26 answers

Seeking Help Overcoming a Compulsion

I have a problem with feeling the need to cut out or save informational articles from newspapers, magazines, brochures, etc. because many look interesting and I believe I might actually learn something. Retain it, I don't know yet, but I feel I should keep it to read later, when I have time, and/or keep it because it was so good.

The trouble is I don't get much time to read them, so they pile up. Maybe it's even telling about an activity we can do sometime as a family--or a trip we can take. I have files full of acticles and pamphlets like that. It's nice to have a minute (or take a minute) to read, but there's too much of it. I don't get any magazines other than those that were gifted to me,so it's not a matter of cancelling a subscription. I feel like there is so much else I should be doing. I have lots of books that I want to read, too, but don't have time to read more than a few pages. My house looks cluttered a lot because of all the stacks of papers that I want to read. I'm just afraid I will miss something good if I just get rid of it. I do find articles that answer real problems for me.

Does anyone else have this problem? I've been to other mom's houses and don't see so much. They have time to do outside things, have people over, etc.

I know that lots of the information in these articles is on the web somewhere,but sometimes it's not. Some articles I want as reference material, like to post on a wall where I can refer to it often.

How can I get over this? Or do others do it, too? I feel like I should get it read, but then "12" more come along.

HELP. I want it to look neat around here. More importantly, I want to have more meaningful experiences with my kids, rather than wishing I had tackled that pile of papers over there.

Can I throw another one out to you? I have a large kitchen floor. With the two kids and me cooking, plus one of them trying out cooking sometimes, I have trouble keeping it clean. Often there are thousands of crumbs on the floor, but even after sweeping the whole floor still looks dirty. It takes too much time and effort to keep it shiny all the time, but it gets so grungy it's disgusting. I have a (Floormate) shampooer with brushes, but I don't think the brushes do that good of job, or maybe my floor is too hard core dirty for it. Sometimes I get so disgusted by the constant messes on the floor that I about vow that I will never clean it again--what's the use? (except of course to keep bugs and ants out).

What do some of you do? I wish there was a peel-up type kitchen floor you just peel up, shake out, and throw in the washer.

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Featured Answers

My advice is to dump everything you've got now and start fresh (I did it!). I saved magazines that had articles that I thought would help me for weight loss, or parenting, or cooking, or other stuff, & it just piled up. So one day last year I just dumped everything out. Then what I did was start cutting out the articles that I wanted to read and put them in a folder and I now keep the folder in the bathroom (yes, it may seem gross). Now I feel like a guy because when I get 5 minutes to myself to go to the bathroom, I read an article and either save it or pitch it depending on how useful I thought it was. It has saved mess, and I've actually used some of the info that I've read. Good luck with whatever you try. As far as the kitchen floor, as long as you sanitize it on a regular basis, you may have to wait until the kids grow up to replace it or call a professional cleaning service to help you.

I keep some info as well but would be less then a box if that. I have 5 kids and yes i started collecting everytime they were in the paper in youth sports leagues and then quickly realized it would just be too much and time consuming to keep up with it.

You say its all organized, but is it just the article of the whole paper, magazine?

As for the floor, is it a light color? maybe different type of flooring would help.

Don't worry about the super clean house take time each day to have fun with the kids as they will quickly grow up and remember more about the time you gave them then if the floor was spotless.

More Answers

D.,
I have no suggestions for the first part of your request but I do for the second. We have white and blue (yuck) flooring in our kitchen. When we moved in the floor was so dirty and stained. We hired cleaning people to come in and clean the night before we moved in. I stopped in to see how they were doing and the one lady was on her hands and knees with a scrubby sponge and clorox clean-up. Yup, that simple. It looked like a new floor! Now when I mop, I use clorox-clean up then I use hot water. Other cleaners leave behind build up. The clorox will strip any grime and build up away.
Christina

My advice is to dump everything you've got now and start fresh (I did it!). I saved magazines that had articles that I thought would help me for weight loss, or parenting, or cooking, or other stuff, & it just piled up. So one day last year I just dumped everything out. Then what I did was start cutting out the articles that I wanted to read and put them in a folder and I now keep the folder in the bathroom (yes, it may seem gross). Now I feel like a guy because when I get 5 minutes to myself to go to the bathroom, I read an article and either save it or pitch it depending on how useful I thought it was. It has saved mess, and I've actually used some of the info that I've read. Good luck with whatever you try. As far as the kitchen floor, as long as you sanitize it on a regular basis, you may have to wait until the kids grow up to replace it or call a professional cleaning service to help you.

I also have started FLYing with FlyLady on www.flylady.net. It truly is amazing! I had a very hard time getting stuff done and keeping up with the cleaning. Just a month into and I can already see a HUGE difference. This really will help with the clutter and having time to do things.n

As for the clippings, I used to keep old magazines to reference. After moving a couple of times, I had to cut back on what I kept. I did start just keeping the articles that I wanted. Now, I don't have any of it. Turns out that I really didn't need any of it. Here's a rule for paper--handle it once. When you get it in your hands, read it, fill it out if needed, and file it (or get rid of it) all at once. Every time you touch it or look at it, that paper takes your attention away from more important things.

I have a small white linoleum kitchen floor that was hard to keep clean and showed the dirt a lot. One day, I had the girls (ages 3 and 1) help me "scrub" it. I filled a bucket with some water and added baking soda. We each had rags, and I also had the mop. Well, the little ones would just dunk their rags into the water and then put them on the floor. This soaked the floor with big puddles of the baking soda water. To my amazement, when I started mopping up the water, the dirt just lifted right off! So I just soaked the rest of the floor, let it sit for a few minutes and then mopped. The floor was so white and clean! After making sure the floor was dry, I used mop and glo on it. Now it is so much easier to clean and looks so shiny I can see the kids reflections as they walk on it.

My mother is a hoarder who loves to clip and save information. I’m sure it started out the way you describe right now, but it has taken over her home and her life. She is so busy reading and clipping and planning her life that she never gets to live it. Her grandchildren can’t visit because the stacks of magazines and newspapers and other assorted “stuff” piled from top to bottom make it impossible to clean around.
And much like you mentioned about your floor, in her perfectionism, she would spend hours and hours cleaning our kitchen floor until it was perfect, but then eventually since it would never stay that way she just gave up and stopped bothering.
All of this happened very gradually, and I do think she could have made different choices so that she could be living a happy healthy life today.
Some people think that all you need to do is Organize, but that really isn’t the problem. That’s like telling an alcoholic that they can drink as long as it’s done in an orderly fashion, say out of a glass instead of the bottle. A bit extreme of an analogy, maybe, but if you have the start of a real problem then maybe not.
Even if the magazines are gifted to you, you really need to think about stopping them or reduce the number that you allow in your home. It sounds like you would rather think about fun places to go or great things to cook than actually take a trip or turn on the oven. Again, extreme, but look at how much stuff you save that you don’t use, is one or two articles out of a huge stack of clippings a good average?? Is spending the time doing this taking away from time with your family??
I’m not an expert but in trying to help my mom I’ve learned a lot about this sort of illness. Depression and a touch of OCD in the form of perfectionism or maybe even ADD seem to be very prevalent among people who need to collect and save information or items that they plan touse “someday”. And it also seems to run in families. That doesn’t mean you’ll end up like my mom by any means, It just means you might want to look at why you Need to clip and Save and see if you can find something else to do with your time, and just basically monitor to see that how you really live your life is close to how you desire to live it.

You are not alone,there are alot of people out there. If you have depression or something else going on it might help to talk to a professional. Here are some websites, you could check out to see how much of a problem your clipping is for you. I hope I’m not blowing it all out of proportion because of my experiences, but even if I’m way off base for you maybe someone else reading this can use the information.

Flylady is awesome, especially for SAHM

http://www.messies.com Sandra Felton

Messiness and Hoarding
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Messiness-and-Hoarding/

OCD Foundation recommended support groups
http://www.ocfoundation.org/hoarding/support-groups/online-
self-help-support-groups.php

www.childrenofhoarders.com if you are the child of someone who hoards.

Here are some experts that have published books in this field--

David F. Tolin, Ph.D

Fugen Neziroglu

Randy O. Frost, Ph.D

And Peter Walsch has a good book too entitled “It’s all too Much”

I wish you well, and I think we all feel like you at times. We just have to make sure it doesn’t get out of control.

I had a similar problem - saving magazines for info I needed and might need in the future. I discovered that magazines tend to rerun articles over and over. Similar articles on particular subjects also tend to be run in other parenting magazines, and they mostly offer the same information. Some of the information is useful, but I found that the information tended to be really vague. Basically, I found that if I missed or forgot information from an article in a parenting (or other) magazine, I saw it again in other magazines or at a later date. Case and point, I was pregnant with my second child eight years after my first, and in looking at articles I found the same information I cherished when my first son was a baby and toddler.

My husband has OCD, as does one of my closest friends, and your feelings about the clippings and the anxiety they produce for you seem similar to what they both experience. I would also suggest therapy to help you deal with the anxiety. It often takes several tries to find a therapist who is the right fit for you. Don't give up if you don't find the right one immediately. It might take a few appointments. Good luck. I hope you can find some relief from the anxiety and in the process have the less cluttered home you desire.

I work from home in the wellness industry. I totally understand your feeling about messes. I hate cleaning, but love trying my new products. I found one product that cleans the bathroom so easily, you can just let it sit. My mom loves it too! These products are more natural and provide a healthy environment. You can learn alot with this company and the products are safe for your family, plus environmentally friendly.

J.
____@____.com
http://www.GetwithitGoGreen.com

Hi D.,

Get some professional help. contact your local community service board, or child and family services.

Also get into a Mom's support group to help you.

Hope this helps.
D.

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