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Author Topic: Hoarders I Have Known  (Read 29974 times)

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Tea Drinker

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Re: Hoarders I Have Known
« Reply #270 on: February 04, 2015, 04:49:12 PM »
My FIL is a hoarder but in the light-weight class. His house is still pretty livable, but it's got lots and lots of junk just because he grew up poor and can't bear to throw anything away. When MIL was alive, she used to have to send items out in the neighbor's trash, because if FIL thought there was something valuable, he'd bring the trash back in. She had to convince him by showing him that it was just kitchen waste going out.

What I am going to suggest is that as long as we have/can find the important papers needed at the time of his death, just trash the rest. I hear people talking about spending months and years going through every little thing, because they found cash in books and jewelry in socks. To me, that's not worth it. He's not hiding the hidden gold of Nazi Germany, or the lost seeing stones of Numenor. What little bit of value we could get is not worth the hours/days/weeks/months/years of work. Don't know how well that will go over with the rest of DH's family, since there is at least 1 other hoarder in the group of 7 siblings.

Do the basics you think necessary, and if any of those relatives object to tossing the rest, tell them that they are welcome to go through everything, but you don't have the time and energy, and even if you found anything, the search would probably wind up paying well under minimum wage.
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

dietcokeofevil

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Re: Hoarders I Have Known
« Reply #271 on: February 04, 2015, 05:07:59 PM »
My in-laws both have hoarding tendencies.  Both of them lost a parent at an early age and grew up without much money.  So they have a hard time throwing away anything, and if it's a "good deal" they have to stock up.  They have more food in their home for the 2 of them, then I do for my family of 4, and I don't think they ever really cook.

Things that drive us up the wall:
Knowing that they have a lot of debt, yet every time we visit they've bought new toys for the grandkids, that had to stay at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  One time when we were visiting FIL gave my son a little toy train to take home.  He said they had gave it to my son at Christmas, but we had left it at their house.  When MIL heard, she had to come look at the toy to make sure we weren't taking one of hers.  We offered to let her keep it, because we knew that our son wasn't that interested in it.  She insisted we take it, but then later said how she would have to order another one on-line because they only had 2 of that particular train car.   These were not collectibles or anything, just little trains that the kids played with on the train table.  I don't know why they'd even need 3 of them.

Getting them a nice gift they specifically asked for, only to discover that they've never even taken it out of the box.  Like my MIL asked for some nice drinking glasses.  We bought the ones she wanted, and they sit there unused while they drink out of plastic glasses from fast food restaurants.  My FIL does the opposite, he will use it, but doesn't take care of it at all, so it's trashed within a couple of months.  I know once you give a gift, it's out of your control, but it's so frustrating!

Listening to them complain about the others stuff.

Not being able to show them or talk about anything we have bought recently, because then MIL is convinced she needs one too.

It bugs DH and I, but we try to stay out of it...at least until they ask us for money.   It drives BIL nuts and he's always trying to do something about it.  Last summer, when my ILs went on vacation, he cleaned out their garage (with their permission) so they could park in it again.  By the time winter arrived the garage was already too full to park in once more.



artk2002

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Re: Hoarders I Have Known
« Reply #272 on: February 04, 2015, 05:37:01 PM »
Update: Walking back from lunch I saw the fire inspector nosing around the hoarded unit, shaking his head. No real progress there.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

scansons

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Re: Hoarders I Have Known
« Reply #273 on: February 04, 2015, 07:30:54 PM »
For this thread a poem, that I keep meaning to embroider on a pillow or sampler or something.

We never throw away you know,
A nut or bolt or screw.
We keep them in a coffee can
In hopes they'll something do. 
And then one day we need let's say
a nut to do a chore.
We find precisely what does nicely
at the hardware store.

Not sure who wrote it.  I do know that my grandmother had a beautiful copy hung in my grandfather's study.  He had two barns a study and a guest room.  All kept as neat a pin, and all full to the brim. 

Hillia

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Re: Hoarders I Have Known
« Reply #274 on: February 05, 2015, 12:01:05 AM »
DH has an aunt who grew up in, and still lives in, pretty severe poverty.  She has major financial problems caused by terrible decisions.  She lives in the tiny, rundown house she was raised in, surrounded by a couple of acres of junk.  It's a horrible mess.

when we got married a few years ago with a small, casual reception, I bought premade silk flower arrangements in pretty ceramic pitchers to put on the table.  One or two guests took theirs home (they asked and I was fine with it) and Aunt asked if she could have the rest, 6 or 8 of them.  I said sure, thinking to myself that she had nothing pretty in her life and maybe these would brighten up a corner.

Over a year later we visited her house, and there were the arrangements, still in the box she had packed them in after the reception, sitting on her kitchen floor.

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Slartibartfast

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Re: Hoarders I Have Known
« Reply #275 on: February 05, 2015, 01:21:51 AM »
I'm currently helping my sister pack up her apartment for a cross-country move.  She and her fiance are moving in together, so she's really not taking much - things like dishes, etc. would be duplicates anyway and it's too expensive to bother moving furniture that came from a thrift store in the first place.  Right now, we're boxing up smaller items and trying to get larger items out of the apartment (to Craigslist, thrift stores, friends, the dumpster, etc.)

DS's best friend lives with her mother.  I'm not sure which one of them is the hoarder (or whether they both are), but I've been to their house once and it's absolutely crammed.  DS is having to work very, very hard to be able to actually get rid of things, because if she says she plans to trash something or offers it as up for grabs to whoever wants it, her friend is eager to snap it up.  No matter what it is.  DS is giving her some things - a cabinet, a bookshelf, storage containers - but it would be really easy to just show up at her friend's doorstep with boxes of junk and say "here, have at it" and then it wouldn't be DS's problem anymore.

So far the solution seems to be "Gosh I don't know whether I'm taking that with me or not" when her friend is here helping pack, then very quickly finding a home for the item (or tossing it) once her friend is gone . . .
« Last Edit: February 05, 2015, 01:23:35 AM by Slartibartfast »

o_gal

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Re: Hoarders I Have Known
« Reply #276 on: February 05, 2015, 09:47:27 AM »
My FIL is a hoarder but in the light-weight class. His house is still pretty livable, but it's got lots and lots of junk just because he grew up poor and can't bear to throw anything away. When MIL was alive, she used to have to send items out in the neighbor's trash, because if FIL thought there was something valuable, he'd bring the trash back in. She had to convince him by showing him that it was just kitchen waste going out.

What I am going to suggest is that as long as we have/can find the important papers needed at the time of his death, just trash the rest. I hear people talking about spending months and years going through every little thing, because they found cash in books and jewelry in socks. To me, that's not worth it. He's not hiding the hidden gold of Nazi Germany, or the lost seeing stones of Numenor. What little bit of value we could get is not worth the hours/days/weeks/months/years of work. Don't know how well that will go over with the rest of DH's family, since there is at least 1 other hoarder in the group of 7 siblings.

Do the basics you think necessary, and if any of those relatives object to tossing the rest, tell them that they are welcome to go through everything, but you don't have the time and energy, and even if you found anything, the search would probably wind up paying well under minimum wage.

But you also have to give them a firm deadline. Otherwise they hold up sale of the property and final disposition of the estate. If they take years (and they would, trust me, it's happened before) to go through everything, then that's the same amount of time that the others have to wait until everything is settled.

Then again, the hoarder in the group of siblings has been thinking/planning for years that she will magically inherit the property and keep it a "DH's Family" house. If she's willing to pay out her 6 siblings' shares, she can have it, in my opinion. Ain't gonna happen, but it's a nice thought.

artk2002

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Re: Hoarders I Have Known
« Reply #277 on: February 18, 2015, 06:32:59 PM »
Follow up on my hoarder.

There's a large roll-off dumpster outside and people with wheel barrows moving stuff. The plan is to take the dumpster away tonight and leave another one tomorrow -- it's really that bad.  I talked to the brother and he's still in denial -- telling me that the hoarder really isn't any worse than any of the rest of us. Except that we also found out that the fire department had found bags full of prescription medications under a number of names in the unit, so there's drug seeking or black market purchases.

Oh, and we've also been warned that there's mold in that unit and the people downstairs, and we, may have to move out when they start to clean it up. *sigh*
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

andi

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Re: Hoarders I Have Known
« Reply #278 on: February 18, 2015, 07:06:35 PM »
Oh man - even his famlily is in denial?  Not good

I hope yall don't have to move out during clean up, what a nightmare

AustenGirl10

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Re: Hoarders I Have Known
« Reply #279 on: February 18, 2015, 07:30:05 PM »
I hope you are reimbursed fir your time and trouble and money if you have to leave!

Minmom3

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Re: Hoarders I Have Known
« Reply #280 on: February 18, 2015, 11:01:35 PM »
For those with mountains of shredding to be done, once it's sorted out - here in California, you can box it up and take it to Fed Ex-Kinkos, or the UPS store, and they'll weight it and charge you and shred it in a big industrial shredder!  I currently working on my second box of shreddables.  My stack of paper still to go through to try to find my deed and note, and a pink slip for a trailer is about 4 feet tall...  I've gone through twice that already.
Newly widowed, fairly cranky, prone to crying at the drop of a hat.  Newly a MIL; not yet a Grandma.  Keeper of chickens and dispenser of eggs! ;D  Owner of Lard Butt Noelle, kitteh extraordinaire!

VorFemme

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Re: Hoarders I Have Known
« Reply #281 on: February 19, 2015, 01:26:10 PM »
My spare shredder found a home.  My parents came by Tuesday (they are sorting out their three bedroom house as they downsize) and dropped of some stuff that they had sorted out as "mine" (even though I've been telling them for since 1994 that I did not make that particular cross stitch pillow - someone else did, it keeps defaulting in their minds to something that *I* must have made because I did a lot of it back then).  I did take the science fiction paperbacks.

They took it with them and I handed them my spare shredder, as the one that Mom bought while serving as an executor only cuts in long strips - the one I gave them cuts in short strips offset from the short strips to either side.  They have a lot of shredding to do...but no Fed Ex-Kinkos in town, to the best of my knowledge (small rural West Texas location 30 minutes from the closest larger community - which isn't that big, either).
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Debbie506

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Re: Hoarders I Have Known
« Reply #282 on: February 19, 2015, 02:28:05 PM »
Having endured the sheer amount of physical work (and the cost!) involved cleaning out an elderly aunt's home and my in-law's place after they went into care (middling sort of hoarders, basement and every single closet, drawer, etc. of useless stuff, brand new clothes with the tags still on, gifts still in the original boxes - but no garbage), I made a resolution to spare my family the same fate.  I have a red plastic milk crate, and every single week, without fail, I fill it up with stuff from my own cupboards/basement/workshop, etc. and either donate it to charity if it has any value or take it to the curb if its junk.  It took a couple months to start seeing a difference, but now - after about a year - I have some empty cupboards in my bathroom, some empty shelves in my basement, even empty spaces in my workshop.  It feels absolutely liberating - and now that I have to dig a little deeper to find things to get rid of, I am able to let go of things I passed over previously.  It somehow gets easier.