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Hoarding Help Message Boards : The Daily Chat : What are you doing today 2023
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What are you doing today 2023

Posted: 22 July 2023 - 03:44 PM
Tatoulia, we are just happy to see you.

Don't feel bad about mom's mattress, why would you take her sheets off and check? I'm glad you were able to upgrade her bed. If the chair looks ok and she is able to use it, I would wait. Maybe keep an eye out for a bargain.

Bean's other grandmother got him a bike! It is very cool. It was a hand me down from her neighbor. She also got him a light saber. He had a very fun birthday! They borrowed an inflatable pool with a slide from a neighbor.

CM, I am so glad you are writing again!

When my kids were elementary school age, we had a second (third?) run movie theatre less than ten minutes from us. They showed g movies in the afternoons on weekdays sometimes they had "classics" from my childhood and they had air conditioning. We did not. Almost every week in the summer I would take the kids to a movie on the hottest day. It was seventy five cents each for them and $1.25 for me.

Lila, I am super proud of you for doing the hard work. You are inspiring. We can do this! I came to get another boost because I am stuck. I am stuck on Christmas bows of all things. They are so pretty and shiny and I have about four gallons of them and I almost never use them.

I did take the bag of hard and sad trash and put it in a public garbage can. I also took a big cardboard box of books to half price. We stopped at the offsite craft storage store and I gave them one craft foam item that I want to find out if they will accept and my email address. I looked around and I thought about buying a few things that looked interesting, but then I thought about all my unfinished projects and all the things in my basement and I did not buy anything.

Dd just sent a note asking to bring Bean to pick berries this evening. So I guess I will get off my butt and straighten up and hopefully get inspired to make some progress.
Posted: 22 July 2023 - 02:52 PM
hi CM! I think we posted at the same time. Oh Teen loved Barbies as a child, and I saved them for my grandchildren. They are in a bin for Tot, probably soon. Acorn would eat the shoes so we have not gotten Barbies out yet. I hope Tot loves them too! I didn't realize you make doll clothes! That is very cool.

Well, I did it. I dove right in and did the hard thing. I emptied the 2 dresser drawers, the storage bin drawers (3), the bon of dog items in my room, and the bin of dog treats and chews in my room. Spread it all out. It was so hard, I miss my dog.

The friend I texted said she would like to have the things I want to donate and will share anything she does not use, with our mutual friends. That made it exponentially easier to bag up things to give. Not only because they are emotional items, but because they are worth $$ but would be a pain for me to sell. I donated 17 items - nail clippers, collars, leashes, nice toys, etc etc. I will drop the bag off for her tomorrow. I put it in the Daily Tally and it put me over 500 items this year (goal is 1000 in a year).

I also put like things together. Bagged dog pain meds together and dog digestive upset meds together, flea/tick/heartworm meds together.

I managed to get everything back into the bins with room to spare in a more organized way. My hope is to use one of the dresser drawers for non-dog items. So I am just about done getting things put back away. Still trying to figure out the dog brushes/combs which I do use and were not cheap so am probably keeping most. I wonder if they could go in a bin in the hall closet, which is neat and clean? There could be space. I'll check.

What are the rest of you doing?

Posted: 22 July 2023 - 01:00 PM
Yeah, Tatoulia, I'm debating on whether to go see the Barbie movie right away. From reviews it sounds like some of the content wouldn't really be to my taste, but I'm sure there are some parts that are a fun playful romp. It's just that first run movies are pricey these days even if you don't buy from the concession stand, the theater is in kind of a trafficky area though not bad on weekdays, and finally I don't feel comfortable going to movies alone - just lifelong habit there, just feels too strange in some way.

Roommate likes making the doll clothes with me for our possible selling venture, and she enjoys watching me do photoshoots of my Barbies, but she's not a huge Barbie fan like me. And with her flare up of pain right now, sitting in a theater seat for an extended time would not be advisable. Other girlfriends or my cousin are likely busy during the times I would want to go and I'm not sure if Barbie appeals to them enough. It has been fun watching people post on social media their costumes and some even take a doll with them to the movie. The fandom fun would be a blast if I had someone to share it with - although I also recall in 2015 when I was so excited to see the first Star Wars sequel trilogy installment, and it turned out to be a dud. Major disappointment! So I don't want to get my hopes sky high for the Barbie one.

At any rate, it's not a life or death decision. I miss, though, how there used to be second run movie theaters here where you could go for half price. That's ancient history now. I made a hybrid Barbie doll the other day - I'd bought these months ago - a lavender haired mermaid doll's head on a regular body (because the mermaid ones are more like molded and painted figurines whose clothing can't be changed). She turned out really cute and I took her out in the garden and photographed her among the flowers. The regular Barbie head went on the mermaid body and will get donated to delight some kid.

Have been accomplishing some goals - right at the moment not as much decluttering as other stuff but it all still helps me feel energized and more sure of my purpose. For instance, when I was at the library the other day I worked on my writing, and yesterday I did even more writing. I did it while roommate took a nap, which was reassuring - I've been so adamant about always wanting to be either home alone or away someplace so she wouldn't inadvertently interrupt my train of thought. Yes, she was asleep - but she could've awakened - and I went ahead and wrote anyway and was able to concentrate. So maybe I will get more writing done now around here if I'm alert for opportunities. Really this laptop is so great because I can just open it up and it's ready to go - no lag, no complications.

There are also organization and decluttering things in my mental docket, and those will get going again soon. And artwork. Starting to write makes me think of my other big creative love, e.g. visual art (which might actually be #1 with writing #2 but right now I want to move the writing ball down the field a bit, got excited after reconnecting with my college writing buddy). Sewing is third, and other crafts behind it. SubC, I would probably be very intrigued by that craft place you mentioned. But I've been good lately about not buying stuff at garage sales or thrift stores that I know I don't really need, or even accepting free stuff. Really much more in the mode of wanting to downsize and be able to know what I have and be using it or else not have it in my life.
Posted: 22 July 2023 - 12:56 PM
post 2 -

I got everything out of those 2 drawers. It was hard, it is hard. A lot of reminders of my dog I had before and all the fun things we did and how much I miss her. Anyway, I can hardly bear thinking of getting rid of any of it, but it is a lot. And then as I think about storing them, there is a whole 'nother storage drawer set in the corner of my bedroom FULL of dog stuff, plus a small bin in my bedroom. Not to mention the bins downstairs and in the garage.

As I thought about consolidating this stuff into the storage drawer set, I know it is full. I start thinking of the things I know I will never use but are nice items. So, I stopped and sent a text to a friend I used to do dog things with. She has several dogs plus mutual friends with dogs and who foster. I asked if she would like a bag of nice dog things. If she says yes, I can bag up some things and take to her. If not, I will try another friend. But giving these special things to a friend who will use them or a fostering place, feels a lot more doable than throwing them into goodwill.

Will continue on... but I have tears in my eyes.
Posted: 22 July 2023 - 12:17 PM
Good morning!

Tatoulia, yay on the new mattress! Be sure it has a waterproof cover in it, if there is a possibility of accidents or spills. I had that on all my kids' beds when they were younger. I hope your visit went well and the kids got to see a smile here and there.

I feel like I need toast, but there is no bread. Maybe in the freezer. I will check.

SubC, good work moving that bag of hard things out! You are moving right along too.

I think edibles/gummies would be better, too, but yes, harder to get underage. And I am not willing to go buy them unless Teen's doctor says it is a good idea. So far their doctor has said they cannot even prescribe the right meds anymore because of substance use interactions, and the evaluation said Teen has a severe substance use issue. But they are 18 now and all the things I tried to get them help have failed. So now it is a wait and see thing, and mainly I wait for Teen to realize their life is in the toilet and they need help. I can't throw out the grinder because I promised I would give it back. I think I will just give it back today and be done with it, since they already have another one and I am tired of holding on to it.

I have done very little this morning because I am angry that there is a ton of smoke in the air and I could not sit outside on the deck this morning to read and drink coffee. And all the windows have to be shut. Such is life in the PNW in summer. Anyway, I:

- unloaded the dishwasher
- folded the rest of the towels and put them away
Posted: 22 July 2023 - 09:33 AM
Happy birthday to Bean!

We went to the museum last night. First we stopped by mom's and I changed the cat litter.

During her medical team meeting on July 11 someone mentioned that mom's mattress is stained and soiled. So I ordered a new mattress and box spring and they were delivered on Wednesday (together with a protective cover). It was also the day my cleaners were there so she had clean sheets, etc. mom has said she is having the best sleep of her life. I'm so embarrassed that I didn't realize her mattress was gross. The caseworker was thrilled when I told her I'd gotten the new mattress. I'm still struggling with whether to get her a new recliner. They are so expensive. I did buy her quality Simmons mattress but the power recliners are very expensive. I have to think about this.

We are going to friends' house for dinner tonight. I'll try not to cry in front of the kids. I am also trying not to be tearful in front of BF because it is adding to his stress; in the other hand, he knows I have to get it out.

I have a lot to do today. But I'll just try to do anything.

I'm lying on the couch with a very dear senior cat on top of me.

Lila, throw out the other grinder. You don't need two and teen has one. Definitely pick your battles. I don't even drink let alone partake in weed but I did when I was in high school. Both if my siblings are big pot smokers and I don't get it. Brother does the edibles now I think. Who knows. I hate that everywhere I go it smells like weed.

I cannot find comfortable sneakers. I am applying the hard-won lessons I learned here, which is, I can't keep something that doesn't fit. I have gotten rid of more things that I've bought that didn't fit but were cute so I'll have to do some returns. Learning that I cannot keep wasting money that way has been a good lesson.

Remember, the goal today is to do anything. I'll try to report back.

I'm sorry I'm not commenting on your posts. I am reading them and so pleased with all you are doing.

Cm I've been thinking of you with the Barbie mania going on!
Posted: 22 July 2023 - 08:38 AM
The offsite craft storage store reopened for shopping hours after Covid, but still requires somewhat inconvenient appointments for drop off.

However, I have made myself a fairly early in the morning drop appointment in two weeks. On the way home I can stop at the satellite drop for the recycling hub, so any plastic craft items that are not accepted will be left there.

Dh says we can stop at half price books when we go to Bean's party because I have a large box of books to "sell" (they give you very little money, but it's an efficient way to keep books moving)

It's Saturday Lila. I probably won't check in again until some time in the afternoon - but I hope you will have posted.
Posted: 22 July 2023 - 06:54 AM
I did it! I went down to the basement and I filled the trash bag* with hard things and sad things.

* by "trash bag" I mean plastic grocery store bag. And by "filled" I mean it still ties shut.
Posted: 22 July 2023 - 05:45 AM
Good morning!

Lila, did you hang the shirts up? It's hard to create new pathways in our brains.

Any news on the drawers?

I would try to steer teen toward gummies - they may actually help with anxiety, they are a more controlled dose, and there is no lung damage. I've had this conversation with a young friend not too long ago. But, they might be harder to get when you are below legal age. Also, Brownies. But I understand if you are not ok with any of it. I would also encourage teen to discuss what effects and interactions might occur with other meds they are taking with their health care provider. This is important, but it will only be helpfully you can do it in a calm and nonjudgmental way, so if you can't, maybe someone else could?

I was really tired last night from the trash, so I watched a movie and stayed up late. This morning I'm really proud of myself though - I went down to the shambling mound that is my "desk" and it's surrounding area and found some trash I saved because it might be useful for a project, and I added it to the trash bag.

Bean is having a birthday party today at lunch time (he's nearly three!) and Dh and I are invited to stop by. I want to get rid of this trash bag while we are out, so maybe I will try to put more things in it.
Posted: 21 July 2023 - 07:38 PM
hi SubC! We are doing good. Sometimes progress looks messy! I did not even know there was a seed-removing gadget for jam berries! That is cool. I will google it but not buy one. LOL. Maybe when my kitchen has room and I have time to make jam more often!

I did not get through the drawers but I did find the spice grinder in there. So I guess they bought or were given another one, or the one in their room belongs to a friend. It is legal here but not until age 21. I am not happy about it and we have had some major drama over it. I do not partake of any kind of substance, myself. If I had to guess, I would say at least 50% or maybe more of the 16-20 crowd in out area smoke it. I hate that so much. It is not good for developing brains, or lungs. But I am at the 'pick my battles' point. Although they know if I see it or smell it I flip out and take everything. So they go to other friends' homes where the parents are more 'cool' than I am. Which makes me mad as well, but, they are 18 and I am, as I said, picking my battles. They say it helps their anxiety.

So I found that and I found the heartworm med for the dogs. Then walked away from the drawers.

But I did do more laundry, put away most of my clothing load 1 and 2. A load is in the wash now (last load). I also got my blanket out of the dryer and put it on my bed.

Funny thing how I really want to just throw the clean shirts onto that rocking chair in my room... but I will hang them up. At least most of them.

I have so much to do. Okay, I will sort the drawers and try to have at least 2 things to put in the Daily Tally. I did throw away a pair of old worn out underwear from the laundry, so that's a start.
Posted: 21 July 2023 - 06:12 PM
Hi Lila,

How are the drawers? Did teen take the things out? I'm guessing pot is not legal where you live. I know a lot of people who self-medicate. It works for some of them. Smoking anything is really bad for your lungs though.

If I gave you jam I would have to make another batch! Tell you what, you bring babaganoush for lunch and we'll go pick and make some together.

My most recent accomplishment is making the scullery look worse. I cleaned off part of the counter - really cleaned it off, not just moved stuff - so I could use the thing that takes the seeds out for my jam. Under the counter are three base cabinets from when it was a kitchen. One was empty. Two were full of bins that I stuffed in there god knows when to make the surfaces look better for something. I took everything out of one of those cupboards and put it on the counter. Continuing progress in tally.
Posted: 21 July 2023 - 05:13 PM

- made my bed
- folded about half the towels and put them away
- put away a couple dishes
- found heartworm prevention med in the drawer and gave to dogs
Posted: 21 July 2023 - 03:37 PM
hi Tatoulia! I'm glad you stopped in. We care about you! We want to hear from you.

SubC, I wish I lived near you because I would beg for a jar of that jam and come get it! I have made jam before. In fact this year someone gave me rhubarb so I made strawberry rhubarb jam. But when my neighbors or friends make batches, they sometimes offer me a jar and that is great! I have had peach, strawberry, and apricot this year. Very small jars but so tasty.

I am doing very well although not much on the Daily Tally yet.

- washed a few dishes by hand
- got the sheets out of the dryer and put them (in a pile) on my bed
- tried on some shirts I ordered (ugh it is a struggle but I had credit in these stores so got a few shirts) and only one is getting returned.
- washed my blanket. It is in the dryer.
- put in a load of clothes to wash.
- brought up the clean white towels to fold, but haven't folded them yet

I have motivation to clean out a specific little dresser. It is actually a bedside table but has 2 drawers packed FULL of stuff. Mostly dog stuff - brushes, medications, etc. I probably will continue to use them for this, but it is too much and I don't even know what else is in there. Also, last year Teen had some items in their room that they were not supposed to have. They begged me not to throw them out (pretty/expensive and given by a friend) so I put them in a bag and said they could have them back when they are older. This sounds cryptic - so it was pocket knives and a spice (weed) grinder. Anyway last night I went in their room and saw an identical grinder. They had been bugging me since they are now 18. I have to know if they came in my room and dug through my drawers and took things. So, if I remember right, the bag was in those drawers. I'll pull everything out and search. And declutter. (And yes I prob should have just throw it all out but their plaintive cries made me think, well, when they are older maybe they will not be sneaking around smoking weed and they could actually use this as a spice grinder... ugh).

I'll be back with a report!
Posted: 21 July 2023 - 03:24 PM
Crossed with Tatoulia.

Tatoulia, it is good to see you. You are understandably engaged elsewhere. We will nag you to post when we start worrying that you are lonely.
Posted: 21 July 2023 - 03:22 PM
Hi again!

The hoarders heart one is more cheerful and inspirational. Her videos are kind of like our posts - I think she is somewhere between the rest of us and Tatoulia after five years. She started as a level 4 hoarder and I can really identify with a lot of her journey. Also, this summer she is working on her basement and craft stuff.

The food thing doesn't sound too bad. And you are taking good steps to make progress. You can't really control other people's food choices. I just gave a whole bag of hamburger buns to the chickens because they were moldy. They were dh's. He refuses to believe that bread must be stored in the fridge or eaten in three days in southern Ohio summers. (Those were not a thing. They were just obvious chicken food in the wrong place.)

Good job on the dog toys! It is hard because it is hard. I believe that one day it will not be hard. Or at least not very hard. Letting go of things is like lifting weights. Just keep at it. Some things are heavier than others, but they will get easier.

I had everything ready to make the jam and realized I did not have enough sugar. So I had to go to the store.

Two things happened on my store trip. One - it was trash day and a neighbor had a bunch of plastic toys out for the trash. I realized that all my little handfuls of plastic do not add up to one of those toys. That is depressing to me. (But I will still recycle all my plastic). But I also realized that if I was not currently using all of the open spaces in my house to manage the things in my house, and my car was not full of plastic crates, I could easily stop, pick up the plastic toys (the garbage truck was about half an hour away) and then drop them at either the thrift store or the recycling depot collection (as appropriate) by august 5.

That would be so much more effective from an environmental standpoint. I need to get myself to that place.

If "saving stuff from the landfill" can keep me from tossing out what is probably three garbage bags of stuff that I don't want but can't find any other home for, the ability to save three times as much from the landfill EVERY YEAR just by grabbing a plastic toy or piece of styrofoam off someone's curb here and there should motivated me to clear out! But I'm not there yet. I can tell from the plastic crates.

The other thing that happened was that the croissants I really like and haven't had in a long time were on the day old bread rack. So I bought a box. Progress - I only bought one box, not all 4, but I know they are high calorie.

But guess what, I only ate one. And now that I have been eating cleaner, they are not as good as I remembered. I will probably eat the other three this week anyway (maybe I'll share with Bean) but hopefully I can remember to not buy them again.

Here is more progress - we eat about a half pint of jam or jelly a week. So 26 pints a year. I decided that only six of that needs to be blackberry, plus two half pints to gift to my dad. I just finished the batch of jam (it's in the canner) and it made that plus 1/2 a half pint jar. So, maybe I will pick blackberries again and maybe I'll make another small batch of jam, or maybe I'll call it good for this year. No pressure. I do not have to pick every blackberry in the field. We will not starve and we will not be unable to buy jam. I do not need to HOARD jam.
Posted: 21 July 2023 - 03:15 PM
I'm here. I have to issue some challenges to myself because I have things from BF that I need to find homes for. Unfortunately the movers used boxes to prop the doors and forget them. So I need to store for BF. My #1 priority is to get the printer out of my closet. That will free up some space. The office delivered the printer when covid struck. He and I will take to my office over the weekend. That will give me a good place to put his stuff.

Also he found some of my childhood Christmas ornaments. I will go through the tub and reduce.

I'm proud of you all. Sorry I am not more engaged
Posted: 21 July 2023 - 11:51 AM
Good morning SubC! Yes, I will be checking in several times today. I often watch the hoarder shows myself. It is motivating to me, although heartbreaking.

That is a good suggestion about the food. Let me think.

What I tossed any why -
partial containers of hummus and guac and some pita bread that Teen usually eats lots of, but didn't this time and it wasn't on my radar
a partial head of red lettuce someone gave me that was going south
a piece of moldy cheese that was shoved in the back of the cheese drawer
2 cucumbers and a small eggplant, all given to me and I should have eaten them but bought a pizza instead
a half lemon in a baggie that was hidden in a drawer and went moldy (someone gave me a bag of lemons, and I love them but this half got missed)

so mainly it is me not paying attention to what needs to be eaten/used, and/or buying a pizza or Subway or whatever because it is quicker than cooking.

So today I will make a cucumber salad with the cukes and onions in there, and also if I have time cook the zucchini and make baba ganoush with it and the remaining eggplant.

This morning I:
- took sheets off my bed; they are in the wash
- put dirty clothes in a basket and put them in the hall to wash
- went around with a grocery bag and gathered little bits that needed to be thrown away, plus 2 raggedy/nearly destroyed dog toys. Why is it always so hard to get rid of dog toys?? And took the bag out to the trash bin.
- made coffee, did some reading, made a phone call.

Ready to make this day a productive one!
Posted: 21 July 2023 - 07:20 AM
Good morning!

Yes Lila, it's funny how we seem to tag team. Mondays are almost always my Bean days.

Maybe today we will both check in.

I have a question - I notice that you are often cleaning stuff going bad out of the fridge. Where is all of this food coming from? Are you buying it? Given it? Iirc you don't grow it. Can you get more control of the inflow so that you have less to manage?

Speaking of inflow, I had 15 items of inflow yesterday. (Not counting the glaze which is technically consumable - although those cool little jars are likely to be a problem later..)

I worked on my Christmas stuff for 15 minutes this morning and did some more thinking about my house and my approach. (I was actually semi-watching "a hoarders heart" on YouTube which contributed to my thought process. She has struggled with my trash issues.) anyway, I am going to reapproach the tally thread again.

For now I have some barn work while it is cool, so I will check in later.
Posted: 20 July 2023 - 11:02 PM
hi SubC and CM! I'm happy there were posts to read when I got here tonight. You are both making progress and putting in effort. Nice work. SibC, it seems like you and I have opposite 'declutter and post' day schedules! It is often the SubC show or the Lila show. Imagine how many posts we could make in one day if we were both here at once!

My usual days off are Fri/Sat. And I sometimes can do some decluttering Thurs late in the day, or Monday.

Today work work work, do a bunch of stuff, paperwork, errands etc etc. So tonight around 8pm I decided to get a head start on my day off tomorrow. Tonight I:

- took out trash and put the bins on the curb
- loaded the dishwasher, washed out the kitchen sink
- went through the fridge and threw out anything old and going bad
- put in one load of white towels. Or, they should be white but are dingy, so they got bleach. They are washing now.
- Brought the empty hamper back upstairs

So that is a good start. I'll put the dog bowls in the dishwasher after I feed them tonight and turn it on so I have clean dishes in the morning.
Posted: 20 July 2023 - 09:12 PM

thanks for posting. I was gett8ng lonely.

Today I found three more books I'm willing to part with. I was on a roll.

Then I loaded up the mixed recycling - including a whole bag from the basement, and dropped it and the little trash bag at the park drop on my way to class.

Someone had put nine stacking vegetable bins in the drop bin - right on top, on top of clean cardboard. They don't go in mixed drop. Now they are in my car.

I was thinking I would use them for sorting and just leave them at the monthly drop, but now I am thinking they might be good for storing things in the basement. Like onions, garlic, and potatoes (that I grow) and for hauling in squash, tomatoes, etc in bulk.

The studio retail shop was having a clearance sale and I bought 7 pints of a glaze I really like (in 4 oz jars) and six bags of dry glaze, and 5 new brushes. (I have been coveting the brushes for a while - a friend tipped me off that they were on clearance, which is why I was in the clearance section.)

And Dh ordered me a new vacuum attachment because the one I was using wasn't working on the basement rug (because we didn't have one for carpet and it's a carpet remnant.)


Tomorrow I am making jam.
And pottery. I'm very excited about some options in my new class.
Posted: 20 July 2023 - 05:36 PM
Okay, SubC, I'll post *sheepish grin* (oh, how I miss the emojis but I know they just don't render properly anymore - wonder what went wrong)

I'm at the library, been getting a few writing and computer things done. Had 2nd Inkscape class last night. They are going well. I am hoping to become basically proficient, by which I mean at a beginner level but that's fine - just for now not having to relearn everything from scratch every time I sit down with it. Having some carryover. 3rd one is next week, and the week after that is Cricut 2.

SO MUCH has happened in the last week and a half or so. Or at least it has felt like it. I went swimming a time or two. Roommate's still battling the pain. We had the birthday gathering for the lady who started the rabbit club. Saw my own doctor and need to make a healthy lifestyle change or two to head off future problems. My BFF's terminally ill brother died. My bunny girl had a couple bouts of tummy trouble but is okay now. Just a lot of things, big and small and in between. Still wrapping my head around it all.

Need to clean my sewing machine still - perhaps tomorrow. That is important. I don't have a big "project" re the decluttering so much as I'm seeing some pathways (of the metaphorical sort) to take, some philosophical directions that will guide some serious decision making. Not that there aren't concrete results, but it's a mindset - I've had a lot to think about. Like my cousin having to deal with so much stuff in her house too, and my roommate hopefully will feel better but supposing she does have to think about moving at some point, I need to be more able to figure out what I would do if change comes. Not so much that I freak out, but just trying not to be in 100% denial.

Sewing, and decluttering - you may recall my posting about the cotton knit shorts I wanted to do alterations on. Well... it occurred to me that I'd better try them on. Sad news there. They are too tight. I can get them on, but not wear them comfortably. Therefore, I'm not going to keep them especially since they are not only too small but require time and effort to put in pockets and drawstrings. Instead, I will give them away - my friend who gave them to me, who is the one who just lost her brother, is fine with the idea. She understands how it is. I just thought it'd be a courtesy to check with her first though.

My cousin may be able to wear them - but I will make sure - I've only seen her wearing jeans so she may not be a shorts person, and I'm not sure if they are her size or too big. If she's interested I'll have her try them on first. I don't want to pass them to her if they'll just add to her clutter struggle. I guess there's a slight sentimentality, in that I'd like to give them to someone I know - but I won't let that become an absolute and a trap. They must depart on their journey elsewhere very soon.

And I may need to order 1 or 2 pairs of shorts that do fit me at present - but money is a concern so I'll be cautious with that. Clothes, once again, are something that I find confusing and wish to streamline - they have too many considerations. I've looked at minimalist posts on Reddit and places by people who manage to curate a "capsule wardrobe," but those are people who probably dress more formally than I would, have jobs, etc. I will have to figure out how many of each of the types of things that I do find comfortable, and for each of Kansas's 2,749 seasonal variants, for home, for the grocery store, for church, for grubbing in the yard, etc. etc. etc. and see how low I can go. Shoes, too.

I think I can do it but it's kind of a pain in the butt. Also there's the matter of closet and dresser access, which I'll admit has been far from ideal. Piles (or even neat stacks, doesn't matter which) blocking those must go. IT WILL FEEL REALLY GREAT to get that done. Incentive incentive incentive. Not promising a timeline but definitely an intention. It sort of ties in with some things I'd started doing, some items moved and even tossed. More to come.

It's been tricky though because it's always one thing after another just when I go to get started and try to have some continuity, then emergencies or at least semi-emergencies arise, often several in succession. By the time they pass, I'm distracted from whatever I'd been doing. Often there's not even time to jot things down, or if there is, I lose the notes or forget to look at them.

I probably better wrap this up - it's certainly long enough, and I've just noticed the lighting here on the screen and in the library is starting to bother my eyes. Don't want another one of those blasted migraines, so better start thinking about packing it in for the day. On payday maybe I'll buy some of those $20 computer glasses that block glare that I saw at Walmart.
Posted: 20 July 2023 - 09:05 AM
Good morning again!

I hope somebody will post today.

Tatoulia, how are you doing?

I am having a very hard time getting started this morning. I have things I want to do, and I have a plan, I just can't seem to summon the energy to execute it. I've been up for three and a half hours mostly just puttering around. I did gather up the Christmas stuff and spread it all over the rug area. Looks like a step back, but it's kind of progress?

I have a class this evening and will be going out some time this afternoon. I need to shower.
Posted: 19 July 2023 - 08:49 PM
Oh dear, the show must go on.

Had a great day with Bean today. Enjoyed the fair, got our library t-shirts (me +1 t-shirt.)

worked on the basement just a little - managed to empty the table (mostly rearranging and stacking) and folded it up. I did put five plastic stadium cups into the recycling and an open handful of random plastic bits and pieces. I also put an open handful of small plastic toys - cars, animals, figures, rings. into a bucket to donate. Dealing with all the little bits is difficult. So many decisions, so little space cleared.

The rug is clear and I have started moving the Christmas things onto it. I'm tracking dirt and will need to vacuum again after I put the Christmas bins away.
Posted: 18 July 2023 - 08:23 PM
So, in the continuing saga of subc's basement (start at the bottom) I am not going to try to put the Christmas stuff away tonight.

There is a section of my basement with a rug in front of some storage cabinets. The cabinets hold mostly food, blankets, seasonal tea towels, canning equipment, and extra dishes and containers. Plus some other stuff.

When I put the rug there, I swore I was going to keep it clean and clear. Spoiler: I did not. However, at this moment the only thing on the rug is a large plastic folding table piled with stuff. Yesterday there was a goat path across the rug to the egg and milk fridge. AND the piled up table. Which was also full underneath.

I have vacuumed the rug. The canister got full twice.

Hopefully Thursday I will sit on the rug and sort out the Christmas things and get them up on the storage rack. That should make a lot of floor space. Then in about 4 months I will get them back out - lol!
Posted: 18 July 2023 - 06:45 PM

I did it.

It was funny what was hard and less hard -

Dead spider I used in science class = hard
Extra canning pot lid = not very hard

I forgot I was going to do my Christmas stuff today, but I might get to it after chores. Tomorrow I'm spending the day with Bean.
Posted: 18 July 2023 - 04:38 PM
Update #2

I have reached 13.

I have found a lot of things that should be less hard than they are.
I put them aside.

I am hungry.
Posted: 18 July 2023 - 03:38 PM
Update - slow work but I hit ten.

Taking another break.
Posted: 18 July 2023 - 02:56 PM
Today's special: the subc show!

I am working in my basement because it is very hot and humid out.

I counted VERY carefully, and with the ziplock bags that I will wash and reuse, I am up 20 items from my trip. So I am trying very hard to get rid of (actually place in getting rid of locations because I am not going anywhere) 20 items today.

I am up to six. Obvious easy for me stuff does not count (like scraps of used Christmas wrapping paper I found buried on the floor and tossed in the recycling). But things like the smashed gift bow that was hard for me to throw in the trash do count. Basically, if it feels like a decision, it counts. If it just feels like cleaning up, no.

So, despite the sad truth that I now need a break less than 1/3 of the way through, progress is happening.
Posted: 18 July 2023 - 06:48 AM
Good morning!

Lila, I am sorry you have had such difficult days, but your progress on the rental room sounds fantastic!

Tatoulia, we are going to get you through this. We just need to keep you looking forward to things in small chunks. At first it may need to be hours. That is ok.

CM, I am hoping to hear all about your latest project soon!

So, here is the "damage" (acquired) on the trip east:
2 pieces of pottery
Two flags
A set of magnetic cars for Bean to use on my fridge
Elmo themed napkins and birthday sign to be kept as humor for ds' 30th next year
A spice rack I will only keep if my glaze jars actually fit in it
8 story books from my mom's house for Bean (much much thinner than the books I have cleared out.)
4 pounds. Not english money. :(
One bin to put dd2's stuff in that is currently in a cardboard box.
(We also needed the bin to travel home because we drove the truck and had to have somewhere to put the overflow)
Posted: 17 July 2023 - 10:34 PM
Welcome home, SubC! Hi, CM! Aww, Tatoulia, I'm sorry for your depression.

I had a very long hard day. Several days. Teen rages. Long trips to doctors etc. Son away visiting family. But tonight I made myself do a little bit. I went into the ex's hoard again and threw all the empty boxes in the next room so I can pile them in my car and take them to recycling. Most of them are very old, torn, stained etc so not worth saving for donations. Then I got the shop vac and vacuumed his room. I moved books closer to the book shelf. I have to say, his room looks nicer than it ever has! Even with the stacks of totes, it looks so neat and you can see the floor. Happy that is done.

Next project is the room I threw all the boxes into. After the boxes go out there is a lot of stuff that belonged to all my kids 20, 30 years ago. Time to make some decisions. I think my Daily Tally will be going up.

But, for the next 3 days I have a lot of work to catch up on for my job. There won't be much time for any work on the house until Friday or Saturday.
Posted: 17 July 2023 - 08:27 PM
Okay I did the other half of one thing. And I also got garbage out and visited mom.
Posted: 17 July 2023 - 02:52 PM
Hi everyone. Not completely caught up but congratulations, Lila, on not digging those letters out of the trash. Very good work!

Cm keep moving forward! I didn't realize how long youve been dealing with the clutter and hoarding. Im so proud of you and your perseverance. I'm glad those books resonate with you. I'll take a gander to reinforce things with me.

I stayed in bed almost the entire weekend. Depression. And humidity. My big accomplishment on Saturday was I showered then we went to see mom and then we went out for dinner.

Yesterday I showered and eventually did two loads of laundry and also managed to walk to the grocery store in the heavy rain and humidity.

I had three things on my list. I've done 1/2 of one. Since Friday. That's it. Half of one. Very sad. Hard to keep my head up.

Welcome home, SubC.
Posted: 17 July 2023 - 10:11 AM
Lila, you're killin' it!

I am picking up momentum on several fronts. Especially satisfying are those which have been long neglected and much dreaded. I kinda don't want to jinx it by saying too much too soon, but I won't be able to resist boasting if I manage to stick and pull off the accomplishment.

Thought about this the other day, for anyone interested - my first clutter mentor book author was Don Aslett, clear back in the 90s, and although it took me awhile for it to sink in and it still takes even more for the skills and motivation to kick in (but they are), I just love the way he goes after so many of the unexamined justifications we have in the consumerist society for hanging onto stuff and cluttering up our spaces. And he helps the reader to see what stopgap solutions are actually perpetuating the problem. "Junk Bunker" storage, for instance, and yes, I'm guilty but want to change. Sentimentality in excess. Habit. And much more. His books can be read on the Internet Archive - Not for Packrats Only and Clutter's Last Stand are my faves. He also has books on general cleaning because he ran a cleaning business. Here's the link to his oeuvre:

Don Aslett books on Internet Archive
Posted: 17 July 2023 - 07:24 AM
Love the Lila show.

Very impressed!

Went to visit Dh aunt last night. She passed on two beautiful pieces of pottery - one with a lot of family significance.

I'm heading home today feeling freshly motivated.
Posted: 16 July 2023 - 10:48 PM
More of the Lila show.

I went back in and took one more bag of trash out. Found an old plastic bin in the garage and took it in there and put all the remaining papers in it. Searched around, found a few more items and stuck them in there, along with some of his shoes and books. Lid on, stacked. Done.

All I have left is to put the remaining books on the bookshelf, sweep/vacuum, and dust off the desk. Everything will be done and I won't have to look at it anymore.

It was emotional because I was finding a few papers that I needed and pulled out to keep, but also found at least 15-20 cards I gave him in the first few years of marriage. In the cards I proclaimed my undying love. And as years went on, in the cards I begged him to love me back. Begged him to fall in love with me again. It was heartbreaking to read. They were scattered in various tubs and by the time I got to the end I thought, oh my gosh. I should have kept those for Teen. They always say their Dad and I could have never loved each other, things like that. I have letters my Dad wrote my mom that I treasure. I ALMOST wanted to go back through and pull them for Teen. which would take all day. Then I thought, Teen is not me. Teen is never going to give a damn about that kind of thing. So I let it be. Too painful to have around anyway, and would just be another pile in my bedroom.


Anyway I am glad all that work is done and the room is neat and stacked.

Tomorrow I will be gone all day for an appointment for Teen out of town. Wish me luck. I hope you guys post something before I get back!
Posted: 16 July 2023 - 05:29 PM
update -

I went back into the ex's hoard and threw out 2 more bags of literal trash. Consolidated about 7 more boxes of things into plastic bins. Now all the clothing and almost all the papers are binned, so no mice can have them. There is a small stack of papers left so I need to go in the garage and get a small bin for those, and then I am done with his hoard... except for all the books, which I will put on a bookshelf in there and hopefully mice would not go onto a bookshelf. I will put the cat in there for a bit to scare them off every week or so.

Now I'm hot and tired, so more cleaning that room will wait.
Posted: 16 July 2023 - 01:09 PM
SubC, ohhh, I really like the flags on curtain rods idea!! That sounds so cute and I bet he would love it! I am working on a room for Tot and Acorn and will keep this idea in mind if I come across any cute fabric, flags, etc.

I was supposed to be working but am feeling very unwell. I had a terrible migraine but it is easing a bit so I can type. I am going to eat something and thing about what to work on today.

I am looking around me right now and SEEING the clutter. I guess before, I 'saw' it but now I see every item that does not belong. Part of me immediately thinks "hide it all." Put it into cabinets, baskets, boxes in my bedroom. The other, new part of me, says "you don't need all this junk! Get rid of it!" So perhaps I can work from there, donating and throwing out part and finding homes for the rest.

The video and photos in my head are good motivation to DO something about this. I really do not want my grandchildren growing up in this clutter and remembering it and seeing it in photos and videos. Time for a change... even if just starting in the living room and dining room so it is not cluttery.
Posted: 16 July 2023 - 07:52 AM

I have pictures like that. You can't change the past. You move on. You look around your house and try to SEE it now.

I am glad you are getting all of ex's stuff in one room.

I am also glad you have a defined end point.

I am still at my in-laws' house.

Mil has given me some piano books for ddil and two house flags of tractors to hang up fro Bean. I might put them on curtain rods in his room.
Posted: 15 July 2023 - 06:46 PM

I found a video of my kids from about 12 years ago. Ex is in the video also. It was a video my kid took and shows the living room and family room.

It was all hoarded up!! Clothing all over the floors, in boxes, bins all around, clutter on every surface, really bad! Why do I not remember it being like this?

What do I do with the horrified feeling like I have been "found out," that when my adult kids and my grandkids see this video in the future they will be like omg. WHAT A MESS. Wow, I am actually appalled.

And the epiphany is that almost every photo I take has clutter in the background. Stuff on the fireplace mantle, piles on end tables, stuff on the floor.

I am in my 50s and I am just today, just now actually seeing myself and my life for what it really is.

I don't know what to do with this.
Posted: 15 July 2023 - 01:43 PM
Worked on the ex's hoard, consolidated about 8 random boxes of stuff and 2 dressers full of clothes and papers into plastic totes. Stacked them on his bed and out of the way. Took out 2 bags of trash.

Now I am hot and annoyed and starting to feel resentful, so I am quitting for now. I do want to finish the consolidation, which is not much left, so there will not be a mouse issue. Once it is done I never want to see it again. He can come take it to a storage unit when my car is paid off (I am renting him the space so I can afford my car payment).

Posted: 15 July 2023 - 12:16 PM
CM, you are doing some good thought processing in your post. I do that too and find it helpful. Sometimes getting our thoughts and feelings and desires out on "paper" - even if it is a screen - helps get us moving in some direction.

I am supposed to go to two social events today and I am sort of not wanting to go. I do want to go because of who the people are and I want to hang out with them. So I will go. But right now I am feeling sluggish and wanting to isolate. I will feel better once I go.

I am kind of on a roll with ex's space. To be clear it is his stuff and I am not throwing out anything, even his junk mail and receipts from 1974, because he is paying rent for that space. But I am consolidating it because rented or not, I cannot have mice or bugs building homes in my house. I think I have some old totes in the garage not being used and I can bring one or two in there and move the rest of his clothing (which was left in drawers, where mice can get in the backs) and papers (in boxes, where mice can get in) into the totes. Then I can stack the totes at the edges of the room and move some more of his items from where it has spilled out into common space. And maybe the garage too. If all his junk is in that one room I will feel better. Although he might not like it, because he won't be able to find things easily.

So I may work on that a little more today. I took out a couple more boxes of trash and a blanket the cat had peed on when he accidentally got locked in the room. I will put it on the Daily Tally. I am getting close to 500/1000 items gone this year.
Posted: 15 July 2023 - 08:24 AM
Hi all!

CM and Lila, you are doing well!

I helped my mom make a carload sized pile of stuff to donate from closets. Also picked up a stack of books to take home for Bean.

We are at my in-laws' house now.
Posted: 14 July 2023 - 05:29 PM
Lila, I think for now if tallying the things out helps us, why not? Maybe as more gets gone we might come up with different goals such as clear that flat surface and keep it clear or something - but really it doesn't matter. Each person should work in the way that works best for them and brings the most satisfaction.

I went to my cousin's house this morning, the one who has recently moved to town. She is dealing with a lot of stuff from my grandma's house, her late parents, her kids and grandkids, her husband and maybe some of his relatives, and her own stuff since she is no longer maintaining two residences. I feel for her - and I don't have to worry about her judging me, we're both dealing with it. It may motivate me to do more with mine, perhaps someday she and I could have a garage sale (but even if we do, I wouldn't let that stop me from a steady progression of getting things out rather than setting too much aside for a big sale).

Earlier this week I was shifting around some of my art supplies and managed to clear temporarily the space where I could take photos of my roommate's books on that bookshelf behind my table. I know she is not feeling well at the moment so I won't pressure her but at least now she can know what books are there when she's ready to, and I know she has expressed a desire to downsize physical books. So for now, I will just be patient, and keep decluttering other stuff in my bedroom, of which there is plenty to work on.

The items I got rid of yesterday were pulled when I was doing some of this. If/when roommate can get those books out of there, I could put the art supplies that I was rounding up on those shelves. I had put others on another tall bookcase next to it some time ago. And of course start using the things, painting and drawing and making collages. If I find I have more art supplies than I want to keep, I can select some to let go of. It needs a little time to jell for decision making on that, so I won't push it just now.

Wanting also very much to do more writing - being back in touch with my college writing friend is a motivator there. Made some notes for some of my novels in progress.

We're having a rainstorm here - this really has been an unusual July. I'm glad that at least I've made it to the west side and east side water parks once, because in August they won't be open on weekdays anymore. And then after August not at all. Sad... June just didn't work well for getting there as I'd hoped. Still... there's always the indoor pool option. And I do want to start doing more walking and gentle cardio on treadmill, bikes, and muscle stuff on weight machines.

Feeling better about the driving now that I had the success yesterday, and today getting out to my cousin's - may it continue! The calmer I can be about that, the more I will go places and do things like exercise. In years past, one of the things that sometimes motivated me against the driving anxiety was the promise of shopping. I'd get all eager and excited. But nowadays, between Covid supply chain factors (even though less now but it is just not the same), business closings, inflation, and my own limited budget I've not found shopping to be nearly as much fun anymore. Which is probably good in the long run, but kind of disconcerting and disorienting till I get used to the new normal.

So, I rebuild the desire to go out for new and different reasons. Hope I can remember how much better exercise makes me feel, and let that itself be a primary motivator. Exercise will also help the brain do better at decision making, which in turn will help decluttering progress go faster. That's the theory anyway.
Posted: 14 July 2023 - 01:51 PM
post 2 -

This morning I:
- emptied all the trashes to the road bin
- picked up a bit
- went in ex's hoard with trash bags and threw out all obvious trash. I took 3 full bags out.
- consolidated some of ex's hoard into bins to take up less room (he is renting a space and I want to make sure there are no mice)
- swept up broken glass that was on the floor in there for over a month
- watered the plants out in the front yard

I also added 10 bottles of expired lotions etc from that hoard to the Daily Tally. I feel better as I consolidate his junk into containers.

Having a latte, thinking about lunch, resting. It is very hot outside so no yard work today.
Posted: 14 July 2023 - 12:47 PM
hello SubC, Tatoulia, CM. I caught up on your posts and am thinking of you in the hard things and praying for good days ahead for us all. Teen has been in crisis so I was unable to post or work or do anything else much. Plus I lost internet for the better part of 2 days. So I am tired and worn out but have today to be home. I should be working but I just need a day.

I had family over for dinner and the kitchen table was so easy to clear off and get ready for them. Very few things "live" on that table anymore. A good habit being formed. The bar/counter is another story, though, piled high. I may work on it today. I find it more satisfying to work on things where I can add to the Daily Tally with donations and toss-outs, but that counter is pretty much all 'keeps' that have no home.

Thinking about what area to tackle today. As I said it is very hard for me to work on areas where things just need to find homes and/or be cleaned.

I wonder if there is another way to feel motivated and count something so I feel like something got done. I guess I am a person who needs tangible? evidence I did something, whether it be a list or a report or whatever. But if I count an area cleaned, it is not really anything in my head because it is going to get dirty and cluttery again and I hate that.

Need more items gone, I guess, is the bottom line! And homes for what I keep.

Will report back and hope to see more how you all area doing.
Posted: 13 July 2023 - 10:56 PM
Different sort of week.

Roommate saw doctor yesterday, got Rxs and x-ray. She has arthritis. It's good that she's been starting to do the gentle exercises like tai chi. Hoping she can come with me to swim and maybe find a water exercise class. Right now she needs to get a little relief from the severe pain before trying to do too much, then ease back in. I've been doing some of the pet care and stuff so it's been a disjointed week. Roommate is not comfortable in her bed so she has slept in the living room, which alters both of our routines more.

We did make it to computer class last night - and then I had to go and get a migraine 2/3 of the way through. I'd been on screens too much. May need to get some of those glasses that filter the glare for computer work. And if I had my way, the library would find softer lighting than those fluorescents or whatever they are. They aren't the old style fluorescents, but they are still rather intense.

Today I did manage to go swimming at the water park across town. Had to push against my agoraphobic resistance and indecision but of course once I got there and was having fun the endorphins kicked in and it was very good. On the way home I dropped off donations, which I put on the Daily Tally.
Posted: 13 July 2023 - 06:36 AM
Hi to mom and dad! Keeping it together. A young woman at work offered to sleep over here and so we are making plans. My support system (includes everyone here, of course) is really stepping up. thank you!
Posted: 13 July 2023 - 05:45 AM
Hi Tatoulia! Still thinking about you.

I'm at my parents house.
Posted: 12 July 2023 - 10:40 PM
I'm here. Not in the greatest shape but I'm here. Going to bed. Back to office tmr.
Posted: 12 July 2023 - 07:20 AM
Great work, SubC! And the kids are showing good habits by not taking the books!

I did not do anything last night after all. Such is life.

I have to get ready for work. I see my post last night was fragmented. What I meant was I found out a friend was with him yesterday and I was so glad to hear he had support. He had three or four professional movers, the container, and his friend.

I need to get ready for work. Have a good day, everyone!
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