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22 Signs You’re a Massive Hoarder

22 Signs You’re a Massive Hoarder

It’s not necessarily a bad thing to be hopelessly devotedly sentimental about your cuddly toys, your comfort blankets, your dusty old nik-naks. It’s important to remember the things that are significant to us. But when your attic is about to burst through your ceiling and you lose your cat amongst all the clutter in your house, you know things are starting to get out of hand. Check out this list of 22 signs of hoarding behavior and find out if you have a problem…

1. When you open your wardrobe, an avalanche of clothes falls out onto the floor.

2. It takes you several days to find things that you know you own.

3. You often accidentally order things from Amazon that you already have.

4. You have toys and bedroom ornaments that are older than some of your friends and relatives. If they could, they’d be lowering each other out the window on ropes.

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5. In the event of a fire, you wouldn’t rescue just the one thing (a photo album, perhaps) but would throw a whole drawer, or preferably a whole cupboard, out the window.

6. You don’t worry about mice in the attic because they wouldn’t be able to fit between all those boxes.

7. Your roommate/significant other sighs when you buy new things because they are wandering where on earth you will store them.

8. You ‘ooh’ and ‘ahhh’ at advertisements of seats that are hollow with lids for storage because you appreciate this genius practicality (you can store MORE things?!#$@ Winning!)

9. People have started buying you restaurant vouchers and gift experiences instead of presents for your birthday and at Christmas, because they don’t want to be responsible for encouraging you.

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10. Your roommate/partner is left with half a wardrobe and one draw as your endless stuff takes over every other inch of space.

11. When you hear that scary creaking late at night, you don’t fear monsters or intruders like the rest of the world. You’re afraid that the floor is finally about to cave in from all the stuff that weighs it down.

12. You know that the pink marks on this yellowed piece of parchment were in fact butterflies in what is clearly a garden, painted by your former self many many many years ago.

13. You can name all the teddies and Beanie Babies boxed up in the attic and you remember where you got each one, who bought them and how old you were at the time, because you’re as soft as your toys are.

14. Yard sales give you the chills because you can’t understand how anyone could just sell things that they own (oh the humanity!)

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15. You have considered moving to a bigger house just for the sake of your bulging closets.

16. But then again, moving house takes about fifty years and hours of gym prep because you have so so so much junk…

17. People quote you with phrases such as ‘you never know when it will come back into fashion’.

18. At Halloween, for those precious art projects, when clean clothes are running low and laundry is too much effort, people will flock to you for materials, clothing, props, because they know you will most likely have what they need.

19. You always have an empty jewelry box handy to use for birthday gifts.

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20. Your bag of bags is like a living breathing monster – it’s so big it could fit the whole house in it (which solves the problem of moving).

21. You fill your suitcase and borrow a quarter of everyone else’s whenever you go on holiday.

22. No matter how tacky and retro a gift from your dear old Nan becomes, you leave it center stage on the windowsill because you, my friend, are a sentimental, foolish, tragic hoarder with too much love for your rickety items.

Featured photo credit: Snugg Le Pup via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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