I live next to hoarders
This might get long, but I just have to get this out of my system.
I've gotten friendly with my neighbors over the last 9 months. Been to each other's houses & our kids play together. They are now getting ready to sell their home fast due to financial troubles.
I've seen their first floor living space & it's always cluttered and dusty. Everything is always in a disheveled shambles when I've been over there. Have to walk over toys & you bump into furniture & piles of things on the floor. I've always noticed it...even my 3 yr old comments on the messy house...but I'm normally not very judgmental on how people live and it didn't bother me so much. Everyone lives their own way, ya know?!?!?
I was asked to give a hand with some pre-packing & pre-move organization, and I saw the basement & 2nd floor for the first time. My jaw has been hanging open ever since.
Their private spaces is equivalent to the bad hoarding stories you see on tv. Their 1st floor ceiling is cracking because of the weight of stuff on 2nd floor.
The basement is full to the ceiling except for a circular pathway once around. You can't walk to get to the power panel or water heater. The keep their cat down there & cat uses the entire basement as a litter box. Instead of cleaning up after the cat, they just sprinkle baking soda (by the large box-full) on the waste spots. Not healthy for cat or humans!
There is so much more to say about what I saw in the private spaces.
I was over there helping for 4 hours and we got nothing done other than I brought 4 empty boxes out for her. The Mrs. was so confused and frustrated about the situation...and add on the pressure of "do-or-die" finances.
She gave every excuse and justification on why they need to keep or save/store the things we talked about...even empty, dried paint cans!
I was very diplomatic...yet very forward with her in talking about the stuff. I used the term "hoarding" on more than 1 occasion. I let her know about the fire hazards. She told me they had mice in their house & I told her they are providing the habitat. They are always sick and I told her why. I went as far as telling her that her family probably needs counseling for this.
I had agreed several weeks ago to let them use a portion of my basement for temporary storage until they move. After I saw the amount of stuff, and she had made a comment to me about wanting to get as much stuff over to my basement ASAP, I clarified to her that my available basement storage was not even close to what they were wanting...so I let her know it's better they find storage elsewhere.
Amazingly, we are still friendly after everything I said. The Mrs. told me I was not the first to say what I did.
I have no point to this other than I saw firsthand a true hoarder. My grandparents saved everything, and that was bad. This is worse. There is nothing I can do. She was asking for help, and then after I gave ideas, she explained away why none of the ideas would be good. I'm not offended she didn't like my ideas. I was more shocked at how much she was asking for help & ideas, but was closed down to any idea or option in a split second.
Though I didn't tell her, I have decided I will never let my daughter over there for babysitting simply based on the amount of combustibles in there and the mold & cat feces all over the basement.
It must be a tough place to be and I feel for them. I've been obsessively cleaning and organizing ever since just to mentally and physically clear the Karma...and I'm one of the most organized people I know. I have no clutter and racking my brain to better organize what's already organized. Ugh!
Thanks for letting me get that out.