about our parent's in ability to use a trashcan.  The junk in my parent's house has reached the point to where you ablsolutely can not move or even find a place to sit.  I recently went to their house to try and help them move forward and at least get the house to where possum will not be running around in the attic and falling through the ceiling.  There were numerous bags of beercans which they had collected for years thinking they were worth money, I threw them out onto the trashpile that was surprizingly large considdering but my mother would take them off with a degree of violence that was just disturbing.  Her dementia has become extreemly bad over the past few years and I realize that as my parents age, they will not be able to help their situation only to fall into financial ruin in a pile of junk garnished with vermin.  When they tell me that something has sentimental value I try to get them to treat it as though it realy does mean something, but htey just don't get it.  altough they say they want to move forward and create a good living environment, they will not let go.  One thing they do not understand is just because something was good once upon a time,  it is not good after it sits in the back yard and deteriorates and rusts.  There aren't enogh words to describe how bad their house has become but it is worse than any house I have seen on any "hoarding" tv show.  I guess they would feel as uncomfortable in a clean environment is I do in theirs but as they age, it has become a danger to them.  The thing is, as much as the hoarding is a problem they also have the problem of extreem laziness.  The only thing they are proactive on is blame, and we all know how effective blame can be!  After being told for years that the condition of the house was my fault, I moved far enough away to where they could not hold me responsible.  What I find simply amazing is the list of excuses they have come up  with since then.  I know that it is wrong to try to "fix" the situation as it will only pile up again after I clean it up but I can not ignore it either. 
 
February 1, 2006, 4:39 am CST

Do you think anyone could help?

Quote From: mvngfwd

My sister and I have been embarrassed for most of our lives about our parent's in ability to use a trashcan.  The junk in my parent's house has reached the point to where you ablsolutely can not move or even find a place to sit.  I recently went to their house to try and help them move forward and at least get the house to where possum will not be running around in the attic and falling through the ceiling.  There were numerous bags of beercans which they had collected for years thinking they were worth money, I threw them out onto the trashpile that was surprizingly large considdering but my mother would take them off with a degree of violence that was just disturbing.  Her dementia has become extreemly bad over the past few years and I realize that as my parents age, they will not be able to help their situation only to fall into financial ruin in a pile of junk garnished with vermin.  When they tell me that something has sentimental value I try to get them to treat it as though it realy does mean something, but htey just don't get it.  altough they say they want to move forward and create a good living environment, they will not let go.  One thing they do not understand is just because something was good once upon a time,  it is not good after it sits in the back yard and deteriorates and rusts.  There aren't enogh words to describe how bad their house has become but it is worse than any house I have seen on any "hoarding" tv show.  I guess they would feel as uncomfortable in a clean environment is I do in theirs but as they age, it has become a danger to them.  The thing is, as much as the hoarding is a problem they also have the problem of extreem laziness.  The only thing they are proactive on is blame, and we all know how effective blame can be!  After being told for years that the condition of the house was my fault, I moved far enough away to where they could not hold me responsible.  What I find simply amazing is the list of excuses they have come up  with since then.  I know that it is wrong to try to "fix" the situation as it will only pile up again after I clean it up but I can not ignore it either. 

If their house is truly a danger to them and their health (especially if there are vermin) maybe adult protective services could step in. I know they don't want to leave their home or change it, but if it is dangerous to them, then it isn't a choice any longer. It is a necessity. Or you could call the county Health Department. Due to dementia, your parents amy not appreciate your efforts, but you can't let them live in filth and vermin. Good luck. I know that working with people with dementia can be a VERY uphill battle! 

  

Steph 

 
February 1, 2006, 5:07 am CST

Buy her the book

Quote From: moms2bones

Dr. Phil,

I have a friend who is such a hoarder.   When you walk into her apartment,  there is no place to sit, or any  place you would want to sit.

She comes over here, and always says "your place is so comfortable and nice", I have told her she needs to either get rid of the things she has, or organize it.   I have even offered to help her.   Still no change.  If only I can get through to her, the things that need to be done, so she can have a clean organized apt.

This person keeps everything, even little game pieces to games that are no longer available for play.  Papers and magazines.

Even her child likes to say, boy I wish we lived in a place like yours.  Oh and the child has the same characteristics as the mom.   Is there hope, hopefully she will catch the show and get some hints...
I to am a compulsive hoarder. I have been since I was in my teens. They believe it to be a form of OCD but they're not sure because all hoarders do not have OCD and all those who have OCD are not hoarders. Buy her the book "Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding" by doctors Fugen Neziroglu, Jerome Burbrick and Jose Yaryura-Tobias. I highly recommend it and it may help her but only if as Dr. Phil says she's a "willing spirt". It's paperback, $15. I found it to be a great help. It explains the different degrees of hoarding, why they believe we do it and gives great step by step methods to change the behavior. I hope this helps. Dr. Phil posted a link to the OCD website which lead me to the hoarding website which lead me to this book. For that I am eternally grateful. I hope this helps in some small way.
 
February 1, 2006, 5:39 am CST

Grief

  

I think Dr. Phil got it right when he pinpointed John's reason for hoarding...the death of his father. People will do anything to cope after a death instead of facing it head on, especially men. They often get stoic and won't talk about it. I hope John will join a local grief support group of some kind. He needs to truly grieve his loss or his hoarding will just continue. 

  

My father died two years ago and I joined a grief support group only a few weeks ago and it has already made a huge impact on my life for the better. I wish I had gone sooner. It makes the world of difference to be able to find a group of people that knows what you're going through and can relate to the pain and confusion of loss. 

 
February 1, 2006, 7:04 am CST

PACK RAT-A GOOD REASON FOR IT

I HOPE THIS HELPS SOMEONE.  MY MOTHER-IN-LAW HAS GOT TO BE THE BIGGEST PACK-RAT THERE IS.  HERE IN THE SOUTH, THAT'S WHAT WE CALL IT, PACK-RAT.  I MEAN ALOT OF PEOPLE I KNOW ARE PACK-RATS BUT SHE IS ALMOST SICKENING ABOUT IT.  LAST YEAR MY HUSBAND AND I WERE CLEANING OUT FOR HER JUST A LITTLE AND WE FOUND CANNED FOOD FROM THE SIXITES!  i KID YOU NOT!  BUT, WHEN SHE WAS GROWING UP, THERE WERE 7 OTHER KIDS IN THE HOUSE, BESIDES HERSELF.  iF YOU DID'NT GET SOMTHING AND HIDE IT, SOMETIMES YOU WOULD'NT GET ANYTHING.  WE JUST LEAVE HER ALONE NOW, IT'S NOT JUST FOOD, ITS EVERYTHING.  MY HUSBAND JUST DECIDED THAT WHEN SHE'S GONE, WE'LL TAKE A DUMPSTER AND BACK IT UP TO THE FRONT DOOR.  I LOVE THIS WOMAN SO MUCH, BUT I THINK PACK-RATTING ISN'T HEALTHY. 

 
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