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Hoarding Help Message Boards : The Daily Chat : New Beginnings.....a journey from chaos to peace moving through the good the bad and the ugly.
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New Beginnings.....a journey from chaos to peace moving through the good the bad and the ugly.

Posted: 16 December 2014 - 12:22 AM
Thank you Dianne....yes, if we are empty then we do not have any to give to ourselves and when we are empty we cannot give to others. So really it serves all best for us to serve ourselves first, so we have the best and most to give ;)

HUGS.... thanks for bringing this reminder to me
Posted: 13 December 2014 - 07:31 AM
G, congrats on deciding to treat yourself as well as you treat others!

Thank you for your kind words. Any good I can pass on is because it was first given to me. :)
Posted: 12 December 2014 - 08:56 PM
Agreed about still being able to help others while setting boundaries to make sure our own care still happens, so long as we have that much to give. Sometimes the reason that giving comes at such a high cost, is because we put others before ourselves and do not have enough to which time our first priority needs to be ourselves. That is where I am and know there is not someone else who is going to look after me should I need it and gave to much, so while doing that I suspect is going to feel making me number one because I deserve and need it. Deserve my best and that is what I plan to give ME.

HUGS Dianne, I am saddneed to hear of your nervous break down after losing your Mom on your daughters B-day with a serious of other numerous tragedies and life and skill pushing experiences. I am very grateful that you are here with us today, as your light and wisdom and very special and your spirit stong. Am sorry it has had to be so strong, although am glad you have been able to endure with the hope and faith you must posess.

Your right, sometimes it is best not to the know the length of certain journeys or what is ahead even... Thank you so much for sharing. xxo
Posted: 12 December 2014 - 08:34 AM
G, I couldn't even get all the way thru your post without having to stop and start to reply.........YES!!!

You wrote, "I am now wondering if the stuff represents not allowing of emotions, if getting into it and moving stuff stirs some up."

I totally agree. In fact it is so simple a concept that it is so easy to forget. It's like I was recognizing it for the first time again! The more stuff I got the easier it was to tamp down anger, sadness and my overall inability to cope effectively with life. Wow, I needed that reminder!

Oh absolutely rewards and the occasional day (or days) off. In everyday life with work or school we all need breaks to keep from burning out. Certainly we'll need that with a large, hard project like dehoarding.

For so many of us it seems like we have given so much of our time, energy and resources to others. And that's a good thing. But when we have done that at the expense of running ourselves down it's not so good. We can continue to help others even while we are helping ourselves. We just need to learn to set some boundaries everywhere. We may need to say no to some things other people ask us to do just as we learn to say no to ourselves about purchasing something from a thrift store.

Sad, little story about "how long?"..........

A year after my mother died on my daughter's birthday and over a dozen other life changing events within an 18 month period (I actually wrote them down once) I had a nervous breakdown. At the first meeting with the psychiatrist I asked, "So how long is this going to take?" meaning before I am all fixed up. "Like 6 months?" She didn't give me a specific answer. I still see her on a regular basis almost 26 YEARS later!!!!!!!!

I mean holy &*%#!!@!!!!! If anybody had told me it would be that long I would have said screw it just give me the knife now. Sometimes it's better not to have an answer to certain things. It would add crushing overwhelm to an already majorly hard situation. Just day by day. Sometimes minute by minute.

And a warm blankie and some chocolate are good too. :)
Posted: 12 December 2014 - 12:45 AM
Hi Dianne,

That is very gracious of you to allow your niece first dibs on the horse books you will be letting go of. She may want them all, a few or none....although one thing for certain is that it is a family love :)

Thank you so much for the detailed explanations of how the books lay out, present and function generally. Will look further into it and see...
Have already had a look at the buried in treasure book, although not "Stuff" which could be a good help.

Very good information and feed back around confusion as to what is and is not hoarding....lots to think about and maybe let go of there too ;)

Thinking too much can be an issue for sure if allowed to take the main stage and for too long(maybe at all in this process outside the decision making process...not sure?). Acknowledgement and allowance of emotions I am sure is very healthy, so long as a person keeps moving forward. I am now wondering if the stuff represents not allowing of emotions, if getting into it and moving stuff stirs some up. Hindsight will be 20/20 am sure, although for now doing is most important!

Love how you used the term "getting clean" as it sounds like an addiction and maybe is proportionate to the level of challenge and commitment this process will take to move through and maintain. Ongoing sounds scary though, as it makes me wonder what will be involved to maintain or even get the environment there and/or well do both at the same time while in the depths of the beginning here. Lots of commitment, determination, persistence with an occasional kick in the butt I am assuming. As well as some rewards and even occasional day off perhaps?

Going to be a major undertaking, life changing, empowering job to tackle.....although realize that I am worth and deserve it no matter how hard it is. So often I have gone above and beyond for others in ways that if I was just as good to myself or better(selfish as it seems and may sound), would undo a roadblock as well as prevent further deterioration or progress if that attitude can be made a habit. Sacrifices for others at our own expense do not pay it seems and I now know there is not anyone going to look after me but me, so if I matter....that is going to be up to me to make known to myself. Not others and on others....all about learning how to treat self as well as if not better than where others have fallen in the care spectrum. Could be scary and weird, although am thinking focus needs to be on self and this all taken very seriously as it IS serious and know that no one is going to step in to save me if I cannot/do not save myself. A hard piece of information to swallow and grasp, so maybe part is avoiding acceptance of that or the emotions it brings.

At any rate, it is awesome that you are so certain we can all DO this! As much as I want to know how long etc. etc., will just plan to stay in motion in the moment of each day. Each day is new :)
Posted: 10 December 2014 - 09:24 AM
Thanks G, for your advice about the horse books. When I do get rid of the rest of them they will go to my niece who is a professional horsewoman. And yes, going from one extreme to the other would not be healthy.

The book "Buried in Treasures" actually is for hoarders. The authors have what they call "breakout boxes" which are sections of a page that are directed to those living with hoarders. There are also "breakout boxes" for therapists reading the book. The authors have tried to make the book as helpful as possible for everyone interested in the subject of hoarding but it is primarily directed at helping hoarders themselves.

Other good books are "Stuff" written by two of the same authors as "Buried" which has three authors, "Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding", and "Digging Out" which is written for family members and friends of hoarders.

Check Amazon's list if you want to buy any. Be sure and check reader reviews to see if one book would be more helpful than another for you. I usually check the worst reviews first which has saved me a lot of money, time and more books that I don't need.

You've given a lot of thought to the mental and emotional aspects of personally dealing with hoarding; also to the levels of hoarding and the following thought "am I really a hoarder?"

I think the eye opener for me was watching the hoarding shows on tv. Reading books and online info. Addressing with myself and some people what the hell happened and how can I get this turned around?

It's very easy to be confused by levels and labels. You think well, this room is only a level 2 according to such and such and this other room has to be a level 5. And then you get "clean hoarders" or "dirty hoarders" determined by actual filth like animal feces or human waste not just piled up boxes and clothes. Different areas of the house may be in different levels of disarray.

One of the things I have learned is not to get too hung up on the thinking parts, or even the emotional ones. For me those can be avoidance tactics to doing the actual painful work of getting rid of stuff. I have to deal with whatever comes up but I don't allow myself the luxury of an extended pity party anymore. For each person that's going to be a very individual process. It might involve therapy, asking family for help or trying to go it pretty much alone.

Getting rid of excess, getting clean and organized and staying that way is an ongoing process. Every one of us is capable of that. :)
Posted: 09 December 2014 - 12:39 AM
Dianne and whoever else may read last post, I am very sorry for all of the typos and some words that totally are wrong....although bet in context can easily be sorted. Like a word puzzle. If a word does not make sense or site well, keep it in mind as you read and it will become clear what was meant to be typed. Just way to tired and clumsy to have done a better job, although was so eager to reply again... :)
Posted: 09 December 2014 - 12:28 AM
Thank you so much for your reply and much sharing again, Hope that your trip to the dump was successful. Now I amm again thinking about the wrap around top, although the crazy part about when it had been triggered recently was....I thought oh if I had kept it I could have gotten a pattern made of it and another made up(like that would ever happen, although if it would it may have beeen ok). I know from years ago when I had bought some fabric to redo a pair of pants I did not happen and may even stil have the old pair along with uncut and marked fabric :(

I think it is really cool you have so many neat horse books etc. My thoughts are, have and keep them or at least your favorites until you feel as good without them. As well there may be some who would cherish one or so when you are no longer herre, so be hoarding or season exorcismms here. I do not think there is anything wrong with having them.....erasing yourself will not unhoard you and it is part of you who you were and what has made you who you are today.. Taking phots or compling such of the arrrangementts and items you know you do not want to keep, although can keep them in memory(even if still in a small photograph could be nice). Would not go completely thhe other way careful as apparently the other end of the spectrum is the SAME thing I have heard.

Our self esteem and identity take such hard hits from the circumsatances of living environment, which in trun could and would affect the best self esstem I suspect. Such a vicious cycle. I also think having gon without and fear of not being able tto replinsh for a variety fo reasons could be part of what could be hiding under some of my piles. Am not sure if when it comes to hoarding all items woud fit into the "need" catagory, although if they do.....GOD help us all. Do not see how anyone could logically beat/overcome/triumph from it if so(so really hope that is not the case OR maybe it is hanging onto the seasons-----although part of different seasons is ok I do n beleive ;).

Our guts are very smart, so personally believe the hoarding stems from fears. That pull is like a manipulative child or druug that is trying to control us. Once we are clear, I bet we can be tthe loving while firmm parent to it(the hoarding).

Which books were you thinking about Dianne? I know fo the "barieed in treasure one from chat"...."digging out" which I understand is more for a loved one. Any others would be great to know as well. Thanks for sharing your pull upone hearing I had tossed hhose books and videos. I almost feel like a vandal or something....delinquent of some sort. Alost question whether the garbage men wiill take them away or report mme and give me a ticket. Such a mix of feelings around it all. I remember and was taught clearly during upbringing to look after items well and somehow there was also some reasoning that many things if not all should last forever(I am not joking)

So now to consider as one would an adddition(for the sake of a plan of attack on a very powwerful and large challenge that is going to be tough and not go down wwithout a fight). Plan of action which will definitely keep evolving, as well as changing through different tasks as well as progress. What triggers could cause set backs and how to deal with/address/identify and have a clear plan of actiion ready to meet the possible sabotage before or during their attempt to unddermine andd cause set backs. Goals...serious cleqar goals, that while there can be some flebibility with----not so much that excuses can be made up although enough to cut slack when needed. How to deal with the behaviors/emotions that drive these issues and I bet they will be fierce(especailly when they are no longer in charge). Learning and knowwing the difference between healthy and unhealthy choices/approaches/decisions which will be individual in many ways as you have already pointed out.

Part of me is not sure if I am a hoarder, although at the same time I could be in denial. A friend of mine and I were chatting about the pictures and different levels catagorized as hoarding. They felt that level one and two are clutter, while it appears on here I is considered hoarding. Asked some in chat and well now am asking here, as I do not believe it is only I who iss unclear. For example someone who is not a hoarder could have their place look like one easy and maybe two at times, although it is not a costant and easy to clean up for them. OR maybe there are may people who are NOT hoarders whose homes look like level 1 or 2(maybe 3 at times), allthough are NOT hoarders thereffore not eennding up at a level 4 or 5? I am soooooo confused about that. Dianne or anyone else for htat matter who is willing to shed siome light, sharing, opinion around it would again me most appreciated. This is all still very confusing and unclear....

HUGS Dianne, as while the reason behind this season of dehoarding is sad in a way(so that your kids do not have to deal with it when you pass) is actually one of the most thougtful and kind loving to be ordering/decluttering because of your love for yout kids. If only we loved ourselves as much. Scary really in a way, as we should be treating ourselves with as much love/kindneess/reespect that we want others to receive, Not that it is wrong to care that much about otherrs, although why does it matter more when thinking of impact on another. We matter and deserve to reap the rewards and benefits while alive, so lets do this! For us first and foremost with others benfiting being secondary :)

Good plan for the coke bottles. Thank you for your reply, sharing, support and ideas. May not be around the next few days as have some commitmentts that could prevvent it, although look forward to reading/posting/working more very soon. Am so excited at doing this for so many reasons.....may the momentum carrry on.

Posted: 08 December 2014 - 11:39 AM
Thanks G, for your encouragement and advice. I do need to part with more bags and boxes for sure. I'm headed to the dump today and will recycle a few big, boxes there. I had the same problem as you did with regretting letting go of your wrap top. Mine was an oversized, turquoise sweatshirt. When I thought about it later I had to reassure myself all over again that it was a good choice.

You ask great questions about *what is the drug in hoarding*? Each hoarder is different in their subconscious need or rational (to them) reasoning for keeping stuff. To get a grip on that think about what you hoard the most, what is going to be the hardest to get rid of? What will be the things that you would need to make the decision on rather than have someone else decide for you?

Like I mentioned, having a huge collection of horse books would define my interest in all aspects of horsemanship. Not just a young girl's passing fancy but deeply into it for many decades. Why do I need to be defined like that if I already know it for myself? Why is it important for me for others to know that about me after I'm dead? I still struggle with that need. Maybe because I have very little contact with horses now. Maybe because I feel like such a failure as a hoarder I want people to know that at one time I was a success. I was not only good at something but passionately good at it. Same thing with cooking and arranging floral designs for churches and large, fancy fundraisers. What I am learning is that there is a season for everything. It's time for me to let those times in my life go, enjoying what they were and moving on to the next thing in life. Which for me now, is getting my life in order so when I die my kids don't have to deal with the problems. Seems like kind of sad season of life but the success of it will be that I got out of hoarding. And that will be very satisfying.

As far as a hoard feeling like protection that's harder to explain for me. I think having a lot of stuff made (makes) me feel safe in that I'll always have what I need and plenty of backup. The reality is if I can't store it properly so that it doesn't get ruined what good is it? If I am spending a lot of money to protect something (like in storage) is the money being used in the best way? Rationally thinking of the reasons against keeping something though doesn't make it easier to let it go. It's the feelings that I really struggle with. Maybe like a little kid grasping all her toys as they slide through her arms, there are so many. It doesn't make thinking sense but somehow it makes sense to the gut. Maybe I know the pain and longing and jealousy of going without and all my stuff protects me from those uncomfortable feelings. Figuring the need (addiction) to one's hoard is very personal.

Good guides to answer your other questions are in the excellent books written by people who have studied and worked with hoarding behaviors.

You know, this is weird, but I actually felt a pang of regret when I read that you tossed the books and movies. How bad is that, that I can feel the pull of other people's stuff?! You did good!!!

It's great that you got bags of bottles out. That's your priority right now. Next time you can share them if you feel moved to.

As far as the little, coke bottles go can you move them to an out of the way area for now? Yeah, it's churning but unless it's really in your way your energy might be better spent in more immediate problems. I got really caught up the other day in getting something perfectly clean. I had to stop and say, this is good enough for now. I'm getting frustrated and it would be a better use of my time to focus on another area. If the coke bottles are blocking your progress right now say ok, you can stay for a bit and we'll think about it later. As other areas are cleared you may think of a way to use them or you may find it an easy, natural progression to let them go.

Keep up the great work! :)

Posted: 07 December 2014 - 09:19 PM
Wow Dianne, I love all the information you shared with me. Really appreciate your thoughtfulness and taking the timme to share, both the positive and not so positive.

There is recycling pick up for paper and plastic here and yes the thrift shop is a good idea for extra recycled strong bags.

Out of the magazines I have, there are now many I have not read as starte some subscriptions up. Will plan to do what your daughter does and see if that helps to lighten the load(when I feel it is justified to take sometime to just kicke back). WIll maybe set a timefram and if they are still here in several months, no longer give self that option.

Good to hear you boxes and bags are contained and organized....that is good! If you decided to part with them, it would also make it easier :)

Thank you so much for sharing your methods with me, along with triumphs and some challenges. Way to go deciding not to spend extra time and energy to make those items better than it would have taken in the first move and yay you! It is harder to part with stuff, especially stuff even if we just once loved it while it is no longer in good shape. Happened to me with a wrap around top and had some major regrets around it several months after letting it go...I almost would call that a set back as I had to go through the process for it to be ok that I let it go again. Also agree when it is large amounts of clutter, the handle once rule is not sensible(just my opinion as well). Maybe on some items it is possible though...

Do not yet understand about "stuff" defining or protecting us, although hope to get there. Might be as easy as a simple sharing or take an experience to "get" it.

I love the idea of being at a place where there is not anything in a room that does not belong exciting!!!

Speaking of addictions, I think a comparison with nicotine which is a very challenging one as well(some say more than alcohol or even the harder drugs like heroin). My understanding is the longer a person is off their substance, the easier it is to NOT go back to it with more coping skills having developed a capacity and ability to withstand further life stress and strains without crutch of substance/behaviors. So in comparing it to addiction that way, it is possible to not go back(although there would always be that risk and pre-dsiposition), although it brings up the quesion of what is the drug in hoarding? What feeds it? How does it work? Understanding challenges(especially addicitons) is often a helpful part of gaining freedom from the clutches.

Soooo, read your post earlier and did toss all those books and movies in garbage bin for pick up. There was even more than I thought as the bin seemed to be 3/4 full(nothing to joke about). Part of me wonders if it was right and not nice to do with what someone gave me. Good books to read and movies to watch after my having shared I would love them. At the same time, when you had shared it was junk from their places....did almost feel upset at having gotten them and having them take up space in my home. Just getting a handle on how this works. While I feel a little conflict, there is not any risk of my going back for them and am for the most part very happy to have them out of my space.

As well today I took in a couple garbage bags of bottles for a little cash. Feel a little bad about not giving them to a man who was looking downa dn out with a tin bag of them(wish I would have just gave him mine now :( He needed the cash more than me and it would not have hurt me. I feel like I have become selfish and should have shared even my bottles. No I do not feel sorry for him, although what is wrong with me I could not have just let go of them at the door and blessed him with them? :( Point of sharing that though was to report something decent sized leaving home.

Not much else has been accomplished today despite an ambitious list, although ooooooooooooooooooooo I have another question if anyone is willing to share an opinion. Deep breaths. I have a number of those cute little coke bottles. No I am not a collector and really started saving some for a friend who actually had them all over her house. She lives in another ccountry now and well, I just do not look at them the same way I look at the cheap plastic ones. So while I somehow believe there is a value and that they have a purpose and will add to my life/environment(some clever way of displaying them or craft), am stumped really as to what to do. I can neither talk myself into keeping them or out :(

Thanks so much and now today, there is those few things added to the list. Really appreciate the encouragement and love the support here!!!

G :)
Posted: 07 December 2014 - 04:51 AM
I'd like to think 3rd dejunk is the final process. An area or room, for me, is third dejunk when I can look at it and say there is nothing in there that doesn't belong. But some heavily hoarded areas/rooms may take more *layer work*.

This process works for me because I have a pretty good sense of what I call *pure trash* is. For someone who can't throw out used paper products or spoiled food or bottle caps it's going to be a whole lot tougher in the beginning. My process gets tough a little further down the line. For some, maybe they are great until they get to the point of family heirlooms. Or problem areas can involve a specific thing, like clothes or books.

That's where we, as individuals, have to figure what works best for us. We can try different methods and tweak it to fit what we need emotionally. The feelings, I think, are what's hardest to deal with. For most (all?) hoarders we aren't just getting rid of stuff. We are letting go of things that have come to define us or protect us. (Will my grandchildren really understand what an avid horsewoman I was if they don't have the opportunity to peruse my vast library of equine literature from the finesse of dressage work to the basics of trimming a hoof?) The more important, sadder question ~ will they care? Do I really need to keep all those books solely for that purpose?

Dehoarding is a damn hard process.

Will we backslide? You bet. Will an alcoholic drink again or an overeater binge, given the right (bad) circumstances? Yep. The trick is to be aware that it is always a possibility, catch it early, forgive the slip, learn from whatever the trigger was and get back with the program. I guess that's why I say there are no role models. There are inspirations we can draw encouragement from but no one can ever say, "I made it, I'm cured, this is no longer a problem for me." Hoarding is a type of addiction serving different underlying needs and no matter how good we are at getting it under control it will be a life-long battle. Which is why too, I see recovery from it as an AA type process. You can have a sponsor in AA but that person will be the first to tell you he isn't *fixed*. He has to follow the program every day, same as you, just on a different path.

So this has been my middle of the night ramble. I could go on as I am a very long winded type but the pillow, thankfully, is calling me back.

I hope I haven't discouraged you, G. You definitely have it in you to get your home to a place of peace and beauty. When the going gets tough, as it will, which you already know, take a break, have a little treat or rest, cry and rant if you need to, then begin anew.
Posted: 07 December 2014 - 04:01 AM
You're right that in some ways things will get worse while getting better. I never found things to be as simple as the advice "handle each item only once" or use the "keep/trash/donate boxes" method. That probably works when you have the space to do that sorting or your place is already so well organized that when you handle something once you know exactly where it's going to go and have the place for it right then to go to. My methods of dejunking include a lot of shuffling or what most people call churning.

I'm fortunate that I have the time to do that. For me it's kind of a layering method. Not always a physical layer, although it can be. I think of it as the first dejunk. I go thru the first *layer* and whatever is pure trash goes first. Easy and I feel successful. Whatever I am not trashing gets dumped in a box or bag. So yeah there is another mess there. But I can see and know that trash actually went out of the house. Yay me!

Then there is second dejunk which involves more handling and decision making. That's tougher and can involve the keep, trash donate boxes. Maybe I can choose to throw something out during that process that isn't my idea of pure trash. Like it maybe could be mended, cleaned, fixed to keep or donate but really, am I going to do that? No. So it becomes trash.

I recently did that with a pile of laundry. I had left dirty clothes and towels in a bathtub and the cats had peed on them and the damp towels got moldy. I could have gone thru a lengthy process of many washes and stain/odor removal stuff and there were some t-shirts in there I really wanted. But I had to think, if I REALLY loved those t-shirts they wouldn't be in that pile. Do I REALLY want to go thru all the trouble, time and expense of cleaning those things? Even if they get clean do I REALLY want to put those things back on my skin knowing how gross they had been? Aren't I worth more than those filthy t-shirts?

Now for most people all that would have been slam dunk easy. Disgusting, filthy things, pick them up at arm's length with a stick and throw those suckers out! Not for a hoarder. It's a series of hard decisions, back and forth inner arguments, berating and belittling myself for my stupidity at ONCE AGAIN screwing something up. So that can be second dejunk.

To be continued......
Posted: 07 December 2014 - 03:26 AM
Hey G,

For bags and boxes ~ thrift stores are usually happy to have donated bags. They may even want some of your boxes depending on what they sell and how they wrap the purchases for customers. Do you have recycling pickup where you live? Put out a few boxes each week. If you have space you may want to keep some for sorting.

That box and bags of books/movies from friends you are tempted to toss ~ do it! Right now! Since you're very tempted to toss them for garbage follow your gut. Your friends, although well-meaning, gave you the stuff they didn't want junking their homes. Your have no personal connection to their stuff. You'll have enough decisions about your own things. Don't even go thru anything they gave you. Don't worry if some of it could be donated somewhere. At this point in the process whatever is easy, let it go.

For magazines ~ generally more than half the contents of a magazine are ads. Plain old junk. Best to toss them in the recycling bin. Especially the ones you have cut up. You already used the best parts of those.

Of course, I'm saying this as if it's easy ~ just throw it out. In reality I know it's hard. I'm a bag/box/magazine hoarder too. I have bags of bags and boxes of boxes. But now they have a specific area in the garage. Accessible when I need some for trash or storage. But when that bag/box area hits overflow the extras have to go. When I went thru old magazines I allowed myself one box full to keep. Not too big, it holds about 3 dozen. A few magazines were from my parents, old Life magazines from the 1940's. Most are horse, dog and cat magazines and some early parenting magazines from when my kids were babies. The box sits in a closet under the basement stairs. I never look at them but it gives me a little feeling that not every piece of my life is tossable. At some point I'll be ready to let those go but not right now. In the meantime I never buy magazines for me. My daughter has 3 subscriptions from her father. Every couple months she sits for a couple hours looks at every page and then throws it in recycling.

This reply is going to get long so I'm going to break it up so I won't lose the post.....
Posted: 07 December 2014 - 01:16 AM
Thank you so much for your replies Susan and Dianne :)

Yes if the large items and even those for recycling can go(old computer with old data on it removed and then turfed etc.), way more space will open up. Step one is unearthing them.

I have come across alot of bags.... For some reason, I seem to have bags of bags and while the plastic ones I do use and get stressed when run out....could for sure make alot more room if they(especially the paper ones) go. Have also noticed boxes maybe more than I need(although some I find will be gooof for organizing and/or storing items I need and use, although do not need out all of the time).

Bags and boxes I have been quizzing people in chat.....what do I do? As well there are magazines(some of which have been already cut up some when making vision boards with a friend) and others that I am just apparently "saving". While they have been accessible, I have to wonder how many do I need on hand?

Also some bags and even a box of books and movies some friends gave me in my front room that did not even make it to near where I do watch very tempted to toss them for garbage pick up.

Anyone who has bag, box and maganize advice please do share. I am very grateful to your guys replies.

Susan, already I can see parts of my floor that I could not before a week or so ago and have been working very hard. At the same time in some ways, things look and are way worse, although it is like everything needs to be ripped apart to even be real and "deal" with even one square foot of space at a time. Sometimes it just feels there is not a right place for things to go, so into another new pile for temporary. It is a very tricky process. I feel I burned out as today did not get things done and went late last night doing stuff. Maybe I can could the two 20 minn sessions done with Karl after midnight as todays work?

Dianne, oh my goodness the emotions that upheave are incredible. I hope that by going through them it prevents or assists in them not returning and maybe the clutter/hoard as well. Yes, I will look into the thread it is a new day. I like that we can leave the past behind and start fresh...that probably is a good way to look at all when decluttering as well. Staying present in the now.

HUGS at work done in summer unravelling....I wonder if that os part of the process. Having backslides? It has already happened to me as well. I wonder how we can prevent them?

I am sure we all have our role to play and while I agree that maybe someone who is in the depths of hoarding is in any position to give advice, I also feel that no one else would actually "know" who has not been there and who better to share tips than those who have made or are making progress? Othes can speculate and offer what they think, although if they have not been there and found a way to improvement or even not sure I would value their sharing as much. Value any sharing for sure, although most from those who are working with and towards same goals with same issues or maybe even better....have such an amazing skill set that they no longer have issues beyond maintenance(which maybe they can share). Or even the tips like you guys have shared, which are awesome and very invalueable as it can be so overwhelming that keeping one foot in front of another and breathing while looking at and even figuring what is possible to do for that 5 or 10 mins of commitment in the big picture of crazyness.

Thank you both so much for the support and advice. As well as sharing it is ok for me to post questions and progress here Dianne. It might be a very helpful idea keeping self accountable and connected with you guys too.

I look forward to doing more and working with you all moving towards better living condtions. I hope my goals are not too big. Also wonder if anyoen ever gets out of the hoarding issue or if it is a life long thing? Lots to think about, although now will go to sleep and start tomorrow as a new day!

Again any bag, box, magazine, tips all greatly appreciated. Is crazy the amount of certain items that seem to appear. Even some jars...

Thanks for the welcome and suport. I am so looking forward to sharing ideas and working together very much :)
Posted: 06 December 2014 - 12:11 PM
Hi G,

SusanL just gave you the best, basic advice.

The "very minor things" approach that move you thru a larger task is exactly right. Those seemingly insignificant things build up over time. It took a long time to get to where you are now and it will take a long time (probably) to get out.

You've already experienced some of the feelings dehoarding produces. Dealing with those can slow you down but it's a vital part of the process. Without that we can fall back into old habits.

I understand the fear that you will lose momentum. Remember to be gentle with yourself. Even if you have a day with no progress at all it's ok. Tat started a thread called Today is a New Day and although that concept had always kind of floated around in my head I took it to heart for real. Now it feels good to drop the *failures* of the day (and years) past and just focus on that fresh, new slate in front of me. Just that one day. And at night that day is dropped and there will be a fresh start again.

15 minutes is a good goal. In some areas you may find it's too much and in other areas you may find you can press further. Sometimes 5 minutes is all we can handle. When I get stuck I often move to a different area for a break and a fresh perspective.

Billie's suggestion is excellent. It's satisfying to actually see in written form what we have accomplished. It's so easy to forget the little triumphs or gloss over them. You could use this thread as a personal record of your progress. Start a new thread anytime you want, G. We are all equal here no matter where we are on this very hard journey.

I had a lot of success this past summer but it has quickly been unraveling. It can be hard to post of failures. IMO it's important to remember that each of us has our own individual role to play. Each situation here is unique and although we can give advice, encourage and cheer others on none of us who have been in the depths of hoarding ~ physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually ~ will be in the kind of solid position to be a role model. Each of us deals with the daily struggle. Sometimes we'll be successful sometimes we'll fall behind. But we keep trying. And therein lays the success. All just my opinion of course.

Welcome aboard. :)
Posted: 05 December 2014 - 07:06 PM
Step by step, you can do this!

It may take awhile, but you will see progress soon. Start with something visible, large items to toss, recycle, or otherwise get OUT of the house.

Do at least a few minutes every day.

Take care of your health and let us know how it's going.
Posted: 04 December 2014 - 11:29 PM
Today was not the best day, although did get a couple things done that went on the list. Just a couple very minor things like a small part of a bigger job or a very small task, although progress is progress.

Does anyone here have inspiration of progress even going little by little with overwhelming large job such as a crazy house?

Would love to hear some inspiration, examples of what is possible and just general ideas that help keep things moving forward despite pace(although hope the pace can pick up or at least increase at times).

Grateful to have gotten a few things even done today, for this website, chat and this board....although now it looks no one is here either :(

Which is ok....although hope you guys come back soon!
Posted: 04 December 2014 - 01:09 AM
Hi Guys,

As many of you know I am relatively new here. I joined a few months ago, after which I had to take focus on something very time sensitive outside of my home(despite it's desperate need of assistance).

I seem to be back and finding my legs. It has been hard starting to get into the groove, as well as very overwhelming knowing where to start and learn how to even make decisons around things that are in my space now.

This last week despite the overwhelming and even angry feelings it has stirred, has resulted in progress in my home. Maybe not a ton, although even tiny bits here and tiny bits there out of a room or two are encouraging.

My biggest fear is to lose momentum or even take it easy enough on myself despite even if ill, to not even do 5 mins on a day as such. My goal is to do a minimum of 15 mins work towards change(declutter, organization, clean a little area etc.).

I am hopeful with the support of this website that it will happen and the state of my home be a thing of the past.

People in chat have been very helpful, although there is not always someone in thought it was time to join the posting.

I hope it is ok to have started a new thread here. Please do not feel any obligation to post on it, although am interested to share as well as become a more in depth part of the community with the commitment and dedication I have.

At the same time the thought of reading other posts at this moment in time, throws my brain into overload as I am just a beginner at current. So have decided to start this thread and see how it goes and hope it is allowed.

A few nights ago billie suggested to me to keep a little log at the end of the day since I had mentioned to her what a blur accomplishments from one day to another had been, as well as and on top of the sheer extreme sense of mental and even physical overwhelm that hits going into a room to work knowing i am only allowing a short amount of time and small area.

I will for sure ask if I need specific advice and sure hope someone who might have some answers or insight would be willing to share at that point. Right now am just looking to join the boards and also support from whoever has it in them to give some.

So far is has been a mix of confusion, anger, bewilderment, delerium and sheer outright ripping and roaring laugher around all.

Take care everyone and I am so excited to be here in this good company hoping and dedicated to work together towards the goal of a home full of and made with serentiy. Ohhh, won't that be nice? Hope it happens real fast although will have to trust it will happen when the time is right so long as I keep my focus on goals and what is and has been accomplished.

Beginning G xxo
Peace :)
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