Children of hoarders, how do you cope/manage?

I am a child (50F) of a hoarder (74F) and am at risk of becoming one myself. My mom's house was always cluttered when I was a kid and eventually there were three rooms that had paths to get through (or in the case of one room a path just that ended just inside the door so that junk could be put in there.) I think part of the reason she hoarded was that she was raising five young kids as a single mom, her financial circumstances got really bad (so everything could potentially be useful), and she had a mental breakdown whe the divorce happened and she was put into these nasty situations.

I cope with all of this by staying away. I now visit her house about twice a decade. When my kids were little it just became unsafe to visit there. It is hard to visit now anyway because all of the bedrooms are now filled with clothes and junk. There is no place to sleep because the beds are piled high and there is not enough floor space for an air mattress. It distresses me so much that I just stay away. I hate it.

I hate it yet I see traces of it happening within my own house. There is too much clutter and I find it really hard to let loose of things. It is a constant battle. I will think of ways I can use something and then it will sit for a couple years until I realize I am never going to repair it and it really just junk.

I am making some strides. I have recently gotten rid of four boxes of books, two unused bikes, a wooden dresser that I always thought I'd get around to refinishing, a rocking chair as well as many many bags of clothes. I set aside lots of things to take to different charities (esp the ones that give the clothes away free) but the discards sit in bags or boxes in the house for at least four or six months until they get taken to the charities. I'm not proud of all of this. I feel bad for my husband and kids but am trying my best in what is a stressful situation. Right now I consider my home to be very cluttered and on the verge of becoming a hoarder's house. As was written in some if the other posts, there are health conditions that make it harder to have the energy to do the decluttering. I guess the most positive thing I can say about myself is that I am aware of my tendancies now and I no longer bring extra junk into the hiouse. I am slowly getting rid of stuff but it is a looooooonnnnnng process.

/r/AskWomen Thread