Is anyone else out there a spouse of a hoarder? There must be someone out there I can talk to.

We have had to split up the house, my spouse lives in the basement with his mess that makes him feel safe. I live upstairs. But I cannot stand living in a house over a garbage dump, the smell coming up the stairs from the basement is overwhelming, I got those volcanic rock bags to put in the stairwell, he laughed at mewith an condescending smile and said "there is no smell in the stairwell, ha ha," helaughed at me.

I used to clean up the whole house.I would wait for him to go away for a weekend and then get industrial strength trash bags at home depotand drag up about ten bags full of trash, then clean up all his clutter and have the place sparkling clean. I had to have a service clean his bathroom Icould not stand to touchanything in there, I paid her $40.

But, what happened is that he would recreate the mess instead of trying to keep it clean. So after years of cleaning up after him I had to stop. I just gave up. I was getting older and more tired and I did not have the strength or motivation any more to clean up after him.

So now I live with it. I hate going to the basement to the laundry room and do more hand washing in the kitchen sink when I can. I took a disposable camera one day and took pictures of his areas and showed them to his family, hoping that they would be able to help somehow, but that did not work either. I don't think that they care, they do not have to live with it and how would they address it anyway? Their denial is their safe place with this and with many other things.

When my family comes to visit, they know the situation, my sister said last time, "the basement is a mess", I said, "yea, I know". Did she expect that I was supposed to take care of it? I just explained to her again that I can't keep cleaning up after him, it is a lost cause and I refuse to try anymore it is too exhausting. She seemed to agree with me.

But for heavens sake it needs to be cleaned up. People should not live like that. One friend said that if it is not hurting himself or anyone else, just let him do it. Is that a good plan? If that is the way he wants to live maybe I should just get over it?

Somebody please talk to me.


1 Comment
  1. Piggy 10 years ago

    My husband is not a hoarder, but his mother lives with us and she is.  I feel for you.  I truely do. Luckily, her mess does not include things that have an odor.  Her deal is clothes, shoes, mail, magazines, news papers,  more mail, boxes and boxes of crap that are stacked floor to ceiling in my basement.  It is so bad down there that we have no room for our own stuf that we keep down there.  We have lots of exercise equipment but we can't get to it because her stuff is completely filling the area.  My husband has a work room down there, but her stuff is spilling into it as well.  Plus, its is in the laundry area and that makes it difficult to do laundry.  She tends to pile things all over the livingroom and kitchen as well. I can not stand it!   I hate having piles and piles of stuff all over my livingroom.  Just an hour ago, I carried a box out and she immdiately sat another box of her stuff where the first one was.  I sympathize with you.  I can't stand my own things laying around much less her mountains of stuff.  I threw away a pile of magazines that she kept on in front of the fireplace.  We asked over and over what she was going to do with them (she never even opened them).  She woud get very offended each time we asked, yet never move them.  I just threw them away earlier today.  I could go on and on.  It will never get better.  He will continue to replace what you throw out.  He is sick and needs help.  I am sorry if that sounds harsh, but it is true.  I am so sorry to hear you are going through that.

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