By DEB GRUVER
Ann admitted 10 years ago that her compulsion to stock up on household goods — from high-quality bed linens and luxurious soaps to everyday items such as cleaning supplies and toilet paper — had become a problem.
She rarely invited anyone inside her four-bedroom house because of the stuff piled up.
Her compulsion to hoard had started years before, after she graduated from college, said the Wichita woman, who did not want her full name published.
"I bought my first case of toilet paper, first case of paper towels," she recalled. "My friends used to laugh at me, but they would all ask me for toilet paper. My mother used to buy everything by the case, so I thought that's what I was to do. Everything I bought, I bought a lot of it."
She tried to keep everything contained in one room, but it started "oozing out of that room a little bit, like it was leaking out. If you needed something, I probably had it."
Although she now identifies herself as a hoarder, Ann is quick to point out "I don't buy trash. I buy good stuff, but I buy a lot of it."
On Friday, mental health professionals, experts on aging, professional organizers, law enforcement and others will meet for the Wichita/Sedgwick County Hoarding Coalition's daylong conference, "All Alone in a Crowded Room.".." More