Tag 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!”


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.



More Cooking for $1 a Day

A guy actually did this a couple of years ago. The blog can be found here:


The website is a wonderful resource, but I never would eat what he did. Some of it was okay, but some was not. Also, in the interest of de-hoarding, I would never buy the quantity of  foods, etc. he did, just to get whatever benefit (even if it’s just donations). Extreme couponing should talk to him, if they haven’t already!

I’m more interested in eating home-made meals CHEAPLY, trading my time/labor for well-made, real food rather than whatever is on sale, I can get coupons for, etc. I’m also not interested in more prefab food, but in a good deal less! If that means that my cheap meals cost $5 during the winter, that’s okay. If I can with the garden’s help, get them down to less than that in the spring/summer/fall — I’ll accept that.

Along this line, I bought 2 cookbooks Wednesday both from McCall’s both large format paperbacks: Luscious Low Cost Cooking and Practically Cookless Cookbook. I’ve wanted a cookless cookbook for some time, so I was intrigued. It seems to be mostly add this and that prefab thing together and serve it, not my cuppa. I’ll look a little harder before I toss it on the resale stack. The low cost cooking book will get more examination. We’ll see.

I was busy, busy, busy yesterday (Thursday) and I have a lot to do today, so catching up April’s de-hoarding goal may wait a bit. Also, got up this a.m. with my back hurting so I took Motrin (breakfast of champions, isn’t it?) and decided that today wouldn’t start with me roaring out of here at 8 a.m., as planned.


Note: If you’re interested in the de-hoarding effort. I set up a history page today and moved April’s data into it. See the history tab above if you’re wondering where it all went!

Disasters: animal, vegetable and home making

Spring light is coming in my window. Too bad it’s still too cold to work for long outside! I need to get my lettuce and peas planted, the trellis made up for the year, more raking done, more gravel put out, more stepping stones laid . . . you get my drift, I have a whole season’s worth of garden chores to do! I wish it was just about 10 degrees warmer. (It’s 31.) Oh well.

I have to work on the bedroom. If we’re going to rearrange it etc. (on my list to do this spring/summer) it has got to be cleaned/culled well first. In the process, dehoarding wise, I need to find a place to stash the out-of-season bedclothes. I don’t have a “real” place for them now. I have ideas, but haven’t managed to actually give them a home, yet.

The cat’s got a bum leg, and so we bedded her down in the laundry room last night. That way she’s not tempted to climb on or jump off anything (she doesn’t like the machines). She has a bench where she normally suns/sleeps/eats (She’s a very old cat). I’m taking her to the vet as soon as they open.

After that, we’ll see what I get accomplished? I do need to break out the sewing machine. I have all sort of sewing projects, things that are for the new direction we plan to take the house. Things even I should be able to do: cafe curtain panels, cushion covers (easy ones), etc We’ll see!

We’ll have roasted pepper soup for lunch with biscuits and maybe for dinner too. The hash was a success, although I had to add Worcestshire to it. Roasted citrus chicken made into hash is good, but odd. The added sauce made it a bit closer to a normal hash, but the citrus really wanted to dominate. You couldn’t have served it in a restaurant, but it was tasty and we ate it. I also used some of the “glue mashed potatoes” to thicken it up in a hurry. A good use for those!

Glue mashed potatoes? Ah, that was last weeks’ cooking “adventure.” I made mashed potatoes from red potatoes. Must have done it just wrong as they were the consistency of glue when I first mashed them. Added flour, milk, butter and whipping helped, but they were still odd. We ate them but there’s a margarine tub full to use up. Thickening gravies/sauces is probably the best use for them.

I never understood why people talked about red potatoes as being “waxy” before. Boy do I now!

When I worked as a waitress at a dude ranch (years and miles ago) the relief cook one night served the most elastic potatoes I’ve ever eaten. They tasted just fine, and actually they were lighter than mine. I always wondered wtf she did to get potatoes to do that? Now I know, or I think I do. I will NEVER EVER again (if I have a choice) make mashed potatoes with red potatoes!!! It was bad enough that if DH hadn’t been in the kichen with me I probably would have either thrown them out or added instant potatoes to them. I don’t mind instant, he says he hates them. I don’t think he would have noticed, but we’ll never know!

Now that I’ve embarrassed the hell out of myself. . . I’m going to go away! I have a full day ahead of me between cat caretaking, house cleaning, writing, and purging stuff! I’ll update this with a daily total tonight, like I did yesterday.

Have a GREAT day everyone!


old 8613 85.6% (1447 things gone) got rid of one more
thing than I bought
new 8612 85.6% (1448 things gone) sigh…


My past few posts have NOT been about being a hoarder or de-hoarding. (I’m sure you noticed.)

There are reasons:

1)I’m sick and tired of making the silly lists
2)I hate that I’m behind and it’s only the middle of the 2nd month
3)I’m overwhelmed.

This blog is a “noble experiment” to keep me honest/on track and accountable. Well, honest or no, I was off track before the first month was out. To purge the amount of stuff the goal requires, I’ll pretty much have to do nothing else, at all, period. The issues that got me here, which are still in the background, just won’t put up with that, so this briefly became a blog about meal planning, etc.

I’ve been out of state working for nearly a week this past month, but that isn’t long enough to make a huge difference. That’s 165 pieces I’m supposed to purge. A fair chunk, but I’ve done 300+ in one day, so that’s no excuse.

What’s happened is that I’m discouraged because I started behind and I’m still behind. I can do almost anything I set my mind to, I’ve found, if I believe I can attain the goal and see movement. Frankly, I expected to perhaps be behind after 2-3 months or even 6. But starting behind and then never catching up wasn’t how I thought this would go!

I’m not between a rock & a hard place, but two internal razor blades. I want/expect myself to be able to do this, at this level. The hoarder in me is screaming its head off, “It’s too much! It’s too fast!” Both pieces are right.

I did the only thing I could think of, I shelved the whole business to try and calm things down. I respect the hoarder. She has good reasons why she’s there. She protected me for a long time and I needed that protection.

But this is here and now. Here and now, I don’t need to be protected in the old way and the stuff stops me from doing what I want to do NOW. Dealing with stuff all the time keeps me from accomplishing almost anything else. Therefore, I have to get rid of the stuff.

Want to go around the rat wheel one more time with me? (No, I wouldn’t either.)

Talking about food plans, even ones that don’t work, is much easier!

The goal is 28 things a day, that isn’t a lot. My current total is 8 more things gone, that’s the net for several days. Gah! Okay, I’ll get back to work. My pathetic tally is below.

Sold: 10 books etc.
Reveal 4
pantry consolidation 2

Bought: 8 things

today 16-8 = 8

old 9054 90.0%
new 9046 89.9%

Why am I doing this…tell me again? No, I know. I like beating my head against the wall that is me. Damn, this feels just like trying to fight the flashback. I finally got that I can’t fight it, I have to accomodate it. Okay, so that’s what I’ve been doing with the hoarder. But this latest push to get out from under has just made that part of me go ballistic. Time for Plan B, except I don’t have one.



10% gone! & a picture (of books, natch)

The fridge part is back ordered till ?, sigh. We’re supposed to get a loaner, today, sigh again. This is NOT what we wanted, of course. Okay, okay. I’ll quit yammering about that, but it IS frustrating!

Other stuff: DH sold a book he got last weekend. I sold 4 chairs I got last weekend and 2 more I got a week or two before that. If we keep this up, we’ll empty the storage unit AND we’ll actually make a little money from the used stuff this year. (Also, I took a HUGE lot of paperbacks to the dump, pic below.)

The books that went to the dump's swap shop

I have about 30 books ready to upload where they’re going, I need 100 total. I also have a few (<10) books ready for the new wholesale order. I need to crank on that stuff too. My work schedule and tasks got seriously sidelined by throwing my back out last week and the fridge disaster. I did NOT count on spending 3 hours this a.m. taking everything out of our fridge, cleaning it, salting/sanding the possible paths the delivery guys might use — none of that was in my plans for today!

Stuff continues to sell better in the new antique booth than the previous one. I revised this today to reflect the most current sales & things I’ve bought.

*~*The Great Stuff Purge*~*

Here’s the tally. Next month (or maybe sooner), I’m buying a Silhouette. Yay! Then I’ll post a badge to represent stuff out, no more boring lists . . . you’ll see! If you’ll be glad to have no more long, boring lists, believe me so will I! Compiling the lists is not an editing job I enjoy.


To dump (swap shop): 1 cassette tape, 25 books, 1 pair leggings, 1 organizer
To dump (trash): 4 bags of food, 28 books

Sold: 4 chairs, 21 books, 1 camera, 2 bar stools, plant hanger, 2 flowerpots/saucers, 7 more books

Given away: 20 bags, 2 boxes, 139 coupons


Bought: 13 books, 2 paperclip holders, 4 cookie cutters 1 wind chime, 1 candlestick, 1 other thing, 2 paper things
From the dump: 1 thing

today 60+38+161-29= 230

old 9284 92.2%
new 9054 90.0%


Daily List

Obviously, got the header to work the way I wanted. I think it’s pretty neat! The next step is going to be posting images of the stuff actually going out (as a group, if possible) but I’m not quite THAT organized, yet.

Old  8086 100% +42


DUMP: cloth sash, 2 bowls, perfume bottle, tin, 3 wine glasses, record, curtain rod +10

STORAGE: 2 chairs +2

USED: 6 small bottles +6

FOUND NEW HOME: plastc tray +1


1 bag of miniscarecrows, 2 sheets plywood for bookcase backs, 1 kitchen cabinet insert -4


TO BOOTH: (Counted when sold, donated, trashed, etc.) 32 misc pieces, old checks, name plates, lathe, etc.
various books & magazines

STOLEN/MISSING: 10 pieces of paper that were going into the booth (?)

TO BE MAILED  (Counted when wrapped and addressed) 1 angel food pan

+ 15 today, new total 8101

100% + 57 (see cheating post)

Dehoarding goal, what’s next, what I’ve done!

It’s taken me years to admit it, but I’m a hoarder.

For the past several years, I’ve had goals (that I’ve met) to get rid of x number of things. I’ve increased the amount yearly, as below:


I have less than 40 items to go to make the 2011 goal. The 2012 goal is obviously 10,060 items. At the rate I’m going, I expect 2012 will be the last year I’ll do this. (I hope!) That’s the goal anyway.

I’m changing my life by changing my space, and making a home for myself & my very patient husband too.