Category Archives: Hoarding

Friday’s Five & Backlog

I did something which shows me how things are different these days. Yesterday I gave away brand new packages of lunch bags and staples, to two different businesses. The lunch bags were given to an antique store who uses them to wrap china and glassware. The staples were given to the antique store where I have a booth.

In both cases, I have more than I think I’ll use in a reasonable time, without them.

I use about 1/2 package of lunch bags a year for drying herbs/spices. (And I reuse them sometimes too.) I had come to the end of a package and bought some, thinking I was out. When I went to put it away, there was another new package! I sure didn’t need another 50!

The box of staples came from a box of shop office supplies. I thought I’d folded in or deleted extras from the shop’s supplies long ago, but I found a box a few months back filled with labels (mostly tossed), the box of staples, and a few miscellaneous pieces. When I cleaned office shelves last week or so, I realized we had 2 complete boxes of staples, more than we’d likely need until oh 2050. I don’t expect to be alive or wanting staples by then anyway!

Previously, I would have kept them; in fact I did. These days? They’re clutter I can get rid of easily, and that’s great!

Friday’s Five:

  1. Find something to do with the extra eggs.
  2. Make pepper jelly.
  3. Figure out a new way/place to store the yarn and put it away.
  4. Look at the stored snow tires. Need new ones? In the budget?
  5. Make cookies with the frozen oatmeal.

Much of this is dealing with food, obviously. Partly because farm day was yesterday. But it’s partly because the other chores in/out are so far behind. I have to cook no matter what else happens most of the time, so this is an “easy” way to get the list pared down. If it’s a cheat, it is — sue me!

BACKLOG:

Thursday:

  • Empty my desk, again.
  • Cut more sage and other such from the garden. Kale Fri. 10/13, most of the rest of it 10/15. Need to pull some tarragon and that’s it.
  • Make up/try the Naval Academy brass polish.

Wednesday:

  1. Clean off DH’s desk.
  2. Cull books from one “holding pattern” bookcases. Either they’re out or they stay!, in process Thurs. a.m. (I did the 1st shelf.)

Finish laundry room clean up.

Tuesday:

  • Weed the brick path around the veggie garden, edge it. in process, 1st quarter done 1:30 Fri., 2nd quarter and 1/2 the 3rd done Sunday.
  • Move the lumber which needs it from the shed so it can be put away in the loft.
  • Work on grading the last pile of dirt.Fri. 1 p.m.

Monday:

  • Put family photos in the album. Can’t be done. Photos located, album missing! 

Friday:

  • Examine winter coats for flaws, etc.
  • Do the last gather of flea market materials, last market is Saturday 10/14 date changed to 10/21

Thursday:

  • Put ice scrapers in the cars, examine and see if they need replacement?
  • Ship the box to the BIL, make up more boxes of things which should be shipped and get them sent! I think I did this, although I’m not sure. I cannot find the box anywhere!!!

Monday’s Backlog:

  • Clear stuff from my car and run a vac through at least part of it!.
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New Ideas About Cleaning

Aside from the PTSD, bad habits and panic attacks, as if that wasn’t enough, I’ve had one other major problem about cleaning up the house. No one ever taught me how! This means that no one ever showed me the “right” order to do things. I was taught at boarding school how to make a bed, clean a toilet or trash can, but not how to make a schedule or plan to cover the basics, regularly.

And, I admit, that doing anything regularly wouldn’t have happened anyway, because of the panic attacks. Cleaning is like writing a novel or any other longer piece, you have to keep slogging away at it I’ve found. Difficult for me, if not impossible for much of my life.

That said, I have discovered a few things:

  1. Always clean more than you have to. That is, if the dishes are done and you have 1 item in the sink, find a candlestick or decorative something to clean too. This also applies to sweeping the kitchen, putting clothes away, whatever. Especially if the chores aren’t involved or big, add something minor. Cleaning the bath counter? Wipe down the box on the shelf, etc. etc. etc.
  2. Hard surfaces, impervious to water are the easiest to clean; where soft surfaces, which absorb water are the hardest.
  3. Clean the areas used the most more than others.
  4. Clean the most obvious areas first. (I have [had?] a tendency to clean closets and drawers when the urge to clean hit me. Before I realized the clutter was what I needed to feel safe, it was dumbfounding to me that I could spend a whole day cleaning and you couldn’t tell. This is, of course, backwards from the way most people work. And that’s the reason why those “toss this” lists really didn’t work for me.
  5. Find whatever works for you and run with it. I spent DECADES trying to use flylady or other cleaning plans, and couldn’t.  This caused more of the internal I’m stupid, flawed, and just screwed up mantra.  I figured “Of course this doesn’t work for me and it does for Mary or Jo. It’s me after all.” I finally accepted that I couldn’t adopt someone else’s plans, I had to come up with my own — in my 60s!

Friday’s Five, Actually, It’s 12!

Here’s my new list of things to do today:

  1. Tidy needlework supplies and equipment.
  2. Find a new home for the puzzles (displaced when the Hoosier was sent for sale). Done 6:00 p.m.
  3. Put away summer weight coats. (It’s the first day of fall, yes?)
  4. Dust a shelf in the office.10:47 a.m.
  5. Box  yard sale items up for the last sale or put in the dump bin (to donate).11:30 a.m.

What’s left from earlier this week:

  1. Deal with mail
  2. Work on the wood piles (also on the to do list).
  3. Update grain storage: review/cull, clean containers, etc. A tiny piece of this was done as part of clearing the kitchen counter. Weds. 10 a.m.
  4. Prep for the Christmas ornaments I’m making. Finished Friday. Now all I have to do is finalize the assembly!
  5. Dust the stained glass. Done 11:40 Friday
  6. Finish the salsa started Thursday.It was finished, except a small amount needed a container. Done! Friday 11:14
  7. Work on the house notebook.

 

 

 

 

To See . . . .

I actually DO get things done, daily. The house is still overwhelming. Here’s what I did yesterday:

  • Worked on raking the lawn (not finished)
  • Cleaned my car (exterior) and waxed the hood
  • Peaches cleaned and peeled
  • Cleared ugly food (leftovers which have become science projects or are about to) from fridge
  • Two loads of construction debris taken to the dump
  • Three loads of laundry started, two completed
  • Work on the cleaning plan
  • Regular household trash taken to the dump.
  • I did two loads of dishes, DH did another. (The fridge cleanout generated a lot of things to wash!)
  • Cleaned the toilet, sink and tub
  • Bought more freezer containers
  • Figured out a way to store the 2nd hose on the boat steering wheel I’d kept for the purpose, though I’d never actually done that.

Here’s what I’ve done today, so far (10 a.m.):

  • Swept and mopped the kitchen floor.
  • Started the load of laundry (3rd load from yesterday) in the dryer.
  • Started the first load of laundry in the washer.
  • Culled melons and cut them prepatory to freezing.
  • Went through the peppers, prepatory to dealing with them
  • Cleaned the broom, bucket and mop, although I haven’t gotten them put away, yet.
  • Dealt with the dirty, wet rags.

As of 11, you can add: dealt with the peaches, blueberries, and melon (cut, labeled & stored). Dishes washed from that effort.

Also, I can see myself sliding down the fanatic scale: from hoarder to OCD. Some of that I want to encourage, some if it, as I’ve said before, I really want to avoid!

  • I vac’d the end of the broom after I swept the floor to get the dust bunnies off of it.
  • I asked DH yesterday to shut off the hose for me when I was done washing my car, but told him to not put the hose away as I didn’t like the way he coils it. (True.)
  • Found a place to put the bucket away yesterday with the soap, shop towels, car wax, etc. inside of it so that all the car washing tools are in one place, and it looks tidy (all in the bucket).
  • Told DH this morning that the little vac needed to be cleaned very soon, because I’d cleaned up a wet mess and it would not be good to let the remains dry in the vac. (He does this most of the time; I’m allergic to dust mites!)
  • Found a place for one of the bigger flashlights to be stored when not in use. It has been clutter  — as it floated. It had no designated place to be put away. (There are many things like this in our home. Too many!)

Morning Methods or Madness?

Not only is it MONDAY, so my brain is buzzing with all sorts of “things to be done,” but the construction people aren’t here, and there’s this huge back log. It’s also nearly FALL and so all the “delayed” and “put off” chores are screaming! at me.

Accordingly, my ADD tendencies have run amok this morning. I have worked on these items and finished the lined-through ones:

  • filing manuals, etc. for things we own.
  • cleaning out behind the washer/dryer Finished about 11:30 a.m.
  • culling/clearing out the top shelf of the small freezer
  • figuring out what I will use to replace the French door blinds
  • Researching how to do it.
  • Finding the fabric I already own for the curtains.
  • Figuring out a way to “put away” the scrub brush which went missing.
  • Figuring out a possible way to “put away” various roll goods: masking paper, Tyvek, shelf liner & weed cloth are the immediate needs
  • Work on clearing out the attic.
  • Work on cleaning up my office.
  • Laundry x 2 2nd load started around noon. Two loads done Tuesday as well.
  • Determining the trunk in the kitchen is still empty.
  • Figuring out another set of crates, etc. to take to the antique store as shelving.
  • Cull the clay flower pots — I have too many of course. Started about 2 p.m. but not yet finished. Worked on this Tuesday as well. Completed Sunday.

Still to do:

  • Go to the hardware store for a piece to determine if the method of hanging roll materials will work.
  • Clean the laundry room. Finished just before noon.
  • Make the bed.
  • Find the missing fabric and determine which piece will be used for the door curtains.
  • Clear out enough of the attic that the trunk can be moved from the kitchen up there. Enough of the attic was cleared Monday, but the trunk hasn’t been moved, yet.
  • Get the crates, etc. in my car and to the antique store. Completed Tuesday.

Trying to Avoid Becoming a Clean-Freak Minimalist

I have a tendency, and have since I was a kid. I go from one extreme to the other, then find the happy medium. I’m trying to avoid that with transforming from being a hoarder.

book hoarder

I worked more on the cleaning plan today and “discovered” some new ideas: mostly, that the more often you use something, the more frequently it needs to be cleaned and/or maintained. Seems obvious, doesn’t it?

But because I’ve never seriously “let” myself think about cleaning up except as an intellectual exercise (It was dangerous. Remember the reason I became a hoarder wasn’t to keep things, complete collections, or perceived value — it was the safety I felt in the mess, and the panic I felt when my space was neat.) this is a newish concept.

Accordingly, floors need to be cleaned more than anything else. Even if you only walk through a space, like in a model home at a real estate development say, the floor gets used more often than anything else. So, they need cleaning more often. The other thing which needs to be dealt with every day is stuff, things you can pick up in your hand: food, books, papers, clothing, bedding, towels, etc. It’s stuff which makes up clutter. (The notion that clutter is made up of things we pick up and put down — was the last big AHA! I found.)

So, I modified my ideas about what has to be dealt with/how often. I’d figured the kitchen floor needed daily maintenance, but not other floors. I changed that.

Now I have a mental list of the areas in my home which need routine maintenance. Maybe not “deep cleaning” but maintenance seven days a week, or Monday – Friday. Some chores can be put off over the weekends, others can’t.

I swept from the entry to the hall this morning because of this. And then the stairs. [I kept finding more to do.] I swept the hearth, [twice]. I started to go into the kitchen, [but did the hall, again] — and made myself stop.

Then I cleaned the dustpan and the brushes (didn’t wax them, had done that last weekend) and the broom. [And started again, made myself stop.] Put everything away, twice.

See the flip side of the hoarding peeking out? Definitely one of the first times the idea that hoarding/OCD is a spectrum really became obvious in me. Intellectually, I’ve known this for a long time, but I always thought, “I’ll never have that problem!”

Sigh.

empty room

In my old age I  will need to monitor not only my stress levels (because of the PTSD) but keep myself from tipping over the edge from hoarder to OCD/minimalist/clean-freak.

Oh joy.

J

Rumination on the Process

The book purge. Every day. Five or more books out. But also purging anything and EVERYTHING. . . coffee grinders, books, saws, kitchen knives, tools, you name it. Bought clothes the other day and we asked ourselves what can go? And some went and keeps going — every day.

So, this morning I asked myself, when will I have gotten rid of enough stuff? And the answer is pretty simple: when I can take care of what remains in a fairly relaxed manner.

I want to get another job and want the house purge done, first, so that the house doesn’t degrade because I’m not here all day.

Seems like a good new goal. Not going to make having a Cinco de Mayo party this year either — maybe next? I sure hope so!!!

cinco de

J