Category Archives: dehoarding

What to Do?

I was going swimmingly along and then all of a sudden, I’m not. Why? Well, it’s the usual for me: I noticed/wrote about what was going on.

That was for decades the most frustrating thing about the way my head is wired between the abuse and PTSD: when I start to overcome the issues, if I acknowledge it, it stops. For a long time, the acknowledgement would trigger a panic attack: full blown. These days, I just stop making progress.

The maintenance jobs are getting done, not as quickly or consistently, but they are. I keep expecting, naively, apparently, that I will just move into a space where I can simply do things. That isn’t so. My body still has PTSD and my intellect isn’t the boss of me.

What isn’t getting done is progress on the culling and house clearing. Yes, I’m overwhelmed. Yes, it’s a huge task. Yes, I’ve been doing this for years decades. I have a few things goading me on.

  1. I don’t want to be remembered for being a hoarder. An ex-hoarder? That I can handle.
  2. If I/we get COVID, the stuff will make caretaking harder.
  3. If or when we have to move, the stuff will have to be dealt with then, and it’s harder every year to move the stuff around.
  4. I want out of this prison that the PTSD/abuse created for me, decades ago, to keep me safe. I have a friend who calls the house my fortress. It was. The funny thing about a locked room — it can keep you safe, but it also can be a jail!
  5. I’d like to find out what life is like otherwise. I’d like to see what I can accomplish when I don’t spend a huge amount of each day caretaking/dealing with stuff, and without the stuff in the way.

So, I went looking for inspiration/motivation, something. I started looking at my get organized books and found a piece which said that when all of a day’s jobs are  maintenance, you need to add an achievement task, because you need both.

Maintenance jobs are getting done. Achievement job? Hm. What could I do which won’t make more mess and can be completed . . .

  • Sweep the front walk.
  • Make up a gallon of sanitizer. (1/3C bleach to 1 gallon of water)
  • Get the rags/kitchen towels put away.

All of those are maintenance, again. Achievement goal?

If a maintenance goal is characterized by being continually repeated and an achievement goal being a one-shot . . ,

  • Finish the 2017 tracking for the farm which was started last week.
  • Work on the “house book.”
  • Work on the long-term planning.
  • Finish the touch-up on the entry baseboards.


I don’t remember where I got the image. But it illustrates a lot of my present mental state!


Goldilocks Dilemma: Clothing

Remember the French Dressing post, here? I decided I was going to reduce my clothing to a capsule wardrobe of 10 items per season, not counting underwear and outerwear.

It occurred to me the other day that I basically have reduced my day-to-day clothing use to a capsule, without thinking about it!

I have a basket which lives in our bathroom on a shelf. It contains the set of clothes I’m not wearing. At home, without company, I wear pj pants and a long-sleeved shirt, cheap plastic socks. When I go out I wear a tank top, a long-sleeved shirt, long johns or leggings (when it’s cold), jeans, and washable wool socks.  During summer I’ll wear the leggings or the jeans but not both.

(I also wear sweaters.)

Company/going out rotation:

  • ? long-sleeved shirts
  • ? tank tops
  • 1 long john top
  •  2 long john pants
  • 3 pairs of jeans
  • 4 pairs of leggings
  • ? washable wool socks.

No company/staying home rotation:

  • ? long-sleeved shirts
  • ? tank tops
  • 1 long john top
  •  2 long john pants
  • 3 pairs of PJ pants
  • 4 pairs o leggings
  • 6 pairs of cozy socks.

When I get home I undress in the bathroom, examining clothes as I remove them. If they can be reused? They’re rolled up and put into the bathroom basket. If dirty, they go into the laundry. I then put on the clothes in the basket and supplement, as needed, from dresser and closet.

This means that the only day-to-day clothes in my closet should be: the unworn long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and out of season/special event clothing. The clothes in my drawers should be unworn tank tops, leggings/long johns, and pants.

Given this, culling my clothes should be simple! I really like the feel and “flow” of this system. It evolved over time and works for me. YMMV.

Six shirts culled! 10:54 a.m. 3 more 11:12 a.m. 1 more 11:32