Or possibly sequence of birth order.
I was forcing my INFP daughter to down size
She is about to turn 12 and go into middle school
She has all these cross over things from changing of age, and then it was all mixed with every childhood thing I could not peel outta her hands without triggering a deep emotional reaction. Because frankly if there is one person in the world who can make me soft it’s her. She’s already INFP, and my youngest, and then has these giant giant brown eyes that I cannot handle to look at when they are sad (gives me a nervous twitch ).
Ok so literally this last damn year every heavy deeper cleaning cycle I went to her and told her to down size. Even her filling our hall full shit twice it was still too much left, just to properly facilitate. We live in an apartment. Plus I was getting annoyed because we redid her bedroom theme with colors she picked etc but with a more contemporary update and then she has all this shit all over (OMG).
So then I went just purchased the most giant of giant totes I could find. I said ok you need to stick every single thing you don’t use into this and it’s getting shipped off with your dad and you can have it in your bedroom there. She reacted well to this compromise overall. I told her anything that did not fit in this tote after she were done which was not of any purposeful or practical use or apart of her daily interests must go so she had to be wise with her choices.
I knew it was really important to not make this traumatic because I didn’t want to give her attachment issues with it. I already dealt with that when a few years ago, I threw away what just looked like and old raggedy doll she never touched, it was like the world ended. So I really took the time and patience to work through her entire room with her. I continually praised her for the progress she was making letting her know how proud I was of her for being so mature and compromising. I showed her the perks of it which were things like she could now actually work in her science laboratory and art area and find the shit.
But omg this was not easy. At one point we were joking over her initial pause over letting go of an empty old chocolate box from Valentine’s Day. I was like seriously you feel a need to keep that. She says yeah because it was from her sis. I was like but you already have the card and stuffed animal from her from the same day. You have two dried bouquets of flowers and something from every valentines from everyone who loves you. Er wtf is the point on hanging onto the packaging as well.
I made very clear to her I am not adverse to sentimental belongings. I showed her my own childhood trunk of memories. But I explained my box was half the size and held 18 plus years of stuff. And she was only 11 with this giant tote plus all the crap already at her dads home.
Her and I discussed potential reasons for this I had two theories she had one:
-Hers was she was the youngest and she does not have long term memory of events and so she likes to surround herself with everything so she doesn’t forget (OMG adorbs). She was convinced that youngest children need to hang onto more, and older children let things go. She pointed out her dad is a youngest child and he too has a SERIOUS hoarding problem. I noted my own younger sis is a slight mini hoarder.
-My thought was it’s linked to MBTI, all these people are NFs (tehe) now the NFJs kept theirs under wraps better but still.
-My next thought was a deeper issue because we had lost all our stuff now 5 years ago in an apartment fire and I wondered if that had effected my daughter more at the time than I realized. (Which would make sense).
I noticed a few of the people I confided in who were NFs were very personally attached to the issue and advocated for my daughter. The constant theme in their words was self expression. My dispute though was Having too much stuff that you start to not be able to move is no longer a form of self expression.
I will totally admit I am very much anti hoarder and I like things like closets and closed shelving I cannot stand knick knacks and trinkets all over. I understand my bias, but still it doesn’t change if there is too much crap all over it’s not functional or any easy space to facilitate its needs. I still let my daughter keep memorabilia on a memory board and told her to put the rest in a box. I confess I don’t understand why everything must require to be a form of expression. Like all these NFs are talking about.
Anyways I do think we reached a middle ground. I think she understands I am not trying to peel her of every memory. I showed her if she has twelve coloring books of the same trendy pattern she doesn’t need to keep them all when she cannot even recall where they all came from. I suggested she has a donation bin she starts for the future when she has duplicate things she receives in gifts as well as having another tote at the top of her closet to store sentimental things as she gets older as more things come in and to throw away packaging from now on.
Who here relates to hoarding or can think of the biggest hoarders they know, what would you guess their types, birth order, and large traumatic events happen that could of had to do with it?