Tag Archives: dehoarding


Many of the house cleaning posts will get moved or condensed elsewhere.

I’ve said this before, but if you want to keep those for any reason, do it now!

Monday 10/2 Six

Having finally gotten the wood pile work off the list, it really needs to be added again, daily for quite some time. However, that makes it a “to do” list item, rather than one of my daily 5 or 6!

Today’s list won’t be done first thing this morning, I have something else in process, and it will delay matters.

  1. I need to clear stuff from my car and run a vac through at least part of it! Deferred until Tuesday; it’s dark out there now!
  2. Work on the fabric storage again: cull and neaten it up.
  3. Harvest the kale. 7 p.m. There’s more, but the first batch has been cut.
  4. Move the paint as DH and I discussed. See #1
  5. Clean out the underdeck storage. See #1
  6. Work on the sewing table.

Lest you think I’m just goofing off here. . . this morning I had a variety of other household things which needed to be done. Then I met DH for lunch, something we rarely do, but we’ve been heads-down working so we wanted a break. Then I tried to go to antique stores, since I outside my normal circuit. I knew where one was, found another new to me, but both were closed.

Came home, worked on cleaning out my car (but didn’t get it clean enough to vac) and then went off to my tutoring job. Came home, helped DH, and harvested kale.

I have to make dinner yet and clean up breakfast/lunch remains, then whatever mess dinner creates too.


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!


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!

More Merry-Go-Round Chores

The wall over/under the window and behind the hearth has been cleaned and knot sealed. Tomorrow I can put the first coat of primer on it. The next day it gets sanded. Then it gets primed again. The next day it gets sanded the 2nd time.

The next piece of the living room  wall is truly inaccessible. It’s behind the roll flooring (remember that? I bought it two weeks ago) and the large oak (it’s on wheels) flat file. There’s a major piece of equipment  and a metal sculpture there too, but the equipment is made to move and the other hangs on the wall.

The problem isn’t moving this stuff. The roll flooring can be moved with a dolly. It’s that there’s nowhere to move it to. The center of the room is already filled with furniture, books, misc. pieces from the living room teardown/painting already in process.

However, I’m determined to get the living room painted, and before the middle of August. I want to put it together, the way it’s supposed to be by or before Labor Day. Some of that is in progress  — the chair being reupholstered starting next week, for example. Removing the chair will create a hole in the island of stuff in the middle of the room, but not enough.

The sculpture has a designated new location, which was cleared months ago. It just needs to be taken down, cleaned, the wall where it’s going dusted and then the piece put up. That wall is only partly wood, so not all of it needs the extra step of knot sealing before the primer.

Today we got the next 2 pieces of the log wall sanded, cleaned, and knot sealed. Also today, DH made the pull out shelf he was going to — works great! And otherwise? We cooked, cleaned some, went to the dump and I have a box of books to be mailed to a friend, tomorrow probably. Those books and the books I decided to take to the antique store completely emptied a box which was hiding in my office. [That’s effectively 2 linear feet of book shelves I will NOT need. Hurrah!]

Going to the Other Side

This blog was started to track my attempts at dehoarding. And, although I can’t say that I’ve completed that goal, in many ways, I have.

DH got sick in August this year. He seemed to be wasting away in front of me and I expected him to die this winter, if not before, as he seemed to be getting weaker, daily. It was awful. There appeared to be nothing I could do. In an attempt to flip the negative into a positive and because I had to do something, I started to clean the house. My idea was that whatever it was which was making him sick, it wouldn’t be the house.

So I started cleaning, daily. I vac’d, washed dishes and kept up with them, etc. The house started to emerge from the clutter and I didn’t panic — I couldn’t — I was already in full panic mode there was no room left! All the panicky energy went into cleaning and trying to cook tasty food he could eat. (He was having a hard time swallowing too.)

Okay, so things got better. I stopped cleaning compulsively. But something was still different — the clean spots stayed cleaner — and no panic.

The panic and panic attacks have been, for decades, what stopped me. It’s damned hard, maybe impossible, to stop yourself in the midst of a panic attack and get yourself to realize that it’s just nonsense.

After I stopped compulsively cleaning, nothing happened. I realized I was waiting, again, for the other shoe to drop. It didn’t. So, I’ve been cleaning again, because of the new wood stove — and more of the house is emerging.

Yesterday I worked on the living room, set up a bookcase, filled it, came up with a pile of stuff to go away, went through some papers. Started off the day energized and psyched ( l love the new hearth we built and the new stove) but I was bummed by last night.

Couldn’t figure out why? No energy to work on things at all. Looked at the clutter, stuff littering every surface from pulling things out to clean them and felt worse. Worse? The clutter makes me feel worse? I’ve lived with so much clutter for so long it has been NORMAL. So I tidied what I could. put things in boxes, straightened piles, etc. and realized I felt better again but I was tired.

The world sure is different these days!

I have been also noticing my OCD side starting to come out . After months of looking, I finally found a black metal small dust pan. No big deal you say? I couldn’t clean inside the wood box with the old aluminum one, so I wanted another. Found it. Got it home and waxed it. Use it, clean it out with a rag and every now and then (not daily) I wax it again. Apparently, my OCD at least at first is emerging as being a fiend for cleaning tools after they’re used. I’ll take that as a compulsion with no apologies! So, I’m already going to the other side, somewhat. DH and I have been laughing about my emerging OCD. Hopefully, it won’t ever get to where it’s truly a PITA, but we’ll see!

Old, but New

We bought a bookcase last weekend. Someone had taken an old industrial retail shelf unit (like I love and already had one of) and spray painted it silver, alas. However, it’s twice the size of the one I already owned. So, yesterday I moved/culled things around in the living room.

This required moving what was in that space (an old paperback case we’d had for the shop, the wood box, the containers of kindling and fire starting materials).

I hauled it all outside, including the fire wood and cleaned it. Culled out 1 bookcase, 1 enamel stew pot & lid, 2 wooden crates. All are going to the antique store today. The crates are the thing I regret the most, but I have no place to use them and they’re in the way, so out they go. They aren’t as interesting as the last batch of crates I bought as bookshelves (from a bookseller to a science department at Harvard) or the last lidded wooden box (marked for the American consulate, somewhere) as they have no labels or other markiings. They will almost certainly sell. Storage furniture/items are good — but money ain’t bad either!

Along this line, we’ve managed to come up with 2+ boxes of stuff to haul out of here to the sale this week too.

The fourth rug is almost finished, so that will be out of my queue too.

The memoir creaks along.

Got the first piece of our CSA share last week: almost 2 lbs of spinach. Tonight’s dinner will be the cold spinach soup I make. Here:

Lettuce Soup v 2

The last blog post for the CSA is one where the wife of the couple talks about how they plan to give their shareholders enough, or more than enough food, and people say it’s too much. We’ll see! If it’s truly too much, my neighbors or the compost heap will benefit. If not, then it will get used.

I didn’t go to an auction yesterday. The only thing I really wanted they had was wire shelving — which I want for the old laundry room/new pantry. Until we move things around, I have no place to put such a thing. My new rule is that I’m not buying stuff or keeping it, including shelving, storage, etc. unless I have a place to put it to use it RIGHT NOW. So the crates go out, the wire shelves were bought by someone else, and that’s it.

I may regret it later, but meanwhile, we have to get rid of the abundance o’ stuff that’s already here, so we can use the house as a home, not a storage depot!

Because of the culling/cleaning yesterday, I opened the surface cleaning files for the first time in months. I rearranged the table I was working on so that it makes more sense. If/when I get it to where it isn’t full of holes & typos, I’ll probably post it.

Do you use a list of seasonal cleaning jobs? What do you use? Where did you get it?



No patience. . . AND the dark pit

Okay. I belong to at least 6, probably more, “frugal shopping” sites. One of these lists sales for local grocery stores. I just quit them, for the 2nd or 3rd time because they spend a lot of time on making things “pretty” and do dumb shit things like list 24 bottles of water at store A for $3.00 and store B, different brand, 24 12 oz bottles for $3.75. Since you don’t know how big the first item is, you can’t compare them, except on price. Essentially, you can’t compare them.

I don’t understand how people can spend a lot of time & energy to upgrade a UI for a “we’ll help you save $” site and miss that they’re asking you to compare apples & oranges. I don’t expect them to do it for me, but I do expect them to understand that one bottle can be 24 oz and the other 64 — and that affects the price per unit!

(End of rant.)

Of course, I was impatient already. Why? Because I started dealing with the dark pit in the bedroom this afternoon. Great gobs of dust came off the top of the bookshelf. Everything got removed, was dusted and the top of the shelf was dusted as well as that corner of the ceiling, the walls, etc. Then I put something new up there which needed to be stored. Great!

My nose was starting to go nutz, so I stopped. I need to get the bookcase cleared off and cleaned so I can swap it out with the other one. I also need to get rid of almost everything IN that bookcase. I haven’t looked at most of it for more than 10 years. Except for one book — I’ve regretted selling the two other copies — and there’s one in this bookcase. Yeah! But aside from that one book, I doubt I’ll keep any of it.

My heirs are no doubt singing my praises, but that corner is going to take a few days of effort and lots of fortitude!