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Sooo Much STUFF!!!!
abc123
Posted: Thursday, November 8, 2018 7:32 PM
Joined: 6/12/2016
Posts: 1037


Day 8 at Mom&Dads house. 6 more days here.

Reason for last minute 8 hour trip which turned into 9 hour trip because of bad weather.

-stay with Mom while Dad attended to business.

-clean and organize closets to make things easier for Dad to run the house and care for Mom.

-help with decision making about projects

Reasons to complain/vent/whine whatever u want to call it.

- the house is overwhelming. They’ve only been in this house for 12 years and it’s busting at the seams, both parents were always avid collectors of beautiful things. And BOTH of them have entirely too many clothes. It’s ridiculous. 

- I’ve cleaned out two closets, still have the huge walk in of Moms to do. Dad said to get rid of everything that’s not her size. Apparently in the couple of years before Mom gave up shopping/driving she went on shopping binges for towels, sheets, comforters, drapes, dust ruffles, hand towels, wash clothes, table linens, linen napkins. OhMyGosh!!!!! Not to mention shoes, purses, and clothes. Tons of clothes with tags still on them.

I am making progress but when Mom comes into a room I have to stop what I’m doing because it confuses her. She doesn’t realize any more that a house needs to be cleaned. If she even sees me dusting she gets agitated. At times she doesn’t even know this is her house.

Main reason to complain- my sister is an azzwipe! She has no compassion for our parents. If she were to walk in right now I’d ring her neck.

Ok. I’m done for now.


ruthmendez
Posted: Thursday, November 8, 2018 11:10 PM
Joined: 9/8/2017
Posts: 2268


Why is it only one person in almost every family takes care of everything?!  Were we born with more superman powers or something?!  

It's frustrating.


Jim Broede
Posted: Friday, November 9, 2018 5:03 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


ruthmendez wrote:

Why is it only one person in almost every family takes care of everything?!  Were we born with more superman powers or something?!  

It's frustrating.

 
Doesn't have to be frustrating. You let it be frustrating. Hey, instead. You can take control of your life. There are many ways of doing it. Such as an attitude adjustment. That's darn hard. But you can do it. Begin. By believing in yourself. --Jim
jfkoc
Posted: Friday, November 9, 2018 1:52 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 18478


I understand your frustration. I also understand being overwhelmed, sad, confused, angry etc.
ruthmendez
Posted: Friday, November 9, 2018 9:43 PM
Joined: 9/8/2017
Posts: 2268


Victoria2020 wrote:

Picture your sister dressed up in the dust ruffles and assorted textiles- like a pancake house waitress on steroids. 

(With tags, maybe some stores will refund/issue a store credit).

Ahhahahahhahahahh!   Awesome.  What a great imagination!  Love it!

markus8174
Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2018 6:52 AM
Joined: 1/25/2018
Posts: 617


I'm where you are but it is MY house. My DW with AD has been a compulsive packrat as long as I have known her. I have a little packratitis myself but she has a severe case.  Now that I see the end of the road coming for my DW I want to clean out the house and get it ready to sell. I plan on fleeing my family and just spend my last few years traveling around in a used motorhome. It'll never happen  unless we have a fire! Our house could be on that "hoarders" show. DW is unable to help in any way but heaven forbid I touch any of "her" stuff, or even throw out some of my own. If I can sneak some of the trash out while she's napping I can find a place to sit down. It's just one more way I feel I'm riding along in the back seat while this disease drives my wife crazy.
Jim Broede
Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2018 8:47 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


Good luck.
jfkoc
Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2018 12:51 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 18478


I did one paper grocery sack a day. Then put them into the car for Goodwill etc.
abc123
Posted: Sunday, November 11, 2018 8:31 AM
Joined: 6/12/2016
Posts: 1037


Victoria!!!! Thank you! I had a good laugh from your reply! Thank you!!!
abc123
Posted: Sunday, November 11, 2018 8:37 AM
Joined: 6/12/2016
Posts: 1037


Dear Markus, I feel your pain. I am so overwhelmed by STUFF. I was able to throw out a ton of stuff on “trash day” I felt sorry for the guys on the truck! The pile was huge!!!!

My Dad gets home today. I’d like to suggest he contact an estate liquidation company. Oh well! Sending love and peace to all of you! 


MinutebyMinute
Posted: Friday, November 1, 2019 3:26 PM
Joined: 6/11/2019
Posts: 517


abc123 -- I know this is an old thread but I found so much common ground here. I'm STILL trying to clear out the other house. STILL.

Last Friday, I managed to knock out a larger and one small closet. I saw things I'd never seen before. Apparently, sometime in the last five  to six years, my mom was making little trips while I was at work. She was jamming that stuff in. I'm only just now finding some of it! Lots of clothing in a size she'll never wear again, many with tags (donated).

If I wasn't trying so hard to clear it all to get the house on the market, I'd probably have a sale or sell it online. Could use the money these days. Mom's care is cleaning me out. That's why getting that place sold is so important.

I've donated CARLOADS of goods. CARLOADS. And thrown away stuff that no one really needs. Amazing. Less than 900sq ft of house with at least 3,000 sqft of stuff.


LadyTexan
Posted: Friday, November 1, 2019 3:43 PM
Joined: 12/21/2018
Posts: 561


We have more stuff than we will ever need. Its exhausting. DH has started shopping on line while I am work. I know taking his credit cards is the solution, but I am not ready for the catastrophic reaction any time soon. I am still licking my wounds from him giving up his driving privileges.
BethL
Posted: Friday, November 1, 2019 4:10 PM
Joined: 3/25/2015
Posts: 671


When we cleaned out my mom's house to sell it, there were 6 huge dumpsters full, 24 large trash bags filled with items to donate, my sister picked out what she wanted to keep and I did the same, and we had 2 antique dealers come in to buy things - THEN we got one of those companies where they will take (to sell) whatever is left. Finally got the house cleaned out, then came repair of some windows, carpet cleaning, foundation repair....etc etc etc....to the tune of $20K. Oh yes, and the mold remediation - and the mold remediation company also removed and disposed of everything from the almost 2000 square foot basement packed full of stuff...
GothicGremlin
Posted: Friday, November 1, 2019 11:10 PM
Joined: 4/7/2019
Posts: 115


OMG, this is my life.  I feel like I'm always cleaning out someone's house.  I had to clean out my parent's house (no help from my brother, some help from my sister).  They had so much stuff.  So.much.stuff.   I remember opening the door to my dad's workshop and almost crying when I saw the chaos and piles of stuff in there. And my dad toward the end didn't know what to do with his mail, so he put it all in paper shopping bags and put it out in the garage.  How many times did I say to myself "so, that's where that bill went".  Arrrrrgg.  I can laugh now, but not so much then.

I did get it done.

Now we're going through my sister's stuff. She's together enough that she knows she has to start getting rid of stuff, but man, it takes so long.

So yeah, the cleaning must be in our genes. 


BethL
Posted: Saturday, November 2, 2019 3:51 PM
Joined: 3/25/2015
Posts: 671


Before I cleaned out my mother's home, hubby and I cleaned out his mother's home. She was a saver. If she paid for it, she certainly wouldn't throw it away! That cost money! Anyway, a couple of things we found were 1) Old Boys' Life magazines (her son, my husband was in his 50's by then); and 2) gift wrap. She never wrapped gifts; she always gave monetary gifts, but when she received a wrapped present she unwrapped it very, very carefully and saved the paper.  To what purpose I do not know.

Anyway, after cleaning out two hoarders' houses I said I will never do that to my kids! And I periodically declutter. I'm a big donater of goods I can no longer use.


GothicGremlin
Posted: Saturday, November 2, 2019 9:02 PM
Joined: 4/7/2019
Posts: 115


Gift wrap.  My mom passed away almost eight years ago and we still have wrapping paper that she bought.
Mobile AL
Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 12:59 AM
Joined: 7/21/2018
Posts: 44


I am the caretaker of my sister (cancer), my mother (cancer) and my father (Alzheimer's).  My sister died in August so I've been going through her things, sorting them out. Her 6 adult children would come over and take what they wanted. The rest goes to Goodwill this week if I make it.

The first of last month (October), my mother died. I've got to go through her stuff next and she loved going to garage sales and shopping in general was one of her hobbies. She also would do quilting, sewing and crafts. There are boxes and boxes of material, three 4-drawer cabinets of sewing paraphernalia, two sewing machines and a quilter or embroidery machine. She liked glass vases, bowls, statutes (dogs, fish, people, etc) that are in the house. And she has a storage shed built onto the back of the garage that has more boxes of stuff.

I'm hoping I can at least make a dent in the house at least over the next month or two...guess that means I'll be working on it well into next year. Ohhh! I've got a headache already!


Cindy Sue
Posted: Saturday, November 30, 2019 9:02 AM
Joined: 4/8/2019
Posts: 1


Yes, I think we are born with some kind of superpower and some how we get through it.

 It is nice to know that there are others who are spending as much time as I have sorting through possessions and acquisitions .  It is my other full time job.  My mom passed a year ago and I am almost finished with dealing with her things.  My husband has EO and I am afraid to provoke him by touching his stuff/ much less move his stuff.  Anger kicks in easily.

Does anyone know or understand the hoarding of plastic bags???

 


harshedbuzz
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 6:37 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 2209


After my beloved aunt went into memory care, my guardian aunt, mother, cousin and I spent almost a month going through her camp compound in Maine before turning it over to a company which sold the antiques and donated/disposed of the rest. 

It was a sad, sad task with discoveries that were beyond ridiculous. It was a big job, auntie had a 3 BR home, a couple of smaller 2BR cottages, a 4 bay garage, a cottage converted into a workshop, a boathouse and a shed. The house looked pretty normal, but the other buildings were crammed with the contents of her late in-law's houses and the contents of the house she lived in in PA before they retired. 

There was so much stuff. So. Much. Stuff. 

There were over 40 grocery sacks filled with nothing but NYT crossword puzzles carefully cut out of the paper. In the old bags, the puzzles were completed but as we got to the newer ones there were empty spaces and eventually just the grids cut out without the clues. 

One cottage contained boxes from her home when she lived near me. Imagine my surprise when I found the boxes I packed some time during the Reagan administration unopened. At the time I suggested she donate some of the items but she insisted she might need them and here I was going through them yet again. 

We found cash and checks everywhere. I came upon ten $100 bills in a basket of dirty socks. We found a file cabinet full of checks she'd been sent monthly from investment accounts and her late husband's pension. For some reason, she made copies of these checks which she stapled to the originals and then filed. 

There were a number of guns, but none as funny as the little pistol my cousin found in a textbook titled Best Practices in Secondary Education. 

We took some family heirlooms and random interesting stuff. I took a sled that looks like "Rosebud" in Citizen Kane, her MIB wedding china and wedding cake topper, some quirky vintage table linens. My mom was flying back to her winter digs in Florida, so I shipped the old crocks, 50 years worth of linen wall calendars and embroidered handkerchiefs we found in the boxes I packed back in PA south to the Sunshine State. 

Fast forward to my dad being diagnosed with mixed dementia in 2016. My mom decided to sell their houses in MD and FL. When I went down to FL to get personal items out of the house ahead of the turn-key sale, I found myself once again packing up the stuff I had boxed in 1982 for the trip to Maine and 2012 for the trip to Florida for one last trip back to PA.



GothicGremlin
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 6:36 PM
Joined: 4/7/2019
Posts: 115


Oh my god, harshedbuzz, I can so relate to your situation. I'm laughing but I'm also shaking my head because I've kind of been there.

When I cleaned up the house after my dad passed away, what did I find? A five drawer filing cabinet filled with jokes he'd printed from internet sites. Then there were the bags and bags and bags of junk mail that he kept for some reason. I still remember the first time I went into his work shed outside and almost cried when I saw the tornado of stuff in there.

There were a number of guns, but none as funny as the little pistol my cousin found in a textbook titled Best Practices in Secondary Education.  <---- this is great.  My dad taught remedial math and this would have loved this.

 My parents also kept copies of of all of their taxes (and documentation) - way back from the early 1960s.

 It was a lot of work clearing out that house, but while cleaning I'd periodically find little notes (all throughout the house) in his spidery handwriting saying things like how blessed he was, how happy he was, or making jokes about his wrinkles, and I'd smile.  Man, I miss that guy.

 Cleaning out my aunt's house (your aunt and my aunt would have been friends), clearing out my parent's house, and now the prospect of clearing out my sister's house (who has EO) is making me clear out my own house. 



Mobile AL
Posted: Saturday, December 7, 2019 12:10 AM
Joined: 7/21/2018
Posts: 44


I've still not started clearing my mother's things out but I've been moving some of them to the extra bedroom for now. I think I'm afraid of upsetting my daddy, who has alzheimer's. I've noticed he doesn't have a problem if I pack things in a box and put the box in the extra bedroom but I don't put anything in the trunk of the car or he starts getting agitated. I have, however, put a box or two outside the back door and my niece will slip them into the trunk of her car and take them to donate.

At night daddy spends an hour or more just going through the drawers in the bedroom and has called me in a few times or brought something to me to ask if I knew what it was. Mama had things passed down from her mother and her grandmother so some things I just had to guess at where they came from.

Mama had kept the bride/groom top to their wedding cake. Next month they would have been married 70 years!


harshedbuzz
Posted: Saturday, December 7, 2019 9:28 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 2209


GothicGremlin wrote:

 My parents also kept copies of of all of their taxes (and documentation) - way back from the early 1960s.  

My uncle had them back to the late 1940s; my parents' from the early 1960s as well. TBH, I need to clean out my own file cabinet of stuff I know is at least 25 years old or my son will have to come here and throw me under the bus. 

 It was a lot of work clearing out that house, but while cleaning I'd periodically find little notes (all throughout the house) in his spidery handwriting saying things like how blessed he was, how happy he was, or making jokes about his wrinkles, and I'd smile.  Man, I miss that guy.

My aunt and uncle were letter writers. They wrote to compliment Walter Cronkite on his balanced reporting of the Vietnam War, to a snack food company to complain their chips were too dark for their liking, to the purveyors of Andre Sparkling Wine because their bottle had a twist tie in it, to a local supermarket asking them to carry Post Toasties which are far superior in flavor to Wheaties. Somehow I was shipped a box of correspondence- copies of their letters attached to the replies- which my son and niece love to use as a kind of Cards Against Humanity game. 

 Cleaning out my aunt's house (your aunt and my aunt would have been friends), clearing out my parent's house, and now the prospect of clearing out my sister's house (who has EO) is making me clear out my own house.  

My mother did this around the time dad was diagnosed and they moved back to where they raised me.  She has way too many clothes- my fault for finding her a house walking distance to both Talbots and Chicos- but her garage is almost empty and her attic has a mere 4 boxes in it. 




DylansDad
Posted: Saturday, December 7, 2019 11:41 PM
Joined: 12/5/2019
Posts: 11


My mother collected every M&M figurine ever made. Need I say more? I can't stand those idiotic smiling M&M plastic figurines.  Also, she was a sucker for all those Bradford Exchange plate collections:  Elvis Presley, Lady Diana,  kittens, Flower Fairies, Hummingbirds, Wolves, Beachside scenes, , Thomas Kincaid cottages,  Bible quotations, John Wayne, Popes of the 20th century, Country Western singers, etc.  All were mass produced in the millions and are worth pennies today on eBay.  The Bradford Exchange told my mom that they would be family heirlooms for generations. Yeah, right.

Then there is a strange collection of skate boarding turtles, paintings of dogs playing poker, cheesy patriotic plaques, even little bronze busts of classic composers. Americana at its worst. 

BETTER HOMES & GARDENS going back to the mid 1950s. Actually, these were fascinating but had to eventually be disposed of since most were rotting. 

When my dad passed on, we found jars full of belt buckles. He evidently never threw out a belt buckle after the belt itself wore out. The Great Depression generation simply did not throw anything out. 


eliasad
Posted: Sunday, December 8, 2019 3:35 PM
Joined: 12/8/2019
Posts: 1


Dear Care Providers, Family and Friends of loved ones with this debilitating disease known as Dementia and/or Alzheimer.  After reviewing some of the posts, I can pick bits and pieces from each story to describe my current situation with my mom [age 82].  I sympathize with each and every one of you….and me. 

As for my mom, when she was a young girl, she did not have much so perhaps this must fulfill her sense of accomplishment to be surrounded by items that SHE was able to obtain.  In this individualized experience, it has TAUGHT ME a valuable lesson.  I will exchange my MATERIAL MESS for MEMORIES.  I WILL NOT leave the clean-up burden and pain to my son, but rather share every living day making memories, even if mine would be limited, with him and his family.

I am struggling with mom because every closet in her home is filled with clothes she does not wear, has not worn and will never wear again.  Oh, yes, the dreaded clothes with tags that are now ruined….eeeekkk!  I have offered and begged to help dispose of the unsightly items, but she refuses.  To her, they are ALL valuable, but it would serve a greater purpose if they were given to those that are less fortunate, but I am living and thinking in MY WORLD and NOT HERS and I MUST honor her wishes and understand  her challenges so I resort to other measures less noticeable to her. 

This is a VERY DIFFICULT JOURNEY for anyone associated with a loved one with Dementia.  ALWAYS take a deep breath, thank the lord for your many blessings, and help your loved one the best way YOU can.  MOST IMPORTANTLY, TAKE CARE OF YOU first so you can help them.  Much Luck, Love and Blessing to all – thank you for sharing.

eliasad

 


abc123
Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 9:39 PM
Joined: 6/12/2016
Posts: 1037


I recently decided to sell my house. It's too much work for just me. I have been going through all of MY OWN STUFF. I am packing the things I will need most. Everything else will be sold at a moving/estate sale. Once the house is cleaned out, repairs will be made. House will be painted inside and out, then put on the market. Furniture wise, I'm keeping my bed, a couple of small antique night stands and an armoire. A good bit of my favorite Western art. EVERYTHING ELSE GOES! I feel relieved when I think about it. I look forward to not being married to this house and oversized yard. The stress of the upkeep, both physically and financially is smothering me. I can't wait to feel free from all MY OWN STUFF.
abc123
Posted: Sunday, March 8, 2020 4:05 PM
Joined: 6/12/2016
Posts: 1037


Update on my stuff. This weekend I had a plant sale. Sold just about all of them. My huge staghorn fern went to a good home. This coming weekend will be the estate sale. I feel pretty good because things are getting accomplished. Looking forward to an empty house so the contractor can get started. Yay me!
ruthmendez
Posted: Sunday, March 8, 2020 8:46 PM
Joined: 9/8/2017
Posts: 2268


Oh thank God! I bet that feels like a real relief getting a chunk of stuff out. Little by little and much accomplished!! 

For me, I have to wait. But years later after dad goes... I got a lot to figure out. I should not buy any more stuff and good thing this house is small.


abc123
Posted: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 7:59 PM
Joined: 6/12/2016
Posts: 1037


Hi Ruth! I hope you & your Dad are doing well and will avoid any illness related to the virus! Wow! Is that scary or what! I'm trying to stay calm and practice good sense about it. I'm certainly not going to laugh this off. One of my neighbors is planning a trip to Atlanta this weekend to attend a convention. I'm thinking it will be cancelled but if not, she's going. I wouldn't walk into a convention center at this time for any reason. 

Update on my STUFF!  

I've been pricing items for the sale for four days now. All stuff from storage room is now under the back carport, cleaned, priced and out. My friend also pressure washed the back of the house and the patio. It looks very nice. I'll do the front next week. I'm thinking about calling my city council representative to ask if I should reschedule the estate sale or not. I bought neoprene gloves to wear just as a precaution. I'll be exchanging money and handing things back and forth to people. Ruth, do you think I'm being silly? What would you do? Anyway, it sure feels good to be letting go of so much stuff!


ruthmendez
Posted: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 11:33 PM
Joined: 9/8/2017
Posts: 2268


abc123 wrote:

... I'm thinking about calling my city council representative to ask if I should reschedule the estate sale or not. I bought neoprene gloves to wear just as a precaution. I'll be exchanging money and handing things back and forth to people. Ruth, do you think I'm being silly? What would you do? Anyway, it sure feels good to be letting go of so much stuff!

I didn't think about that...but yeah, it's good to take precaution and I don't think it's silly.  And it'll make the buyers feel safe too.  

Are the neoprene gloves kinda thick?  Good for handling stuff, but what about money?  Just make sure they fit comfortably and don't get in the way or make it hard for you when handing small things or paper.

I'm not sure what I'd do....I tend to rub my eyes, touch my face often.  It's a hard  habit to break.

Hey?!  What about the Rolling Stones tour?!  They better not cancel!  I got them tickets already and a planned sitter for dad!


abc123
Posted: Thursday, March 12, 2020 2:10 PM
Joined: 6/12/2016
Posts: 1037


RRuth! I'm not up to speed with The Stones tour, sure would love to see them! I hope it works out for you. I have a lot of good friends who are musicians and tour a lot. Jason Ricci, a fabulous harmonica player, had two short tours cancelled last night. His wife also performs with him. Both will have no income. I'm worried for them and others. This sucks.
ruthmendez
Posted: Thursday, March 12, 2020 4:00 PM
Joined: 9/8/2017
Posts: 2268


Image result for biohazard suit

If I could just be allowed to wear one of these...I'll be good.


abc123
Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2020 12:16 PM
Joined: 6/12/2016
Posts: 1037


I'd wear one if I had it! I've been wearing disposable gloves if I have to leave the house. Been wearing gloves for the past 8 days. I have a neighbor with two kids, her husband works off shore, I've been doing errands to help her. I think I have everything I need here at my house. I hope so any way. As of today I don't want to leave the house.

Ruth, I hope you and your Dad have all that you need and will be safe! Wishing you the best!!!!