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. 351
    Tara N. says:

    I am the biggest “POPPINGBALLONSPHOBIA”!!! I absolutely hate the sound of balloons popping. I hate going to kids birthday parties because I know those little monsters are going to get their hands on those stinkin’ balloons and go to town with them. I literally have to cover my ears or leave because i just shriek everytime! My poor kids know if they even hold a balloon the wrong way in my presence I will take it away, in fear that they will accidentally pop it.

  2. 352
    Teresa says:

    I have goingtogrocerystoreaphopia. Its kinda like exercise I hate to go but once I do its not too bad but I alawys put it off. Ugh

    My teenage daughter has suffered for years of putupshoesaphobia. There are usually at least three pair laying around the living room at any given time. My husband tried breaking her of this by hiding them sometimes but she would just get different ones. He has since given up. Haha

  3. 353
    Elisabeth says:

    Ooooooh, I just thought of another one! I have fillupthegastankbeforeitsonempty phobia. My dad taught me NEVER to let it go below 1/4. And I’ve always obeyed that. Until I turned 25. Then all of a sudden, I can never seem to get to the pump until I’m runnin on fumes!!!

  4. 354
    JEN says:


    Definitely would be the phobia of choice.

  5. 355
    Becky says:

    OH boy I loved that photo of the tape measure going from the trash can to the counter!! Hysterical! Ya know when one of my good friends who happens to be a guy comes over I swear he thinks he lives here! He has trashcanaphobia and puttthetoiletseatdownaphobia!! Good post today! hmmm… putthetoiletseatdownphobia…….interesting I think most guys have THAT problem! lol!

  6. 356
    Malissa says:

    I, too, suffer from batterychargaphobia. My family gets so annoyed with me. I even get annoyed with me! I also suffer from changetherolloftoiletpaperphobia, and I am the woman in the house!! My little man suffers from playinginsideaphobia, and my big man suffers from puttingthingsintheirhomesaphobia.

  7. 357
    Kirsten says:

    I definitely have bland-a-phobia, the fear of anything that does not have color to it. Case in point: My husband and I were driving through our apartment complex and we realized that we are the only ones that do not have white curtains. No joke, every single other apartment has white curtains in their big picture window. We have red and they look awesome. 🙂

  8. 358
    Jessie says:

    ok, so I’m feeling a bit guilty about telling on my man and not divulging my phobias…. this has to be healing, correct? ok, I hide things from myself all. the. time. in fact just a few days ago I searched everywhere for the phone only to discover an undisclosed amount of time later that I was in fact holding it.

  9. 359
    Hawk says:

    My name is Hawk and I suffer from pinkaphobia and tearsaphobia… I also have a codependent relationship with the word Ma’am… Please pray

  10. 360
    casey says:

    how about hamperaphobia….that has to be a man thing. Clothes falling near on the edge of the hamper. The three men in my life cand allow their clothest to live inches from said hamper and never get them into it. I don’t undertand it. The daughter doesn’t do it, she simply hides her dirty laundry in the closet.

  11. 361
    Wendy says:


  12. 362
    Donna says:

    Dishwasherphobia…can’t seem to get them into the dishwasher (right next to the sink, for crying out loud!) until the sink gets full. Then…can’t seem to get them put up UNTIL the sink is full again…what is up with this? We women in our society have Beingoverpamperedphobia….too many modern conveniences. Love your idea to lighten up today, Beth….I certainly did need it!!

  13. 363
    liz says:

    Cleanupafterthemselfaphobia (the fear of cleaning up anything) which is rampant in this household.

  14. 364
    Tellina says:

    Thank you everyone for some much needed stress relief…SO many of these, are found in my home as well. My son has the traschcanaphobia that extends to even emptying it, putawaythingsaphobia by the looks of his room, and definitely the sockeverywhere fever. I suffer from gradingpapersphobia, stackbooksaphobia (I agree bookshelves for those books I need to still read…nah, they get lost), and gotdoonemorethingaphobia.
    Good luck everyone.

  15. 365
    Kristen says:

    I most certainly have foldaphobia which easily leap frogs into ‘putawayfoldedclotesaphobia”! 😉 I also have ‘closeddraweraphobia’…for some reason I never fully shut the dresser drawers after I grab whatever it is I need. Definitely something I am working on! 😉

  16. 366
    Lisa says:

    I now have phobophobia – fear of having a phobia after reading this blog. I wished I had lipophobia – fear/avoidance of fats in food.

  17. 367
    Kim says:

    My kids and dog suffer from vacuumaphobia! If I ever need a moment alone all I have to do is turn on the vacuum and the room clears! I have to admit it is nice now but I hope they do grow out of it otherwise they will have to find spouses willing to do the vacuuming when they aren’t home!

    I suffer from hangingupclothesaphobia. I don’t mind putting the clothes in drawers but its something about hanging them up, that “hangs me up”!

  18. 368
    Dana Nichols says:

    I’m loving the sharing of phobias! Doesn’t it feel good to just get it out there? I admit that I suffer from foldaphobia and putitawayphobia. I will do laundry all day long, but wish SOMEONE would fold it and put it away for me!

    The other person in my house definitely suffers from what I will call trashdisposaphobia. Trash usually makes its way into the kitchen can, but then sits there until it is mounded up and falling off before it is carried outside. Maybe it’s a case of those “man eyes” I read about in a previous post. Hmmmm…

  19. 369
    Leigh says:

    Dishwasherphobia – irrational fear of opening and loading a dishwasher resulting in dishes piled in the sink for the lone family member without this dreadful phobia.

  20. 370
    Heather says:

    applicationaphobia – I seem to be the only one to fill out applications and forms. I get tired of spilling out the same information multiple times, but it falls my way.

    backupaphobia – I am not the best at backing up the car –

    Thanks for the smile, I needed it.

  21. 371
    Rachel says:

    litterboxphobia…3 out of 4 members of my family suffer from this. The only way I see to fix the phobia, is to get rid of the cat. Any other ideas?

  22. 372
    Julie in Idaho says:

    In our household, it is “dustaphobia” which is fear of dusting and “cant-help-with-housework-this-weekend-because-there-is-a-gunshow-aphobia” (is this the longest named phobia or what?) which is pretty much self-explanatory. Gotta love my man with his hobbies and quirks. You girls are too much fun! Love y’all!

  23. 373
    Brandy says:

    There are those who suffer from trashcanphobia, laundrybasketphobia and dishwasherphobia in my house. I am doing my best to make sure the next generation doesn’t suffer from these same illnesses….wish me luck!!!

  24. 374
    darla says:

    i do have members of my family with trashcanaphobia. but they also have dishwasheraphobia, so much so that i have to go looking for glasses that i am sure belong in the dishwasher.

    my own phobia is definitely laundry..not just folding it, but getting it where it belongs, and then if i start laundry, i know it just begins the never ending cycle! argh! i may need laundry intervention…

  25. 375
    revjen says:

    My children all have hamperphobia- a fear of clothes hampers. Apparently the tops of dressers and floors of bathrooms hold no such fear for thier dirty clothes! My dear husband has a similar phobia only he clings to the closet floor fr security with his dirty clothes. Perhaps that should have been a chapter in SLI?? As is, “so long clothes hamper insecurity…victory over floors for your clothes.” Lest you think this phobia has caused a rift in my marriage, let me assure you I have found a way to be non-codependant…Seperate closets! 🙂 And there was much rejoicing in the land!!

  26. 376
    Dori says:

    Oh my, how I wish we could post pictures in our comments.

    I don’t know what the fear what be called. You are much more clever than I, but there is not a single roll of toilet paper in my home at this moment that is actually hanging where it should be. When company is coming, and they are tomorrow, my first assignment for my children is to go around and put the rolls in their rightful place.

  27. 377
    elizabeth says:

    I’m positive my husband has trashcanophobia as well as replace the toiletpaper-itis!

  28. 378
    Diane says:

    I need help for my “PilesOfPaperOPhobia”….you know….all those things that accumulate on your desk or counter that you never know what to do with: coupons for groceries, store sales flyers, brochures from places you travel, bills, letters/cards to send, mail. ugh.

  29. 379
    Anne says:

    I’m sure my household has every single phobia mentioned. The strangest one is throwawayapplestickerphobia. This affects two of my daughters. The only relief is to peel the sticker off the apple and stick it on the kitchen faucet. Co-dependent Mom will come along, peel the sticker off, open the cupboard door DIRECTLY BENEATH THE SINK and throw it in the trash. I need no tape measure for this one.

  30. 380
    memoryminded says:

    It sounds like you’ve got your inspiration for your next book!! So long, ….phobias! Can’t wait to read it!

    Thanks for the laugh and for reminding me I’m not the only one who would actually take out a tape measure to put an exclamation point on my point!

  31. 381
    jackie says:

    mine: shoephobia. as soon as i get in the door, the shoes come off. the worst part. they are left where i drop them for days and days.

    hubs: newpickaphobia. if i happen to throw away his favorite toothpick that sits on the table next to his favorite chair… oh my. watch out! 🙂

  32. 382
    Teresa says:

    My entire family, hubby and all three boys, suffer from chronic leavecupboarddoorsopenaphobia.

  33. 383
    Anne says:

    Just showed my post to my third daughter who confessed that she also has throwawayapplestickerphobia, so that’s three out of three.

  34. 384
    Kelly says:

    ok, i am the only women in this house and my 3 boys and my husband have a HUGE phobia of the laundry basket. they would much rather designate a certain random spot (each has there own) to make into dirty clothes pile. And when they are asked about it they look at me like it’s “no big deal mom!”. lol yet there is a laundry basket two feet away. so what would this be called?? laundryphobia?

  35. 385
    Fran McCurry says:

    I have a chronic case of Ironaphobia!
    I wear the same clothes over and over while really really cute outfits hang wrinkled in the closet for weeks. Lately I got the great idea to buy more linen and wear it wrinkled- so chic!!

    Great comic relief, Beth. I came home to this post after the “Here and Now…There and Then” Revelation study tonight! (Wonderful, wonderful study- )

    🙂 Fran

    • 385.1
      Donna says:

      Fran, I had forgotten about this one…I suffer from it also 🙂 We start “Here & Now…There & Then on the 16th and CANNOT WAIT!!

  36. 386
    Pamela Hammons says:

    Oh my, my whole family suffers from this and sinkaphobia! We cannot seem to put the dishes from the counter or table into the sink and transition into the dishwasher.We are going to put them there because we are gong to “use” them again and not dirty up something else.My husband mysteriously does not suffer from any of these problems, bless his heart.

  37. 387
    Lori says:

    This post is great! My 11 year old has stinkaphobia. Anything that smells bad like the trash, the baby’s diaper,…. Honestly you’d think he was in pain when he has to deal with either of these! (Wayyyy beyond the normal reactions to smells!) I have thought already about how one day he will be a strong, Godly man leading his family…and he’ll need a strong helpmeet who can handle all the smelly stuff. HA! He still can’t stand the smell of Lysol because years ago I sprayed it in and around the house during a bout of the stomach virus. But, don’t think for a minute he gets off easy. He still has to deal with the smelly stuff around our house. He just covers his nose with his shirt or a bandana!! Cracks me up!
    Rock Hill, SC

  38. 388
    Rebecca Cain says:

    Putdownthelidaphobia…..there are sufferers suffering in my home for that fun surprise in the dark at night phobia.

    And, putyourrdirtydishesinthedishwasheraphobia. I believe the sufferers of this one in my home have this fear based on the idea that the mean ole’ dishwasher may eat their hands upon entry into such said machine.

    Medicine for this issue? Not sure……

  39. 389
    Nancy L. says:

    I have a “housemate” with loadthedishwasheraphobia. The condition worsens right after I empty the sink and load the dishwasher. A glass, spoon, plate apparently HAS to be put in the sink. Can’t he (oops, I mean they) hear me slamming the dishes into the dishwasher?

    This “housemate” also suffers from closethecabinetdooraphobia. Very similar to his case of closethemicrowavedooraphobia. One day 911 is gonna have to be called because he will knock himself old cold with all these open doors. Or worse, knock me out!!

  40. 390
    Nancy L. says:

    Make that “knock himself out cold”.

  41. 391
    Sharon in Frederick says:

    I suffer from flatsurfaceneedssomethingonitphobia! ie: tables, sidetables, dressers, desks, etc. If its flat there are papers, books, mail. Of course I have a partner in crime that contributes to this. I might add this partner also is a crumbaphobic. and….. too many more between the two of us to list. hehehe… Thanks for the fun and showing us how much we have in common.

  42. 392
    Vicki says:

    Too funny! My kids suffer from towelontherackphobia. Their wet towels are always on the floor under the towel racks. My ten year old has a severe case of socksinthehamper phobia. He kicks off his socks, and where they land, they stay. I noticed one in the philodendron today. lol. My personal phobia is “taketheclothesoutofthedryerthefirsttimeitbuzzesphobia”I probably average about 3 times per load of “fluffing” the laundry (restarting the dryer to get out the wrinkles) because I hate folding/hanging clean laundry. I wonder if that might explain why the kids clothes look too small. I’m glad I’m not alone. Insanity loves company.

  43. 393
    Sarah says:

    I have a fun one….cleandishaphobia. My husband likes to cook however hates to clean them up. Which is not uncommon. I hate to have dishes sit over night so he tells me not to do them knowing full well I have to. Cracks me up every time! 🙂 Thanks for the laugh today!

  44. 394
    Cheryl says:

    How about “Dishwasherphobia”? I think a certain someone is terrified that he (I live with hubby & two boys, so this could be any of the three “He’s” in my life) will injure his back if he bends over, opens a door and places a dish in a dishwasher! :0)

    Thanks for the laugh. I thought it was just me!

  45. 395
    kristin says:

    how hilarious! i almost took a picture of my laundry room…all the clothes my husband wore today were dropped IN FRONT of the laundry basket? hey, just a millisecond more would have gotten them all in the basket!!!

  46. 396
    Barbra Keeler says:

    I seem to have a SERIOUS problem here … it must be called “putawayaphobia”! Every member of my family seems to have it in varying degrees, but SOME, I believe, have a terminal case. Putawayaphobia means that we have a fear of putting ANYTHING where it belongs… toys, books, clothes, shoes, groceries, toiletries, electronics; you name it, its not where it belongs. Around our house its common to hear dramatically shocked expressions of surprise (and even dismay) when, oh say, the remote control, is actually found IN the basket where its supposed to be! I’m not naming names, I’m just sayin is all…

    Love you and your phobias, Miss Beth! =)

    “Laughing” in PA

  47. 397
    Becca says:

    Let’s just make it easier and call what my loved one suffers from as “Containeraphobia”. It is believed to be a side effect of procrastinaholism. Containeraphobia may include (but is not limited to): trashcanophobia, hamperphobia, pantryphobia, dishwasheraphobia, dvd-caseaphobia,gastankaphobia, and other similar disorders.

    If only I could get over my “let-it-go-aphobia”…

  48. 398
    Rayni says:

    LOL at this! Definitely have cellphonechargerphobia and use to use the little pink packets to rest my spoon on after morning coffee… that stopped once I moved out of my parent’s house and got my own place…ha!

  49. 399
    Colleen says:

    I think that our five-year-old, Gideon, is stricken with walkaphobia. He is evidently hinged in such a way that it is impossible to walk. He MUST run, sashay, skip, trot…really any mode of movement, other than walking, will do.

    Speaking of trashcanaphobia…when I was a little girl (growing up in Cherry Valley, Arkansas), my dad was being totally silly and scooped me and my cousin, Ryan, up under his arms and marched us outside to the trash cans to “throw us away”. (Don’t call CPS…he was being silly as previously mentioned!) When he snatched the lid off of the trash can, there was a GIMONGOUS raccoon already occupying that particular can. The raccoon screamed, my dad screamed, Ryan screamed, I screamed.

    I am now 33 years old, and after 29 years, I still am nervous when I take something outside to the trash!

  50. 400
    Andrea S. says:

    Um….most definitely NOT just a MOORE THING!!! My husband has laundrybasketaphobia! He has a tendency to kick his socks off whereever he may be and has successfully trained all of my children to do the same! I have a daughter that has a cupboardaphobia. She would rather leave EVERYTHING out on my kitchen counters than put it in its place. I have fileaphobia-as a bookkeeper this can be a bit hairy at times!!!! Definite phobics in our house!!! Oh and the best for last…I have campsite-shower-flooraphobia! Yup….it so disgusting for me to shower in those stalls that I actually pack shower flip flops for those trips!

    Love you girls so much…have missed you dearly and needed a hilarious breather today!!!

    PS:Amanda I don’t think it’s foldaphobia…but busymomaphobia….I have that one too!!!

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