Some people think *every* (or most) piece is important to keep, when it's clear to 99.9% of the rest of the population that it's not. It's not about differing expectations so much as...differing realities.
I agree, which is why I said in my original post that I think it was fine to put everything in trash bags (or bins or boxes or whatever), but that those trash bags should not have been thrown out entirely without checking first.
On the other hand, it seems that a significant chunk of the population (if not the majority) would not consider durable items like silverware or a relatively new tea set to be trash in the first place. The objects that Martienne has specifically mentioned being distressed about having lost don't sound like the type of thing that 99.9% of the population would consider not important to keep.
And then every piece is rescued, bringing you back to the same starting point and wasting everyone's time & effort in the meantime.
I think that's an unfair assumption about our OP.
The mess is not because SHE can't identify trash. It's because she hasn't been well enough to enforce rules and train her kids.
Do you have much experience with hoarders, toots? Because I do. And the OP is a self-admitted hoarder, and even if she hadn't said so, it was very clear that this was that kind situation to those of us with experience with hoarding.
I didnt blame the op or tell her she was horrible, or tell her how she should have been parenting all these years. In fact, quite the opposite, it takes a great amount of courage to admit your problem and reach out for help, and for that, I admire the OP and think she's on the right track.
However, some of the solutions posters have suggested simply aren't feasible for this situation. They might be for someone that's messy, or a slob, or never learned to clean. But for someone with hoarding issues, the anxiety doesn't allow them to determine what is 'necessary' vs. what can go into the trash/donation box in an ongoing, effective manner (hence the situation in the OP).
Dindrane and other were horrified at how others could go into someone else's home and just toss their possessions. When you've been in a hoarders home, you understand how this is not only feasible, but necessary for the health and safety of the occupants. I don't know how bad the OP's home is, but it doesn't sound like hoarding-light to me.
Long story short: I disagree that it was harsh. It was merely a pretty good rendering o what would happen.