My Hoarder Kid

In: Historical Events

Submitted By ronjon7502
Words 914
Pages 4
Hoarder's children don't learn how to keep a house clean. (I know, I know. Bow to the Queen of Stating the Obvious.) Not only do we not learn how to clean, but we also learn a complete lack of consistent routine; ironically, rampant perfectionism (of the "if you can't do it perfectly, you might as well not even start" variety); and a sense of being completely overwhelmed by life (hoarders aren't exactly known for teaching their kids how to break a task into smaller, accomplishable pieces). That, plus my mother's voice in my head ("Everybody else knows how to do it. You're just really lazy") have made figuring out this home maintenance thing an uphill climb.

Here's the thing, though. As my personal life completely imploded over the last year or so, I began to realize how much living in chaos affects my outlook and stress level. Even if I have a well-developed case of hoarder's child clutter blindness, at some level I do register the mess and feel stressed by it. And so, fifteen years after leaving my mother's home, I set about really figuring out how to address this issue once and for all. Here are some of the highlights of what I've learned.

1. Cut yourself some slack. As a culture, we view people who don't keep their houses clean in a truly negative light. I really struggled to let go of viewing my messiness as a deep, personal flaw. What worked for me was to take a deep breath and replace my mother's voice ("What's wrong with you?") with something I would say to a friend in the same situation (usually, "Do you realize how much you've already gotten done today? No wonder you're tired"). Repeat about a million times, and you'll be on your way.

2. Have less stuff. Some children of hoarders go the stark minimalist route. Some, like me, just struggle with having a bit too much clutter. I now keep a Goodwill bag in my closet. When I come across something that…...

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