Here is a link that might be useful: The Article
Interesting article, I feel a connection to Irene. My house is preTty badly cluttered up. I haven't filed my 2009 taxes because I "lost" all the papers needed in my clutter. But I DID file for a six month extension with IRS, so it's legal, so far.
What an amazing story. I too have a bit of a hoarding style of sorting things to be tossed, but I do toss most of them. I just can't do so until I know I don't need them. This article scare me enough though that I'm going to really push the issue with my hubby to toss out his paper trash before it even gets to me. I think that's the hardest part for me is looking through others paper trash. I figure, "well if they didn't toss it right away I better make sure it's not something important. When I get mail I make sure to put the trash parts in the recycle bin right away If nothing else I put it in a pile on my desk to take to the recycle bin when I next get up.
That was fascinating!
I really can see how that happens. And it's heartening to hear that she was so happy.
It's also heartening to hear that she was able to keep her home so much more manageable for so long! (even if she did backslide)
Bingo. I've nailed that about myself, that everything I keep is a dream I'm holding onto, and that's why getting rid of it feels like a sacrifice.
I'm sorting my fabrics over the next little while. Maybe I can think about giving someone else an opportunity to dream about them :-)
That might be why it is actually so easy to give things away when you find the right taker.
My best friend growing up had a nother with an incredible sewing-craft room. She had yards and yards of fabric, all neatly folded and stacked. That was 30 years ago. I keep in touch with my friend. Her mother had a stroke and is in a nursing home. Wonder what happened to all that fabric? She literally had enough to last a lifetime. . .
DH hoards stuff. You should just see the garage. I keep the stuff out of the house as best I can, but it's everywhere else including storage garages, sheds, etc. It's a burden and makes me sad. It's not even stacked neatly, but just thrown (looks like King Tut's tomb). What about the people who have to deal with the carp after the hoarder is gone? It's not a nice thing to do to loved ones.
My father in law was a world-class hoarder. He died over 4 years ago and my mother in law still hasn't even scratched the surface of getting rid of the mess. They lived in the same house since 1970 and it is crammed so tight, I'm surprised the floor boards aren't collapsing. MIL is just worn out from trying to sort through it all. Her health isn't the greatest so I fear that DH, his sisters and I will still have that mess when she's gone. What a legacy to leave your wife and kids - 2000 ft2 of junk to weigh them down.
Why on earth don't you all help her now?
"MIL is just worn out from trying to sort through it all."
Anyone care to help her?
The author of this article was a very gentle, non-judgmental man. God love him. I can certainly understand seeing the "unrealized opportunities" present in many of the things I hold onto. However, I find it amazing that I must think twice about whether or not to throw things, like old receipts away. I feel that I'm on overload which makes it very difficult to make a clear, decision about what to do with certain types of things. This is my stumbling block.
I hold onto receipts as well. On the hoarding TV show, one of the professionals pointed out that it's a piece of paper that gives you a memory. That certainly is the case for me, especially receipts from trips. For some reason, just keeping the memory in my mind is not enough.
We don't help because she won't let us. She's not ready to release his "stuff" yet. We are making progress - last week she did get rid of his neckties. There were still dozens of them in the closet.
Ugh - this is way too familiar. I grew up with a mom who kept "useful boxes". (Fortunately, she's tidy by nature and we were too poor to collect much of anything. ;-) My life changed a few years ago when a friend of mine (with four kids and an immaculate house) *threw away* a little decorative bit of wood that had fallen off a kids rocking chair. She said, "I already glued it on once and it fell back off again - it goes."
I just couldn't believe she didn't stick it in the back of a junk drawer because she was going to get around to it at some point!
Of course after to talking to her, I realized that was one of the reasons why her house was clean - she was ruthless about throwing stuff away. Having said that, we're at (another) turning point right now - just finishing an extensive remodel and having to go through the all the stuff I didn't throw away when we packed up half the house. What to keep? What to toss? How to organize it so that I can remember that I have it, where I put it and so everyone else can figure out where it goes?
Let me rephrase - how to organize stuff so that two high-functioning spectrum kids and their mentally disorganized parents can successfully live from day to day with clean clothes, clean bodies, healthy food, and a relatively uncluttered house. I need a schedule/system that works around school, therapy, and DH's marathon work hours. Oh - and the whole family's epically poor short term memory and organizational skills.
Talk about the blind leading the blind - my clean friends come over to help and say, "Where does this go?" and I have to tell them that I don't know - we've had it for ten years, but have never found a place where it just "lives". It's just so hard for me to decide things like that - I either just have *no* idea where to start or too many potential options with no obvious "right" answer.
But I'm trying - I can successfully throw away most junk mail and old magazine ;-) I threw away/donated boxes of stuff at the beginning, and I (mostly) have a new kitchen with working appliances and a *much* better layout. God-willing, my clean friends will keep helping try to get it together.
What a refresing story! I resent it when people (such as my two sisters in law) say that people who have clutter are mentally ill. I prefer to think of mself as a multi-interested person with lots of hobbies and avocations and not enough proper storage. I'm not "dirty" or "sick" at all.