Posted on 16.05.17
As part of National Hoarding Awareness Week, a social housing tenant from the south of Glasgow talks about her experience of hoarding – and how she found a way through.
It started 13 years ago when my youngest brother died. He was 20 and committed suicide.
I kept his clothes and some furniture.
Two years later my dad died. I kept my dad’s possessions too, especially his clothes.
I was afraid to throw things out. I really missed both of them and it was a way of making sure they were still with me. It was my way of remembering. It was so hard to let go.
But my house looked like a jumble sale, especially my bedroom, with clothes everywhere and things lying around. It was a mess.
I was embarrassed and wouldn’t let people in my house. I pretended I wasn’t in, wouldn’t answer the door. I thought I would get into trouble with my landlord.
But I started talking to my housing officer and she really helped.
Someone from the Tenancy Support Service now comes to see me every week and is helping me with the items in the house.
Now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I haven’t got rid of everything yet. I still need to hire a van. But I see things differently.
I was in denial. I was suffering from depression.
I think that my dad and my brother wouldn’t want me to live like this.
My brother and my dad are always in my heart, so that allows me to get rid of their possessions.
Now I try to keep the house tidy so I can feel happy within myself. I’m going to get it redecorated too.
No one else can help you if you can’t help yourself. A tidy house is a healthy mind.
I’m giving the clothes to a charity shop. It’s a great feeling. I’m donating the stuff to a cancer charity and it makes me feel good.
It means I’m doing something to help other people.