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Old 01-25-2010, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Central Fl
2,903 posts, read 10,916,945 times
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What is really sad is when people refuse to invite friends to their home because they are embarrassed from clutter. They become socially handicapped, and their life becomes less enriched because of their "stuff".

That's one thing about my job...when folks call an ambulance or a fire truck, you see how they really live.....surprising sometimes.

I read somewhere that a son was helping his Mom declutter, and said to the Mom..."This is where 30 years of Dad's income went??" How very sad.

My wife and I are thankful that our parents have decluttered a ton in there senior years. When that day comes that what is left becomes our responsibility, it will not be difficult.

I have an 80 something year old friend who has TONS of junk. He refuses to do anything about it, and says "That's the kids's job when I'm gone". I fear the kids will just take care of it with a match.......

Frank
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Home, Home on the Front Range
22,761 posts, read 16,201,448 times
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I agree with the OP - there has definitely been an increase in this type of behavior. While there certainly are people with definite psychological issues (clear from watching 'Hoarders'), I think that to a large degree it is a symptom of our consumerist society.
My own personal theory is that 'Antiques Roadshow' and ebay, and other auction sites, have contributed to this. Everyone is sure that they have an attic full of treasures that are going to make them rich so they hold on to everything and/or buy stuff they have absolutely no use for thinking that it will be worth something 'someday.'
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Florida
244 posts, read 612,919 times
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I agree with many of the above mentioned things: consumerism, two income families spending all their money, "...Jones mentality", attitude of disposability. etc.

I am personally overwhelmed if I have too much stuff. I grew up in a cluttered house and so did my hubby. We decided for ourselves that we weren't going to take that route. Actually the house we bought recently seems "empty" to most people and I get comments like, "Oh, you should do this over here and over here you should (insert suggestion of spending x amount of dollars here)...." We are perfectly content to be "minimalists" and have some money saved....
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:13 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX, USA
5,142 posts, read 11,449,508 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Resilientsmile View Post
I agree with many of the above mentioned things: consumerism, two income families spending all their money, "...Jones mentality", attitude of disposability. etc.

I am personally overwhelmed if I have too much stuff. I grew up in a cluttered house and so did my hubby. We decided for ourselves that we weren't going to take that route. Actually the house we bought recently seems "empty" to most people and I get comments like, "Oh, you should do this over here and over here you should (insert suggestion of spending x amount of dollars here)...." We are perfectly content to be "minimalists" and have some money saved....
We're on the same boat Resilientsmile!
There are some very interesting books on Amazon under the search words minimalist; excellent reads! I commend you on your efforts.
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:40 PM
 
1,054 posts, read 3,323,854 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faithfulFrank View Post
What is really sad is when people refuse to invite friends to their home because they are embarrassed from clutter. They become socially handicapped, and their life becomes less enriched because of their "stuff".
I've experienced that. Have refused many a people to come over including not letting my neighbor step into my place when she was helping me carry groceries after a snowstorm. I've only had a couple of guests here ever.
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:36 AM
 
Location: In God's country
1,059 posts, read 2,413,685 times
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maybe it has something to do with control. They may not have control in other aspects of theri lives, and holding onto things and hoarding them is they saying "i can control what i keep and what i get rid of" ?
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:13 PM
 
Location: In the woods
3,315 posts, read 8,778,134 times
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I agree with the OP -- seems like everyone's house is stuffed with stuff.

Also agree with previous posters trying to figure out the cause. I believe the two biggest reasons are:

(1) lack of time available to devote to organizing and maintaining a household. Seriously, after working full-time, commuting, taking care of kids, mowing the lawn, going to church meetings, etc. etc. -- does anyone want to clean out a closet, sort out things? It's the last To-Do on the List so things just fester and get worse; and

(2) Abundance of goods -- just tons of us to buy, buy, buy. Which also means that during holidays or special days --our friends and relatives buy stuff for us (and of course, the objects remind them of us).

It's insane. I recently moved and couldn't believe the crap I had in the basement, garage, etc. I took carloads of stuff to Goodwill, sold, and gave it away. I still struggle to keep up with things, like sorting the mail every day. And when it comes to birthdays or holidays, I prefer only something that can be consumed or disposed or spent, like coffee, fresh flowers, or money.

It is indeed liberating to shred, toss up and get rid of things once and for all. It's like gaining a sense of freedom.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:33 PM
 
193 posts, read 347,509 times
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I do field service work that brings me into peoples homes and yes, the clear majority of them are pack rats...it spans all income levels.
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Northern Nevada
8,545 posts, read 9,309,495 times
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Married 33 years, hubby a 'pack rat' of sorts with 'man stuff' tools, hammers, garage stuff. He says 'well if you need it we have it'. That is a lost cause. My problem in the house I would say comes from PAPER. I have more paper than ever before..have to save receipts for taxes, prescription papers for taxes, just paper everywhere..I have a shredder and I use it...

2nd problem are collectibles and that Is my issue. We downsized this past June from 2600 square feet to 1400 now. Still have so many boxes to go through it is truly overwhelming. I do have things that are worth money..Ebay? Craigslist? Goodwill and take a donation? We have two adult sons, one is married. I love my DIL but my style is NOT her style..she is not going to want any of my pretty collectible plates..I will check with her before something is given away or sold. yeah its a problem.

When DH mother passed away a few years ago, it took us a year to clean out her place and garage. We found Christmas cards they have received dating all the way back to the 1940's...and these people got probably 200 cards a year..neatly stacked by date. Civil defense rations, that one cracked me up. Papers..stuff...sad thing is we ended up getting a dumpster. She came from that generation that lived through the depression and saved everything. Mayo jars, tv dinner trays. Oh my I cannot even tell you what was there.

I keep telling DH we don't want the boys to have to go through our things. because like us, they will put it in a dumpster. I would rather sell or donate.

Sign me overwhelmed..
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:03 AM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,906 posts, read 36,218,541 times
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Just piping up about the encouragement to donate stuff to Goodwill or other thrift stores:

Please only donate clean, usable items. I know people who work at donation centers, and they receive tons (literally tons) of things that are TRASH. Ripped clothing, dirty underwear and socks, broken dishes, random lids to pots and pans, stained Tupperware, ugly and outdated items no one would buy ... I am all for purging the junk, but please don't treat your local thrift store as a junkyard.
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