Category Archives: Hoarding

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

Today

DH is working on upgrading the electrical system on his motorcycle. He helped me with some of the leaf moving (rake, then relocate). Later today, we’re off to the storage to work on that.

There are probably more books here ready to be gotten rid of. I gave one  to a neighbor. Have another to ask a second neighbor about and the yard is tidier than it was. All good.

The fertilizer I used up (we’d had it for 2 years, why?) was rained on for the next two days. A lot of it went into the bulb beds, and the daffs. and other bulbs are shooting up green sprouts all over the place. Partly because it’s time, but partly because they got fertilized just as they were starting their spring push. The rain was a blessing for them.

So we need to buy more mulch for the bulb bed to keep out the weeds (grass), but the bulbs should spread out quite a bit this year because of the timely fertilizer and rain.

I’ve been working on the spring/summer food/garden plans,  Between the farm we belong to and the garden I grow (sometimes, didn’t last year) we are usually drowning in green stuff by June. I want a better plan for what comes in/when and what I intend to do with it this year! I’m about 25% done with this piece. Finished the initial data gather yesterday. Pulling it together.  There are 2 or so more data gathering steps before I can make an actual plan, but it should get there.

Off to the storage — ho!!!!

J

We took a file box full of books and a few besides to the market which has the book bin. Gone! I have gone through one box since we got home and have started the 2nd. There’s about 10 more books in a bag to be donated, wherever it is we go next that will take them.

Worked on Storage, Yesterday

Intend to do more, today. And yet more, tomorrow. I may have to rent a tiny unit to take the furniture. I’m not sure if the antique store has a place for furniture in its new location. If not, then pieces need to be hauled to auction, sold otherwise, or given away. (Purged books from the house today instead.)

We are getting a new back roof this year and maybe some storage space along with it. However, it will NOT be filled with boxes of books. If I bring the stuff home and it just sits here, I have only gained the price of the storage. And the price of the addition has to be considered in there too. The difference of course is that an additional utility area adds to the value of our home, not just a landlord’s bottom line. But as we’re talking about it right now, it will be a much bigger undertaking than we’d originally planned.

I still have WAY too much stuff. My ultimate goal this year is to have NO storage unit by 12/31 and be able to sanely (no box stacks, except perhaps in the attic) store what we keep. There’s a huge amount of stuff to shed between us and that goal, but I’m really tired of hauling things back and forth, trying to sell them or determine what happens to them. I don’t need the camouflage anymore and I’m tired of drowning in stuff!

stuff stacks

I have no idea how well we can manage this. All I can do is try!

J

Took a box to the dump’s swap shop today. Also wrote notes to booksellers, collectors, etc. who are friends. Were they still interested in x or y or z type of book? If so, exactly what did they want? Got answers, Am getting a list together.  More stuff gone. Also, will have a way to sell the best of the stuff it looks like. Hurrah!

Crunch Time

We’ve pared down the stuff and space and stuff, and space. . . .

And now? We have too little space for what’s left. I have a bag of books to go out hanging on the front door knob. I have 4 boxes of books to go through before I leave here today, with the idea that I remove whatever other bags of books that generates.

Also today I’m supposed to finish up the move from the old storage unit to the new, smaller one. And it’s going to be tight, sigh.

boxes

 

Crunch time indeed.

Revisions and Edits, for Reality and to Fight Depression

I rewrote my “to do” list, it was so cumbersome it was just overwhelming, so I revised it.

I brought one of the narrow, long tables from the attic last night. Except for displacing the books (currently on the coffee table’s shelf) it looks as if the narrower table might work.

It appears the skinny table is TOO long, but I  measured it. It’s actually not as long as the couch. It certainly IS longer than the other one, but it’s also not as wide. The width of the current table is the issue.

So, part of what I’m scheduled to do today is set up the “new” table and take down the one we’ve been using and see? I have a possible plan for the current table too. If it works, it will eliminate a “to do” item for DH –always good.

It’s nice to be using my creative juices for the house again. After months of being rather depressed and overwhelmed by a variety of things, it’s nice to have ideas churning away again. That’s my particular power source. It doesn’t matter if things work or not so much, it only matters that I have another idea, another option. For months, it seemed as if my mind was saying “Dull-dull-dull. Too much! Dull-dull-dull.” And although the rest of the world would likely not see me as being depressed, I sure wasn’t doing the zinging that is my normal. My usual internal dialog is something like, “Oh! Look, maybe it could. Look! It could be “this” or “this.” Wow! Look. . . .”

Learning to use those endless options and the idea of the endless options has kept me out of massive depression most of my life. As I said, it doesn’t matter if the ideas work, it is the process of continually looking at almost everything with the idea, “How was this done?” or something I’ve done with the idea, “How can I improve it?” or using odd pieces or, or, or . . .

possiblities

I learned the idea churning from two places: my Dad and science fiction.

My Dad had a PhD, in physics. His apparatus for his thesis didn’t work and it didn’t work, and it didn’t work — for three years! When he told the story about this what he said was  “I learned to plan for failure, not success.” and although that sounds really defeatist, it isn’t. It’s continually planning another option, if necessary. (His apparatus finally worked for one day and he wrote his thesis on that data.)

Science fiction is the “what if” genre. Writers start with “what if…?” and go from there. If you don’t limit yourself to what you know you can do, know can be done, has been done before in  your thinking, then many more options are available to you. Some options are nonsense or impossible. Flying without a plane is out. Spending millions is out, etc. but all ideas which might include those pieces are still  possiblities, although gravity and your bank might eliminate those.

To solve the couch table problem, I could:

  • Eliminate the couch  – not going to happen.
  • Get a different couch – not going to happen.
  • Move the couch, table, bookcases, and chairs in front of the hearth – not going to happen.
  • Hang the couch or table on the wall  -see flying above
  • Float the table over the congested area – see flying
  • Eliminate the current coffee table – considered. The current end tables aren’t big enough to be used without another table. It will cost $ to store, we might not be able to sell it, then what?
  • Get bigger end tables/eliminate the coffee table – considered, requires spending $
  • Cut the current table in 1/2 lengthwise, creates a “honey do” item, to be avoided if possible
  • Bring down the table not being used in the attic that’s long and skinny and see if it will work?
  • Maybe move the current end tables (3 small tables, which nest) into one long row with a piece of glass atop them and use that as a coffee table – requires $ for the glass,  but this is a possiblity.

My criteria are these, if possible, not a given!

  • Little or no cost.
  • Uses what we already have.
  • Requires DH or myself to do little or nothing (no new projects!)
  • If we eliminate pieces, they are sold.

Life is full of endless options, possibilities. If you approach it that way, it’s rarely depressing or overwhelming, because there’s always another option. More, the turning problems this way and that, standing them on their head or whatever it takes to “see” more possiblities helps keep things from being overwhelming.

My bugaboos are: overwhelming and no hope that change is possible. Creativity, the approach that there’s always another way to solve a problem, keeps those wolves from my door.

 

J

 

I Thought I’d Done This . . .

We went to an auction last week. I thought I’d published this, but I hadn’t. I’d written it and saved it as a draft. Sigh. Here’s the auction report:

DH bought some hobby things. I don’t track his stuff, so I have no idea how many pieces. My purchases were two: a food container and a box lot of “kitchen tools.”

Of the box lot, I kept 20 pieces. I have 24 pieces staged to sell. I put 97 pieces in the dump bin!

Obviously, I am getting rid of most of it. But the purchase means I LOST 44 off my total. (Noted on the tally 2/14. I hadn’t noted the pieces going to the dump, as they were still here until yesterday.)

I sold a biscuit tin, and a yarn lot (7 skeins) yesterday.+8

Getting something ready to mail which will help, but until it’s actually mailed, it isn’t counted, sigh. I did mail a box ‘o stuff this week: 3 pcs clothing, 3 newspapers, 8 toys. +14, 8+14=22

 


The auction pieces slated to go to the dump are gone. 22+97=119

In the meantime, I bought a new wallet, but the old one will go away today.-1+1 119+0=119

Also, pulled unsold items from the antique store. It may become a boxlot for the auction, go to the flea market in April or just get donated. I have to go through the box.

Today I went through the stored frames and pulled about 6 to get rid of.  Some frames sell. Others don’t and I can’t figure the difference!

Anyway, I need to add 119 items to my total!