Name this Phobia…

I am obsessed about death.  Well, not about death, itself.  More about what happens afterwards.  No, this is not going to be a religious rant.

I am worried about dying and people subsequently discovering what a horrible slob I am.

I have an anxiety that I will die one day, and people will go through my house and declare, and rightly so, that I was a very mess person.  Why I would care after I’m dead, I don’t know, but it’s a fear. Apparently not a well-documented fear, as I discovered when I Googled it in a failed attempt to find an actual name for this fear. (Ataxophobia, the fear of clutter doesn’t quite describe it.  People who suffer from that condition apparently actually clean on a regular basis.)

For those of you who know me, let me assure you that I don’t plan on this happening any time soon (the dying part).

Anyone who has seen the very untidy state of my house would probably doubt that I have ever given cleanliness a second thought.  However, I think about it quite a bit.  I just don’t actually act upon it as often as I should.

I think it started with C.S.I.  When they showed graphic pictures of people who had been horribly murdered on the street, I didn’t blink an eye.  But when they showed dead bodies in houses full of clutter, that kind of made me think about the uninvited people who get to wander around your house after you die – particularly if it is a not-so-normal expiration.

The onslaught of reality shows like Hoarders did not help to alleviate my phobia.  Most people that watch that show are thankful that their homes are not that bad.  Conversely, I watch that show and begin to hyperventilate.  Sure, you can walk through my house now without towers of old computers falling on top of you, but I bet the people on T.V. had a time before the piles overtook them, too.  Could that junk drawer in the kitchen where I keep old birthday candles signal the beginning of my descent into Hoardership?

Some weekends I will frantically empty out entire closets and fill up bags of things for Goodwill, energized by the fear of dying with mismatched Tupperware strewn around my pantry.  I clean out drawers, organize shelves, and dump out boxes.  Only to find that they magically disorganize and clutterize themselves again within a matter of weeks.

The good news is that I will never commit suicide because I’ll never think my house is clean enough.

There has seriously got to be a name for this.  I can’t be the only person that suffers from this syndrome/phobia/virus thing.  I am trying to sensibly confront my fear, but it would help if it had some kind of clever moniker like Triskaidekaphobia (the fear of the number 13 – God I love that word!).  Your job is to identify this disease and, more importantly, let me know if you, too, suffer from it!


Posted on August 17, 2011, in Annoyances, Death, Depression, Phobia and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. That is so funny i am always cleaning out my area at work because if i ever get fired i want to grab my stuff and go! My coworkers think i am insane doing that but i have a fear of getting fired and a bigger fear of needing a uhaul for my junk! I am like you at home also i have extreme anxiety and constantly am thinking if i die what will people think of all my crap! I am also like you and clean it up but it doesnt take long before it is alot of crap everywhere again. Since my recent trauma and because i am now 40 the anxiety about it is 100% worse now! Yours truly crash!

  2. As you lay dying, light a match!

  3. There have been times when I’ve actually thought…”God, I hope nobody breaks into my house. I’ll be so embarrassed by the mess.” I get your phobia! 😦

  4. Hmm, I can relate to almost all of your posts. This is definitely one of them! I heard on the news the other day the fire chief talking about walking into a house after a fire and saying he could tell it was completely a mess- and I thought, God help me never have that happen to me. I want my house only to catch on fire if it’s clean. Hah.

  5. I do not suffer from this phobia I do however, have a rather cluttered house. and if you have read some of my posts you can see that I now blame this on the adult children that live with me. butit has always been this way. I am hoping that when life is just me and the husband it will be different. that may be a false hope but it is a hope non-the-less. I am so happy to find another “messy” out there. thanks for sharing.

  6. Therapy might help! You can come over anytime and clean up the piles of crap your sister consistently leaves around the house. Burn them if you like! You can’t take it with you! I consistently tell your sister that her crap is going to be buried with her no matter how big the hole might be.

  7. Why did we give Chris the link to this blog lol

  8. OMG! I was only thinking about that exact same thing the other day. Feeling sorry for my father, my only surviving relative apart from my young daughter, who would have to go through all the junk and mess! Am soooo glad it’s not just me! Love your blog.

  9. Wow, I have this phobia also!! When you figure out the name of it, let me know!

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