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Is anyone dealing with a "hoarding" situation? How are you dealing with it? Do you want to challenge each other?(2)
Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 2:13 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16231


I hesitate to use the term "hoarding" because I don't believe I exhibit the usual hoarding psychology.  I watched a year's worth of "Hoarders" on cable tv, also on other tv shows, and I have read quite a lot about it.   I have belonged to clutterer's support groups.  I have been coached by professional declutterers. I think I know enough. 

None of these poeple ever mentioned impaired executive functions as a reason for cluttering and hoarding.  I have trouble organizing and categorizing for brain pathology reasons.  There is a small psychological component, but I believe less for me than for other people.  My problem is I have trouble reading the massive amount of reading material that comes into my home and I can't file it.

What I have learned is that I must dispose of all this paper, not file it.  There is way too much to file. 

The APS social worker gave me the best advice.  Do one thing at a time.  Don't multitask.  Throw things out.  Get them out of the house.

If anyone else is dealing with this, and wants to make progress, perhaps we can progress together.  I understand hoarding is a huge problem for those with memory problems.

Living in a simplified environment helps us. I'm constantly losing things, and I can't take care of all that is in my home.

Macy Rose posted some good tips.

http://www.alzconnected.org/discussion.aspx?g=posts&t=2147499386&page=-1 

Who wants to join?  What success have you had so far?  What methods do you use to declutter and dehoard?  Do you have any decluttering philosophies?

Let me know.  We can do this!  I need to get decluttered for if things get worse with me.  I don't like living like this.

Iris L.


Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2013 12:07 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16231


No one has responded but I'm not surprised.  No one likes to admit to hoarding.  I have hesitated to out myself for a long time.  Yet I know this is a common problem because the caregivers are always complaining about it.

I have a story to tell.  My mother passed away twenty-one years ago today.  Before she died, I had asked her to tell me about the deceased relatives on her side because I wanted to write their names down.  She had spoken of them for years and I wanted to be sure I knew of all of them. 

About a year after she died, when I went back East, one of my cousins asked to see my notebook with the names.  At the time I thought this was odd, because she was my mother's first cousin--they were the same age and grew up together with the same relatives. 

When I got to her home, there were papers all over her dining room table--bills, letters, receipts.  I was surprised, because she had always been a meticulous housekeeper and very particular about setting the table every night for dinner.  I let her read my notebook, and left, because my plane left that afternoon. 

When I arrived at the airport, I realized I had left my notebook behind.  I called my cousin, and told her my brother would pick it up when he got off work that evening.  Well, my brother didn't go over until two days later.  When he got to her home, she said she couldn't find it.  They looked and it was nowhere to be found. 

Some time later my cousin was diagnosed as having dementia and went to live in an assisted living facility.  I realized she would never be able to search for the notebook.  I also realized that the reason she had papers strewn all about was because her mind had been beginning to fail.  I was looking at the evidence of her dementia, but I didn't realize it at the time. 

I also figured out that dementia was the reason that she couldn't remember her own deceased relatives, and needed my notebook to prod her memory.

I was distraught, because this was my only recollection of that side of the family.  I thought the notebook was forever lost. 

Years later, her home was sold.  In the process of clearing out the house, my notebook was found!  It had been in her nighttable all along.  Apparently her mind was still strong enough for her to think of a safe place to put it, although she forgot it was there.  I got the notebook back. 

Now here's the kicker.  I don't know where my notebook is.  I don't even know if I put it in a safe place.  I've looked in all my usual safe places.  No notebook.  The only reassurance I have is that it is somewhere here, I just don't know where.  I've got to do what was done for my cousin's home, which is to declutter as if I were moving.

Well, I'd better get started!

Iris L.


eaglemom
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2013 2:49 PM
Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 2407


Hi Iris.  I have a question for you - were you writing your first post at 2:13am?  I only ask because that is late.  Well, at least for me that is late.

 

We live in a world where we are bombarded with paper.  Advertising ads, newspapers, magazines, junk mail for places you've never heard of, sales catalogues, receipts, etc.  The list goes on and on and on..........

 

If for example you get your mail and put it on the counter.  I fear your already behind.  What I try to do - is immediately look through the mail.  I immediately toss the junk ads, etc.  The magazines get sorted from the mail.  What is obvious junk mail I put on the shredder, the bill's I put in the "to be paid" file.  Now if I don't do that immediately each day when the mail is brought in, the task has already gotten out of hand. 

 

I'm certainly no organizer, but the big NO NO for me is piles on the cabinet.  (I could care less at other peoples house, but can't stand it at my house.)  Are you certain you aren't trying to do to many things at once?  Getting the mail, looking through it, deciding what you need to keep, making a place for the to keep items, etc.  That is a lot happening at once.  A thought might be to get 3 or 4 large plastic containers, with lids.  Mark on the lid what you will put in there.  When you start sorting through your items should go into one of those tubs.  I know a friend did this and it helped her.

 

I've said it before:  how do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  Do small amounts frenquenty and you'll slowly get through it.

eagle

 

 

 


nomemo
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2013 3:55 PM
Joined: 3/21/2012
Posts: 439


one of the first things that was recommended to me in 2007 after my diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia was to "declutter"...i live alone and it usually didn't take long for things to pile up.  not that i liked it....but that's how it was.  i immediately began to take pictures off walls and store them safely, frames and all, as well as get rid of any "chatzkis" that were all around the house.  i kept a couple that had meaning to me and put them in my china cabinet.  the rest were given to a local thrift store.

 

my niece came over and helped me to organize my storage room off from my kitchen.  i purchased inexpensive plastic shelving units as well as bins from a dollar store that are placed on each shelf.  each bin is organized according to season with window and door decorations as well as birthday stuff such as wrapping paper, ribbon, cards, etc.  i have a larger tote that contains christmas wrapping paper, ribbon, cards, scissors, and assorted sizes of gift bags.  my tabletop christmas tree and tree decorations are also on the shelves.  i would NEVER have gotten through that organization without the help of my niece. 

 

things can certainly get out of hand at any time because there's no one here to monitor me and i forget a lot....plus it seems like such hard work to think about organizing, etc.!  working the brain to keep a schedule, remember about throwing paper away and organizing is so difficult and taxes my brain. 

 

i'm so grateful for the aide who comes in one day a week to help me out.  services paid for by local alzheimer's foundation.  my neurologist wants someone the other 6 days, but difficult to find because of my age (5 and insurance won't pay if it's considered non-medical.  in the meantime, i, like so many, will continue to do the best that i can and hope that someone will tell me when they think it's getting out of hand....and that i don't take offense.

 

 


rosesandthorns
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2013 8:17 PM
Joined: 1/22/2013
Posts: 164


When I was younger (much younger) my mom started hoarding. She definitely had the anxiety disorder OCD. Eighty percent of what her hands touched she kept. Now the only thing she hoards is tissue. She could never find anything. But whatever she could not find was always found later under something, in something or between something. We knew she would find it because she never threw anything away. 


 

I remember talking to her on the phone and telling her that I was getting rid of old clothes and she would give me this lecture about not throwing anything away because you never know if you are someone else could use it. Then she would want me to bring the stuff I was about to throw away to her so she could see it!


 

Now that my parents and I live in the same house there is so much mail. My challenge is MAIL. I have my parents and my own mail to deal with. You would not believe how much mail has accumulated in the past few months.........ok maybe you would.  


 

I was suppose to get started on "OPERATION MAIL" about 2 months ago. But I am going to get started tomorrow.......hopefully.    I have my shredder and file box ready to get started.  

 

But if you want some inspiration watch "Clean House" on Netflix.   Once you watch how much clutter the families have to deal with it, and how it has affected their lives you will be motivated to try and get decluttered and organized.    


 


 

I think I will watch a couple of episodes of "Clean House" tomorrow morning before I get started.  *:(tv) tv 


 

 

I will let you know when I have completed "OPERATION MAIL".   


 


  

 

*:) happy 

 

 

 

 

 


Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013 3:49 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16231


eaglemom wrote:

Hi Iris.  I have a question for you - were you writing your first post at 2:13am?  I only ask because that is late.  Well, at least for me that is late.

 

We live in a world where we are bombarded with paper.  Advertising ads, newspapers, magazines, junk mail for places you've never heard of, sales catalogues, receipts, etc.  The list goes on and on and on..........

 

If for example you get your mail and put it on the counter.  I fear your already behind.  What I try to do - is immediately look through the mail.  I immediately toss the junk ads, etc.  The magazines get sorted from the mail.  What is obvious junk mail I put on the shredder, the bill's I put in the "to be paid" file.  Now if I don't do that immediately each day when the mail is brought in, the task has already gotten out of hand

 

I'm certainly no organizer, but the big NO NO for me is piles on the cabinet.  (I could care less at other peoples house, but can't stand it at my house.)  Are you certain you aren't trying to do to many things at once?  Getting the mail, looking through it, deciding what you need to keep, making a place for the to keep items, etc.  That is a lot happening at once.  A thought might be to get 3 or 4 large plastic containers, with lids.  Mark on the lid what you will put in there.  When you start sorting through your items should go into one of those tubs.  I know a friend did this and it helped her.

 

I've said it before:  how do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  Do small amounts frenquenty and you'll slowly get through it.

eagle



 

Yes, eaglemom, I was up late, but 12;37 am is only 10:37 pm Pacific Time.

 


I have several years of being out of control--at least ten years in fact. 

I have at least fifty plastic containers and bins, as well as many plastic trash bags full of items.  You're right, one bit at a time.  Inch by inch it's a cinch.

Iris L. 

rosesandthorns
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013 12:08 PM
Joined: 1/22/2013
Posts: 164


Iris,

 

 

I would like to thank you for your post  I got up this morning thinking about getting to the task I have been putting off for about four months now.  Two months ago I promised myself that I would tackle and complete the mail and documents situation before the first of August. I did not mention in my pervious post that I had a bin of mail and documents that I brought with me when my daughter, parents and I moved into our new place. Now I have to go through not only that one bin but eight months of mail and documents that has accumulated from my parents and I.  

 

Even though I don't have as much to tackle as you do, my replying to your post has given me the push I need (I have publicly committed myself).  I know it is going to take time for me to complete "OPERATION MAIL" but in-between taking care of my parents and other responsibilities I should have it done by the middle of September........I hope. 

 

 

 

Thanks again. 

 

 

 

*:) happy 


eaglemom
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013 1:30 PM
Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 2407


Iris, as soon as I hit the "post" button I realized not everyone lives in Central Standard time!  Guess I wasn't thinking. 

 

As for the sorting, if left to DH (ChiliBean) to handle we would have tall nice neat piles of paper everywhere.  I have tried to slowly help him to organize - but he becomes distracted easily.  I wonder if that doesn't happen to you also. 

 

He likes having everything in its place - thus the plastic containers.  I've found if I put something in the container and tell him - he forgets it.  However, if I hand it to him to put in the container he has a good chance of remembering where it is.

 

With him, he doesn't like doing things for a long time.  So - we do little bits at a time.  He recently told me he knew he was slowing me up on something's around the house but he appreciated that I wanted him to help do things.  I would bet you feel good when you accomplish a task - that's your small 'bite' for the day.

 

eagle


Judy S.
Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013 6:58 PM
Joined: 9/5/2013
Posts: 1


Hi Iris, I'm Judy.  What I notice is that my husband's treasures are his link to a more tangible memory, if that's a valid term.  For me, my method has always been to recall tangible things like what we wore, as well as the intangibles-- such as emotions-- connected to a particular event.  I can recall lots of that because of a conversation cue or something intangible.  However, my sweetie has always relied on tangible things as his "portal" into that part of his mind. Now that much of his short term memory is garbled, he is all the more attached to the "cues" he relies upon to access his childhood memories, or his career highlights, etc.

ALL THIS TO SAY that I have to work hard to respect the fact that his brain-cues are lying about the house!  Furthermore I have to love them and treasure them.

A really sweet couple at church married over 60 years have a cute little diddy they enjoy telling to us youngsters married less than 30 years.  The hubby says, "Gee whiz, if I could only find UP I'd be so delighted."  The wife finishes, "That's because I put his things UP."  Him: "Have you seen my high school yearbooks?" Her: "I put them up, honey." Wow their humor gets them through.

WHAT HUBBY AND I WORK HARD TO DO is have a place for things, and get things to their places.  It is a crying shame that so much paper arrives at this home on a daily basis!  That part of throwing away unwanted paper is a task that requires weekly vigilance.  Old clothes are another matter.  Sometimes it is easier to turn old clothing into a very neat cloth, because then it seems easier to pitch all the rest of the fabric.  Again, I think this has something to do with proper respect for the treasure.  Pinking shears are my best friend!

WE KEEP A CALENDAR.  He is happy to take me somewhere if I have it on the calendar that a particular event is coming up.  He doesn't like surprises much anymore.  The day will come when he won't enjoy going out either, but until then.....  I put down my favorite soup/salad places for Friday or Saturday.  Usually Thursday is my pitching party, because we have a week to reconsider before the garbage man comes on Thursday sunrise. I don't spend much more than 10-15 minutes on the task.  HOWEVER, I make time for it after breakfast, after lunch, and sometime in the early evening.  That's nearly one hour per day on Thursdays.  Then on Friday/Saturday we celebrate that we got through another week of this.

I invested in a LABEL "gun".  The manufacturers make their money on the tape-refills that's for sure.  But I've found that if I put things in labeled, clear, plastic totes from some dollar-outlet, then we stay on top of the organization systems.

I have a cardboard box labeled "SHRED". He does a really good job of shredding junk for us.

I AM LESS ADAPTABLE  to all this routine and organization and structure at this point!!!  But it really helps me to respect what HE is going through in order to keep his thoughts/activities organized.   A little compassion will go a long way.
Thanks to everybody who posted.  Thanks for the topic, Iris.
"Peace I leave you....."

Iris L.
Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013 11:26 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16231


Thank you for sharing, Judy, and welcome!  I loved your story about the long-time married couple--my things are not yet up, they are all down, LOL.

You're right about the visual cues.  I'm glad you understand.  Most people don't.

Iris L.

alz+
Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2013 2:46 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3549


Living in a simplified environment helps us. I'm constantly losing things, and I can't take care of all that is in my home.

 

 

 I have lost so much stuff - I used to sell on eBay and had a hobby I guess of going to yard sales. Liked to learn about the history of stuff. Mu husband is a rare books collector and seller. This small house became unlivable (in my mind) and for 2 years before diagnosed I could NOT make myself clean it up. Have never lived with so much chaos. The paper bad enough, but putting things SOMEPLACE SAFE is the end of it. I recently took the few bits of makeup I use, put them in SOME THING and vaguely remember putting it in a drawer (?) and thinking "you'll never remember that". I don't.

I am working with a counselor on helping me adjust to ALZ diagnosis and we are now at my home condition and allowing a friend to help me clean it out. If I were able I would have a garage sale but check that off. My daughter might come out next month, she is unattached to my stuff so should help donate it.

Being realistic about clothes for special occasions etc - do NOT need things for my future - to get rid of Massage Therapy library, books on writing for classes I will not give, written and unsold manuscripts, and an odd collection of wool blankets.

It is the difficulty figuring out what to DO with it all now. I want a clean peaceful easy to clean house and that I can open the door and say WELCOME TO MY HOME. Working on it a small amount a day, lots of effort, many hours, little accomplished.

 

  


Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2013 4:45 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16231


Thanks for responding, alz+.  I know I'm not the only patient dealing with so much disorder and disarray.  I struggle every day.

Iris L.

CodyW
Posted: Saturday, October 26, 2013 1:54 PM
Joined: 4/5/2013
Posts: 853


Iris,

 

I just stumbled across this thread today.  My father, and his father, had EOAD.  One of my siblings is now complaining of memory impairment, which prompted me to start poking around the Younger-Onset posts.

 

Anyway, I think the simplify and de-clutter thing is a universal challenge.  I saw my parents each struggle with it more as their dementia progressed.  Clearing out the junk, and preventing future accumulation, requires so many decisions.  It can be exhausting.  It is difficult to deal with my mother's possessions as she downsizes, and she is a very neat and organized person.  I do not want to leave a mess for my husband or kids, regardless of my future cognitive status, and so I have to get to work!

 

I would be happy to accept a "challenge" with you.  Perhaps we could make it more of an "accomplishment sharing" thing.  Tell me about any organizational success you have - regardless of how small - and I will do the same.  I think it will encourage us.  Maybe every time YOU clear out a little, then it will be MY turn to do a bit of something.  The peer pressure will keep us moving, yes?

 

Off to pare down that pile of catalogs growing in the family room......

Fondly, CodyW

 


Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, October 26, 2013 7:49 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16231


Hi, Cody!  I'm glad you responded.  I'm sorry you are dealing with your Mom's and now your sister's cognitive issues.  One thing about dealing with parents is that you kind of expect that they will be slowing down as time goes on, you just don't know by how much.

I notice how very often caregivers complain of their LOs hoarding and clutter problems.  I think a lot of it has to do with the dementia.  I used to be very organized, but since cognitive impairment has become a significant part of my life, organization has gotten much worse.   

I wonder why everything is so hard for me now.  I've been pondering this for a long time, because I've been dealing with this for a long time.  I have worked with many programs.  The only thing I have not done is work with a companion.  Perhaps you and I can get something going.  I would love to work with you.  Yes, we can post our accomplishments. 
 

 

My task will be working on a pile of newspapers that I have here next to my computer.  After I read the paper I stack them, instead of getting rid of them.  Why?  I don't know.

Addendum:  I forgot to mention, today I went to a "drug disposal drop-off" and dropped off several old bottles of medications, some going back to 2007.  What a relief to have them gone!

Iris L.
 


Paul Hornback
Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013 2:59 PM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584


Iris, I have to confess I have trouble with the whole hoarding issue. I didn't used to be this way!!! Now I just pile stuff up and never seem to get around to looking at it. My magazines are piled on the end table by my recliner but I look at about 1 a month while I add 15 a month to the pile!

I also hoard away snack food that I don't eat. I don't know why I do this because it isn't on the med diet but I keep in a closet by my study and I'm not going to eat it cause most of it is pretty old. Maybe I should just toss it???

My desk, which used to be clean is now covered with notes, books, mail, and just stuff I don't think I can part with. I guess I need some help!! My wife has been real good about it but has mentioned it a couple of times this past month like it might be getting to her.

I suppose I can start with the decluttering this week but it will take some time. Our church has a food pantry that I help with each month and they like to have magazines available for the folk who can't afford magazines. So, I think I take my stack and just give it away cause I'll never look at them.

Thanks for bringing up this topic. I suppose we all need help.

God Bless, Paul


CodyW
Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013 3:04 PM
Joined: 4/5/2013
Posts: 853


Iris,

 

Two thumbs up on the medication disposal!  That was an important accomplishment. 

 

I know what you mean about not throwing away newspapers.  I am considering switching to digital newspapers to avoid this problem.  I've got a little stack of articles and recipes I want to scan.   I'll need a push to get that done!

 

I did get my magazine and catalog pile under control yesterday.  Sometimes I get sucked into flipping through them instead of tossing.  I like to look at the decorating magazines, so I let myself keep a few back issues.  News magazines older than one month HAVE to go whether I read them or not.

 

My DH and I also got rid of a pile old yard waste that had accumulated over many years - lumber, fencing, plastic pots, dried Quickcrete, etc.  We have a dumpster here for a remodeling project, and it will be picked up Tuesday.  There's nothing like a DEADLINE to light a fire under our butts!! 

 

CodyW


Iris L.
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 1:12 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16231


Cody, it's still Sunday here although the time stamp will say Monday.  I wanted to post before the day was up.  I had to go to the market today and clean up around my place a bit, so I got a late start.  But I did manage to discard fifteen newspapers, some going back to mid-August.  I think this was a good start for me!

Iris L.

CodyW
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 9:17 AM
Joined: 4/5/2013
Posts: 853


Paul, I appreciated your post because it prompted me to pull some food out of my pantry.  It is now bagged up and in the car, destined for the local food pantry.  Thank you.

 

I think donating your magazines is a wonderful idea.  Were you able to do that this past weekend?  Perhaps your church food pantry would also take some of your snack foods, even if they are a little old.  Can you find expiration dates on them?

 

It is so much easier to deal with the mail if we don't get junk in the first place.  In another post, I mentioned to Iris that you can reduce mail clutter by going to the  Direct Marketing Association website.  They offer a way for you to "opt out" of a lot of third class mail.  Do this with your wife so you both get off the lists.  If someone in your household has a smartphone, an app called "PaperKarma" also helps reduce junk mail.  These strategies have made a huge difference for me.

 

Every little step toward clearing out helps!!


CodyW
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 9:28 AM
Joined: 4/5/2013
Posts: 853


Iris,

 

You DID make progress on the newspapers yesterday!  Hooray!  How many newspapers do you subscribe to?


Iris L.
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 3:48 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16231


Hi Cody.  I did sign up with Direct Marketing a few years ago and I no longer receive catalogues, of which I used to receive up to ten a day.  Now what I receive are requests for donations from organizations.  You know the ones that send out address labels and note cards.  I get monthly, even weekly requests from organizations that I do support financially, one a year.  I get financial statements.  I get ads from local companies.  I get subscription requests from various health, child, medical, animal, environmental and political organizations.  I feel I should at least respond to them, but there are so many I can't keep up.  I'm going to shred them all.

I subscribe to only one newspaper.  The problem isn't the amount of newspapers, but the fact that for a period of time I was unable to keep up with reading and processing the newspaper on the day it came, so they piled up.  This is because of impaired executive functions.

Iris L.

Iris L.
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 4:07 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16231


Paul Hornback wrote:

I also hoard away snack food that I don't eat. I don't know why I do this because it isn't on the med diet but I keep in a closet by my study and I'm not going to eat it cause most of it is pretty old. Maybe I should just toss it???


Paul, before Y2K I had a friend who encouraged me to stockpile canned goods in preparation of this big computer failure that was expected when we turned to 2000.  So I did. 

I remained in that mindset of stockpiling for years.  It did come in handy when I was ill for a while and was unable to get out much to the market.  But it's important to rotate your supplies. 

When I did finally get to the back of my cupboards, I had cans from ~1998!  I know studies have been done and canned food is safe to eat after 100 years, but the customer services representatives told me to toss those old cans!  And so I did.

Each January I try to clean out my freezer of frozen food from the previous year.  I'm trying to keep on top of this.

Candy is naturally preserved by sugar, so it can last a long time.  So can a lot of snack foods.  Why?  Because they are preserved with trans fats, which have a long shelf life.  Trans fats are dangerous to heart health!  Even if the label says 0.5 g, get rid of it!  Or they are preserved with salt, which is also dangerous to heart health.  Some foods are probably preserved with chemical preservatives.

It's hard to get rid of food when all your life you've been cautioned against wasting food.  I know it was hard for me.  I hired a neighbor to help me clean out my kitchen .  It took several hours, but I got rid of all the old food. 

A market in my neighborhood went out of business, so much food was on sale for 70 and 80% off.  I got many cans of soup that I don't usually eat, and spaghetti sauce.  I don't know when I'll eat all this soup and spaghetti sauce,  LOL. 

I think I did pretty well, though. I used to be a heavy impulse shopper in the market.  Now I'm much better.  But most of the improvement in control is due to being on a weight loss plan, so I can only eat so many different types of foods.

Toss those old snack foods, Paul, and get some apples!

Iris L.

Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 1:45 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16231


I've spent from 4 pm until now 11:44 pm reading and getting rid of past Sunday newspapers, taking time out only to mop the floor and to eat dinner.  I'm making progress, but very exhausted.

Iris L.

Paul Hornback
Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 9:57 AM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584


Iris L and so many others,

Made some progress over the past few days.

Worked through all the newspapers piling up and got them ready for the recycle center.

Organized the magazines I wanted to keep (gardening) and boxed up the rest for our food pantry folks.

Still have the "goodie" pantry to go through but plan on doing it tomorrow. I have a therapist session today and some other errands to do. Also plan on tackling the desk this week!

Thanks for the encouragement and holding me accountable!

God Bless, Paul


Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 12:22 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16231


Good job, Paul!  It seems like once you set your mind you can go forward.  That's great!

Iris L.

CodyW
Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 6:18 PM
Joined: 4/5/2013
Posts: 853


Paul and Iris,

 

I think we all did a great job the past 3 days! 

 

I have so much document scanning to do, but it's coming along.  

 

I boxed up some books and let some friends paw through them.  The books that were not taken are in the van, along with some food and clothing donations.  I try to get my reading material from the library or on Kindle now.

 

One of my problems with reducing the clutter is that I want to donate items instead of throwing them in the trash.  Donating takes more time, but I feel like it is the ethical thing to do.  I feel better as soon as my donations are boxed or bagged, labeled, and in the van.

 

I started on my mending pile and discovered that the sewing machine is broken, so now I have to see if that can be repaired.  Two steps forward, one step back is still progress!

 

Keep on cleaning out and sending encouragement!

CodyW


Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 2:20 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16231


It's after midnight here.  I believe I got all of the unread newspapers read and discarded.  That was about twenty.  I was unable to go to my class today--I had too much to do.  I also wrote out six bills and mailed them.  One bill was overdue.  I mopped more of the dining room floor.

I'm exhausted again.

Iris L.


Paul Hornback
Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 8:51 AM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584


Cody W & Iris L, you all are setting the standard for all of us! Maybe we can catch up with you all in a week or two. You must be incredible organizers, recyclers, and donators to others. Thanks for giving us all ideas on how to proceed.

 

One word of caution, don't overdo! If I get too exhausted, I pay dearly for it the next day. I have ever more trouble concentrating, doing daily tasks, and reading. So I'm trying to pace myself so as not to add to my "not so good days." Do any of you all have a similar problem once you've overdone it???

 

I'm working on my desk today!

God Bless, Paul


Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 12:01 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16231


Paul, in no way am I setting a standard re: hoarding.  At least, not in the way you mean.  I do set a standard for hoarding.  I have been consciously dealing with the newspaper problem for at least three years.  I have been fully caught up a couple of times, and then, back to the same, with holding on to newspapers going back months.  I had one from July. 

My aim now is to remain caught up.  How will this time be different?  I'll write more about this later.

I do still feel exhausted, even though I slept the entire night.  My muscles can't take as much exertion as I thought.  I felt that I needed to go into crisis mode at this time, because things are really getting out of hand in my life now.  I needed to make a big start on piles that have been stagnant for a long while.

Iris L.

CodyW
Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 5:15 PM
Joined: 4/5/2013
Posts: 853


Paul, I appreciate your advice about pacing oneself.  So true.

 

Iris, congrats on getting to the bottom of your newspaper pile.  I hope you can now enjoy reading and disposing of one paper per day!    You must feel so good getting through the pile even if it was exhausting. 

 

Today I only managed to not ADD to the mess.   I guess on some days that is accomplishment enough.  

 

Tomorrow is Halloween.  We always have lots of children trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.  I hope it does not rain so that my DH and I can bundle up and sit outside to hand out our treats.  If it rains we'll have leftover candy, which I better put straight into the food donation bag instead of in the pantry!   LOL!


Paul Hornback
Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 6:46 PM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584


One closing update on the hoarding issue. I got my desk completely cleaned off this afternoon. It is a beautiful oak desk and I can now see the wood!

 

Thanks to everyone for the encouragement and prodding me on with their success stories. Just goes to prove a little competition ain't all bad.

 

God bless, Paul


Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013 2:32 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16231


I said I would post about how I am DETERMINED not to reclutter after getting rid of my hoard of daily and Sunday newspapers.    

I've been suffering in one way or another for the past twenty-five years, since memory loss became disabling in my life.  No one knew how to help me.  I've consulted many professionals, some from the medical or psychology world, and some from books and some professional organizers and some organizing groups.  Only one professional gave me advice that took into account my impaired executive functions. 

I've come to a point where I finally have HOPE that I can have a better life than I've had over this past quarter of a century.  This will be by having a SIMPLER life with no entanglements.  All aspects of my life will be made better and brighter by being simpler.  This hoard is dragging me down like lead weights.

What I am doing now is focusing on going TOWARD my future, instead of running away from my past, all the while living in the present. 

It won't be easy because I've been in this pit for twenty five years.  But I am determined to be VICTORIOUS over this problem.

Iris L.
 

 

 


alz+
Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013 6:34 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3549


Iris paul Cody - all others

My house is small and I used to sell on eBay 3 times a year. Loved shopping thrift stores and estate sales for prizes and it supplemented my income once I was disabled and could no longer give massages.

Once my counselor helped me work on a  vision for a good future, it was clear pathways, places to work on a  simple thing (clear clean table) closet with only clothes that fit and I love, no shoes that hurt, only sheets that were easy to put on beds and so on.

I have been working an hour a day on some things, and some other days I cleaned drawers, On Aricept I clean more thoroughly than I ever did before, and I go slowly, and sometimes watch old movies or listen to radio but mostly I have the house to myself and I just sit in the quiet.

I fill a box and it goes to the door, my husband take's it to st Vincent de paul's thrift so I do not see it go away.

I cleaned out make up one day. Socks. Made a first air kit using old luggage train cases. There is still art supplies in basement and my daughter is coming Saturday and she will help me sort that out so I can paint a box if I want. I gave my neighbor one of sewing machines. Sorted scarves, gloves, mittens one day. It did not seem like much but over past 3 months I have let go of the past with each cleaning project, and as I have access to what I love and need NOW the house has become friendlier.

I learned not to touch things if I want them to go and am unsure, once they are touched the brain hangs on to memories of what was or could be.


alz+
Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013 6:45 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3549


books.

as a writer I had a collection, my massage library was valuable. I had hundreds of books. My husband had 3 libraries, history, theology, and antiquarian collectible books he sells. In a small house looks like hoarding.

He donated his theological library to a catholic church that had an air conditioned and maintained library. That was the start.

I am asking local library to take my massage book collection, giving other books to hospice for a portable library, and there is an assisted living place (where I might live some day) good reading books for their library room.

 

This is the time of my life to make room for contemplation and art, and to give to the community what those in need can use now and enjoy.

 

Still have collection of vintage costume jewelry which was my eBay business, vintage clothes and jewelry and fabrics, to go. We could use the money from sales but it is too much for me to handle photographing, editing, posting, and monitoring sales and then the packing and shipping. It was fun collecting it. I have yet to give it away but we have it boxed in one place in loft space. Soon I will forget I ever had it?

 

Garage and basement are beyond my capabilities. Good to read about how you helped each other and inspired each other to create space for the next stage of a happy life.

Books are so heavy, beautiful, a comfort since a child, magical...they go out one at a time still.


Paul Hornback
Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013 7:03 AM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584


Alz+, WOW! You have made some major headway. Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing. I admire your willingness to part with many of your treasures and to give them to great causes/charities. It says worlds about you!

 

Iris, I sit in awe of your accomplishment given your past 25 years of pit living! You are an inspiration. I know you will stay on track because like you said it is much easier to live simple!

 

God Bless, Paul


Iris L.
Posted: Monday, November 4, 2013 9:56 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16231


I managed to read Sunday's paper before the day was over.  I just finished today's paper.  It's almost 8 pm.

My progress is too slow. I  have to find another way.

Iris L.