Trashcanaphobia and Other Inexplicable Fears

I wonder if anyone but me has a loved one (whose identity I will guard with my life) who suffers from a little known fear I have chosen to call Trashcanaphobia. Maybe it is not your loved one. Maybe it is you. See if any of this sounds familiar. Sufferers of Trashcanaphobia inexplicably leave all sorts of things – used Splenda packets, or even running shoes, for instance – on otherwise spotless kitchen counters for hours on end or until a codependent loved one moves them. Here’s the definitive part of the diagnosis: and all the while with the trash can only a few feet away. After watching this strange phenomenon for a matter of years (I’ll not say exactly how many), I have come to the conclusion that said sufferer cannot help it. Said sufferer obviously has a terror of trash cans.

Here is a recent documentation of this little-explored and afore unexplained phenomenon:

This very morning, my mind was even further expanded concerning phobias when Melissa’s cell phone dropped in the middle of rich conversation as it does every single morning. I called her back and got the usual voice mail, then about 10 minutes later like clockwork she rang my line. I answered the phone with, “I bet anything your cell battery was dead.”

“Yep, it was.” (It almost always is.) “Colin told me yesterday that he can come up with no further explanation for why I constantly have a dead battery except for an undiagnosed fear of phone chargers.”

So, that’s two of them in our family at least. We’ll call that one “Cellchargaphobia.” I think my daughters told you several years ago that I have a phobia of unfried foods. We’ll call it “Unfriedaphobia.” I’ve gotten some victory over it the last few years but it is still my phobia of choice.

So, please say it’s not just the Moores. Any odd family phobias out there?

PS. We’re having fun here today. Those in a mood to take themselves too seriously will want to find a different blog for the next 24 hours. You are dearly loved but we’ll talk to you later in the week.


970 Responses to “Trashcanaphobia and Other Inexplicable Fears”

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  1. 551
    Paige Hume says:

    LOVE IT!!!!!!
    Made me laugh out loud!
    They REALLY can’t help themselves – I blame their mother’s enabling – heaven help me NOT to enable my boys!

  2. 552
    Kim says:

    I have a couple of loved ones who suffer from trashcanaphobia and cantclosethecabinetdooraphobia. It drives me crazy!!!

  3. 553
    Michelle says:

    All I can say is that I feel your pain, sister. I have a “loved one” who also suffers from “trashcanaphobia.” It has baffled me for…well, a little over 12 years now. He also appears to suffer from “shuttingdresserdrawersaphobia,” as well as “closingcabinetdoorsaphobia.” So, I’m constantly picking up the slack for my aforementioned loved one. But I owe him…I myself suffer from expresswayphobia, but he always gets me where I need to go 😉 I s’pose I can throw a few things away for him, and shut a few drawers/cabinets!

  4. 554
    Rhonda says:

    In our house it’s the “replacetoiletpaperphobia.” The rule is the one that empties it, replaces it. Oddly it seems I’m always the last one to empty. Even gets down to 2 little squares hanging on for dear life…just waiting for my special touch! In 2 bathrooms no less. Amazing.

  5. 555
    Courtney says:

    I have dirty dishes phobia. I can’t stand to have dirty dishes in the sink at any given time.It’s so bad that I went to my brothers house the other day and he wasn’t home and there were dishes in the sink and I couldn’t leave until they were dry and put away. I love how God made us so very unique!!

  6. 556
    Amanda Stone says:

    I have what I call- finishthedishesphobia. My husband is always baffled by no matter what, there is always at least one thing left in the sink after I do the dishes. Its the weirdest thing. I love to clean and get the dishes done, but I always leave one dish for later. HA! (I am laughing out loud at myself right now) I have yet to figure it out. Maybe its the only way I can let my rebelliousness out!


  7. 557
    Terri Lynn says:

    My dear loved one has wipefeetaphobia. So I, being the clever housekeeper, bought a 3×6 foot runner to place on hardwood floor to help with the problem. Surely after 6 feet of walking most of outdoor residue would be off the feet? Said loved one steps to side of runner in order not to mess up rug. Said loved one says the phobia is in actuality ican’twaittoseeyouphobia, that is why said loved one dosen’t remember to wipe their feet. We are still working on this phobia, however after 32 years I have resigned myself to become extremely loyal to my broom and mop. Which has caused some distancephobia, lol just kidding, at this point I just praise the Lord, shake my head and reuite with said broom after satisfying said loved ones “ican’twaittoseeyouphobia” with a hug.

  8. 558
    Kim Robertson says:

    My family seems to suffer from “Laundrybasketaphobia”. Clothes can pile up inches from the laundry basket, but not quite get into the basket! I bet others have this fear as well!

  9. 559
    Rachael says:

    anyone have any food phobias? (like eating them not touching them) I’m afraid to eat spinach because raw it’s a leaf, not food, and cooked it looks like the seaweed that will cling to my leg when I go to the beach. Nature is pretty, but not in my mouth.

  10. 560
    Christine P says:

    In our house we have the following Phobias:

    Stopputtingtherubberbandaroundthehandsprayeronthekitchensinkaphobia (pronounced: Stop-putting-the-rubberband-around-the-handstrayer-on the-kitchen sink – aphobia) This was is pretty bad in our house. I love doing it though. LOL!!! Get’s him everytime!! LOL!! You would think after being together for 11 years he would learn. LOL!!!!

    WOOO – What a great way to start the day!!!

  11. 561

    How about TP rollaphobia. No one in my family (6) likes to put a new roll of toliet paper on the holder. Anyone else got that problem?

  12. 562
    Kathleen says:

    I KNEW as soon as I saw the pic of the orange peels on the counter. The thought went through my head …. oh my goodness, surely not K—h too.

    My J–f is a founding member of this condition. They should study him. I even spent $100.00 to buy a trash can that opens automatically when your hand approaches it. Thinking something fun and tech savvy would appeal to him and he’d LEARN TO USE IT! But no. He still suffers.

    On the bright side, my 3 year old grandson loves it. He puts his baby sister paci in it every chance he gets.

  13. 563
    deborahc26 says:

    My husband has 2:
    put books back on shelf-aphobia: He reads multiple books simultaneously. When he wants to start yet another reading adventure, he stacks the paused books on the floor near the bed. He has about 15 stacks approx. 6-8 books high. He also reads in the “reading room.” He has 4 stacks in there. Drives me crazy!
    rinse aluminum cans-aphobia: We recycle aluminum cans. He “forgets” to rinse his cans. He just stacks them on the kitchen counter awaiting the “maid’s” arrival (aka me)! LOL
    As we all know, no amount of cajoling cures these conditions. Whatever will they do when we go home to be with the Lord?

  14. 564
    Kappy Travis says:

    “chairaphobia” – fear of pushing in the chairs at the kitchen table after they have been abandoned

  15. 565

    I share your pain, siestas!! I have some foldaphobia and a loved one with traschcanaphobia. It’s not easy to deal with – but when you love someone, what choice do you have?? 🙂

  16. 566
    Erica says:

    My husband has dishwasheraphobia. He doesn’t do the dishes; he organizes them. I always have neat piles of dishes on the counter after dinner.

  17. 567
    Dee says:

    What a fun time I’ve had with these comments. I actually feel quite normal now! I’m not so sure my poor husband would agree but he’s gotten used to the fact that he will probably stumble over at least 3 pairs of shoes if he should wander through the house in the dark. (hey! that’s probably some kind of phobia too–the I can’t sleep when she’s snoring so I’ll roam around the house until I tire myself out completely phobia). I feel better now!

  18. 568
    Stephanie Gregory says:

    Aplaceforeverythingandeverythinginitsplaceaphobia. My entire household suffers from this. My sweet mom was so perfect at keeping things orderly (and she always said we have a place for everything and everything needs to be in it’s place) and I have no idea what happened to me. My house stays pretty straight, but things are never put in the same place twice. Drives me crazy, but I can’t stop it. HELP! 🙂 Thanks for the laugh!

  19. 569
    abbylane says:

    EYELASHCURLERaphobia-lucky I have long lashes cause those contraptions

    WATERBETWEENFINGERSaphobia-biggest petpeeve in the world-leaving bathroom without fully dry hands.

    BLOCKBUSTERaphobia-i can never return a movie on time

  20. 570
    Cyndi says:

    The phobias are running rampant at my house! From trashcanaphobia to hangtowelaphobia to hamperaphobia (using a dirty clothes hamper instead of the floor) and boxbreakdownaphobia (inability to break down a box for recycling). I am developing lazykidaphobia (fear that my kids will be lazy their whole lives!)

    Thanks for the humor! I love a good light-hearted laugh at the not so important things in life. We can all relate!

  21. 571
    Michelle Buhl says:

    I absolutley cannot open a can of biscuits. We can call it popOphobia. I cannot stand when the can pops open in my hand. It scares me. I have tried everything. Opening it on the counter, opening it on the pan, opening it underwater…but the only thing that works or ever has is this…my little sister has to do it. I am now 31 years old, and my little sister is 26, and she still has to do it whenever we are together. When we are not together, I honestly don’t make biscuits. About a month ago I taught her four year old son, Ezra my only nephew to open biscuits. He thought it was real real neat and that he was helping, the truth was we weren’t having any biscuits unless he opened them…

  22. 572
    Arlet says:

    Oh my – all these years I’ve thought my husband was just plain sloppy when he put his dirty laundry on the floor next to the hamper, when in reality he’s afraid of it!! I’m so glad I know the truth.

  23. 573
    Marlys says:

    In our house it’s silverwarephobia… fear of washing silverware. Dishes will get washed and a pile of silverware will remain at the bottom of the sink. ??? Or pick-it-up-phobia… which is the fear of actually picking something up, even though you’ve stepped over it 100 times. I have litereally picked something up off the floor only to hear “oh I’m glad that got picked up”. ???

    I’m convinced that my eyes differ greatly from those of my husband and son. We truly “see” different things when we walk into a room!

  24. 574
    Joan says:

    Though I suffer from trashcanaphobia and many others, many in my home suffer from icecubetrayaphobia. never were the ice cube trays refilled – they were set out in fear upon the sink. in rethinking, it must be a carrying water-in-tray-apobia because they carried the empty ice cube tray to the sink and then ran away in major fear and trepidation.

  25. 575
    Shannan says:

    Two certain young ladies in my home have closethepantrydooraphobia. Oh, they close it, but NEVER all the way. It’s always open about 4 inches. They seem to be able to close every other door in the house EXCEPT this one. I just don’t get it!

  26. 576
    Joan says:

    i also suffer from whatiftheirfoodisbetterapobia – i always have to order last when eating out!!!!!

  27. 577
    Shannon says:

    A few of my own phobias

    Weird, I know! =]

  28. 578
    Kristi Walker says:

    OK…we have lots of phobias around here. I’m a cleanaholic. My husband isn’t. My children are split down the middle with 2 on the “clean team” and 2 on the “if you can still find it, it’s not lost so it’s fine where it is” team.

    My oldest son has ketchupaphobia. He really hates getting his fingers dirty, so he MUST have a napkin(or five)to eat anything. When he was two, he would hold a french fry all the way on the tip so ketchup wouldn’t touch his fingers. Yep, total ketchaphobic there. He’s almost 16…he still hates for ketchup to touch his fingers.

    I think I have mopaphobia, too. I’d rather eat a dirt sandwich than mop. And I LOVE to vacuum. It’s soothing. Weird…

    Kristi Walker 39
    happily married to my high school sweetie (all our phobias must work well together!)
    South Carolina

  29. 579
    Anna says:

    Closethecabinetdooraphobia. It’s dangerous after ‘someone’ puts up dishes. And I’ll admit to Putupshoesaphobia. By leaving them lying around, shoes are much easier to find!

  30. 580
    Twila Baker says:

    I have a wonderful beautiful teenage daughter that has cantpickupmystuffphobia.Every afternoon bookbag, keys,and lots of shoes left in the kitchen bar area! Her room and her laundry hamper is another one! On the other hand, my Hubby is pretty good at picking up after himself so I guess it all gets balanced out.
    Have a fun day!

  31. 581
    Dee Dee says:

    Yes! Someone in my household suffers from dirtyclothesaphobia. Said person simply cannot put their clothes in the MANY laundry baskets around the house. Instead, their dirty clothes can be found by the side of the bed, on the bathroom vanity, on the end of the bed, and socks can be found absolutely everywhere! I have considered putting yet another laundry basket by the side of the bed where most of the infractions occur – but I’m fairly certain that this person will simply find another location for their dirty clothes.

  32. 582
    Gayle says:

    WAAAY off topic, but can I just tell you that I LOVE this new comment format?! WordPress = good move! (Even though I know it’s taken some getting used to for y’all).

  33. 583
    dana says:

    PS – After reading about what others were asking what is on the shelf above the trash can I looked at picture again. Love your kitchen, Beth! Did you get your coffee maker repaired that is the coolest looking kitchen appliance I’ve ever seen? I was looking for it in the pic and don’t see it. Have a great day!

  34. 584
    Bonnie Northen says:

    My phobia is “deskcleanaphobia” because somehow, my desk at home gets piled up with unfiled papers and things I want to read, and important other stuff, like coupons I want to save because I might need them, and the airplane tickets for our trip to Disney World, and bills I need to pay, and notes and letters I want to write, and really cute pictures I just had to print from my plethora of computer photos of my grandchildren. The funny thing is that my desk at work is relatively neat and tidy and all up to date. It’s that one at home that gives me a fit. Despite my best intentions, it seems to grow while I am sleeping. Go figure!

  35. 585
    butterfulymama says:

    Someone in my house (who will also remain nameless) suffers horribly from “laundrybasket/hamperaphobia” The clothes will be piled on the floor not 5 inches (not an exaggeration) away from the hamper.

  36. 586
    Tammy says:

    (laugh out loud!) I will have to say a particular person in my family, too, has some trashcanaphobia!

    I’m sure if my husband were writing this he would tell you that I have “toiletpaperrollaphobia” I set the toiletpaper on TOP of the roller instead of ON the roller!

    Enjoy your having fun day : )
    Tammy in SD

  37. 587
    Megan says:

    My 3 year-old son has sharephobia. It’s funny to think about in terms of a phobia because he really does seem afraid that if he shares his toys, the other kids will take them home. Luckily, I have a major case of selfishkidphobia so I’m working on fighting the good fight so that, Lord willing, I don’t end up with a selfish kid! 🙂

  38. 588
    DLynn says:

    I believe a double X chromosome is required for those higher order thinking skills. Doesn’t every woman deal with this?

  39. 589
    Jodi says:

    I have texture aphobia, there are certain textures of foods( such as cake and pie crust) and clothing( anything too rough) that I can not stand. I also have certainsoundaphobia which is sounds such a someone swinging their flip flopped feet against the floor making that awful sound! Yikes… goosebumps galore! This happen last night in my class at church and it about drove me nuts!! LOL .. I am a bit weird. 🙂

  40. 590
    Tracy says:

    LOL!!! A certain unnamed person in this house has a hamperaphobia. Dirty laundry not put IN the hamper but beside it, on top of it, etc. NO KIDDING!! 🙂 But, to be fair, I have
    takeoutthetrashaphobia. 🙁

  41. 591
    Donna B. says:

    Just yesterday, I found the little plastic newspaper wrapper/protector thingy on our kitchen bench, while my middle daughter was sitting on the end of this same kitchen table reading her morning comics. I asked her why on earth couldn’t she just reach over and put the thing in the trash can, (which was much closer to where she was sitting than where I found it on the bench). Now I understand! She too suffers from trashcanaphobia! For that matter she suffers from puttingthingsawaywhensheisdonewiththemphobia, whether it be trash, food containers, dishes, clothes, shoes…you get the picture. :)…
    Like many others, I suffer from matchingcleansocksphobia, so now I just throw them all in a laundry basket and let the kids fish them out for themselves.
    I also suffer from sayinggoodbyephobia–I always say “see ya later”…
    Thanks for the good laughs siestas :).
    See Ya Later : ),
    Donna Benjamin

  42. 592
    Lichelle says:

    I have a shoesneverendupintheclosetphobia… I just come home kick them off and before I know it I have a stack of shoes piled up in the corner of my room. I get frustrated and move them back into the closet and then darn if I look around again and there they are… I think they like to walk themselves out on their on when I am not looking.

    Love you all!

  43. 593
    Stacy Featherston says:

    We also have DISHWASHERAPHOBIA at my house…like Faran, ours to would sink to the correct location if they were able to get through the counter top…lol. You girls are a blast and add such LAUGHTER to my life. I love ya!!!

  44. 594
    elawhorn says:

    My family suffers from cleanvanphobia, putthemilkbackinfridgephobia, putupgroceriesphobia, feedYOURdogphobia, and wrongsideoutdirtysocksphobia among us! Well, with 4 male teenagers one might expect better? Not here!

    Not to ruin the humor, but could you Siestas please pray for my brother and sister in Nashville who have lost everything but a few clothes in the flooding there last week? The 1000 year flood hit and will be amazing to see God’s hand as they deal with loss. thanks

  45. 595
    Tami says:

    This cracked me UP!!! My husband has dishwasherloadaphobia and turnthelightsoffaphobia. He’ll rinse and neatly stack the dishes on one side of the sink instead of just as easily placing them into the dishwasher. And he leaves the lights on in the closet all the time, like he’s worried that the clothes are scared of the dark. But to be fair, I have putthereceiptbythecomputeraphobia. Drives him crazy when he’s trying to keep up with our online banking.

  46. 596
    Trinna says:

    Hysterical! We pretty much represent all the laundry-related phobias discussed here. We also suffer from sleeppast5AMaphobia (my daughter) and smallsupplyofdietcokeaphobia.

  47. 597
    HoosierMama says:

    Here at my house there are many sufferers of laundrybasketphobia. But the most prominent phobia is rinsethetoothpasteoutofthesinkphobia; this terrible affliction is characterized by the inability to rinse the expelled toothpaste down the sink drain whereby it becomes a white crusty substance that coats the sinks. Alas, I am not perfect so I am admitting my bondage to putupaphobia and sockaphobia.

  48. 598
    Sarah says:

    I bring hope to those of you with foldaphobia and puttingclothesawayaphobia. I used to have both and, though I am still working to overcome my fears, I have made much progress. We too used to live out of the laundry basket full of clean clothes. I created a “laundry couch” in the family room and made that my space where the laundry would get folded. And the laundry would get folded (well, except for socks and underwear which had a laundry basket of their own). And there the folded laundry would stay for many moons. Every morning we would have to run downstairs to obtain clothes to wear that day. And finally, I am able to (most of the time) fold the laundry the day it is washed, put it back in the basket folded, set the laundry basket on the steps, and then actually put the laundry away before going to bed at night. It’s a miracle!

    Of course, I can’t say it has been without struggles. I still have the folded laundry from two days ago on the “laundry couch,” the clean unfolded laundry from yesterday in the laundry basket, and one more load in the washer. Ok, so this week isn’t going that well, but I still give you hope of overcoming your fears. There may be backsliding at times, but YOU CAN DO IT! It’s amazing how good it feels to have all the laundry put away for the 8 hours I am sleeping until I wake up the next morning to wash another load of laundry.

  49. 599
    Pat in Olathe says:

    Beth, you made my day — again! I needed to LOL today!! I have stickyfeetophobia. I HATE to have my feet stick to the bottom of my shoes! So I wear little footies you can buy (like the old-fashioned Peds my mother wore) that just cover your toes, and they’re padded on the bottom, so no one sees them and my feet are happy! Isn’t it crazy what will make our day?! I’m sure our feet will never sweat in Heaven! 🙂

  50. 600
    Trinna says:

    Hysterical! We pretty much represent all the laundry-related phobias discussed here. We also suffer from
    1) sleeppast5AMaphobia (my daughter) and
    2) smallsupplyofcaffeinatedbeveragesaphobia (see #1).

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