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. 251
    Becky says:

    Just the other night, I was up in my husband’s office and right there on his desk was a pile of orange peels. He has a trash can on the floor RIGHT next to his chair. Then, also not long ago, he is in the bedroom taking off his clothes and walks away from the hamper to put the clothes on the floor next to his side of the bed. Totally called him on it and he had to laugh at the absurdity of it.

    Me, I have the putupaphobia of which many here speak. Although my clothes don’t even make it to the basket. They’re in piles all over the arms of my couch and chairs and coffee table. Sometimes I’m forced to invite somebody to “stop by” so I’ll put them away. 🙂

  2. 252
    Terry says:

    Love it aunt Beth, my husband suffers from trashcanaphobia also, but along with it he has whinealotis, because every time one of the kids leaves something lying around he whines about it and I just look around with a confused look on my face!!!! I have mentioned on several occassions that the children mimick what they see, but that results in manruleitis, the insistance that rules do not apply to men… I myself suffer from moptheflooraphobia, because as much as I don’t mind doing laundry, picking up, dishes or sweeping, the mop makes me cry!!!!

  3. 253
    Ila says:

    Dishwasherphobia! Apparently I am the only one in the family who can put dishes IN the dishwasher…OR take them out when they are clean!! 🙂
    Our entire family suffers from dustingphobia.. We all HATE it!!

  4. 254
    Tara G. says:

    Taking the box off the front or top of the shelf. It just seems violated somehow. What would you call that? Primaphobia?

  5. 255

    I have throwaway&putawayaphobia, wherein I continually throw away bags, boxes, lids w/out a partner and other assorted objects (sometimes important ones I’m told), as well as, putting away dishes that are being used (glasses) before the owners have finished with them.

    I do not like to touch any form of raw meat. If I must, I then clean the top layer of my skin off in the sink, as I clean my hands over and over…and the countertops, too.

    Also? And this is a gross one: hairinabrushophobia. I do not like to clean my hair brushes. I do it, but it grosses me out beyond belief. eeeeewwwww!

  6. 256
    LynsieArmstrong says:

    Wow. My sweet dad (how I love him) is the epitome of one who suffers from “Trashcanophobia.” He’s suffered for at least the 25 years that I’ve known him. But, I probably shouldn’t point the finger when I indeed have a “Hangupaphobia”… I tend to do laundry and instead of instantly hanging clothes up will gingerly drape them over my chair or closet rail for the better part of a week until I get tired of the disorganization =)

    Cheers to quirks!

  7. 257
    Heidi says:

    I believe that some individuals in my family have “dishwasherphobia” because they rinse their dishes and set them in the sink, but neglect to go one step further and put them in the dishwasher. I myself may have “getuptwotimesanighttousetherestroomphobia” for as much as I wish that I could sleep a full 8 hours, I consistently have to get up and go and afterwards the sleep seems to have gotten up and gone as well-so annoying.

  8. 258
    Dee Dee Wike says:

    Disconnectaphobia: when I can’t get online to check email or the LPM Blog!

  9. 259
    Chris in Canada says:

    Flathairaphobia. It’s real and it’s bad. Very, very bad.

  10. 260
    Elisabeth says:

    I have a phobia of folding my clean laundry. I’m known for very cute and put-together comfy hippie style. So it shocks my friends when they find my entire closet on my living room couch. Every Monday I’m determined to be freed from this phobia. And evey weekend I take the laundry from the dryer and promptly set the pile on the couch. And then I begin my Friday night tradition of settling in with a bowl of chips & salsa & a fresh smoothie made
    by my magic bullet. And I set m mind to fold all the laundry I just washed. And I stick in the next DVD of whatever “you” study I’m on. And within 15 minutes, it always ends up the same. Instead of folding laundry I’m laughing with u & eating my chips. And for the whe next week, I just grab what I wanna wear off the couch. *sigh* horrid, I know.

    Also, I have an extreme fear of garden knomes. I won’t park in front of my house of enter & exit through my front door because my neighbor convieniantly has a collection of them in their front yard. And they like to stare at me. 🙁
    if I knew how to post pictures on this type of blog, I’d show u the laundry. And if i was brave, the knomes.

    • 260.1
      Amanda says:

      I thought about posting a picture of my two overflowing laundry baskets that have been sitting next to the kitchen island for 5 days, but I wasn’t brave enough to do it. You know, because there might be some unmentionables in there.

      • Elisabeth says:

        Ha! That’s actually why I didn’t try to figure out how. But now it’s becoming almost impossible to resist. Oh, I’m going to think of this on Friday night when I again try to get my stuff folded. I’m probably going to be laughing about it too much to watch Beth:) I. Love. Today. I. Love. Y’all.

      • Deanna says:

        I love it Amanda! Just last week, my husband (to my horror) let a gentlemen in the house with laundry folded there in the living room with yes…unmentionables. When my husband’s gentlemen friend left, my 7 year old son comes down the hall with his hands full of…unmentionables and says, “Don’t worry mom, I grabbed the tighty whities for ya!” Love him!!

      • moosemama says:

        Ha!! Snorting laughter here!!

  11. 261
    Laura says:

    Oh, it’s gotta be sockafoldaphobia. Every day I go searching for a matching pair of socks. Every day.

  12. 262
    Tiffany says:

    My family members have dishwasherphobia, meaning they will put dirty dishes in a sink when an empty dishwasher sits literally inches away.

  13. 263
    Kim says:

    I may have missed this one – but I suffer from “irontheclothesphobia”. Wash the clothes, dry the clothes and just pray that the wrinkles will come out. Hate ironing. My son is just thankful for the wrinkle release setting on the dryer.

    My husband has leavethelightsonphobia. I will be in the room and he will turn the lights out on me. – Doesn’t think I need them. Can’t figure it out.

    Pickupthepilephobia. I swear piles of books, clean laundry and other misc. stuff just pop up out of nowhere in my house. Pick ’em up and they reappear.

    Beth – will there be a book coming out on these? It seems there are a whole lot of Seistas with some serious phobias.

    I just love you –

  14. 264
    Roxanne Worsham says:

    I suffer from closethecabinet/drawerphobia.

    I AM FULLY AWARE that I do this and I laugh about it often, but every stinkin’ time I am in the kitchen preparing a meal, all of my cabinets or drawers are open. It is not difficult at all to close a cabinet. I am not lazy. I am not a slob. My home is immaculate. I just open them, get what I need, and then leave them open until I look around and see 4 or 5 of them open and staring me straight in the face.

    Glad I do not suffer alone! PRAISE GOD for this blog so that I do not have to suffer in silence any longer. The first step to beating the disease is to admit I have a problem.

    Step 1 – Check
    Only 11 more steps to go!!!

    LOVE YA!

  15. 265
    Julie says:

    A member of my family (also will remain unnamed) is afraid of mail. She won’t open it for weeks at a time, which could be a really bad habit in the long run.

    I have the very common fear of spiders, and the less common phobia regarding clowns.

    To show their deep love for me years ago, a group of girlfriends threw me a surprise birthday party and when I arrived they all jumped out of their various hiding places to yell, “Surprise!” dressed in (all of them) clown costumes. 🙂

  16. 266
    Dana says:

    Well, in our household, the phobia that is mind boggling is “onlymamacanputthetoiletpaperrollontheholderphobia.” Family members have the capability to get the new roll out of the closet and place it in the floor beside the toilet but is impossible to put on the holder unless you are “The Mom!” 🙂 Gotta love the family we have been blessed with and the phobias that come with them!

  17. 267
    Kylie says:

    I have houseworkaphobia… of all kinds to varying degrees. Mostly mopaphobia followed closely by dustingaphobia.

  18. 268
    Kristi says:

    Well, I think I have Scotttoiletpaperaphobia! I was raised on 1-ply, cheap toilet paper and my mother, bless her waste-conscious heart, would limit our sqares!!! So, when I got married?? We bought Quilted Northern!! And have continued to do so! In fact, when I go visit my mother (3 hours away), I take my own roll of T.P.!!!!
    (She doesn’t know that about me.)

    This is soooo fun!!! I soooo needed this!

  19. 269
    Donna says:

    An individual in my family used to suffer from rollchangeaphobia. This person couldn’t seem to ever add a new toilet paper roll @ the end of the old one. He’s since been cured.

  20. 270
    Susan says:

    I loved trashcanphobia comments. I feel your pain and now I will be able to laugh everytime I see it instead of feeling irritated. My girls have putawaylaundryphobia. They will leave stacks of clothes on top of the dresser drawers in which the clothes are supposed to go. Just a movement down and a drawer opened and it would be done. It is just too many steps. As for me I could amen several on this blog that I have issues with for sure. I will go home and ask my sweet husband what he thinks.:)

  21. 271
    BirmanBaby says:

    At our house it is “Sinkaphobia”. And apparently there is just this big black hole under the counter just to the left of the sink. I am the only one in a house of five who even knows it is there or has ever used it.

    And with my 14yo son it is “pick-your-underwear-up-off-the-bathroom-floor-aphobia.

  22. 272
    Lisa says:

    We have a serious case of dishwasheraphobia at our house. Nothing makes it into the dishwasher unless I put it there.

  23. 273
    Terry says:

    My sweet hubby has loadthedishwasheraphobia…his lovely wife has unloadthedishwasheraphobia. I guess it is just one more way we balance each other out :o)

  24. 274
    Anne says:

    The. Laundry. Basket. x4 DH, & 3 offspring.

    I did notice that your blog post was very sanctified. My ailment of wanting to harm those afraid of said baskets, does not always pan out in a sanctified manner. However, my latest defense mechanism is simply to only wash what gets into the basket. The rest remains on the floor for our new puppy.
    Oh, you needed that? Huh. You should have put it IN the laundry.

    Also, as I have overcome the cellphonecharger one, I just plug it in in my bedroom when I go upstairs, then by the time I’m done with all the Mama chores up there, it’s usually charged and I can go to be with it by my pillow ready at a moment’s notice. Cured! and ready for a new day filled with complete calls.

  25. 275
    Laura says:

    Fear that the pile of unmatched socks, is now higher than what the actual pile of matched socks would be.
    Perfectionism where laundry is concerned…..

  26. 276
    Nancy Ludrick says:

    cleancarphobia. definitely!!

  27. 277
    Gayla says:

    My kids have homeworkophobia, instrument practicophobia, and hang-up-your-backpack-ophobia! I have found various treatments but have yet to discover a cure!

  28. 278
    christy lett says:

    how funny we all are! i feel certain that my husband (poor thing) must suffer from several of these phobias!! in our house it is his job to hang the folded clothes in the closet- this means days and days of living out of the laundry basket-so he definitely suffers from hangingintheclosetphobia, as well as, trashcanaphobia. The worst though is pacifier-a-phobia- I have determined he must be terrified of those cute little plastic things- because it never fails each time he is holding or caring for our youngest her paci is always lost, gone, or his explanation- it just disappeared. we should buy stock in paci’s!!!
    this post as certainly made me laugh today!

    (ok- if i am being totally honest i think we must both suffer from pacifier-a-phobia, darn it! i keep losing that thing today!!!!

    thanks beth for providing the entertainment for today!!!

  29. 279
    Rachel says:

    Both my husband and myself suffer a phobia of putting dirty towels in the towel basket, they sit on top of the lid instead. We also suffer from shoeshelfaphobia, at least they land close to the shelf… most of the time

  30. 280
    BirmanBaby says:

    Another one at our house is the “eraser-shavings-aphobia.

  31. 281
    Stacy Minor says:

    Hmmmm, I have a VERY close person whom belongs to me, that has that same phobia….I find everything from wet paper towels to banana peels in the kitchen sink….when the trash is JUST under the sink. I’m beginning to think he believes I truly love picking out sopping wet towelettes and soggy peels…I am truly loved and in love! 🙂

    I like fun! Fun is fun!

  32. 282
    soartoday says:

    In our house we have “emptydishwasherphobia” and it is amazing how long we can all take clean dishes/mugs out of the dishwasher and not empty the whole thing :). Praise God for letting us see the laughter and humor in our daily lives. Thank you all for making my day, especially as I’m traveling on business and away from home! But this blog can be a great “home” to connect from anywhere! Thank you all!

  33. 283
    tolkienfan says:

    At our house it’s “emptythetrashcanwhenitgetsfullphobia” …. sufferers of this malady will put items INTO the trash can but no matter how high the trash mounds up above the top of the can, these poor people absolutely CANNOT take the trash bag out and put a new one in.

    Lori in MN

  34. 284
    Debby Cooley says:

    One phobia in our family is the kids using the own hamper, so myownhamperaphobia. Another: pusingthechairinaphobia. Another: leavingtheblindsupafterdarkaphobia. This is fun!

  35. 285
    Kristi says:

    Does anyone have callerIDaphobia??? Like Me? I never answer the phone unless I know who is calling. (Once got an obscene phone call, that solves that!)

  36. 286
    Marian says:

    Is it possible that trashcanaphobia is related to hamperophobia? You know, dirty socks an/or underwear on the floor **right– and I mean right– next to the hamper**? We seem to have both afflicting us here.

  37. 287

    I think we must be related! I have yet to measure the distance between the trashcan and the trash that is left out on the counter, but I sure notice it! I also have an issue with raw meat and washing my hands excessively. I’m probably slightly OCD. Thanks for the good laugh. I needed that.

  38. 288
    April says:

    My loved one suffers from emptytrashphobia – just piles and piles and acts like it isn’t overflowing. I myself have issues with laundryphobia. I can wash it, fold it, but can’t stand putting it away. Fortunately, we both shy away from forgivenessphobia and try to look past all the other phobias we suffer from. Mostly, we just laugh….

  39. 289
    Becky Hunter says:

    Dear Beth, My family definitely has trashcanaphobia!! but I do believe that my family suffers a more tragic case As in your picture there were several feet between where the trash was left and the trash can. I can beat that! My family leaves their trash within 3″ of the trash can. Our trash masher fits under a counter top and my family puts their trash on top of the counter directly above where the compactor sits. I am usually very furious but now after reading your blog I have gone into hysterics!!!

  40. 290
    Sandy Corbin says:

    I’m worried about you. And your phobia family!! LOL

  41. 291
    Kay says:

    Trashcanphobia is alive and well at my house. I once asked my mother-in-law, after she observed and commented on this behavior while living with us, if she was frightened by a trash can while she was pregnant. Enjoyed all the comments and glad it’s not just me.

  42. 292
    Erin says:

    SOMEONE in my house has a shoes in the closet phobia. This SOMEONE is a very neat person, everything in its place, but they believe their shoes must be beside the chair that they always sit in when they put them on. For some reason that “shoe” chair is my chair the other 99% of the day. So I enjoy tripping over or kicking shoes out of my way.

    I also have a phobia of non-fried foods or food not containing chocolate.

  43. 293
    Marie says:

    totally made my day. I absolutely love the pictures complete with detailed measuring tape.

  44. 294
    Meghan says:

    Kelly, I have to laugh, I have closingcabinetsanddrawerphobia too! I have hit my head a time or two on an open cabinet; you would think I would learn. I also have puttinpapersawayphobia. Everytime I get an important paper I am affraid if I put it away I will forget. This phobia naturally creates cleansurfacephobia as all my important papers gather on the counter, table…

  45. 295
    texatheart says:

    My dearly loved sons have tubetopaphobia or maybe they share the trashcanaphobia. Tubetopaphobia is where they cut off tops of things they are going to eat and leave the slim trimmings on the counter or even worse, the floor. Then there is the toiletpaperrollaphobia. You know when they don’t change the roll. They get the new roll out but can’t put it on the holder.
    Love this. You are so much fun.

  46. 296
    Melissa B. says:

    And THIS is the reason we all really love you! Your brain works in the way that all women’s do, but you actually measure it out, take photos and post! Love you!

  47. 297
    Lynn says:

    Closetphobia…..clothes left in piles in the bedroom with the closet and hangers only a few feet away. I have lived with this phenomena for years. Yet, at the same time suffering from clutterphobia in other parts of the house…fear of the piles of stuff that accumulates everywhere and complaining that it needs to be cleared. Not just the Moore’s at all!

    Loved the tape measure showing distance to garbage can. :-))

  48. 298

    There are several to-be-left-unnamed in my family with an apparent toiletpaperrollaphobia. As a matter of fact, I seem to be the ONLY person in the entire house that DOES NOT suffer from this horrible phobia.

  49. 299
    Kristi says:

    I have a very close family member with trashcanaphobia, diapergeniephobia, and towelrackaphobia.But the one that continues to baffle me is cleandrinkingglassaphobia. A person suffering from this phobia will use the same drinking glass for DAYS if you don’t catch him. He will use it for water AND for MILK and will stash the glass in odd places such as behind the computer screen or on top of the fridge, presumably to keep any normal family members from putting it in the dishwasher. Is there any help for this dearly loved one????

  50. 300

    All 4 of my kids suffer from flush-the-darn-toilet-phobia! Nasty is the only word to describe it…nasty.

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