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. 701
    Kathy Juenke says:

    I live with someone who has a different form of trashcanaphobia….perhaps it would be called trashcanbagaphobia…fear of putting a new bag in the trash can that you just emptied!!!:) Love that person so stinkin’ much though! Perhaps rehab soon!!! LOL! I also suffer from the laundryfoldaphobia….always a mountain of laundry to be folded!!! Glad I am in such Godly company on this one!!!

  2. 702
    Gail says:

    TOOOO funny! I have dustaphobia. I don’t like touch it, even with a dust rag.

  3. 703
    Lonna says:

    That is hilarious and what makes it funnier is that you measured the distance between the peels and the garbage can. I have an odd quirk too that my sweet husband says nothing about but my girls sure do! Whenever I work out I take a towel with me to wipe the sweat off my face. I don’t wipe my pits or anything, just my face and neck. So when I get home I never know if I should put it in the laundry or just save it for the next gym trip, so what do I do? I toss it on the pool table, or the counter, or the mantle of our faux fireplace and there it sits and the next time I go to the gym do I grab that towel? NO…. I get a clean one!!!! What???? Now that I’ve written this I am going to have to deal with it. Why do I get suckered into these blogs? Have a fabulous weekend everyone.

  4. 704
    Marcia Austin says:

    Okay, so last night I realized I had grocerylistaphobia all week, which in turn lead to groceryshoppingphobia. So, I was reduced to serving my family hot dogs for dinner.

  5. 705
    Rebecca says:

    We live in an area of Birmingham, AL that is basically built on a rock bluff, so we have a septic tank and no garbage disposal. My husband and 15 year old son obviously suffer from FOODINTHESINKAPHOBIA…. they will actually load the dishwasher (Thanks be to God for that!), but will NEVER get the bits of food out of the sink after loading it since it requires actually getting a paper towel and cleaning the sink out. Obviously, they are terrified of the tiny bits of food left in the sink and have to run away from it as soon as the dishes have been loaded…. Of course they, along with my 9 year old, suffer from the common HAMPERAPHOBIA since their clothes always wind up on the floor “near” the hamper, but never “in” the hamper. Please pray for all three of them!

  6. 706
    Rebecca says:

    May 7, 2010 at 10:00 am
    We live in an area of Birmingham, AL that is basically built on a rock bluff, so we have a septic tank and no garbage disposal. My husband and 15 year old son obviously suffer from FOODINTHESINKAPHOBIA…. they will actually load the dishwasher (Thanks be to God for that!), but will NEVER get the bits of food out of the sink after loading it since it requires actually getting a paper towel and cleaning the sink out. Obviously, they are terrified of the tiny bits of food left in the sink and have to run away from it as soon as the dishes have been loaded…. Of course they, along with my 9 year old, suffer from the common HAMPERAPHOBIA since their clothes always wind up on the floor “near” the hamper, but never “in” the hamper. Please pray for all three of them!

  7. 707
    Stacy Bosma says:

    I LOVE this! The biggest phobia in our house is dishwaseraphobia! For some reason a certain person cannot put dishes IN the dishwasher but must set them on the counter ABOVE the dishwasher…this certain person has rubbed off on the next generation in our house…our oldest has said “________does it so why can’t I?” It’s a battle….but I love my life! :o) Blessings to you all!!! Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. 708
    Rhonda says:

    The main phobia around here is the laundrybasket phobia.
    Or its just a compulsion to throw the clothes on the floor. They could stay there for days!!!

  9. 709
    Betsy says:

    Beth, Amanda and Melissa,

    Have you seen this?? It’s very sweet and funny. A good description of why we all love Beth!

    #2 & #4 are my favorites on the list…

  10. 710
    Leanne from Canada says:

    How many pairs of pants can you hang on an open bifold door??

    If you know the answer, then you too have….putmypantsonahangeraphobia!!

    I stopped mentioning it some time ago, and if it really bugs me I hang them up and close the closet doors.Maybe bifolds really were created as an extension of the closet!!

  11. 711
    Cory says:

    I have many of the others mentioned here, but also recyclephobia (letting the recycling pile up in the kitchen and not taking it to the garage to the recycle bins!)

  12. 712
    Carin says:

    Thank you for this reminder to smile when others don’t do things exactly as I think they should. I am way to tense about it.

  13. 713
    Erin says:

    How about Laundryroomphobia- fear of taking dirty clothes to the laundry room. This fear can paralyze my family to the point of dropping dirty clothes and towels on the carpeted hallway in front of the laundry room, instead of opening the door to the laundry room. 🙂

  14. 714
    Jean says:

    I’m unsure who this person is because I seem to never actually witness this occurrence. Not to mention everyone denies that they are the culprit. Their phobia must be terribly embarassing to them to have such secrecy surrounding thier phobia. Their phobia is “clotheshamper” or “laundrybasket” phobias. They are driven to leave their dirty clothes laying literally all over the house in order to keep me from identifing who they are. I only wish I knew who this dear and precious family member was so that I could help them get over this phobia. We have come to the conclusion that someone must be entering our house during the day when we are not there and scattering laundry everywhere. Well just getting the opportunity to dicuss this with you has helped. I’m grateful for the Beth Moore support group for these rare phobias.

  15. 715
    Elaine Seiler says:

    Any one out there have ‘loved ones’ who have toiletpaperrollphobia??? With 7 people in our home…5 have this one!

  16. 716
    Pamela says:

    My first fobia is definitely sockaphobia-where do they go?!?!? It makes me so mad how a new pair of socks can disappear and never return in our house. I refuse to sort them when laundry is done. My husband is so good to take this on. Literally, it kills my back I get so stressed. My other phobia will be coutertopaphobias. I cannot stand for anyone to put food on the coutertop, like a slice of bread. I clean with clorex wipes but I can only imagine what can be on there (I saw that on Oprah many years ago)!


    Believing Him~Pamela

  17. 717
    Wendy S says:

    I know of a loved one in our family who has laundrybasketaphobia. I have actually moved the laundry basket around the room in the general area where dirty clothes tend to congregate. Somehow those piles of clothes always seem a step ahead of me and migrate to another location! Thanks for the smile.

  18. 718
    Xena says:

    This one really had me laughing out loud!!!

  19. 719
    Jen H. says:

    My kids suffer from towelrack-aphobia. They are too scared of it to ever hang their wet towels back up. And I think my teenage daughter suffers from be-nice-to-mom-aphobia, though it comes and goes. My husband is afflicted with throw-the-diet-coke-can-away-aphobia. It sits forever in the place where he has taken his last swig. And though it would seem I am perfect (right!) I suffer from gray-hair-aphobia, though I am more scared to leave them be than to tweeze them out as soon as I see them show themselves. This fear seems to grow the older I get! 🙂

  20. 720
    Shelly Norman says:

    Oh my goodness, I was cracking up so hard over this one. I have 4 kids who all have Trashcanaphobia. I love those kids to pieces but hate the mess. Then I get a simple reminder from the Lord that they will be gone from my home soon and I will miss their little messes. I will weep for my time has come to an end of clean up duty then I rejoice for their time of clean up duty is fast approaching. – haha

  21. 721
    Sparki2003 says:

    Hi there,

    My Dad was the biggest “saver” of the craziest items, but we always directed that phobia to the fact that he was born in 1930, right during the Depression. However, thankfully, he kept most of this “stuff” in his side of the basement. 🙂 I also found out that he was simply “terrified” by my “Houston driving” while he visited me down there for a few days. Hmm… should we call that one “BigCityDrive-aphobia” ??? We sure loved him, though. And, nowadays, we miss him greatly, as God called him Home 2 years ago, after fighting Leukemia.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers & grandmas out there in LPBlogville !!!

    In Christ’s Love,

    Jennifer O.

  22. 722
    Denese says:

    Okay, our kids are grown and we have a dining room, but no room in the kitchen for a table. The light bulb in my head just went off…I must have cleartableaphobia. Our table is my workspace, study space, all-purpose space…always covered with books, newspaper, mail, pretty notecards, sale flyers. I clear it and within 48 hours you’d never know I’d done it.
    Like another siesta mentioned, I also suffer from bookshelfaphobia…if I put it back on the shelf before I read it I’ll forget I even own the thing! lol

  23. 723
    Charolette says:

    Toiletpaperrollaphobia as in fear of replacing the toilet paper. I tell my family it won’t offend me if you replace it, please. Just once put a new roll on! lol

  24. 724
    Elena says:

    All I can say is I have a loved and I emphasize loved family member who also suffers from trashcanphobia. For the life of me I just don’t understand it!

  25. 725
    Mimeriffic Girl says:

    I vote for “treadmyhineyinthepottywaterphobia” which occurs as the beloved, but absent-minded masculine members of my family don’t put . . . well you know. Have a blessed and dry day!

  26. 726
    Shawnna says:

    Love it! My precious man has a similar phobia involving orange peels…runadisposalphobia. Every morning, I awake to the remains of his bedtime snack in the hole that drops down to our garbage disposal. He just can’t take that next step. Made me smile to see the photos….but we love them to death, don’t we?

  27. 727
    Karen White says:

    My daughters have usedtowelaphobia–they can only use a towel once, then it goes on the floor (mostly) until there’s a huge pile of towels that must be washed! Ugh!! Does anyone have an antidote to this phobia?!

  28. 728
    Judy says:

    Someone near and dear leave the spoon(s) he stirs his morning coffee with in the sink every. single. time. The dishwasher is two steps to the left…two.measly.steps.

    I used to give the stink eye, then I tried the inquiring eyebrow and now I’ve just resigned myself to putting the spoon(s) in the dishwasher because I know if they weren’t in their place everyday, I’d miss them…and him.

    • 728.1
      Denise says:

      Judy, your words spoke to me. Touched my heart. I agree with you, doing those things which aggravate us sometimes is a small price to pay, compared to NOT having that loved one around. Thanks. Denise

  29. 729
    Kelli says:

    My home suffers from lightswitchoffaphobia. For some odd reason once a light switch turns on – it can not seem to turn off. Crazy thing!

    We also have many other phobias but if I listed them all I wouldn’t get anything done and that happens to be my phobia – cleanfreakaphobia. Can’t stand a dirty house but seem to never be able to get a handle on cleaning it quite right enough. haha Oh Well – you come to see my house not me – uuurrrhhh – I mean you come to see me not my house! 😉

    Thanks for the tons of laughs! I have enough reading material to keep me in stitches for days!

    Kelli in Colorado

  30. 730
    dawn says:

    after all these years I now have several diagnosis for all
    the problems around our home…just when you think all is
    lost a ray of sunshine always appears…I must admitt my phobia is the worst….multitaskamaniaphobia…so many things to get accomplished in the short 24 hours a day!
    As I always tell my girls,,,,everyone gets 24….guess I best get help soon….

  31. 731
    Tina says:

    We definitely have foldaphobia too. Also, germaphobia, dishwasheraphobia and hamperaphobia. Anyone that is ever sick in this house, a certain someone is spraying Lysol like CRAZY and washes her hands until they are almost “raw.” Also, those darn dirty dishes don’t ever seem to make it to the dishwasher and the same for the dirty clothes don’t seem to make it to the hamper. The dirty things are dropped right BESIDE the respective place that they should go. Definite phobia in our family:o) But…I wouldn’t trade them or their phobias for the world. Just like they wouldn’t trade me for my phobias either!

  32. 732

    I didn’t realize it until now, but my husband obviously has closetaphobia. That explains why he must leave his shoes smack dab in the middle of the bathroom floor, instead of three feet away in his closet.

    I wonder if there is a treatment??

  33. 733
    Colleen says:

    That is hilarious! I love the tape measure. (And don’t worry, you’re not alone–I think someone in my house suffers from it too!)

  34. 734
    Terri says:

    Cannotsqueezetoothpastefromtheendphobia. Person with said phobia: spouse. And male.

  35. 735
    Cindy Moses says:

    I know I’m late, but I finally had time to read all the comments. Between the original post and the comments I have sat here and giggled for a while. And I’ve also decided we have some serious issues in my house. Several suffer with changetherollaphobia. My husband and I both have turntheclosetlightoffaphobia. So now he just turns off mine and I turn off his…so we can remind each other that he/she forgot. I am a can’tfindmykeysphobic. Oh and I didn’t see anyone mention the infamous foodscan’ttouchaphobia – luckily I am not seeing that in my home right now. And now…my biggest confession. I’m RossorTJMaxxoranyclutteredretailaphobic. Would rather pay triple the cost than pay to dig through someone else’s clutter. I can do that everyday for free in my well-lit closet!

  36. 736
    Lauren says:

    LaundryBasketaphobia: Leaving socks and underwear twelve inches or less from the laundry basket. It really is amazing.

  37. 737
    Teresa says:

    What about placeaphopia… I come home after a long day of work and put my purse on the counter or table or couch. Mind you I will usually be leaving to take our teen to one of his many practices or meetings in say an hour. I go to grab my purse and low and behold its not where I left it. Husbands gone and now I am searching high and low because he feels it belongs out of sight!! Don’t know how many times i have been late because I can’t find it. LOl

  38. 738
    June wright says:

    I work for a single father of 5 children and he wine more
    then the childrens do. I would like to give him something to wine for and send him to his room.

  39. 739
    June wright says:

    My phobia is going forward which I want to do.But it a greater respondable.And I dont know if I will be able to handle it.

  40. 740
    Heidi Bylsma says:

    Oh yes yes yes! We are phobic about vacuuming. Lord forbid that any one of us actually USE a vacuum cleaner. The kids (both teens, mind you) claim that this is because of the noise and the unpleasant vibrations in their hands when they have tried it (I think about 6 years ago, now). It doesn’t help that Daisy Girl (an insane golden retriever dogling, full grown at 45 pounds) barks non-stop if we dare to actually start the thing running. This leads me to remember another phobia. Rumor has it that some people actually put their dogs OUT of their house. (We are phobic about that, too…) It seems so strange…Sorta like putting a (what was it I once heard…) a *car* in a *garage*????? Phobias plague the Bylsmas in Cool, California! 😀

  41. 741
    Laura says:

    I forgot to add – my kids and husband have closeddraweraphobia – the fear of completely closing a drawer

  42. 742
    De Anna says:

    I cannot stand the thought of having to look under the bed and find my slipper if it gets lost under there somehow…I mean…what if the bed falls on me or something while I have my arm under there????

  43. 743
    Suzanne says:

    I am so glad to know that so many “siestas” have many of the same phobias!! trashcanphobia,missingpairofsocksphobia as well as rawmeatphobia definitely rank at the top!! I would also say that leavingtolietlidupphobia would be a constant threat at my house. LOL!

  44. 744
    Sissy says:

    my “honey” strings honey all over the kitchen. He heats it in the microwave (leaves a little circle of honey) then carries it to the counter to pour over his cereal. I can trace his steps in the kitchen daily by the honey trail!

  45. 745
    TeaTot says:

    HAHAHAHA this is cracking my up, I just finished my finals so HOMEWORKAPHOBIA has kicked in full force, as I needed something to take my mind off the dreaded wait for my final grades!

    They say confession is good for the soul, so here goes!!! I have to admitt I suffer from makemybedaphobia. It scares me to think that about this unending cylce of madness…morning after morning the same thing over and over again unrelenting! I just cannot force myself to over come this fear of bed making…when I know that at the end of the day I will just mess it up again anyway! I have been known to go as far as sleeping on a made bed with a quilt so I would not have to make the bed!!!

    Glad to be able to release that fear…now back to didimakethegradeaphobia!!!!


  46. 746

    My husband has a “cleanthetoiletaphobia”, quite contagious, I think I’m catching it too. He also has a “can’tputmyshoesintheclosetsomywifetripsoverthemphobia” too. Sad, sad, poor handsome man. Love his heart:) That’s ok, I have my fair share of phobias too, like “leavesmybooksandcraftstuffeverywhereaphobia”. I know I need help, it was so bad this week that my man was getting claustrophobic the other day. Again, love his heart:)

  47. 747
    June Wright says:

    I think when it come to house cleaning it take everyone to do it part.It learning to work as a team.No it not easy but it is nice.

  48. 748
    Karen says:

    Finally! I know what my daughter suffers from! – All the while I thought she was suffering from early dimentia – at age 19! Because I would ask her to throw away her, orange peels, dr. pepper can, q-tips, empty popsicle wrappers, (and the list goes on and on I promise) and her answer was always “I’m fixing to, mom” (forgot to mention that we are in North Alabama – so we are fixing to do something at all times of the day) – but she was always “fixing to” and never got “around-to-it” – and now I know that it wasn’t because she was being dis-respectful, or because she wasn’t educated enough to handle the task – she did just make the President’s list at JSU – she needs help with her trashcanaphobia! Now I can get her the help she needs!!! Thank you so much for this much needed information!

  49. 749

    That must be my kids phobia: Trashcanaphobia. I see empty packages on the counter all the time after they’ve been in the kitchen. I alway glance over to the other side of the counter to see if the garbage can is still there on the side of the counter. Yep, still there, conveniently placed for people opening things in the kitchen. The other day I was cooking macaroni and cheese and my daughter, Angela, was standing there so I asked her to throw away the mac and cheese boxes. When I was done I saw the boxes laying on a different part of the counter where she had carefully placed them. I’m pretty sure our trash can always remains empty until Josh or I throws something in it. Ocassionally, when I get upset enough they’ll throw stuff away. Or when their daddy gets upset enough. For some reason his unhappiness has more of an affect on them. I’m sure we have some other weird phobias, but I can’t think of any right now. Oh, I must have a phobia of dry hands, because I seem to have hundreds (okay, maybe not quite that many, but a lot) of hand lotions in my bathroom! All different shapes, sizes, colors, and of course, scents!

  50. 750

    I have toilet-seat-phobia. This is in my own house!! With four girls, and twins recently potty-trained, you need to be very careful before sitting on any toilet. Children have been known to slide off the toilet before wiping (shudders). I imagine with young boys not yet trained to lift the toilet lid this phobia might grow even worse!

    I keep clorox wipes handy (But if you are like-minded, remember do NOT FLUSH the clorox wipes, throw them away)

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