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Hoarding Help Message Boards : The Daily Chat : What are you doing today (part 15)
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What are you doing today (part 15)

Posted: 21 August 2021 - 03:14 PM
A few updates

The handyman has flu but not Covid. His wife and daughter are doing better. His son was able to come over and snake our sewer line. But this is one of many times and the bigger project (the Big BUT) is what really needs to be done to prevent recurrences.

However, for now, we'll take it.

I'm going to try and relax and get back into a better headspace with everything. I've been eating and shopping a lot as a dysfunctional coping mechanism. Sigh. I'll get back on track.

One thing I did buy that I don't feel guilty about, and it only cost $25, was a really cool stand for my laptop. It can swivel and tilt various ways and I can use it sitting on the sofa, or in my room by my bed the way hospital trays work with the legs under the bed - I'll be able to get more computer work done. And it takes up less space than this other folding table I'd been using.

Bunny club has an event tomorrow but we're just part of an event with several other groups so it's not as much organizing involved. I'm curious how much our event on the 15th netted. I hope it did well. I want to feel positive rather than stressed out in dealing with the bunny club. But lately I've just been maxed out. Hoping that is changing for the better now that we have the plumbing back. Same for my other things that got shoved aside in all the crazy.

And I pray Covid doesn't screw up everything for everybody.
Posted: 21 August 2021 - 11:33 AM
Thanks SubC! Yes, 2 cans is the service limit. Most houses have one, but we pay extra to have 2 so I can get rid of things regularly. They are fairly large, I'd say they can each fit 8 or 10 full kitchen trash bags (the bin lids are hinged and they will dump them as long as the trash is not overflowing the sides, so I can stack it). We also have a bin for yard waste so that's where lawn clippings and branches and leaves go.

It was SO satisfying to see those cans empty the other day, knowing my house is so much lighter. I have one more full box for donation already. I had someone decide they wanted that junk end table so they came and got it yesterday.

Today I hope to finish that family room, or at least mostly finish it. I have one small shelf to sort that will take 5 minutes. Then I need to find a place for everything. The floor is covered with containers and stacks of things I sorted out. I need to sort it all back into whatever space is now empty like the shelves... oh but first I have to clean off some of the shelves better and also a desk in there. Everything is extremely dusty and needs a good wipe-down. It will be a lot of work and I was hoping one of my kids would help me but they are both asleep right now.

Once I get every surface emptied and washed off, I will put all the stuff on the floors and couches away, being careful NOT to leave too much open shelf space at all! Hubby tends to hoard up every open flat surface so I am going to beat him to it and make sure every shelf and desk spot has something useful and clean already cluttering it up! At least it isn't dirty and trash anymore.

Then I would like my kids to vacuum and then I can mop. That might have to wait until tomorrow. Then I will call that room DONE and move on. I may take a quick look around the storage shed, storage room, closets and bathroom downstairs and quickly just toss or donate anything extra I can, since I want to fill those two trash cans before Friday so it is all gone when he gets back on the weekend. I simply cannot throw anything away when he is here since he wants to keep everything, but I do stand my ground about my right to get rid of MY things.

Well, I am going to go spend 10 minutes or so on it and then sit back down and rest. I don't feel great so will need to take it slow.
Posted: 21 August 2021 - 07:47 AM
Good morning!

Tatoulia, good job keeping up the progress with mom. Books are always really hard for me. Have you chosen a piece of furniture yet?

Also good luck on your weight loss challenge. I am net up one pound from my trip. But there is no chocolate cake here.

Lila, you have made amazing progress! I can't believe how much you have cleared out! Is two cans your service limit on trash?

I'm sorry for your Dh loss. And that he is one of (us) who are triggered to hoard by these events. Hopefully at least the things he brings home will not be garbage.

Roadster, I am very much enjoying your name wordplay. :)

You are doing really well too! Family can be difficult. Money and needs and kids are so complicated and frustrating.

I'm proud of you for sweeping the floor again! And putting away the clean laundry! (I need to do that.)

I think making a plan for next week is a great idea. I know I always had big ideas about what I would do with my free time if my kids were away, and then if I didn't get started, the time just drifted off. I still do it with Bean's nap time.

Maybe you could do a load of laundry on Monday and Marie kondo one drawer when you put it away?

I slept late yesterday and today. It's amazing how tired the trip made me when I was basically doing nothing.

I am doing pretty well guarding my time and space. I got an invitation to the teacher luncheon on Monday (which I think might be our opening meeting?) and instead of a lunch order, I rsvp'd "I'm sorry, but I'm not available on Mondays." That is Bean's day.

I also got slotted for a supervisory time that I do not want. It will make my day harder and take away from what I am able to do for my kids (which, if they don't put me in that slot, I will basically be working to make the program better for free during that time - the stuff I would do then isn't stuff I will do later.) the director specifically said that slot is hard to fill, so I did not say no, but I did point out how it would negatively impact my classes and ask her to try to replace me. I hope she will.

Next week I am going in to set up my classroom. I'm finally getting excited. The facilities person bought me my dream shelves! They need covers over the wire, but we will be using cardboard until about February, when Dd will have clean scrap that is just what I want available for free at a construction site near school.

I'm going to be honest that the shelves are another reason I didn't say no to the supervision. Turns out I can be bribed.

The garden is going well and there wasn't too much waste while we were gone. A few squash got too big and a few tomatoes rotted, plus about half the edamame went by. But the farm sitter and my kids picked most of it. Yesterday I filled the dehydrator with cherry tomatoes and picked beans, squash, ground cherries, and edamame and my counter is still covered with tomatoes, but i am not overwhelmed.

I think I will make pesto today. I am trying to put up something every day. Once school starts that will get harder, so we'll see, but the garden won't run too long into October.
2 ROADS diverged in a yellow wood...
Posted: 20 August 2021 - 09:30 PM
Hi all,

Thanks for all the updates. I am cheering you on.

I had a kind of frustrating convo with my bro today. He's as dysfunctional with cleaning and inertia as me and my sister are with hoarding. His job (which he's extremely overqualified for) somehow made it through the pandemic but he was finally laid off in the spring. My parents have partially supported daily bills and/or mortgages of both my sibs since - well, many years. This is a source of deep resentment for me and the H, Not that they want to help my sibs, or that my sibs are in need of help. But that my sibs take the help without any compunctions (seemingly) and my parents try to vent their frustrations to me of all people while regularly reducing the amount they say they're leaving in their will for my son who has special needs and will always be dependent. At any rate, my BFF's sister reached out with a job opportunity for my brother. It's a good fit on a number of levels, but he still attempted to poke holes in it and I'm not at all sure he's done anything to pursue it even though it's now been a week. I tried to share with him what's been going on with me (he knows I have a hoarding issue like my sister but has no idea how bad my room had gotten) . Instead of just hearing me out he started to lecture me about how to de hoard even though he has never dealt with anything like this and he's also severely dysfunctional in slightly different areas. So tonight I just want to throttle every member of my family basically. /end rant

So I guess I should reframe this... I did do some maintenance in my room. I swept the floor again and knocked back the laundry a bit - dirty laundry to closet and moved more clean laundry to drawers. I also read a bit of Marie kondo. My son starts back to school Monday so I was thinking of outlining some objectives for next week. I think it makes sense to get a little farther with cleaning my room before I shift gears and try doing the Marie Kondo thing with clothes. But if I can pare stuff in my room back a bit more I think I could deal with my clothes, then maybe try to finish my room, then head to the garage... that's the broad overview anyway,,, I drove by one of the storage places I was thinking of moving my stuff to several times when things got really bad here... I was relieved to think I probably won't have to do that now because I am making progress and feel hopeful about continuing.

Can't thank you all enough for being a soft (and safe) landing zone for me here, without judgement, and lots of wisdom and support. Xoxo 😘

Back later,

Xoxo 😘
Posted: 20 August 2021 - 07:54 PM
Lila!!! You are amazing! WTG! So proud of you!
Posted: 19 August 2021 - 08:07 PM
Wow, look at all these posts since I was here last!! I have started catching up and will finish later this evening. CM, thank you for explaining big BUT. And SubC, good memory! Yes.. one of the reasons I have not done this before is that he would bring in more and hoard up any free space. Right now he is away due to a death in the family. He has a shared home they now have to put on the market, and he is there sorting who knows what. Last time he did that, ten years ago, he came back with a Uhaul truck full of stuff. I told him we don't want or need anything from there, but I do expect him to come back with a lot of things he wants to keep. I was thinking if he has a LITTLE space for those things then he might fill it with those. But yes you are right and I don't want to clean too much space, for sure.

Today I cleaned off all the remaining shelves, desks, spaces in that room, sorted out things to donate or throw away, and put the rest back on the shelves. The stuff I found though that he kept - burned out light bulbs wrapped in napkins, ketchup packets from 2011, tons of plastic forks from fast food places, gloves with no matches, old shoes covered in paint and spider webs, dog biscuits from 2013, tons of old cords to who knows what! Also an old shower rod with the ends missing, two wooden BROKEN chair back dowels, lids to whatever, old used ziploc bags. Wow.

I took 3 boxes of things to the donation place yesterday, and an entire SUV back full of cardboard to the recycle place. We now have two very large trash bins full and the trash truck comes in the morning. I am so excited for all of that to be gone!!

Next step is to dust and find a place for each thing, then vacuum. I do have one end table that is junk that I want my son to take apart to throw out. We have one more trash dump before he gets back!
Posted: 19 August 2021 - 07:32 AM
Yay for getting home and seeing the baby!

I went to mom's last night and got rid of a shower curtain liner from her old place and seven books. She struggled on the books. I put them in the library downstairs. I also picked up some of her trash. I have to keep moving with getting rid of one piece of furniture in her place. She agreed. And so now it's up to me to make it happen.

My place was cleaned yesterday and in the afternoon I did some, but not all, of my laundry. I've entered into a weight loss challenge with a very dear friend. Our weigh ins are on mondays. She's already lost 20 lbs so I have to lose 20 and she has to lose 15. Whoever gets there first gets flowers delivered. We tend to send flowers to each other anyway so it's a nice thing.
Posted: 19 August 2021 - 06:11 AM
I also have picked things up from all those sources.

And I also proceed in waves.

Currently I am in a season of just trying to hold my ground and manage my life. The kids sent us home with two goodwill forks so we could eat our lunches on the road, and dsil gave me a book, so there's that increase to go against the stuff I got recycled.

Life around here is definitely going to change again - today is the first day of public (not mine) school. Masks are "encouraged" which means they will not be worn. My county is at 23 cases per 100,000. I wonder how long that will take to double?

I have Bean today.
Posted: 18 August 2021 - 03:29 PM
To answer your questions, Road, yes. To all! Reading, watching shows, posting here, spurts, slow and steady, you name it, I've done it. I do find that clearing begets more clearing. You get on a roll and suddenly, you can take a beat and discard Ashley's note and the rusty needle and all of a sudden, you realize you have 100 clean, new needles and you only need 20 so you donate the other 80. Your priorities come into a good focus.

I think subc's idea of tying a task is excellent. I do my dishes as part of my bedtime routine. I make sure that I wake up to a clean and clear sink. I also think about how comforting it was as a child at night when the lights would be low and the dishwasher was running. So I turn on the lamp in my kitchen and I start the dishwasher. So comforting to me.

CM I am so so so so so sorry.

Will write more later.
Roads: where we're going we don't need any roads
Posted: 18 August 2021 - 10:02 AM
Thanks for your encouragement (pause for dramatic bow):::::

Thanks too for elaborating on that idea... I think that might work well for me as I know I tend to get "mess blind" in phases (like nose blind)... if only I was better at establishing habits. I really resist doing things the same way twice (boredom or rebellion?) and am also a control freak. Not sure how those two things go together... other than contributing to me having a hoarding problem! A few years ago when I when I was seeing a therapist I got into a habit of reorganizing my purse while we were talking. I guess it was nerves related but it was very practical because it was a regular weekly thing... kind of a reset button.

Glad you were able to get lesson plans done (and recycling) Even though you didn't have the right materials in hand. Things are getting real in the land of returning students and returning teachers.

Curious where everyone here has learned the strategies and hacks or tips that have worked best for them- is it from reading books or watching shows or interacting with each other or ? Also curious if you go through cycles of on/off activity of dealing with things or "slow and steady"...?
Posted: 18 August 2021 - 07:36 AM
Goid job roadster! Nice progress on the night stand!

What I mean is, think about how quickly you restored the floor. Now if you just sweep the floor every time you brush your teeth, or plug in your phone, or eat breakfast, it will get connected to that activity. Then it will become part of your routine and your floor will stay nice.

CM, I'm glad you gave water.

I hope the health situation sorts itself out so that you can safely get plumbing! Soon!

We are going home today. Last night dd called and told us she spent two days living in the loft because she was quarantined waiting for test results after exposure at work (she's fine.) The source person was vaccinated and at least one unvaccinated person got sick. also she cleaned the bathroom in the barn.

I got a lot of lesson plans done and a lot of paper recycled.

They will have a mask mandate here starting Tuesday. Ddil made me a pretty mask so Dh and I can go to the symphony at home - they at least will be requiring masks, and the audience skews old and liberal. (Vaccinated)

It looks like I will possibly be in line for a booster in November. I need to get my shingles shot.
Posted: 17 August 2021 - 02:37 PM
👋 hey all. Punching in after my task! I cleared out the drawer and the top of my nightstand, and cleaned off the lamp stand and the lamp. I haven't gone through everything that was in/on there yet but the surfaces are empty and cleanish. Pretty thick dust and huge mess in the drawer which was gross so I will spare you. My son keeps coming in and looking at things. Kind of funny. He just came in again and put a book down as a coaster for my Kleenex box then proceeded to rearrange everything at right angles. "There you go." Two hoards self observations: found a needle. Looked dirty so I cleaned it then realized it was rusty and hesitated thinking "I wonder if I can get the rust off..." (no) and tossed it. Also found an old note. No clue who Ashley was or what her note meant and even knowing it must be 3+ years old, took a beat before realizing "That's garbage" and throwing it away. Miles to go before I sleep - but done for today.

Hope everyone is hanging in there and having a good day.
Posted: 17 August 2021 - 01:37 PM

I hear you on the divided discussion topics. Our immediate families are all lefties so it's easy for us to agree on most things. Extended fam is a different story. But this lefty is not too happy about what's going on right now or how it was handled even though dems are running the show. I know it's complex but I don't know why they couldn't have evacuated everyone while they still had total control over the situation. My friend I was telling you about whose son just got evacuated is an island in her family. I am super curious to hear her very conservative ex marine sons take on things given that he was right there. Might be some common ground there although I'll admit I tend to avoid rather than seek out discussions which is part of the big picture problem.

So tell me More about your suggestion, you mentioned linking floor cleaning to something else... is that like as a reminder? Help me understand your thinking. My skills in this area are super flabby. Gross.

Cm, that is a complex domino situation. You weren't kidding! Did she catch it in the hospital or did they just catch that she had it because she had to get tested in the hospital? I was really surprised that when my son went in after his seizure and we were telling them we'd all. Just had The flu they didn't test him. I wonder if they just spaced it out or dropped The ball?

We went with the aged Ps to a local park that has beautiful gardens and I was the weak link of the group. My 86 yo father with his upright walker who does a couple miles a day and my tiny mom who is pretty spry, and me... limping my way through,,, ugh, It didn't help that my son had some behaviors and it was pretty hot. We didn't stay too long then and went out and grabbed a bite. I do think they're missing their home and yard but are signing up for classes and enjoying meeting new people. I'm blathering,,,

Ok so I'm going to commit to cleaning off. My bedside table now so I can come back later and be able to tell you all I did it. Lol
Posted: 17 August 2021 - 09:07 AM
P.S. SubC we do have incoming water. It's just the outgoing that presents a problem. We can wash hands into a basin and toss it outdoors, and maybe do hand laundry, sponge bath, etc. Pottying is the trickiest thing. 😬
Posted: 17 August 2021 - 09:03 AM
We still haven't heard anything from our handyman. I had a few facts mixed up. What had happened was that his daughter over a week ago had an infection that she was in the hospital for. That had already been a concern for us, how she was getting along. And it had brought our projects to a halt but they would've been anyway on account of needing to wait for parts.

So anyway, this daughter of his had improved and been sent home, only to find out she had caught Covid, and then the wife caught it from her. The handyman himself got tested yesterday. He hasn't been able to get the shots because of some other weird immune condition, his doctor said not to but he was getting routinely tested instead. I don't know about the family members. They've definitely had health struggles of one sort or another.

So we feel really concerned about them whilst feeling desperate about our own situation. It's so surreal. If Delta gets bad we might have even fewer options for public restrooms. Let's pray for all sorts of reasons it doesn't come to that.
Posted: 17 August 2021 - 08:47 AM
Good morning.

Dh and I can't talk about Afghanistan. We can't really talk about covid either. We have different philosophies on many things. I told somebody once I was going to get a T-shirt that said "sleeping with the enemy since 1988".

It is nice here where ds lives. At the library every single person was wearing a mask. Correctly. Where I live the only time I saw every single person wearing a mask - even during universal mask mandates - was in my classroom. Not my school - I am the person who reports coworkers (and of course corrects students) but in my classroom. Cases here are half per 100,000 what they are at home - and the population density is higher. (Vax rate about the same)

Good job with the personal grooming and the floor roadster!

Can you think of something you do every day that you can link to clearing the floor to establish a new habit?

The guys got a slow start today, so I got to enjoy breakfast with my son. Today I will focus on the class I got the book for and on not eating cake. Maybe one small piece...
Posted: 16 August 2021 - 10:12 PM

I'm just chilling waiting for my son to let me in his room to apply his acne medication... exciting times! the H is out with friends so we ordered Mexican takeout. I put away one of the suitcases from my trip, kicked the new dirty laundry behind the closet curtain, actually brushed my hair before my shower, took said shower, and instead of not seeing the litter accumulating on my floor I noticed it and - get this - swept it up and into the garbage can.

I still have the four bins on my bed (clean clothes, Toiletries, stitching and paperwork) but now I also have a pretty big pile of other stuff - mostly from my trip - that I need to put away. I folded a large amount of my sons clothes yesterday and got some of my load of laundry folded and put away. I thought I was out of shirts yesterday. Guess where they were hiding. My shirt drawer! Ya gotta laugh...

I am keeping tabs on the Afghanistan thing. One of my girlfriends son (ex marine, now contracting) was just evacuated suddenly day before yesterday. I felt so bad for what she was going through. She had two kids. Her daughter died at age 5 of a heart problem and her son proceeded to take on every Uber dangerous activity he could find... She's had a couple hellish years. First her daughter in law has this incredibly high risk pregnancy (ended up ok but months of stress), then her mom died suddenly fall of ?19 - in the timeframe where in hindsight everyone was wondering if it was Covid. Then her son And his whole family get Covid and with his wife's health issues from the pregnancy I'm thinking that had to have been dicey,,, then her son re-deploys, then her
Beloved dad gets cancer And then the Kabul situation falls to pieces. But at least he's safe on the ground somewhere today. Re: the Covid thing I'm not feeling all too safe even with the vax. A retirement community in town (not my parents) has over 40 cases now. Almost all of those were people who were vaccinated. Also heard about the cruise ship with a bunch of cases - almost everyone vaccinated. (My bil and niece are currently on a cruise ship up to Alaska...) Then I heard the stat I've been waiting for - that 10% of Covid hospitalizations are vaccinated people. I kind of think we had it end of June. I was basically in bed for two days. But then again we did get negative test results - but those were at home tests not the more accurate ones... have to keep pushing myself to get back out there with people - just keep it mostly outdoors and in smallish settings...

That's it for tonight's meandering ramblings...
Posted: 16 August 2021 - 08:41 PM

So clever about buying the shorts - lol! I am glad your mom is letting you clean out and get rid of things.

Roadster, it is great that you are addressing current issues. It certainly sounds like people are not helping you much though.

CM, that is such a difficult situation! We had no water in the house for six hours today while the guys were working on the plumbing and the road crew cut the Internet and I had finished doing all the on paper school work and read both books I brought with me.

Ddil eventually came home from work and took me to the library. And we did get the book I needed. I can't imagine having no water for days.

I love my son, but I do not get to spend time with him because he is working on the project with Dh and now ddil is at work all day, so I am just working alone in a room that is not mine without the materials I want. And dsil is sending me pictures of my garden (to ask what I want done) and of Bean (who learned to turn the pages of his book all by himself). And I really want to go home. Dh says probably we can go home on Wednesday.
Posted: 16 August 2021 - 04:54 PM
Tatoulia, if colorful language is not taboo, I'll just say that I'm getting rather tired of this no plumbing @%#$&* myself! 😜

My roommate actually has a camping potty that's basically a seat over a bag of kitty litter. I'm squeamish. Don't wanna "go" there... if roommate wants to that's her biz, I guess. The thing is in a box somewhere for the time being.

It's also hard not being able to do laundry, shower or wash hair, wash dishes, cook anything that would make dirty dishes - the ripple effect keeps going.

And, we found out that the handyman's wife has Covid. He got tested. We haven't heard results. 😕 I went out and found some better masks for us, hope they will be good enough. Whether he comes or not, I just feel like we'll get use out of them. I thought a mask mandate had been reinstated here, but upon looking again I guess it's still just at the recommendation stage. I'm wearing mine regardless. 😷
Posted: 16 August 2021 - 09:42 AM
Oh CM I am so, so sorry. Sending prayers. I am so sorry. I won't say more because I don't want to make it worse. I like Roadster's idea of getting a port-a-potty.

Do not worry that your language wasn't delicate, Roadster. We get it. We are all there. In fact, when I clear my mother's house I (privately) call it de-sh%&ung the house. Of course she's in one room in an assisted living facility but I still call it a house.

Okay my friend is coming here soon. Having my first cup of coffee.
Posted: 16 August 2021 - 04:14 AM
I just re read yours and mine and mine was not worded as carefully as yours and so I wanted to delete it but I can't figure out a way to do that. Sorry I was not more euphemistic. Xo
Posted: 16 August 2021 - 04:10 AM
Cm, thanks for explaining a bit about the but. Now I understand why it's a big deal and sensitive subject. I assume this has come up before but I will just throw it out there... Is a portable or temporary toilet not an option until the construction stuff is done? Like a camping one or composting toilet like they use in tiny homes or something? I would think this comes up a lot when people are getting their houses remodeled... I literally just came back from wetting my pants walking 15 feet to the bathroom so your situation wouldn't work for me for even half a day. In fact that's why I can't go camping anymore. Well, I can certainly understand the gravity and urgency of the situation. I hope so much you're not having to deal with that for too much longer.
Posted: 15 August 2021 - 11:36 PM
Day 2 of Big BUT. For the new gals, I can at least explain the acronym. It stands for Big Unfinished Thing(s), and has to do with a critical household need. Namely being able to use the plumbing. But it's complicated as to why it can't get immediately resolved.

So we get to roll out early in the mornings and drive to someplace that has a restroom. At night before bed we do the same, carefully timing to arrive close, but not too close, to closing time. In this post Covid world, one is lucky if a place stays open till 11:00 p.m. aside from the convenience store which gets a bit sketchy to go to, even though it's a chain and less seedy than most. But after a certain hour one simply prays to make it through till morning. In the daytime we each go in our own cars on our own schedules.

The bunny club event did go well, once I got there after a stressful scurrying. Roommate had to miss it in case there might be a possibility of plumbing repairs commencing.

I'd SO looked forward to being able to have the mindset of well, we've gotten some of the home projects done, and the bunny event behind us, and I'm ready to dig in and get some progress made on my backlog of personal business, creative projects, AND decluttering, in whatever order seemed to make sense once I could catch my breath long enough and remember where I left off. I'm not saying I won't be able to accomplish anything at all, but it's still going to be so disjointed.

There's also such an element of feeling like a freak in all this. Wondering if the grocery store people are wondering about us as we tromp through the nearly empty store at 10:30. Feeling like I can't talk about it to people, like the ladies at my quilt guild or sometimes even my friends or family. Because of the weird complications, and it's those very complications that have caused us to be in this situation too many times, and pushed us back on getting other things done, caused cumulative stress, etc.

I'm so done with all this. Yet feel powerless to make anything happen any faster. The person who can help is dealing with a family emergency. This has been the case other times. I'm also sad and worried for them. They are good people. I just have to pray, and try to hold onto hope that things will get better for everyone involved.

A confused jumble. All the feels. 😢😫😠🥺😔
Posted: 15 August 2021 - 09:33 PM
That was weird. Couldn't get my keyboard to come up there.

Took out bedroom and bathroom garbage before everything started overflowing. Both empty cans even have liners. Whut. Had to inhale deeply before I typed this but for I don't even know how long now i have just been throwing garbage on the floor in my room. i would clean it up periodically, but omg. Just having it gone a few weeks puts it in so much perspective. I can understand why this mental health issue is hard for people who don't have it to understand. A few years ago I wouldn't have believed I would ever live with papers and garbage and laundry covering my entire floor, and yet that is what happened. This was the first time I've emptied a normal powder room sized can of "fresh"garbage from this room in years<?> I truly don't know how long it's been.

Also took down a load of laundry today and washed & dried it and that was the first load of laundry (in the same time frame as the garbage) that was new "this week" laundry and not some long forgotten garbage at the bottom of some disgusting pile. I'm gonna hail this as another landmark.

Maintenance is the key for me... and what I most suck at. So floor report: in the 40 sq feet around my bed, there are cords hanging off the nightstand, a small fan, the small garbage can, the sewing chair, a dust pan/broom, my suitcase, and the elfa drawers. That sounds like a lot but nothing else. Some of what was under the dresser, plant stand, night stand, and bed has been cleaned out but there's still stuff jammed in there I will need to deal with. In the back half, there's about 10 square feet of open floor space, about 5 square feet still to go and the. All the rest is storage bins under desks and various shelving units. All needs to be gone through and most needs to be released into the universe (still no clue how that will be accomplished) but for now it is almost completely safe to walk through my room.

I also observed that in an hour time frame, my son brought in four shirts for no apparent reason, my husband dumped off a bag of socks my son had gotten for him which need to be returned, and three piles of mismatched socks. I sized up the pile and it could have filled a large bin... and this is how it happens...

Other adulting today included bathing the puppy who had gotten into bacon grease AND salmon skin. Wow. 😖🥴 also pitched balls to my son for quite awhile and reloaded my vitamin/medication organizer. I have days where I can take some Advil and not remember three minutes later whether I've taken it or not. So pill organizers are key. Still haven't fully cleaned any surfaces, but will try again tomorrow. I take my son tomorrow for schedule pick up at the high school. Occurred to me tonight that I may want to actually register him first. I wonder if there is a scale somewhere to see what level people are functioning at...
Posted: 15 August 2021 - 08:53 PM
Hey all,

CM, anytime you want a virtual stitch n bitch or what have you, lemme know. Sorry to hear about your big but (Simone). I am a movie quoting reference person.

SubC, thanks for being the voice of reason (in a very gentle way) re: the H. He came in again today and was hamming it up remarking on the floor And how it extended all the way across the room. He was trying I guess. But I wasn't having it. Defensive and annoyed.

Tatoulia, glad you enjoyed that exhibit. I looked her up. A little jack Ezra Keats inspired, looked like. One artist I've enjoyed following recently is Bisa Butler. Similar collage style but all fabric. High saturation color. Just great.
Posted: 15 August 2021 - 01:02 PM
Hello everyone!

Cm I'm sorry about the BIG BUT. And while I'm here, I'll apologize for my BIG BUTT. I hear you, SubC, so hard to keep away from the sweets.

Lila, so good to hear from you! You are doing a great job! Sara, you are equally amazing! Keep it up. I do find that watching hoarders or reading old threads is very useful and very motivating.

I spent three hours at mom's yesterday. She went through two boxes and I was able to throw out stuff. She did a pretty good job. I also paid her $20 for a pair of shorts she wouldn't let me get rid of. I hated them 20 years ago and then I came across them and she insisted she will wear them again. So finally I bought them from here.

She agreed yesterday, to getting rid of one piece of furniture, her choice. At this point I was too tired and worried about my back to keep moving on the project. I want to clean out her dresser drawers. She cannot use them and there are clothes strewn absolutely every where. A big challenge.

Our weather broke last night so it's finally livable to be here. I have my windows open and ceiling fans on. I just ran downstairs with a quick load of laundry since I found u didn't have any clean white tops. I also need to do a load of delicates but can only do so much and as you knows u don't combined my laundry loads in any way. I probably should.

I took Friday off and BF and I went to the Museum of Fine Arts. There's a very good exhibit of collages by Ekua Holmes, a renowned artist and I went in as someone who doesn't like collages and left a very big fan of her work. The MFA is doing a better job of highlighting work by Black artists, which is exceedingly important to me. They are also re-examining their exhibits to put them in better context ? for example, instead of just showing a sterling silver sugar caddy, offer a context if the horrors of the silver trade. I attended a lecture in this a few years back and I am all in favor of this fresh, open-eyed look.

I didn't do much else as it was just too hot. I also have tomorrow off, which is going to be great.

So right now I will wait for the laundry and go downtown. I have a return. I had bought what I thought was a comforter for my mom, it turned out to be a duvet, and then the comforter wasn't in sale, so I decided to buy an insert for the duvet, then comforter went on sale. So I have to return the duvet insert. (Duvet over already returned).
Posted: 15 August 2021 - 08:33 AM
Oh dear CM, i am sorry.

Roadster, you are making great progress! You have turned a corner! You are now using your chair (I'm so glad!) and over time there will be less and less in your room, until one day your room will be so good that you bring a bin in from the garage! We are glad to have you in our group!

Don't worry about the pj bottoms. When my grandmother was in her 70's, she hiked her skirt way up to climb on the back of her nephew's motorcycle and go for a ride. My grandfather was scandalized "you can't go around like that!" And my grandmother said "Bob, at my age, nobody is looking at my legs." So, either they weren't looking, or good for you that they still are!

It took me a long long time not to see everything my Dh did to help as a criticism of me, and sometimes I still do. It's a hard thing.

Lila! I'm so happy you are back and feeling better! I hope there is not horrible blowback from your Dh, but getting all that garbage out of your house is a good thing!

One thought on moving his things to the garage - I think you said the garage is shared space and he fills all his space - so wouldn't it be better to make sure you leave "his" shelves in the family room completely full? It seems like even bringing some of his stuff back from the garage might be good because it would give him less space to stash things and you could more easily see the garbage and keep it cleared out? Just a thought - I may not have completely understood.

Whatever you do, just keep moving! Try to max out your trash pick up these next couple of weeks!

I am purging files and photos and videos from my iPad with my ds help so my cyberspace will be less hoarded. The other thing I did was realize that that other site where I kept joining challenges and failing was sucking up too much if my time and making me feel negative things more often than it was having a positive effect. So I deleted the bookmark and am limiting my time there. I don't need to argue with people or open myself up to criticism and I can read the challenges and get inspired without officially joining them. Sometimes the things you need to clean out of your life are not things.

Back to "things" I continue to sort through papers and work on my lesson plans. The shower project has developed scope creep and they have now ripped out half the floor and the vanity without installing anything. They said they are going to move some plumbing today. I may live here now. I am starting to wish I had grabbed a bigger pile of stuff. Ddil thinks she might be able to get my missing book from the library tomorrow.

The worst thing is ddil made an amazing chocolate cake and their best friends came by last night and left behind cinnamon coffee cakes and freshly baked sour dough. How am I going to keep from gaining back my tiny progress in weight?!
Posted: 14 August 2021 - 11:16 PM
The BIG BUT has struck yet again. 😕 Sort of. It will make more sense when I finally some mythical day feel like I can explain what BIG BUT stands for.

For now, we struggle, and we don't take much for granted.
Posted: 14 August 2021 - 10:18 PM
Hi Lila 👋
Hi 👋 everyone,

I've been kicking around in the old threads getting to know you all a little better. You guys have been a group for quite a bit! It would be amazing if in a year from now I was still here checking in and in some kind of final stage of clearing or maintenance mode or something... not sure what a realistic time frame would be but I would take major progress.

I didn't get a ton done today but managed to put my "stitching chair" to use. I have been doing everything sitting in bed which has been wreaking havoc with my back and body... so I'm really hoping if I can make this chair my default for now and get the standing desk back into operation soon, it should really help with how much pain I'm in. I did push into the back half of my room. I consolidated some of the Ubiquitous clear plastic shoe boxEs (always sorting!) On my broken standing table and got a few big bins off the floor. So now I can reach the windows. The dust ma lordah. I think I had a filter/fan going when I was kicking up a lot of dust on this end so I will try that again. The standing table fell victim the hoard but might be salvageable. It's a 6' folding table that is "standing" in lengths of pvc pipe to give it the proper height. Worked like a charm, but I overloaded the table and eventually the pvc got torn usunder. I'll spend the $3 to replace the plastic piping and see if the table is really Warped/deformed or is just tilting in a weird way. I think I have enough elbow room now I won't need to take anything else out to the garage unless I'm getting rid of it... so everything that needs to be sorted that's still in here can be dealt with here. The garage will be the next project whenever I get this room done.

The H did a huge amount of laundry today. It's the kind of thing most people would really appreciate ? but NOT ME! Lol. I just always feel like - well, it's a little bit paranoia and a whole heap of toxic baggage. He made sure to let me know on two different occasions that I had four baskets of laundry down there. [Liz lemon over the top eyeroll] I'm pretty sure there's more than 4 down there, but ok.

Had a humiliating mishap today... was out in yard picking herbs and verge for salmon marinade (went with a lemongrass, spicy basil combo)... my son followed me out with his new basketball and net. (I finally nagged the H ?who is of course a b-ball coach? To buy this kid a friggin usable ball and net so he can shoot hoops in the back yard and he finally listened! Cobbler's son.) the puppy got into the garden and proceeded to get her super fine fluffy hair hopelessly matted with that weedy grass seed that is like Velcro. Argh. So I was dealing with her and heard the other dog bark and realized my son had taken a stroll. Now this is an emergency because he's not wearing the shoes with his tracker on them and his phone was out of juice. I am wearing a tee shirt and a super duper short pair of pajama shorts and now have to go out in the neighborhood calling for him. Less than a minute I see our neighbor across the street walking out with him and I'm filled with relief that he's found and dread that I have to walk over there in my pajamas with my butt hanging out to pick him up. Ugh. So embarrassing. At least I was wearing a bra!

So today I survived humiliation, my son was found quickly, I made an awesome marinade, I worked on my room a bit - some maintenance and also some new progress... I took my son shopping for school stuff, new masks, etc., Did a little stitching and did some planning for a section of this sampler I'm recharting... and organized a little paper work for school. Still so far out from where I would normally be but I'm moving in the right direction now.

Tomorrow I hope to clear off at least one surface totally - prob my bedside table - and maybe do a load of laundry and unpack suitcases from my trip.
Posted: 14 August 2021 - 05:34 PM
part 3 - you might get sick of me, but it is so much more fulfilling to type out what I have done. Otherwise it feels like I accomplished nothing.

I went through TWO large plastic tubs and got them consolidated down to one. Husband had old socks with holes, random broken items, catalogs, magazines, junk mail, tons of old used paper towels mixed in, plastic bags, etc. I threw out TWO kitchen trash bags full of trash from those two bins and one laundry basket. I also found about 25 brand new in package toothbrushes plus about the same number of floss and mini toothpastes. All of them thrown in there with everything else (he must have gotten them each time he went to the dentist in the past 15 years). And here our kid has been asking me to go buy her a toothbrush. Hmm, we won't need to do that for a long time. But the toothpastes are old so probably getting tossed.

I am on such a roll now. There are two more plastic bins. One looks like it is full of old magazines and some books, and the other is mixed items. I will probably toss most of the magazines and try to find space somewhere for his books. Or put them all into one bin and stick it in the garage.

I also pulled out an old end table, some decor, and a computer keyboard and listed them for free online. If not gone in a week I will have my son take the table apart and toss it.
Posted: 14 August 2021 - 02:03 PM
part 2.

So I drank coffee for energy and went down to the family room with a trash bag.I started by going through that suitcase, throwing out any of my husband's socks or underwear that had a bunch of holes in them, plus some trash and plastic bags and rags that were mixed in. I folded the clothes into a laundry basket. Then I opened his big wardrobe cabinet which was packed full. I decided to take everything out. I found SO MUCH junk in there... food expired in 2010-2013, rags, receipts and papers from ten years ago, broken car parts from cars we don't own anymore, a present he got for our child when she was like 5 (teen now, kinda sad...) and all manner of other random unuseful things. I filled TWO large kitchen trash bags plus two small bags plus a big box that had mashed potatoes in it that expired in 2012). I dusted, put everything else back (I did put back things that I personally thought should go, but it's not trash, like an old GPS, some stained mugs, a huge unopened sewing kit, puzzles, greeting cards, etc etc). There was enough room in there to put some folded clothes so I moved some from the laundry basket to there. This might be too much/invasive for him but it had to be done. I am looking for a basket for one shelf to put socks in.

Next goal is to sort through a big laundry basket in there that is overflowing with random junk, papers, tubes of toothpaste, hats, wires... and re-consolidate it.

Sometimes I think doing this is also my way of avoiding sorting my OWN piles of stuff. But it can only get done while he is gone so I am going to keep going.
Posted: 14 August 2021 - 12:05 PM
Hello friends,

It's been a long time - I can't remember how long. But I was very sick for a couple of weeks (negative covid) and still recovering, although I am out and about now, just very very tired.

My husband is gone for 3 weeks and I wasted the first week not feeling well, but yesterday was trash day so I forced myself to work. I filled up the trash bins with junk from our family room that has 'spilled out' from his den. His den is so hoarded up you cannot see the carpet, there are cobwebs everywhere and piles and piles on top of tubs of stuff. You may remember I used to clean his space when he went out of town but I left it alone about 5 years ago so he has not cleaned it since. My worry right now is that he could have mice or bugs in there, which I won't tolerate, but I lost my key to his den and can't even go in there to check while he is away. So one goal is, find my key or a way to get in before he gets back in 2 weeks.

Yesterday I got rid of one bag of trash, about 6 or 7 boxes, and some cans of food that were expired. I also went in the garage and threw out 2 boxes of his trash and receipts from 2006 - 2012. And every insurance card and car repair receipt from cars he no longer owns.

Today I am trying to motivate myself by posting here, and watching Hoarding Buried Alive. The goal today is to go in the family room and clean out his shelves and any more old food, the mini fridge, and get one couch cleared off. He has been literally living out of a suitcase for years (which makes me feel like he is about to leave any moment). His suitcase sits open on the couch with all his clothes piled it in along with other things and trash. I decided that although he would not approve, I am going to fold his clean clothes and place them in a laundry basket, then put the suitcase in the garage. Also will try to further consolidate his stuff which is mixed with trash, into bins (minus the trash).

So I have two more trash days before he is back and I need to get rid of as much as I can before then.

Will be catching up on your posts after I work a little bit!
Posted: 14 August 2021 - 10:17 AM
Good morning!

I am at my son's house. It was very hard for me to leave home, but I like spending time with my son and dil. I am just trying not to think about everything I left behind. I have a very good farm sitter, and Bean's family is coming to harvest the garden tomorrow and Bean and sil are meeting the sawmill guys there on Monday. (I'm a little sad I won't get to watch Bean see the sawmill guys load the logs...) So I know it will be ok. But I don't know when we are going home. Dh and ds are replacing a shower and possibly the vanity and bathroom floor.

I am supposed to be doing lesson plans and class prep - but I was too overwhelmed by the leaving and too disorganized, so I literally just grabbed as much random stuff from my school/planning piles as I could fit in the three available totes and left.

So far I found an inch of stuff that has been recycled (fun fact - if you get rid of an inch of papers, books, magazines.... each day, in ten years you will have gotten rid of enough paper to fill a bookshelf the length of a football, field, plus four feet and two inches.)

Also so far I have identified one book I forgot.

Roadster, we know how incredibly hard you have worked! The first and hardest work is the internal stuff. After that it builds and slowly becomes easier and more visible. It's like paying off a mortgage - where the first payments are mostly interest and don't reduce your actual debt much, but then more and more is applied to the principle as you go.

Your son sounds like fun.

CM, I am sorry about your sewing group.

I knew about estivation. It is definitely an issue at home, but here we are 8 hours north and it is much cooler.

Good luck to the bunnies!

Hi Tatoulia!
Hi Lila! I miss you.
Posted: 13 August 2021 - 11:55 PM

We got our power back and the feckin a/c got fixed last night... we were total babies the entire time. Well, I was a baby. It's shocking how much I couldn't handle it being 86 degrees inside my house. It did hit 94% humidity...

So anyway, my objective for when I came home tues was to Straighten up the surfaces in this half Of the room and push into the back half but I'm still holding. I blame the TORPOR! And *estivation* !!! Where's a scrabble game when I need one. But you all and this board and the whole "clearing" situation has remained on my mind. (I'm calling it clearing cause cleaning doesn't quite capture it and more accurate terms are just so rude.) 😂 The H came into my room yesterday and said something about the floor. I can't even characterize the comment. I think I'm so touchy about the whole thing I am just blotting out any and all feedback at this point. I kind of feel like a miniature version of me sitting here on my cluttered bed with my head down and fist held high in triumph. Tiny incremental triumph. No one needs to make any comments about my little floor triumph. I got it. I know what I had to process internally and it was an achievement.

My son has been coming in more lately. This is both good and bad. I want him to be able to come in and hang out (which was nearly impossible before for someone who has trouble negotiating uneven surfaces ? and 4" and 6" and 8" of ever shifting, undulating floor was definitely a challenge.) Bad side is he's starting to rifle through my stuff again so I'm probably going to have to start locking my door again which is a pain. His behavior is also a little more challenging right now due to (maybe) new meds he's on... for example, he was sitting next to me on the bed and started bouncing and I tried to get him to stop in a quiet way, but he kept going, etc. then he started sliding off the bed, which I also tried to stop but couldn't... then his feet got tangled up in the extension cord and almost pulled the lamp down, the his feet wedged under my dresser and several framed antiques got knocked over, so then I reacted to that, (volume is escalating with each phase), and finally he started crawling out (still trying to be funny) And almost knocked over the broken china cabinet door on himself. Then I had to Go into his room to talk him down. It's always funny while he's doing it but when he gets in trouble he will beat himself up about it afterwards. So just a reminder to me that it's important that things in the house be less chaotic because we've got enough to deal with!

Still very motivated. Nodding off now so I will sign off...
Posted: 13 August 2021 - 09:08 PM
The rain came in overnight and cooled things off, so I didn't have to estivate today.

I'd napped so much that I woke at 4:00 a.m. and it took awhile to get sleepy again. But my knee feels a lot better. I ran around and did some errands and shopping. Was able to deal with stores without getting frenzied, and to stop before I got burnt out.

Neatened up the craft supplies for the bunny club and the craft table; hoping to be more productive there. Still a bit disappointed that the Friday sewing group didn't pan out, but determined to keep going and finish some things.
Posted: 12 August 2021 - 06:44 PM
Hi ladies,

Read the posts since my last one. Touchpoints in each I hope to come back to soon.

Yesterday and today no construction here. Waiting on parts again. The break from the hectic activity was welcome. Plus it's so hot again that one feels it even indoors despite the air conditioning. 🥵 I felt like estivating.*

*I have a pet tree frog, and have been a frog and toad geek since childhood. 🐸 Estivation refers to:

prolonged torpor or dormancy of an animal during a hot or dry period.
-- Oxford dictionary

So it's basically the summer form of hibernation. 😁 Much napping involved.

The only useful thing I did today was get out before it got hot and cleaned up the construction debris because tonight is when the trash dumpster goes out for tomorrow pickup. The guys do clean up, sort of, but they're guys. And they don't have OCD. So I go back and neaten stuff up, pull out the recyclable if it's clean, that sort of thing.

I guess that counts for something. Probably should've gone swimming but just didn't want to have to get out in the stinkin' heat to drive. Looks like some storms coming in tonight and that'll be the break we've been waiting for.

This Sunday our bunny club has its big annual fundraiser. But part of it has been online, and we're not doing as many of the things we used to do. Some of them didn't really get that many people participating so scaling back a bit just makes us be able not to be pulled in too many directions. Mainly I just show up. And help out, and pet cute bunnies. 🐰🐰

I do pray 🙏 it will be super successful despite being scaled back and during this nervous Delta variant time... we so need a building for the rabbit rescue shelter. It has seriously outgrown the people's house. I worry about it. The ladies are overextended in every way, and the mother is in her late 70s. The daughter is an only child with no spouse or kids. If any emergency happens it could get real bad real quick. I can't take the emotional burden on my shoulders, though, or I'll be a mess. I have to Let Go and Let God about it.

Posted: 12 August 2021 - 04:20 PM
Power outage then a/c malfunction here. Be back later today or tomorrow to check in
Posted: 11 August 2021 - 08:15 PM
Lol Tatoulia, my husband rarely remembers. We dated four years. The first year we were married he got my birthday right. It took him 7 more to do it again. (It is exactly two weeks before his birthday.)

He always has to ask me how long we have been married. The date and my name are engraved inside his ring, and no matter how many times I remind him of that he always says "oh, like I'm going to remember that!" The kids think it's hilarious that I put my name. He forgets how old they are and can't do the math because he can't remember when they were born.

It's not important. He does sweet things for me all the time just because he loves me.

Enjoy your clean sheets!

My garden is still coming in like crazy, but we are leaving to visit ds this weekend. It is stressing me out. Today I picked beans, tomatoes, squash, and basil, made three half pints of pesto and did laundry.
Posted: 11 August 2021 - 08:04 PM
Hello everyone!

Cm, with construction I always worry about my cat. I bet you must be so worried about the animals. You are doing a great job keeping them safe.

Sounds like you are enjoying your vacation, Roadster. Good to have a friend to confide in! Take care of your room then garage. Work on gaining a peaceful place to rest your head!

SubC that's a sweet time with the bean! 31 years of marriage?I bet your husband will remember!

I had my cleaners here today so I'll have clean sheets tonight.

Getting ready for bed.
Posted: 10 August 2021 - 10:35 AM
Hey Roadster!

Thank you for the visual.

I love places like you described, but I definitely do not want to run one. I do not want people in my space. I much prefer to go to a festival, set up, sell, and leave. I won't even do custom orders.

I hope you're enjoying your vacation!

My 31st anniversary is this month. I don't know if Dh remembers.

Defining the problem is an important step. Is your hoard confined to your room and those bins? That actually sounds very manageable.

CM, good to hear from you! At least it is constructive chaos, but I know you'll be glad when it is done.

Yay Tatoulia!

So good to hear that mom has a lovely new space and wants to keep it up!

My big news - Bean spent the night last night for the first time! He did really well. He slept from 10:15 to 5. He was pretty fussy off and on from 5 to 5:30, but then he decided mommy wasn't coming, he was stuck with grammie, and he might as well just take the bottle. He's taking a morning nap since he didn't have a commute to sleep through today. I give him back at 5.

Dh sister and husband also spent the night last night (they kept me up until 11) and I am still digging out from the weekend, but it's ok.
Posted: 09 August 2021 - 11:50 PM
👋 hey all, just checking in... coming to you live from small town Wisconsin on my 2 day vacay with bff. We just saw roadrunner - the tony bourdain doc.

Yaaay Tatoulia is back. !! Thanks for sharing your overview of your situation. That helps my frame of reference. I could relate to the terms you were using to describe where you have come from. I was telling my bff (who is adorably beating herself up for having a handful of unpacked boxes since their move 15 years ago...) about my progress with the hoard situation and then I quickly realized she can't really understand how significant what I've done is because she has no idea how bad my room got in the haze of the last few years. She started asking questions and I,found myself tap dancing trying to side step the whole "Cubic feet" and "floor full of garbage" issue. This is the one person in the world who knows all my secrets - and I have some doozies - but even she had no clue what condition my room was in.

I also sized. Up the garage situation... oooh boy. I'm just gonna lay it on ya and then try not to think abut it again til I start working on it cause it's soooo much. It's a 2.5 car garage. Along the edges are the customary workbench, tools, yard and garden, bikes, outdoor kid toys, etc. but in the center is a sea of large clear plastic bins. I stood at. One corner and looked north... 15' of hoard, looked west, 15' in that direction as well. Average height about 5'. I just signed audibly here in my Hampton inn hotel room. Across the north side is the stuff that's been in there the longest, And the biggest solid wall... mostly fabric... 5 bins high x 10 rows. 50 bins... FIF.TY. Not 50 bins of fabric. But 50 bins in one row. Big bins. Like 2'x1.5'x1.5'... x50. Ok, then there's the rest. I'm guessing conservatively 200 total. At least. So that's (now my head was in my hands until I brought them back down to type this sentence)... it's quite horrifying. I will say a layer of it is newly moved crap from my room, and quite a bit of inherited stuff from mom and dads move. Some of which I have no intention of keeping, but had to absorb to keep My dads anxiety at bay. My bro did the same. My sister who is. Further down the line with the same issue but has been forced to downsize several times by her husbands death a number of years ago, and several floods, just refused to help us with th8ngs - she just couldn't or wouldn't deal with it. I will also say stupidly that doing my initial assessment of the garage has made The prospect of clearing out my room Seem like child's play in comparison. So hopefully, I will keep moving forward with that and bring it to a conclusion and feel all the good feelings which will then prepare me to move on to the garage.

So that's me this week...

Hope everyone has a good week! 🙏😘💕
Posted: 09 August 2021 - 09:15 PM
Pretty chaotic here, construction has resumed so at least that's a good reason.

So many "moving parts," e.g. things to keep track of such as moving cats and bunnies out of the areas being worked on, and since cats don't have cages, making sure they aren't where there is, say, a gaping hole where usually there's a door. They are 100% indoor cats, and normally they don't dispute the point, but amidst the craziness and the noise they might get curious and/or spooked.

And a zillion other things like roommate needing to go buy components for projects, cars to move so the workmen can park in the driveway, stuff to shift for things like ceiling fans... the list goes on and on. And everything's intertwined. My roommate is good at figuring out sequences to do things in. I'm not.

Both our brains are pretty fried though.

Had my doctor appointment today. It went well. I do want to work on my blood pressure - nothing bad but it could be better. My knee problem is patellofemoral pain syndrome, worth a few Scrabble points there. Or more commonly known as runner's knee. So nothing major. I'll be fine if I can survive all this "home improvement" 🤪
Posted: 09 August 2021 - 03:53 PM
Hello ladies! Sorry for the absence. I am here!

I've read a lot of your posts and realize what I've been missing! Your friendship!

I am a city mouse. I live right in Boston in a tiny little place! My only farm animal is a 17 year old cat. She's a good girl. I had let my place fall into ruin for a period of about five years. I'd been a pack rat or archivist but then I let it become filthy and unsanitary here. My bed was always clean and my towels were always clean during that five year period of disgust but that's about it. It was filthy here. I've gotten rid of so much stuff and have curbed the influx. I now have house cleaners once a week. I had them every other week but switched to every week once my friend moved in. Friend is no longer here but I'll keep the once a week through the summer. I hate the heat. So I've lived in a clean and clear place since 2018.

I'm in pretty good shape these days. Very little that I'm not willing to get rid of. I took another bag to goodwill (actually just to my car). I would like to make another bag before the week is out. It feels really good to get rid of things.

Right now I have room in all my closets, including two empty shelves in the dining room closet. But I'd still like more open space. My linens are paired down to a reasonable number.

Mom has been remarkably open to getting rid of things since her move! It is shocking and thrilling! I'm really proud of her. When I convinced her to donate a duvet cover, she said, don't forget the pillow cases. Pretty good! I'm being gentler with her too so that is helping. But I think it is mainly her beautiful newly renovated room in her assisted living that is making her so easy to work with!
I had my physical last week and got my Tetanus booster. I'll have mammogram next week.

Roadster, I only have room in my closets because my friend moved in during the pandemic and she cleaned them all. Ditto my dresser draws. She didn't exactly Marie Kondo them but my friend is Japanese and very organized. One night I went to run errands and she sent me a picture of all of my drawers dumped on top of my bed. She did a really good job for me.
Posted: 08 August 2021 - 07:48 AM

The room is L shaped - the top leg of the L is narrower and that's the "back 40" (Office / storage) The lower leg is chunkier and is the bedroom (bed, dresser, closet, bookshelf, china cabinet)... the bookshelf and dresser both come out from the sides of the narrower leg and the space between them is 4'. That's where the curtain is hung. Picture an old ship with floor To ceiling storage... Once I get hanging clothes or shelves in the closet and get the back cleared out I will take down the fabric or put it up more decoratively somewhere because it would get in my way where it is and how it's hung. Just temporary. I'd love to hang this one piece floor to ceiling in the living room but might be a stretch for the H. When we were young, he went along with everything And said he liked everything I liked and I thought it was because we had the same taste. Now I think it was because he was too scared of his heinous mother to ever object to anything and I wonder if he might be happier in a metal box with a fork, knife and a spoon. The hoarding has definitely muddied the waters. Have you ever seen "Diana vreeland the eye has to travel?" I wouldn't go that far (and don't have any $) but I am more on that end of things than minimalist, that's for sure.

Fascinated by the farm thing and all the different teaching experiences. We actually have a place here that's a farm and there's a house/shop/pottery studio. They have turned it into an agribusiness where they host weddings and kind of tent show craft fairs. They cater more to women so you see people meeting for lunch and strolling through the tents shopping with friends. The tent things I think are occasional but the cafe And shop might be open most days now.

I can't do Marie kondo storage either. If I can't see it it doesn't exist in the universe. I am not sure what I will do when it comes to getting rid of things that spark joy - which I shall also have to do - but since there's so much I have that I don't care that much about I am starting there. Well, starting with actual garbage in my room... Check.

Congrats on the wedding ring. That's pretty major. My biggest achievement so far is about 30 lbs. which isn't much of a track record in about 20 years of needing to lose 100+...

A birthday cake, a triathlon and a visit from Bean sounds like an amazing weekend with the family. Enjoy!
Posted: 08 August 2021 - 04:55 AM
CM, glad you guys got the door checked off. Definitely worthy of a triumphant celebration. I definitely think we need to acknowledge the day to day achievements. I know that would motivate me mo to get the unglamorous (but Very important!) tasks done.

The aspects of Marie kondo I like is that you do an entire category at once. I don't know how feasible this is for some categories but the concept is appealing to me. I also like that it's positive centered - in that you're focused on what attracts you In the most positive way and let the rest fall away. I also like that she orders the stages of work from the easiest to hardest. I would doubt that it would work with a large volume of stuff but I have seen a few episodes of her show where they did tackle a house packed with collections. I know I can do clothes because I've done that before. Some of the things I collected that used to bring me joy no longer do because their existence - where or how they're stored or the expense. In acquiring them - has caused so much stress in my relationship I now have negative associations with them. Or, the volume of storage has caused them to be stored in ways that later caused them to be damaged. Once you can't see or use those things every day or frequently, they are no longer of value - they become a burden. I have tons of books. I think I can probably reduce the overall volume of those because I have done that before with some success. Also I probably have a fair amount that are damaged and wouldn't be nice to keep anymore because of that.

General update: showered. I will be really happy when this is no longer anything to report. Got my nephew's 3 yo to help me pick some veggies. They do garden so I didn't think he'd be so surprised to see the carrot when he pulled it out of the ground. It was so cute. He wanted to pull lots of tiny carrots and one onion and one beet. My son has been amazing with him. He's been so gentle and sweet trying to show him different things And comfort him when he's upset about something. This is one of those emotionally tough things because you're so proud of your kid but the response other kids have to him is so negative sometimes - even at an early age - that it can crush your heart a bit. I've done quite a bit of cooking and hosting and lots of cleaning. I leave tomorrow for two days with my bff. Just going to a small town a couple hours away to kick around. Nothing exciting but we both have school aged kids with special needs so It's a vacation to just not have any responsibilities for a few days. Tomorrow is our anniversary (29?) and timing is therefore not great for leaving on a vacation with someone else. H let me know he rescheduled his boys weekend (had previously been for this weekend) due to our anniversary. I am not scoring points on this one. In my defense, she initially said September and then when she realized it The terms were changed to days of the week not date/numbers so I didn't connect the dots, but then when I figured it out I was so disgusted with him for something I just didn't care. What would we have done had I been here? Nothing. But that's irrelevant. Blurrrrgh.

I managed to kick my dirty laundry into the closet as it was created, Got all new garbage into the can, and swept up the floor a few times. I did another load or two... when I get back I may try straightening the visible surfaces In this half of the room. You get so used to seeing it you don't even see the mess anymore, you know? But I think that would make sense. I do have a lot of pretty things in here but I can't enjoy them the way they are right now. Prob only take a few hours. So that's what I will probably do. Then I will shift gears to the "back 40."

Now that I've been up for three hours I'm exhausted again so might sleep for a few hours if I can. Back later in the morning...
Posted: 08 August 2021 - 04:31 AM
Good morning,

Quick stop.

Dd2 is here to celebrate her bday she is doing a Lucas triathalon this morning and I am going with her for the start of the race, leaving in about an hour. The others are joining us before the finish.

Bean's family surprised us with a call yesterday afternoon asking if they could come out and stay over (yes!) so my house is in a state of happy chaos and my counter is just gone. Dd1 took over the making of the birthday cake. It is lovely.

I am making progress on my weight - I can wear my wedding ring. I actually had to leave it off for a while.
Posted: 07 August 2021 - 06:36 AM
Good morning!

Roadie, I would love to hang beautiful textiles around my house. It would drive Dh crazy. 15 years ago I took the sliding doors off of one of the closets and hung a sheet (it is a pretty, heavy cotton sheet) I put a second tension rod up at the top with the matching dust ruffle and I think it looks really nice. Dh is still storing the doors because he is sure I will want to put them back.

How big is the space between your dresser and bookshelf? That seems like a long run for a tension rod!

My family were teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, homemakers, and farmers. (My dad was an engineer who lost his job and ended up selling insurance his whole career.)

My degree is early childhood Ed. I taught preschool before I had kids and then worked as a church secretary/supply sergeant (part time and baby came along), briefly taught preschool tumbling (took gymnastics as a kid) homeschooled my own kids and got more and more into pottery and the farm, started teaching at the place the kids were taking a la cart classes, my kids all opted into public high school (I managed to convince the youngest to wait for tenth grade) and now I teach four days a week - pottery, farm/animal focused classes, and a few random things that meet a need or interest me. Ages 5-18. Before covid I also did pottery sales at a few fairs or markets, and plan to start again eventually.

CM, I'm glad you are getting doors!

Marie Kondo doesn't work for me. I don't like her storage solutions, I love books, and nearly EVERYTHING sparks joy individually - it's the conglomeration that's overwhelming.
Posted: 06 August 2021 - 10:12 PM
Road, great minds think alike 😉 I checked out Marie Kondo's books from the library last week. The other ladies here know of my assertion when I joined this board that I wanted to become a minimalist.

That was in 2015. Progress has been up and down. The surge of interest in doll collecting circa 2018 has been the thing that makes me wonder - however, if I divest of much clutter and fabric stash etc., and put the dolls neatly in cases, I can just display a select few at any given time.

Plan is subject to reevaluation and revisions if it doesn't seem to be feasible. I do periodically let go of some dolls to the thrift shop, church sale, etc. because there was a time when I bought indiscriminately and had too many that didn't "spark joy" as Marie Kondo says. I'm more particular now.

I think her books will give me some useful insight into strategies for tackling the overall conglomeration of stuff that I still have to deal with. My situation is complicated by the fact that I don't have a residence (whether rented or purchased) that is mine to do with as I wish. Shared single bathroom here, that's probably the toughest thing. Shared laundry machines, no big deal. Shared fridge and pantry, rather cramped; shared upright freezer which helps.

House is just not that big and has small rooms and tight passageways, my roommate has a lot of furniture and stuff too, and then there are the pet gates and it can sometimes feel like living in a maze obstacle course video game. And my own clutter problem has made things worse.

So... I have my work cut out for me.

In other news: We did get the new front door installed today. 😀 It's been several weeks of only having the back and side doors. Sort of made us want an orchestra and choir doing a triumphant soundtrack when we walked through the front door again. Maybe a ribbon cutting ceremony, bottle of champagne to break - something.

Tomorrow we may be having the back door done. Last night I didn't get much sleep. There was an Amber alert right as I was getting settled. Domestic violence situation, father with warrants who took his two tiny kids and was threatening murder and suicide. I followed online, praying, and thank God they were found and the kids were unharmed (physically anyway) and dad taken into custody without any officers being harmed or himself. Hope he gets mental health help and turns his life around.

So though relieved, I was keyed up and stayed on the internet piddling till way too late (or early). Took a nap today.

Well, I'll be back with the latest when we see what happens with the repairs and stuff.
Posted: 06 August 2021 - 01:25 PM
Yes, Tatoulia !

I don't think I've met Lila yet. Come back ladies!

SubC, It sounds to me like you're getting a lot done! That's cool that you have some close relationships with your students. I am from a family of teachers. I majored in social work/art but I have always had teaching gigs... from aide in special ed to subbing in all the subjects all the grades (6 years) to teaching graphic design software at college level and then back around to being a private teacher (sorta) for my son.

The curtains are on tension rods. So my closet doesn't have a door so I just put up a tension rod and hung some sari fabric on that. Then to hide the back half of the room I put up a tension rod in between my dresser and the bookshelf and hung a big panel of gorgeous gold/cream jacquard fabric on that and that basically blocks the view.

You know what it looks like? It looks like a hoarder who loves textiles lives here. Haha. There are still four bins of stuff on the bed, a stack of elfa Drawers On the floor, and piles on the dresser, bedside table and bookshelf. BUT the floor is all wood, no garbage in sight!!! Yay me (But just don't look under the bed yet.)

My nephew and his son (toddler) are here through the weekend. We hung out a bit this am then went over to visit my parents at the new place and poor little guy finally crumbled from lack of sleep so we came back and everyone is having some quiet time, including the doggies.

I leave Sunday for 2 days with bff then when I get back I think I will try to clear enough out of the "Back 40" To get my "on the bed" bins back there. If I can do that then I can focus on fixing the bed. I want to get it up so it's standing against the wall, clean underneath it, put it up on anti snoring risers... (on an incline).

At some point I want to start working through the Marie Kondo thing - I will start with clothes since that's the easiest thing for me... Feeling good about progress and trying not to look too far down the road...
Posted: 06 August 2021 - 05:27 AM
Good morning!

Tatoulia, where are you?

And Lila too!

I got a lot done yesterday, but none if it was decluttering and I didn't get my counter back.

Well, I put away almost half of the clean laundry - I guess that was decluttering? I ran two more loads, ran the dishwasher, picked beans and tomatoes, dehydrated kale and started beans (they run overnight), made vanilla ice cream, cooked dinner, and chopped up tomatoes. My kitchen looks better this morning than it did yesterday. Also, according to my scale I did not gain any weight.

I cooked dinner because Dh had a class, and he offered to pick up a pizza, but pizza makes me fat. Also, why would you buy pizza when you have so much food in the refrigerator that you are playing Tetris? Pizza is for winter!

Today I need to buy the box cake and icing that my Dd wants for her birthday. My kids are funny. Boxed cake and boxed Mac n cheese - such treats! I also need to work on some school stuff. A student emailed me and I promised to get him some information (he's on my list of "kids I would take home with me if their parents died and left them alone" - that actually happened at my school - we had a student orphaned and taken in by a teacher - not me.)

Roadie, I understand your point, but unfortunately the only people putting stuff on the counter are Dh and me. And he is doing it because I told him to. It's the taking stuff off the counter I need to work on.

I'm trying to visualize your curtain - does it cut across the whole room? What holds it up?
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