Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Hoarding Bug

My parents are bonafide hoarders. Not in a nasty, dirty-dishes, trash way, but in a garage sale - antiquing way. It's gotten so bad that I told them that I would not step foot in their house until they cleared out a path. They scoffed, and didn't believe me.

Their house is so full that there are little 1ft wide paths leading from room to room. They have 3 refrigerators full of food that they are hoarding. The house is full of guns, bullets, fishing rods, every year of Southern Living cookbooks (in duplicate), mismatched china sets never used, figurines, porcelain replicas of president's wives, broken antiques, expired medications, expired second-hand canned goods, broken jewelry, ugly paintings, empty frames - everything. I once caught Sparky shaking a can of bullets that were left out. I once saw a snake sliver into a pile of junk in the "formal" living room. Allergists beware - this house will kill you with dust.

The hoarding situation is humorous and awful at the same time. I laugh when I tell stories about my parents' nesting quirks. But I'm sad because I will likely never step foot into my childhood home again. Growing up, the house was clean and functioning. But when I left for college, the antique bug hit them, and the hoarding began. My sister and I have tried every approach. I'm left with giving up. They can visit me all they want. Or we'll visit, stay in a hotel, and they can visit the hotel. I just can't let me son play with bullets unattended.


Anonymous said...

Two words: Clean House ..

Anonymous said...

Sounds like what my house was like when I was growing up, roughly (minus things like bullets, but the little paths sure ring a bell). I find Clean House offensive because it hits way too close to home. I don't have any advice about how to make it better, but thank you for sharing. It helps to know that there are others around who go through the same things -- and who are not exploited on reality TV.

Anonymous said...

So sad. Are they open to getting professional help to deal with this issue? Do they even recognize it as an issue that may distance them from their children and grandson?