How are ‘Piles of Stuff’ Like Mushrooms?

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How are ‘Piles of Stuff’ Like Mushrooms?


For one thing…they spring up overnight don’t they? I’m always amazed that you see nothing one day and the next..there are these BIG GIANT and… (to be downright honest)…UGLY mushrooms in the yard!

Makes me think of piles in the house. All you have to do is leave a ‘seed’ and the next thing you no…Voila! A mushroom!—I mean.. a mess.

Grand Squares 028-2000

They often grow in dark corners in out of the way places too…just like piles. Out of sight..out of mind. Right?

I’ve been tackling my piles with a vengeance this week. Funny how if you leave something out long starts to look like it belongs there…. have you noticed? 

It’s hard to notice a pile..until 10 minutes before company arrives..  Then, suddenly, we’re grabbing our piles and literally running…for the master bedroom (#1 hidey spot of choice for most women).

Grand Squares 032-2000 The child sleeping at the left…did NOT get left out. He got bumped by overnight guests. Tee-hee!

I’ve been working hard this week to LEAVE NOTHING OUT. I can’t get over how BEAUTIFUL my home looks! I wrote all about this in one of my most popular posts, Which Would You Rather Clean..A Messy Home or A Clean One?

Hoarding scale

You have to be careful…piles can become addictive! My mom once took my sisters and I, when we were teenagers, to visit a lady who had a problem with piles…paperwork mostly. 

Mom said she was a very nice lady..but she had this problem with paper and piles.  Talk about an understatement! I was fascinated in a weird sort of way.  The papers were stacked all over the house…lots and lots and lots of paper.

She also had everything she owned from her cabinets sitting out on the counter in the kitchen. As mom had said, she really was a pretty ‘clean’ lady..but she had this problem…with piles.  Clutter Scale

It kind of shook me to see someone live that way.  It turns out that it really IS a mental condition called ‘Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring”.  I didn’t know that until I did a little research for this post.

I found a website that even had photos for each room of the house to show a ‘clutter’ scale.  This woman’s house was definitely on the list.


I think it was wonderful that FlyLady was often mentioned by a support group for this disorder because she helped them take babysteps to overcome their mess. Bravo to them—and her!

If you are struggling with more than usual clutter or mess.. do drop by and visit these women who for various reasons can’t function like normal people do when it comes to their home.  Their website is called Squalor Survivors.

Four causes are…

  • Clinical Depression
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Post-partum Depression
  • Physical problems like CFS or Fibromyalgia.
  • SAD syndrome (need sunshine)

One of the signs you are heading for big trouble is when you begin to lose the use of things like the bed…or a table..or even a whole room.


However…there is hope! People like the Sidetracked Home Executives, FlyLady, and Squalor Survivors…can help you get back to normal whatever your situation..whether minimal or severe.

On the other hand…temporary piling for the sake of cleaning up in a hurry is a great help. When I get up in the morning to straighten up and things seem a little overwhelming… I use a little trick which I call ‘piling’.

Grand Squares 029-2000

I do this because I’m a ‘visual’ person. If I see too much mess..I start to get depressed.  Funny how the clutter in a room can usually be piled into a chair and the whole room looks lovely..except of course for that chair. LoL! 

I can make the whole house look really just under 15 minutes this way. THEN I go back through the house with some nice music playing…and put away the piles with a much lighter heart.

 Grand Squares 030-2000


Grand Squares 031-2000


You should try it one day and see if I’m not right! It’s amazing!  If you have can have them do the putting away…considering it’s often THEM who got the stuff out in the first place. Tee-hee!

Grand Squares 020-2000


Grand Squares 022-2000



I used to make a big game out of it…plus it was my attempt to train them. I would ask them (all five) each..where does this go…and where does this go..?  They always knew exactly where the out of place items belonged. It was good practice—I thought.

However, if you have trouble in this area..please..don’t even start with a pile! I’d hate to be responsible, however inadvertently for a relapse.


It’s like the Sidetracked Sisters said in the book…”Just remember that a S.H.E. (Sidetracked Home Executive) is like an alcoholic when it comes to disorder.  If you ever allow yourself to put that first book on top of the dresser, then all of a sudden it’s going to have shoes and books and BANANAS on it again.

Knowing our nature, we are consciously aware of every banana we put down. That false convenience of temporarily setting something down to be picked up later is an open gate back to the pigpen.”

What about you? Are piles a ‘bane’ or a blessing in your house?

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Unknown said...

I grew up in a home decimated by the habits of a hoarder. It still makes me very unsettled and on edge when I get any clutter in my house. I worry about my Mom. Things just get worse and worse, and it even affects her health. But, if you bring it up, she gets very definsive and shuts down. My sister and I just don't know what to do. We know it is our mess to be left with when she is gone. It is a very stressful topic for me.

Donna said...

I know that's hard Christi. We just have to trust the Lord with the future and not let the past dampen the present or derail our future. Easier said than done. I know!


Anonymous said...

The tv show 20/20 just had a program on about children of hoarders and its effects. Very compelling. Clearly hoarders do have a mental problem and it's so hard to watch them trying to cope. Per 20/20, this site is available to children or adults of hoarders,


Donna said...

Thanks Monique! I do understand this situation better than you might think. I just prefer not to go into more detail out of respect for those I love.


Thanks so much for the website. I'll check it out now.

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster

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