I was chatting with a friend recently who lives in another state. He’s in school finishing up a degree and working part time. I wasn’t aware of his living situation. He filled me in that he was living with a family of hoarders because they let him stay rent free. I was in shock when he confirmed that the house was indeed like the ones that are profiled on the TV show Hoarders.
I have a secret… I watch that show. Yep, and my hubby thinks I’m nuts. Oh, and my mother can’t watch it because she says it turns her stomach. I find it absolutely fascinating as well as mind boggling that people can actually live in filth and garbage piled to the ceiling, I mean, how can they stand it? But they explain on the show that it’s a mental illness often triggered by a traumatic event or loss such as death of a loved one.
Wikipedia gives these symptoms that a hoarder might experience:
- 1. Tends to hold onto a large number of items that most people would consider not useful or valuable. For example:
- Junk mail
- Old catalogues and newspapers
- Things that might be useful for making crafts
- Clothes that “might” be worn one day
- Broken things/trash
- “Freebies” picked up
- 2. The home is so cluttered that many parts are inaccessible and can no longer be used for intended purpose. For example:
- Beds that cannot be slept in
- Kitchens that cannot be used for food preparation, refrigerators filled to the brim with rotting food, stove tops with combustibles such as junk mail as well as old food piled on top of burners.
- Tables that cannot be used for dining
- Chairs or sofas that cannot be used
- Filthy unsanitary bathrooms; piles of human feces collected in areas of the home, sometimes there are animal feces over the floors of the home, giant bags of dirty diapers hoarded for many years.
- Some hoard scores of animals they cannot even marginally care for; often dead pets cannibalized by other pets are found under the heaps.
- 3. The clutter and mess is so bad it causes illness, distress, and impairment. For example:
- Does not allow visitors such as family and friends, or repair and maintenance professionals because the clutter embarrasses them.
- Keep the shades drawn so no one can see inside
- Get into a lot of arguments with family members about the clutter
- Are at risk of fire, falling, infestation or eviction
- Feel depressed or anxious much of the time because of the clutter.
Of course hoarding is extreme and people in this sad situation often have strained or non existent relationships with friends and family and often are not able to find a love interest.
A friend of mine says that when she watches that show, she immediately starts cleaning out closets; it gives her “the urge to purge.”
When our homes become cluttered other aspects of our lives tend to feel gridlocked too. Clutter is both a symptom and a cause of stuck energy. I know in my own life, when my desk is a mess, I can’t write as freely.
Clutter takes many forms: old Christmas or birthday cards, mugs or shot glasses that you brought home from vacation but never use, junk mail that piles up, old books or magazines that you will never read again. Remember: everything that surrounds you should be working for you in some way.
If you are hoping to manifest a soul mate and a wonderful life with him or her, then you must take a good hard look at your living space and make sure that the energy is flowing, not clogged! If you met him tomorrow, is there even space for your dream man to move in? If you move in with him or got a new place together, how much unnecessary stuff will you be dragging along with you?
Clearing clutter creates space for us to discover our true path in life, who we want to become and what experiences we want to create. Just as clutter keeps energy stagnant, it can also keep other areas of your life from growing. Not to mention that material clutter leads to mental clutter and stress, which can eventually become stress-related illnesses and chronic disease. Clearing out the old ensures that there is space for the new. When you clear your clutter you are taking a concrete step toward regaining your power, and you have create space for wonderful new things and relationships to come into your life.