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. 601
    Megan says:

    Okay, I should add my daughter’s phobias. She is 14 months and has walkaphobia. She CAN walk, but chooses not to.
    Her other one is outofmylapphobia. This is cute when I’m sitting on the ground playing with her. It’s less than precious when I’m trying to make dinner.

  2. 602
    Deanna says:

    feetaphobia – they are really cute until they reach the walking age, then it’s all down hill!

  3. 603

    I have ‘shouldileaveacommentwheneverywittythingthatcouldbesaidhasalreadybeensaidbutifisaynothingimissoutonallthefun’-aphobia.

    • 603.1
      Deborah Hipp says:

      YES!! My feelings exactly!!! HAHA LOL 🙂

      Too funny Siestas!

      Okay my phobia…hmmm…floormopaphobia…thankfully everyone around here walks upright on two feet! Really it is the very last thing I do as I don’t like doing it!

    • 603.2
      Lisa Tereshko says:

      Too Cute Lisa!

  4. 604
    Nichole says:

    My BFF decided that for her birthday wish this month she’d like a few of her friends to go “treasure hunting” with her. This means she wants us to go to antique and consignment stores. I cannot explain the fear that came over me upon reading her email invitation. I honestly felt sick to my stomach. I’ve never been on this kind of hunt and have an aversion to stranger’s junk. I am a freakishly sentimental person so it’s not the fact that it’s “used”…just stranger danger all over it! I have no doubt it will be fun to just hang out with some good girlfriends and laugh like crazy people. But I am freaking out! I’m worried about how the stores will smell. Will my friends catch me rolling my eyes or gagging? What if I have to lie to be excited about their purchases? I don’t want to lie, but I don’t want to be the downer either. See…it’s freaking me out! So would this be like a junkaphobia or crapaphobia? I’ll let you decide since you sound like you might be an expert. Love you, Beth!

  5. 605
    Linda J says:

    My children suffer from Putitbackwhereyougotitaphobia. In my entryway are the remains from last weekend’s horse show. Every day since Sunday I have been asking my daughter to return those items to where they belong. She did move the garment bag with her clothes in it, so apparently clothes are exempt from this dreaded disease, but the helmet, saddle pad, scoresheets, ribbons, and riding boots still adorn my entryway. I’d do it for her, but that seems too much like enabling. Perhaps we shall have a deep discussion in regards to her now named phobia tonight.

  6. 606
    Lisa says:

    Dishwasherphobia – the fear of putting dishes into the dishwasher – victim will leave the dishes in the sink (beside the dishwasher) or on the counter (just above the dishwasher).

  7. 607
    Kim says:

    Yes! We have Trashcanaphobia around here DAILY!!
    And its seems like everytime I finish cleaning the kitchen . . . there it is, on the fresh clean counters. You would think that one would say to himself, “Nice clean counter,I’ll just throw this away!” No…it sits till I come in and throw away. We also have Emptytoiletpaperrollaphobia!! I know most of us do!
    That drives me more crazy than the Trashcanaphobia!!

  8. 608
    Amanda says:

    Before living on my own, I used to think that single guys living on their own were the only ones who had “cleanhouseaphobia.” I used to not understand how hard it was to clean their dishes, and vaccuum once a week…at the very least! Then…it happened. I moved in with two single ladies, and the three of us now suffer from “cleanhouseaphobia.” Now this isn’t to say that we don’t clean, or we don’t want to clean, but with each of us bringing our own phobias into play…three seperate phobias + super busy schedules + waiting for the other person to do it = cleanhouseaphobia. One of us has trashcanaphobia with a touch of “cabinetleaveopenaphobia” (leaving the cabinets open after getting something out), one of us has “doghairaphobia” (someone who suffers from ignorning the shedding of our dog), and I myself have “dryerphobia” (the fear of moving clothes from the washer to the dryer)…I also suffer from foldaphobia, and hangaphobia…I just plain have laundryaphobia. Let’s just say I don’t know how my mom kept up with taking care of me all those years….I am a lot of work! I grow more and more thankful for her everyday! 🙂

  9. 609
    KMSmom86 says:

    In our home we have several phobias: sockaphobia, foldaphobia, and pick-it-up-phobia. Alas, I am also a sufferer of iron-a-phobia. I would rather stand by the dryer with clothes hangers than iron the clothes later. A final phobia that I will reveal is…close-the-cabinet-door-phobia. I don’t understand why my family won’t close what they have opened. Oh well…God has given me grace to handle it for nearly 24 years! Codependent that I am, I close what has been left opened, then go on my merry way. Thanks for this topic!

  10. 610
    Julie says:

    My youngest daughter who is three has the “tornadothrutheroom” effect right now. Whatever room she is in for more than five minutes, ends up having everything dumped out and scattered around the room. For this neat freak Mom it can be a little frustating, but it does build character 🙂 She is even starting to be a better helper at clean up time before bedtime. Toddlers are so much fun, they love to turn your life upside down, which I think we definitly need every now and then or life gets boring!

  11. 611
    Sheryl says:



    I have another older male child (28) who has liveonmyownaphobia! (underlined again; are we the only ones?)

    Thanks for the fun.

  12. 612
    Sarah says:

    Oh Beth that is too funny. My husband has “putawayphobia” when it is putting away his dishes when he is done with them. It is like he can’t move them from the counter to the dishwasher and that drives me bananas. But I must confess I have “putawayphobia” when it comes to putting the laundry away. I really don’t like that job, washing them, drying them and folding them I am ok with it is just putting them away. Anyway I guess we all have these little “phobias” that make life interesting.
    Thanks for the fun post

  13. 613
    Sarah says:

    I’m not good with picking out the names, but mine has to do with shoes. I like to have at least three pairs of shoes out at any given time. I mean, you never know when you might need them! My unmentionable family member is afraid of throwing away the pop tart box when said member has eaten the last pop tart. Or say putting the empty milk carton BACK in the fridge. Might be called trashcanaphbia. Said member is really good at taking out the trash though!

  14. 614
    LuAnn says:

    Love it!! You are just so REAL!!! Yes – my family suffers from some of these odd unexplained phobias too. toiletpaperonthedispenserobia two men young and older who can rebuild a motor and remanufacture any part known to man, can not figure out how the rolls of toilet paper miraculously end up on the roller/dispenser again and again. Some others in our house also suffer from a unexplained fear of clothes hampers. clotheshamperaphobia. Also an older member of our family suffers from dishwasheraphobia, it’s a fear of actually loading dirty dishes in the dishwasher, they can get them to the counter which is above the dishwasher but to actually open the dishwasher and load it in, is just to much. But if this fear is conqured long enough to open the door the dishes will intentionally be put in the dishwasher incorrectly to avoid being asked to face this fear again in the futer. Now the female side of our family (me) suffers from fear of the giant lawn mowerer we own, it’s a woman killer for sure. I will hence forth refer to this fear as womankillermoweraphobia. No way will I admit or touch this mower because if I do, I’ll be mowing all by myself!! :o)

  15. 615
    Elaine Seiler says:

    I’m all for the ‘fun’ of the topic but some of you have some serious issues if you can’t even touch raw meat!!!! Hellooooo, that’s why we have soap!!! I have 5 children and a husband who have the trashcanphobia. They also seem to have a fear of the dish rag because they never wipe up the counter after they make a mess on it! Aarrgghhh! (: At least the majority of us don’t have to go out to the barn yard and kill the chicken, take off the feathers, and cut it up before setting it on the table for supper.

  16. 616
    Kari says:

    How about hamperaphobia for one family member and coathangerphobia for the other members of my family!!

  17. 617
    Robin says:

    We suffer from toolaphobia, resulting in many unfinished projects and dustbunniaphobia, fear of dusting. We blame the latter on allergies. Really?

  18. 618
    Rachelle says:

    mine would be much like the others… foldaphobia… i despise putting clothes away!! they make it from the dryer to the chair in my room and that is about it! i have no husband to do my laundry 🙂 … and my roommate looks into my room with WIDE EYES often due to the mound of CLEAN clothes on my chair! it is really quite the sickness! 🙂 glad we’re not alone in our phobias!!

  19. 619
    Sara says:

    This is GREAT!!! And I thought it was just my husband that had trashcanphobia and cabinetdoorphobia! The orange peels on the counter is exactly what I find, too! And almost every day when I get home from work there are a couple cabinet doors open! This made my day!!!!

  20. 620
    Dionna says:

    Oh I have unfriedaphobia too! 🙂 I also have confrontationobia and coldaphobia. (And I live in Idaho! I keep saying I need to live somewhere warmer!) 🙂

  21. 621
    Cindy says:

    A certain someone I love dearly suffers from closedcabinetaphobia. Once something is taken from the cabinet, the doors must stay open. I made the mistake of mentioning this one day and came downstairs the next morning to find every single kitchen cabinet door wide open. God bless him, he makes me laugh!

    Thanks for making us all smile today, Beth.

  22. 622
    Debra says:

    Oh how fun…my loved one has drycleanertagaphobia. He simply refuses to take the drycleaner tags off his clothes when he wears them. So when I gather his clothes to take to the cleaners I have to pull all the tags off. So annoying. Most of the time I put all the tags I rip off in his sock drawer.

  23. 623
    marci in amsterdam says:

    Love the pictures, especially the tape measure. I also took a picture for evidence not too long ago. While my husband was away on a business trip, my 2 year old son had a massive diaper malfunction on an upholstered chair. While very disgusting and embarrassing to admit, I took a picture of it. It was too amazing for my husband to miss. I also thought it would come in handy for tipping the balance in favor of a day out for me after he returned.

  24. 624
    Marti says:

    I have unloadthedishwasheraphobia. Completely unrelated to loadthedishwasheraphobia…I have no issues with that.

  25. 625
    Jennifer says:

    My 3 year old has pantiesfallingoffaphobia. She is preoccupied with pulling up her panties as high as they will go and will scream if she believes her panties are falling off. It is ridiculous since most of the time she is wearing pants or short that would prevent them from falling off. I wonder how small do thongs come? She would be a prime candidate.

  26. 626
    Erika says:

    I am Technophobic. My symptoms include, but aren’t confined to: My cell phone contract has been up for a little over four years. I am content with my old Motorolla Razor, pushing the number buttons several times to find the right letter, number, or symbol when I text. I average 1-3 texts a month. I would rather call, and I don’t do that very often. I am rolling my eyes at my husband who is considering on purchasing either a Nook or Kindle2 this month. I love books. I love the smell of books, bookstores and libraries. I love the warm feeling of a book in my hand, rather than the new, cold, sterile form of books. I get frustrated with and upset every time a new version of Windows comes out because I just learned the last one. And finally, I would rather listen to artists sing their songs in the acoustic version rather than the electric one.

  27. 627
    Jen Griffin says:

    I love it! My daughter’s have everything to do with laundryphobia – they are 11 and 7. Symptoms include but are not limited to:

    1. Can’t find the hamper – our beagle loves her some underwear on the floor! 🙂
    2. When hamper is found, “how much can be shoved in it” happens
    3. Can’t seem to turn anyything “right-side out” before bringing clothes to be
    4. Still can’t figure out pile categories
    5. Once folded by me, they then put their clothes on a chair which will eventually
    make it to the floor and into the hamper…..
    6. Cycle continues……

    But I love them anyway!! There isn’t an intervention worthy of the fight at this age! It will have to take peer pressure to have the “right” clothes for a certain occasion and when those clothes are wrinkled at the bottom of the hamper – clean- then they’ll care!

    Good thing I don’t have any phobias! (wink)
    Have a Great Day!
    Jen in Jax

  28. 628
    April says:

    I have family members with takethetrashoutaphobia. This strange affliction results in stuffing the trash can full to overflowing in hopes that someone else will take the trash out. Another manifestation is just leaving the full trash bags on the kitchen floor or in the garage instead of taking it to the garbage can outside.

  29. 629
    Laura says:

    I was JUST THINKING about this earlier this morning!!! My sweetie’s is “dirtyclothesbasketaphobia”. Seriously, how could you possibly leave dirty clothes on the floor RIGHT NEXT TO THE BASKET, pray tell? I’d love to post a pic, but today, it’s the dirty underclothes…maybe a little too personal?!

  30. 630
    Michele says:

    People in my office building have these two phobias that work together . . . waterfaucetphobia and wateronbathroomcounterphobia. I understand not wanting to touch the faucet to turn the water off with clean hands but in the process, hands are washed, dripping wet hands go across counter to get paper towels, hands dried, water turned off with paper towel and thrown away, multiple water spots all over wet counter that you can’t set a purse down. I would like to see the wateronbathroomcounterphobiacs dry off the water they left on the counter.

  31. 631
    Becca says:

    I didn’t read all of the comments, but did someone mention takingshirtsoffrightsideoutaphobia? or takingsocksoffwithoutballingthemupaphobia? My sweet hubs has both of those to the nth degree….. 🙂

  32. 632
    Kristin says:

    Please tell me where you got your fruit stand in the background of the picture, holding the oranges???? My fruit basket just isn’t cutting it anymore. Maybe I’m phobic of my old fruit basket…….fruitbasketaphobia.

  33. 633
    Becca says:

    My twin sister can’t even stand hearing someone wipe DRY hands on a paper towel. The sound is like nails on a chalk board. Dryhandsonpapertowelphopia. She suffers from DHOPT.

  34. 634
    Lindsee says:

    I am laughing so very hard right now! How I JUST NOW read this post is beyond me. I do have a number of phobias, but one recently that is overtaking my life is “hangaphobia”. I can’t seem to hang all my clothes up before they get wrinkled. Can we just fold every piece of clothing? I think that’s much easier. Sweet mercy!

  35. 635
    Addie says:

    I have putcleanclothesawayaphobia. My dearest does all the laundry, but draws the line at putting mine away for me…so what’s a girl to do? I leave it on the couch and coffee table for weeks. It’s pretty.

    My dearest, on the other hand, suffers from throwsodabottlesawayaphobia. You should see his nightstand. There are usually no less than 3-4 Coke Zero bottles on there at any given time. It’s pretty. 🙂

  36. 636

    The first one is serious. I do suffer from a mild to moderate case of insectswithmorethansixlegsaphobia. Seeing insects with more than 6 legs will send me into fits. I call my husband’s name extremely loudly until he comes to get said insect and dispose of it properly.

    On the lighter side, I also suffer from shoephobia. I absolutely hate to wear shoes and will not wear them unless it is absolutely necessary.

    I also suffer from can’tthrowpaperawayuntilIatleastlookatitoncephobia. Thus, the state of my computer desk. Papers everywhere! I’m organized everywhere else in my life, but not there.

    Also suffer from a mild case of foldaphobia. I can have my girls fold their laundry and put it away but mine, hubby’s and 2 year old’s clothes seem to not be able to move from off the couch to the dresser. Have been gaining some slight victory in this area, PTL!

  37. 637
    Susan in GA says:

    Too funny! Do you think maybe it is hereditary? I wonder what Adam did with the apple core that Eve gave him? Did she have to pick it up after him?

  38. 638
    mariel says:

    that is hilarious!! But good to know I am not alone…my dear loved one suffers from “dishwasherphobia”. Though our sink is RIGHT NEXT to our dishwasher (as most are), he failed EVERY time to put the dishes INTO the dishwasher. I have decided it is a fear that it may swallow him whole if he opens the door of it!! 🙂

  39. 639
    Samantha says:

    Dishwasherphobia: My tall, strong, hunk of a man can somehow get his dishes to the countertop above the dishwasher, but is unable to open the door and put them inside. There must be some sort of “man”-eating monster within who also manages to sanitize our plates, cups & stainless!

  40. 640
    April Lewis says:

    I just have to say that I am sooooo happy I stumbled across this blog on this day! Foldaphobia I am!!! But on the off handed chance I get it folded, I will suffer putawayphobia. .. But honestly around here.. we suffer from cleanupphobia period. I have an older woman-friend who informed me that a messy house is lived in and once they are grown a spotless house is pretty boring. 😉

  41. 641
    Susan says:

    My husband has hamperphobia – he actually leaves the clothes on top of the lid hamper instead of putting it inside!

  42. 642
    Rosie O says:

    Our Family has all kinds of phobias. Some on the same line as Jodi’s family – too tired to put the clothes in the basket phobia, one that sits next to a waste basket but leaves gum wrappers on the desk, another who won’t touch a trash can, if possible phobia. Then we have I don’t make my bed phobia and cooking is not for me phobia, oh, and lest we forget, I don’t’ have time to walk my dog phobia……… How does anything ever get done???? LOL!

  43. 643
    Rhondaz says:

    My husband, and 2 of my children (the 8 & 5 yr olds) live in constant terror of the laundry basket. The 2 yr old cleans up after ALL of them!!

  44. 644
    Brooke says:

    Oh yes…in my home we have the luandrybasketphobia, the trashcanphobia, and the hookbyhedoorwhereyou caneasilyhangyourbagphobia, also toiletpaperholderphobia is chronic here. I think i could go on, but you may catch something! I have started to charge a littering fine of 50 cents every time I find litter lying around. The highway dept. does it, why can’t I? It has worked to some extent. The other night my daughter said look mom..I’m throwing away my wrapper!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!AMEN!!Sorry i just had to!

  45. 645
    Lisa Tereshko says:

    I chuckled when I read this posting! I had to share it with my husband this morning. He got a good laugh especially because he is married to a closedcabinetaphobic. I have the terrible habit of not closing kitchen cabinets. One time my husband actually opened all the cabinet doors in the kitchen when I was not there to see my reaction. I laughed when I enter the kitchen and discovered his joke. I think he thought he might have cured me with that prank, but alas I am still suffering from my illness.

  46. 646
    Susan Lisa says:

    Our two teens have “putthecleanclothesawayphobia”! Their clothes are washed, dried, folded, placed in baskets and carried (by them) into their rooms where they proceed to rummage through the basket daily! The clean clothes never see to make it to the closet!

  47. 647
    Betsy says:

    Someone whom I dearly love and share the master bedroom with, has hamperphobia. The hamper is no more than 6 feet away, yet there is always a stack of dirty clothes on the rocking chair, socks on the floor, etc…

  48. 648
    April says:

    Washinghandsphobia! My children have this, especially my 6 year old son! He will go to GREAT lengths to make sure that he does not have to wash his hands after using the restroom, especially in a public place. He will ask us to touch all of the possible disgusting places, like flushing the toilet or locking the door, so that he will not have to wash his hands. He works harder at figuring out how not to have to wash his hands than he would just washing his hands. It is hilarious!

  49. 649
    Jennifer says:

    I didn’t read this until today and that’s ok. The Lord knew today was when I needed it. I suffer greatly from wetsockophobia. I don’t want wet socks within 10 miles of my feet. I don’t like touching them (which is difficult at laundry time). My son is taking swimming lessons and his flippers were a bit big. The instructor said, “Just have him wear socks with them.” WHAT?!?!? He’s perfectly fine with it though. The Lord really did know what He was doing giving a wetsockophobe mom a precious wetsockophile for a son.


  50. 650
    JJC says:

    A certain member of my family is a recovering flushthepotophobiac. The other of us has been diagnosed with stinkysmellophobia and is not experiencing the same success in therapy.

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