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

Posted: 26 December 2014 - 09:16 AM
Tillie: so glad to see your post! Whatever works for you is what you need to do. Hope you continue to rest and gain peace and strength. Happy New Year.
Posted: 26 December 2014 - 09:04 AM
Hello Mel! It's tough on the boxes. It's also tough on Christmas gifts. Neither my brother nor mother have any $$ so they don't get me anything and that is fine with me! I don't need stuff. BF bought me an expensive handbag and a gift card for mani/pedi. The upshot is that I don't have gifts to deal with so I'm thrilled. Although I beg people at office to just do nothing for me, two of them still did something. I don't want to sound cold but off to goodwill with those things. I need to be strict--but I'm sort of lying here. I never kept office gifts unless I loved them. I have always gone straight to goodwill and have had the attitude that I don't let it in the house. One year I was carrying home this heavy candle and holder and it was just too heavy and I put it in sidewalk garbage.

Why do I point this out? Because if you get a piece of crapola from someone, do not find a place for it. Pass it along immediately.

Mel, I am proud of all of your progress and the adjustments you have made. My living room is a flurried mess from wrapping gifts and sending cards. I will vow to have it clean and clear before u return to work on Monday.
Posted: 26 December 2014 - 07:59 AM
Good morning all! Tillie, great to hear from you, so glad you've been taking time to take care of yourself!

I hope everyone is doing well! I am getting ready for work, wish I had taken today off but next week I'm only working Monday and Tuesday so that will be nice.

Tatoulia, awesome job getting rid of all those boxes! I thought I did a decent job getting rid of stuff as I unpacked and started packing, but right now I have a large box (where I have my gifts from family and friends stored until I decide where i'm going to put them - this shouldn't take long but we were really busy the last couple days). I also have a box of gifts I haven't wrapped yet (for people I haven't gone to see yet), and because of that I still have my wrapping paper out. I'm doing laundry today but I should be able to at least get the last of the presents wrapped tonight and be able to put the wrapping paper away, put away my gifts to clear a few things out. I have a few things I want to send to another friend but I need a smaller box. No problem - I'm sure another small box will be along soon.

My boyfriend is off work next week and has big plans to finish the second bedroom and get started on our bedroom. I'm nervous but we'll see.

Take care everyone and hope you have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!
Posted: 26 December 2014 - 03:37 AM
Happy holidays, LR! 4:30 AM on the East Ciast and u can't sleep. Great to see your post! Appreciate all if your encouragement and reinforcement. Taking a few gifts from office people to goodwill today. No room, no desire.
Posted: 25 December 2014 - 11:19 PM
Tillie, your post is a wonderful Christmas present! Huge smile here. I'm glad that you took steps to take care of yourself, even if that meant you had to be away from posts for a while. Many hugs "back at ya."

Tatoulia: Whoo-hoo for throwing away good, sturdy boxes. (Grin.) I love the line, "I am not a warehouse!"

Me: Had a lovely day today. Again, hugs to all.
Posted: 25 December 2014 - 06:02 PM

you are never far from my thoughts!!!

Glad you are resting and taking care of your health!

Thank you for posting!!!!!!!!!

Posted: 25 December 2014 - 12:41 PM

Wishing you all the best the world has to offer

Soon it will be a new calendar year.
A fresh new beginning for all.

It was important for me to take a break for my health. The rest has been very helpful.
I also took time off from my RL life here. No more thinking about his hoard/hoarding and squalor.
No more reading and researching about the subject either.
So I have stayed off line too.

But I miss all of you so terribly.
You are Dear Family to me.

Posted: 25 December 2014 - 10:51 AM
Had a successful Christmas! Did all the cooking at my brother's apartment, no tension, BF brought mom over around 7 and dinner was ready. We ate, opened gifts, had dessert and coffee and fruit, then I drove Mom home and BF and I went to a frirnds's house. At that point it was after 11, so didn't get home til after 1 AM.

Here's the success: After dinner, my brother got up and did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen and got the garbage and recyclables together. This is a person who used to be so depressed that he lived in layers of junk. It's like he absorbed my habits from all the years we did the holidays at my house. He did the puttering and cleaning that I used to do. It was fantastic! Also, I put every single cute and sturdy and useful box straight into recycle chute. No matter how sturdy or clean or great, I reminded myself that there are always more cute and great and useful boxes, I am not a warehouse!

Merry Christmas to all. Thank you for giving me strength and wisdom. Thank you all.
Posted: 25 December 2014 - 10:11 AM
Tillie, if you are out there and maybe checking posts from time to time, I hope you are okay and able to experience some holiday joy. Merry Christmas to all the posters on this site.
Posted: 25 December 2014 - 08:49 AM
Thank you, Mel, for the holiday wishes and encouragement.

I'm thinking about all of you today and wishing you a wonderful holiday (and holiday season)! I would love to list each of you by name, but I'd certainly accidentally leave somebody out. (The side of me that is prone to perfectionism and prone to guilt wouldn't deal with that very well. Ha.)

I do want to say to Diane that I just last night saw the part that said you had broken a rib! (I'm behind in reading posts.) Oh, no! I know that that's so painful! I'm sorry that that happened!

Hugs to all.
Posted: 25 December 2014 - 01:58 AM
Hello all,

Just a quick note to say hello and I hope everyone has a good, stress-free day today. Dealing with the pressures of the holidays can be so hard, and no matter how much we love our families, they can still drive us nuts. Everyone please take good care of yourselves today and through the season.
Like Smaug on Treasures
Posted: 24 December 2014 - 10:05 AM
I'm struggling really hard not to acquire more today to self medicate. I'm tired and getting over being sick. My allergies are inflamed from trying to sleep in my dusty room instead of on the back breaker couch. I also have a Urinary Tract Infection and I wonder if my unsanitary bathroom isn't helping matters.

I'm stressed over having to deal with my sister tomorrow at the Christmas meal.

On the good side I did get an interview for a job scheduled. I should feel better by Friday when I interview at Goodwill.

Sometimes I question my motives for wanting to work at Goodwill. Will I just put treasures aside to buy at the end of the day? Or will I be so sick of seeing treasures at work that I won't want to bring them home?

I haven't worked in 7 years and there are other factors that will make me less hirable. I really need a job and most of my experience is in retail. So no matter what job I get if it's in retail I'll be tempted to shop. I almost never go to the mall so I'd feel less comfortable working there. I'm comfortable at Goodwill.

Tomorrow I'll get to see my grandniece, she's a lovely little infant, very smart. I hope everyone here has a Merry Christmas.
Posted: 22 December 2014 - 12:42 PM
Diane, thanks for the reminder that happiness really is a choice and it can be developed and maintained by daily disciplines.

That concept can seem foreign but it's pretty much the same as a daily routine for good housekeeping, for eating healthy or anything we want to do well.

I'm not even sure what ease in life is anymore. Having money to pay bills takes work. Having a partner in life to help takes a lot of work, even having friendships takes the work of maintaining them. The only thing that might come freely and easily seems to me to be all the beauty in nature when we are able to take it in. Or doing a simple, kind act for someone ~ that brings an ease in spirit that seems to make life not so hard.

I've let my daily spiritual disciplines lapse recently and I can really feel that dragging just to get thru the day come back. Your post is going to nudge me back into it.

LR it's good to hear from you! I hope your dream of a dry Christmas holds for every day! Tat's suggestions for packing for the move are good organizing ideas. When you unpack you'll know what goes where instead of a hodge-podge of stuff.

Tat, sounds like you're managing your time very well! Keep up the great work!

take care everyone ~~
Posted: 22 December 2014 - 11:54 AM
Hello everyone! Glad to hear of everyone's progress. LR, good to hear from you. Keep up the good work. I know it's daunting but I think you will get the hang of it. Here's a suggestion you might wish to try--how 'bout breaking the packing into tasks (pack books, pack all bedroom knickknacks, etc. for me, I like having something definable so I can state, proudly and loudly, well I got the books all packed! Or this quadrant of the living room is out if the way! I need constant praise, attention and the feeling of accomplishment--even when the only person praising me is ME! Let me know what you think!

Diane, holiday parties are awkward, plain and simple. I am usually the one who isn't feeling awkward and I work hard to make sure other people feel at home. But when I do feel uncomfortable, I just find ways of coping and living through it, even if my coping mechanism is watching the clock and counting each excruciating minute.

Good work everyone. I'm still feeling the time crunch but found time for brunch with girlfriends yesterday, made my gingerbread house and have the menu figured out for Christmas Eve. Took out many boxes to recycle bin today. Getting used to it. I hesitate but I do it so I feel good.

Regards to Dianne and Mel; thinking of you and grateful to have your friendship.
Posted: 21 December 2014 - 05:43 PM
Hi, everyone. Been reading posts off and on. Looking forward to reading more about what's up with everyone. I'm so glad for the reminder about the winter solstice!!! I'm ready for the days to start getting longer!

A friend of mine just gave me over thirty packing boxes and some packing tape (boxes that she had left over from a recent project). Now all I need is some energy as well as encouragement as I work on the seemingly monumental task of preparing to move. Someone on chat yesterday reminded me to just focus on one little section at a time and not get overwhelmed by looking at the whole thing. I appreciated her reminder!! (Yea for buddies on the chat and the friends here on the message board!)

To the best of my knowledge, I haven't had a flood here in well over two weeks. (I almost had another one in the kitchen near the first of this month, but I spotted the problem in time to call the maintenance people before the water could spill over onto the countertops and into the floor. Close call, though! Whew!)

Forget dreaming of a white Christmas. I think I'll change the words to, "I'm dreaming of a dry Christmas!"

Hugs to everybody!
Posted: 21 December 2014 - 04:09 PM
Hi Mel, Dianne and Tat. I made it through the party yesterday and today I am just exhausted, and it is a gray rainy day, so appreciate the solstice reminder.
The part I did not want to say was the person that sat next to me at first party was the CEO of the company, so that is why I was extremely nervous and said dumb things. He is extremely bright and optimistic, so it was not a person that forgets things. The nurse that was quitting has now decided to stay so looks like I just need to let go of my self criticism as well as my hopes for having extra income.
The conversation last night covered feelings of joy and contentment, which I have little of. The big lightbulb went on, when they discussed all the work they do to stay happy, read spiritual things, meditate, etc. I always thought they were so happy because life was easy for them, I was amazed that they do daily things to maintain spiritual contact, all different but that was the thread that ran through all, it takes work. I have thought why do that work, since I will always be negative and depressed, so today I did read spiritual things until I found one that resonated with me. I felt a few minutes of joy, now it is time to read something else, since the blues are creeping back in. The thought of daily discipline in any form seems foreign to me. I thought I could try something new even if it is only for today.
Posted: 21 December 2014 - 10:04 AM
Thank you Dianne! I heard an ad on the radio yesterday that said something like 'this weekend is the winter solstice, which makes it the shortest day of the year. This means in a few months it will actually still be daylight when you leave work!' That made me laugh. Have a great solstice!
Posted: 21 December 2014 - 09:08 AM
For everyone out there suffering from SAD or depression or just the blues take heart!

Today is the shortest day of the year and tomorrow we can start celebrating each extra little bit of daylight we'll get every day. :)
Posted: 21 December 2014 - 09:03 AM
Hi Mel, It's great to get an update from you!

Good job on the fish/geese glasses compromise! Getting a plumber for the kitchen faucet could be a Christmas present for both of you. Isn't it nice to have another person living with you who can be there for a repairman when you can't?

Your boyfriend sounds like he is making good progress while at the same time honoring your requests to set things aside for you to go thru. And I am so proud of you that despite your terribly uncomfortable feelings you are allowing him to continue!!! WTG Mel!!!

You have worked so hard to prep your home to accept your boyfriend moving in and now you are working even harder to let him become more involved in the more embarrassing parts of your life. That openness and trust will make your relationship even more solid. I am so happy for all the progress you've made Mel!! You inspire me!!
Posted: 21 December 2014 - 04:26 AM
Hello all!

Dianne, Diane and Tatoulia, so nice to see you all here!

Diane, I find that most people don't remember much that happens at parties - most people are more interested in what they're saying and how they're perceived than they are about what someone else might have said. Also, I have a friend who had a big fancy house built a little over a decade ago. Last year she told me that the old, tiny house she and her family lived in until they had the house built had 10x the character of the big fancy house. She said she just figured the character would come in time, but after a decade it still wasn't there. I have noticed that, I know a few people who have had houses built, and maybe it's because people worry about keeping it "new", but even years later they just don't seem very lived in. I hope your rib is healing well!

Dianne, I am totally with you on the 'do it later' meaning months or years (or never!). Sometimes it's so hard when it feels like every day is just always the same old stuff. It makes me thankful when I can check in with all of you and see what's new, how things are going, etc. It's so important to make sure that we do nice things for ourselves - that we take care of ourselves and do what we need to do. Sometimes it does mean putting things off another day because of pain or discomfort. Sometimes taking care of ourselves means pushing through something that's difficult. But at the end of the day, you are the one who has to make sure that you're taking the best possible care of yourself.

Tatoulia, I love your party trick. I also find, as a person who is both introverted and has social anxiety, that a lot of people would prefer to talk to someone who is a good listener than someone who is a good talker. Of course, this can mean getting trapped in a boring conversation, but with the right person it can be truly fascinating. I'm so happy to hear about your chair finding a new home without you having to figure out something to do with it, and I also really love that reminder that we are not here to be all things to all people. It reminded me of a few years ago - one of my uncles died unexpectedly and when I was getting ready to go to the wake, I insisted on packing ibuprofen, allergy medication, pepto bismol, kleenex, contact case and solution, etc into my purse so I would have it *just in case* someone needed it. I think it was my way of dealing with my feelings about the situation, but still. I hope work calms down a bit for you soon!

I haven't had a chance to post much lately but I'll update you all below. Will try to keep it brief (ha ha). :)

I've also been very busy at work. I'm working most of the week this week, just off Weds and Thurs, so with most people off I should be able to get ahead on a few things (I hope).

Things have been quiet at my boyfriend's work, so he's been home early a lot recently, and he's on winter break from school (almost done, he'll graduated in June), so he's been vigorously cleaning. A lot of times he works on stuff when I'm not home, and when I return he's made some major progress and has boxes of things for me to look through or bags of clothes to sort through or whatnot. Last weekend we cleaned out some of the kitchen cabinets and sorted through the glassware to decide what we were going to keep and what we were going to get rid of. We packed up two large boxes of glassware to take to the local resale shop for donation. I mostly washed dishes as part of that process. We agreed on almost everything when it came to what to keep and what to get rid of. There were a couple of odd glasses that I liked, one with fishes on it and one with geese on it. I wanted to keep them, he wanted to donate them. I said I was willing to part with the geese if I could keep the fish, so we agreed to that.

My kitchen faucet still needs to be replaced. Last weekend he wanted to take a crack at it but once he looked under the cabinet at the way the pipes were set up, he seemed a lot less confident. I gave him an out by pointing out that the plumbers would be able to make quick work of it since they do this for a living, plus they could install shutoff valves which would make things much easier if we decided to replace the faucet again at some point in the future. He seemed really relieved. I was too, he's a handy guy but with my very old (60+years) set up, I'm positive it would be a huge pain to try to switch out. I was having flashbacks to my childhood where my dad would make us hold the flashlight and whatnot to help him with his projects, which invariably ended up taking 2 or 3 times as long as it had to. I was hoping to call this week to schedule someone to come out to replace the faucet but I was swamped all day at work and didn't think about it when I was at home. My boyfriend is taking off the whole week after Christmas so hopefully I can have them come sometime that week and if I can't be there, he can.

The scariest news is that on Friday was I was out (at work, then out doing laundry, visiting some family, and having dinner with my sister), he started working on the 2nd bedroom. I'm horrified and embarrassed. He keeps assuring me he knew what he was getting into but I just feel so stressed about it. Yesterday morning I was trying to sleep and I woke up because I could hear him working in there. I asked if he could please stop because it was making me anxious. He did and came in and snuggled with me until I felt better. He's wonderful and he definitely is doing everything he can to help me feel loved and supported. I just feel so awful. He's cleared an area about 3 feet wide by 6 feet long. He said he just had to go piece by piece, and like he did before, he sorted things into boxes - one box for CDs and movies, one box of stuff to be shredded, one box of stuff for me to look at and decide if I want to keep it. He also filled two bags with clothes and one bag with sheets and other bedding for me to look/sort through. He made no comment at all about what I can only assume was a metric ton of mouse poop in there. This is the last space the cats haven't been in so they've been reveling in being allowed in the room. I'm hopeful that the smell of cats throughout will help repel the mice.

Speaking of mice, I must have at least one mouse in my kitchen, though I haven't seen it and the kitties haven't caught any that I've seen. A couple nights ago I couldn't sleep and I made a peanut butter & jelly sandwich and put the knife in the sink. When I saw the knife later the next day, it had the distinctive look that I'd come to recognize as the look of a peanut buttery knife that had been "cleaned" by a mouse. I haven't seen any poop on the counters or anything, but it's also possible that my boyfriend cleaned it up and didn't say anything to me. I set a trap in an area that cats couldn't get to but nothing was caught. The place I'd like to set it would be way too easy for the cats to injure themselves.

I ordered a lot of my Christmas gifts this year online and it lead to half of the kitchen table being taken up with stacks and stacks of boxes. I was feeling a little anxious about it and I could tell my boyfriend wasn't particularly comfortable with it, so last night I decided to start wrapping presents. As part of this I unboxed everything and put them into the biggest box so I could just take stuff out of it and start wrapping it. I ran out of labels so I switched to doing christmas cards for a while until I went to bed. I'm happy that almost all of the boxes are now in the recycling bin ready to be gotten rid of (hooray!). I have insomnia tonight so I did all the dishes and wiped down some of the surfaces in the bathroom and cleaned the toilet. I told my boyfriend I'm concerned about him starting to feel like I'm taking advantage of him or something because he's doing all this cleaning. He assured me that he finds cleaning relaxing (I SO can not relate to this) and he feels loved and supported by me too so I shouldn't worry about it.

I hope everyone is well and if I don't get to check in before then, I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas (for those who celebrate Christmas) and a great week!
Posted: 20 December 2014 - 11:35 AM
Tat and Diane, thanks for that info about mating boxes, hahaha! I must admit I was unaware of that fact. I thought the abundance was due to fairies and leprechauns sneaking them in at night. Since there is no spay/neuter program for these boxes I'm going to have to be stricter with myself about sending most out for adoption. Little buggers.

Tat, I love your party trick! Mine is to get involved with the kids. I've managed to isolate myself to the point where I don't get invited to adult parties but that's ok. If I ever do I'll try your idea. :)

Diane, I am so proud of you for getting dressed up and going to the parties! And for not feeling jealous of a big house and for stopping the ruminating about whether or not things you said were dumb. Those are exactly the reasons I have social anxiety too. There's a new house being built up the street. I get so jealous thinking of all the space and the clean newness of everything. I have to remind myself I would trash the place very quickly and downsizing is really the way to go for me.

Tonight I have to go to a dance program my granddaughter is in. It won't be a lot of socializing but I'm still dreading having to put on decent clothes and smile and chit chat. I will make myself remember that the focus is all about the kids and no one is really going to care or remember anything I have to say or how I look.

Diane, your wealth and classiness are in your strength of character and courage in growth. It doesn't get any richer or more refined than that! :)

Posted: 20 December 2014 - 10:13 AM
Diane I must confess I feel happy whenever I see that you've posted--glad you are here!

I have to run to help my brother but let me tell you a little party trick. If I'm feeling uncomfortable or out of place, I find the "story-teller" or other interesting person at the party, and I sit next to him/her. This way, I don't have to talk AND that person's fun and goodwill rub off on me. Once at a party I sat next to the piano player when the sing-along started and guess what? People found me interesting.

I bet you looked beautiful last night. Enjoy tonight. Eat a good meal and continue feeling grateful for what you have! You are an inspiration!
Posted: 20 December 2014 - 10:02 AM
The chair going to a new home was a great way to start my day, thanks Tat. Boxes do mate, most do not know this fact, thanks for going public with this incriminating information. Plastic tubs also mate, even when empty, that is how I broke my rib, stacking them up high in mating position.
Loved the reminder we are not storage facility for stuff for others.
Thursday I worked all day, then yesterday went to office party at a nice restaurant, then to friends new house, huge house, with lots of storage. Looking at it empty, I realized she will have everything put away neatly, I would still stuff every cabinet, I still have to let go of more stuff. Nice thing was I was happy for her and no feelings of jealousy. I was aware her house cost nine times more than mine, and when I got home, I was happy to be home in my tiny place, and it suits my needs, just need to continue to make it less cluttered so I can feel happy and comfortable in here.
At the party I was nervous and said some things that I regret, played over and over in my mind, had to stop myself and realize I just need to learn from it and do better in next social situation. Making my self miserable and losing sleep because I said some things that were dumb do not help the situation. Before I went I had lots of reasons not to go, since I have social anxiety, and avoid crowds, put the big girl panties on and went anyway, so a pat on the back for that. I dressed in a spectacular outfit I found when cleaning out closets last week, so that helped me have courage to go. Today I am going to a smaller party of a close friend and people I know well. Already talking myself out of it, saying yesterday wore me out, and I will go anyway, knowing I can leave after a half hour if it is too much to deal with. Party is at another fancy place, seems I have friends much wealthier and classier than I am, so feeling "less than" today. It will be a good chance to practice being grateful I was invited, be quiet rather than say dumb things, and relax and enjoy others. Dianne and Tat you have helped me so much this week, thanks for our friendship, gives me a solid feeling knowing we have each other in our thoughts, supporting each other to try new things and new behaviors.
Today I will bring more firewood in, clean kitchen, dishes washed put away. One load of laundry. Hang clothes up that are strewn around while trying to find outfit to feel fantastic in yesterday. I can wear the same outfit today since it is all different people and a different city, takes that pressure off.
Dianne and Tat, looking forward to reading how your day went today. Holiday hugs to you.
Posted: 19 December 2014 - 10:40 PM
ALL are leaving my house.

Not BALL ate leaving my house.
Posted: 19 December 2014 - 10:39 PM
I have six packing boxes here from presents sent to me (some are corporate gifts), two mailing tubes and a giant styrofoam cooler that had meats in them. These came yesterday. BALL ate leaving my house. Not even keeping one. Why? 1) no room 2) they accumulate quickly 3) they might mate and make more boxes 4) these all came to my house yesterday -- that means they are plentiful in the universe and I do not need to store and keep and hold as though I am a warehouse.

Let's keep it going, Dianne!
Posted: 19 December 2014 - 10:38 AM
Good for you Tat!

I need to remember that as I go thru things here.
Posted: 19 December 2014 - 10:01 AM
Thank you everyone for your encouragement. Last night I took out a large upholstered chair from my place and put it out with the garbage. I'm pleased to report that when I got up this AM, someone had already taken it! I am happy about that. It was a nice and expensive chair but not my style and it was aggravating me. The true lesson of the story is actually a little different. I knew that chair wouldn't fit in my car so I couldn't take it to goodwill. I actually know of a family that needs furniture right now but they are an hour's drive away and again, it won't fit in my car. So I decided (much as I did while dehoarding my house over the summer) that it's simply not up to me to be all things to all people. So I took it out last night--my house is not a warehouse for other people. No longer. I don't need duplicates and triplicates just in case someone would or could or maybe or might need it. My house is for me.

Felt good--not a drop of guilt as I regain my life.
Posted: 18 December 2014 - 08:42 AM
Diane, I was so hoping to see another post from you this morning. :) It makes me feel as bouncy as a goofy pup doing the happy dance to see you!!

"Do it later" for me can mean weeks or even years. Old habits are very, very hard to break. Good for you getting to that pile of clothes on the bed. WTG! :)

I'll use your idea today of doing this to benefit me instead of looking at these chores with dread. Just this morning I looked out the window and thought, another day, same old, same old and nothing ever really changes.

Tat, hang in there. In one week you will be able to relax and get the seasonal extras out of the way. At year's end you can look back and congratulate yourself on your tremendous progress!

So good to hear from both of you. You're right, Diane, it makes me feel less alone too. :)
Posted: 17 December 2014 - 09:08 PM
Diane, I know what you mean re laundry. I worked hard this summer to instill new habit of folding laundry as soon as it is done. And guess what, it takes no time at all! Unbelievable. But if I let it pile up it takes forever. I've been a lite lax with everything lately and it makes me unhappy. But I will focus on the positive instead.

I am stressed re work and family and my house is making me crazy. Stuff all over living room. Maybe tomorrow night I can deal with it. Bags and boxes and wrapping paper, etc. feel very stretched thin at work and by family. Looking forward to Christmas and enjoying a few days off.

Diane I'm glad you had some dog company. Very soothing. Please do all you can to keep yourself safe and healthy. I bet that rib really hurts. I am happy to have contact with you. You are never far from my thoughts.

Dianne with two nns--hope you are well and keeping it together. It's tough keeping up with everything so remind yourself of your progress.
Posted: 17 December 2014 - 07:38 PM
Tat and Dianne, warmed my heart reading your posts, so proud of you for all you do. Tat I am so impressed that you cleaned out that storage area, that is such a great improvement, amazed you got it done already, and while working and helping mom.
It helped me to get back to this board, today I worked on pile at the end of the bed, takes about a month to grow again. I always think, I will never let that happen again, and guess what--pile grows, mostly clean laundry I did not put away. "Do it later" never happens. I vacuumed most of the floor today, after having two visiting dogs for 5 days. Thanks for the well wishes on the rib. Takes about 6 weeks to heal, so just have to be careful.
Tat and Dianne, I appreciate that you have both been on this board consistently, and help new people, thanks.
I stopped a few times today and focused on my choice to enjoy shopping in my bedroom and the craft room, not so much punishment and dread, instead as doing it to benefit me. I feel less alone today with both of you, thanks
Posted: 17 December 2014 - 08:23 AM
Diane!!! {{{{HUGS}}}}

It's wonderful to hear from you!! I'm so sorry to hear you broke a rib. Wishing you a fast recovery!

The class your friend is teaching sounds very healing. You are so strong to continually stretch and grow even when you know it will bring up uncomfortable feelings.

Congrats on donating more clothes! I am ashamed to say I have been backsliding here. Choosing to be happy sometimes takes more energy than I can muster. And like you say the winter weather and physical pain make it more difficult.

I've greatly missed your support and encouragement here. Please join us more often!!!!
Posted: 17 December 2014 - 06:08 AM
Many thanks for the update, Diane. I am pleased to hear of your progress. I'm proud that you've joined a group and it has helped you with bags of clothing! Boy I used to be the ins wanting everyone's stuff. I still don't want anything and am working hard on the stuff I still have. Diane, I completely cleared out my storage space--10' by 12' and left it for good at end of November. Very little came into my house. Can you believe it? Who knew?

Again many many thanks got the update! Keep up with the hard work! So proud of you. Keep your chin up-- tough time of year.
Posted: 17 December 2014 - 12:27 AM
Freezer room kept pipes from freezing when -20 degrees, so it is so great, thanks for asking, and no leaks in that room. I have had to deal with other leaks, and happy I reroofed that area after I stepped through the roof earlier this year.
Soup is on and would love to share a bowl with you Tat.
Posted: 17 December 2014 - 12:22 AM
Just got a warm feeling reading your note Tat, I have missed our little talks. You are so strong and able, you will get through this stress you are dealing with. I think a deep breath helps me more than anything when dealing with stress, which we have had plenty of!!!
I broke a rib two weeks ago putting empty containers up high, fell on a pointed chair back edge, so has slowed me down. A friend is teaching a class called "Good Grief" for the first time. I am taking the class to support her, and it has brought up a lot of feelings of loss and sadness, good side is that class puts things in perspective, grief is just part of life, and I forget I can choose to be happier, even with short dark days, frozen fog, physical pain. Still difficult for me to choose to be happy, feels like I am breaking long held rules from family, must just keep working and be productive, bad to have fun. I put Christmas lights up and when they are on, makes place seem warmer and happier in here.
In class we visualized our grief, mine was a huge pile of clothes, so last week I went through all closets and filled bag after bag with good clothes I do not wear. My trunk and entire back seat was full of donations, so took it to class to show how I worked on making grief smaller, then to thrift store and dropped it all off after class. One woman from class grabbed a bag of silk skirts and asked to keep them, I said yes, then closed trunk, she keeps too much stuff, and I did not want to encourage her. Need to get rid of so much more so can relate to your clutter creep. Thanks for checking in with me, I have missed you, hugs to you
Posted: 16 December 2014 - 10:58 PM
Diane !!! How are you ? How's the freezer ro holding up? I've become a little frayed at the edges due to work pressures and I'm struggling with holiday clutter in the house. But hearing from you erases all of the stress. Much love--I think about you often and am glad to hear from you. Take good care and let me know when soup's on; I sure could use a comforting bowl of homemade soup!
Posted: 16 December 2014 - 08:34 PM
Thanks for the holiday wishes Cory, same to you and yours!!
Posted: 15 December 2014 - 01:52 PM
Cory, wishing you, your family and your employees a beautiful holiday season! A Merry, Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous, Blessed New Year!!

take good care ~~ Dianne
Posted: 15 December 2014 - 01:22 PM
Cory!!! How nice to hear from you! Happy Holidays to you, your family, your crew! This forum has gotten my house together and made a big difference in my life!
Happy Monday!
Posted: 15 December 2014 - 09:30 AM
Hello Everyone,
I just wanted to drop in and wish you all the Happiest of Holidays this season and congratulate you once again for the incredible work you do each day for yourselves and each other. You are proof that support goes a long way!

The holidays can be extremely tough for some people, so if anyone is struggling, please use this board to ask for the needed support. As always, you can email me at and I will do what I can to assist you.

Keep up the great work, have a very happy holiday season and lets start 2015 off right!

Cory Chalmers
CEO Steri-Clean Inc.

Posted: 15 December 2014 - 08:44 AM
Thank you, Dianne, for the encouragement. I feel a little unravelled these days. House has stuff everywhere. Didn't get to bedroom project (taking out all non-furniture and putting stuff back in, as a way to reduce the stuff). I did spend yesterday on me and my errands. I wrapped gifts in AM so I can mail today and I went to Goodwill with the childhood box of books. Also got a bag together here-- had started it last week but was only half full. before I went to car I went into bedroom closet and pulled out three blazers I won't wear again. I'm glad to get that stuff out. It doesn't show, but mentally I feel lighter.

Need to get to PO today. I might need to go another day this week and if that's the case, so be it. I don't have everything ready just yet. It's a time waster for sure but such is life.

Hope everyone is well. I'm somewhat self centered these days and I apologize. I'm just trying to hold it together and I don't mean to forget anyone. Would love an update from Mel.
Posted: 13 December 2014 - 07:20 PM
Tat, WTG resisting the temptation to buy multiples and especially for getting rid of the boxes!!

What a lovely Christmas gift for your boyfriend to give him two of the childhood story books in French! And only keeping two for yourself and letting the rest go is HUGE progress!!

You have accomplished so much this year, you must be very proud! :D
Posted: 13 December 2014 - 05:51 PM
Dianne every little trick helps... Just today I found myself tempted to buy multiples of something due to good price. I reminded myself I was only getting ONE, for my brother, because HE needs it.

I got rid of several large, nice, clean boxes from crate and barrell today. They held some if my holiday ornaments and I was decorating a tree at my brither's house. I got rid if the boxes and put in recycling bin because I can put all the ornaments in a big Rubbermaid tote. I have several empty totes left from the Great Storage Space Clean-Out of 2014. So I got rid of the boxes.

Took a look-see in my car trunk tonight and found a wonderful box of old children's books. Only kept 4--will give two to my boyfriend for Christmas (books are in French and he may have had the books as a child--French is his native language) and two that I'd like to keep. A year ago I would've needed all of them. PROGRESS!

Much love to everyone, with special love to Diane and Tillie, in the off chance they check in sometime.
Posted: 13 December 2014 - 07:51 AM

just now in my email free shipping from pet food direct!
Posted: 13 December 2014 - 07:45 AM
Yes Tat, I need to remember there will be no shortage of shipping boxes!! My favorites are the ones that cat food is shipped in. They hold 45 lbs. solidly and make it thru UPS without a dent. (Since buying in bulk is cheaper and I wait for free shipping offers it's a good alternative to Petsmart.)

Silly to hoard those things when they really are so easily available. Sometimes I need reminders that all is well, let them go, the world is still a safe place. :)
Posted: 12 December 2014 - 10:30 PM
Hello everyone. Mel just do what you can and keep the lines of communication open. I too would feel badly but probably not guilty. I feel guilty about so much stuff but having someone else clean just doesn't register on my guilt scale (lucky). What would cause me anxiety is losing control of my stuff. So I applaud you for finding a way through your anxiety and your hoard. Don't feel guilty. He ses to enjoy helping you and building a life together. Just keep breathing.

Dianne--I took no small measure of relief in reading your hesitation re shipping boxes. I found myself starting to hoard gift boxes ( after throwing out maybe 40 or 50 this summer) and had to stop myself. It's just difficult when they are foil or have Christmas scenes or seem sturdy. So far have only kept one. Not bad! As to shipping boxes, I threw them out (recycle bin) except for one that I am using. See? Each year we get shopping boxes, no need to hoard!

Thinking of everyone!
Posted: 12 December 2014 - 07:59 AM
Thanks, Mel, I can second, third, fourth, etc. guess myself into infinity.

I understand how uncomfortable it must feel to have your boyfriend cleaning when you're not home. When my ex tried many years ago to help me I felt like it was showing what a mess I was and how incompetent. He could get things done so quickly, why couldn't I? There were so many negatives in my head I just couldn't sit back and appreciate it or even see it as two partners working together toward a common goal. He wasn't trying to make me feel badly, I got that going in my own head. And it was hard for me to deal with the fact that people can work at different paces and it was ok.

To see someone do easily what is so hard for us and hear them say they enjoy it can leave us shaking our heads. You may never be able to relate to that but in time you will come to accept it. You have other talents to offer and the longer you two live together the more the best parts of both of you will combine into a smoothly functioning household.

I fell into that Christmas ordering trap again this year. I want to save the good shipping boxes and it's hard to put them in recycling. Some of them are being used to hold wrapped gifts. Some of the gifts were put into black trash bags in the garage to keep animal hair off them. Which is probably why I bought more stuff. It's like I need to see it all together in order to feel like that's enough. I keep trying to tell myself too, this is just temporary, in a few weeks it'll be gone.

For a time I gave gifts, and asked for gifts for me, of donations to Food for the Poor which is great. But as time gets closer sometimes I feel like I need to also have gifts in hand.

It's all a balancing act and we will only improve at it by learning from our mistakes. :)
Posted: 11 December 2014 - 02:55 PM
Dianne, don't second guess yourself! There's nothing wrong with boosting the signal for folks who need help. Your big heart and generosity are wonderful!

I had a new embarrassment with my boyfriend cleaning yesterday. My house has old plastic baseboards (at least 25 years old, maybe way more). As he's been cleaning and rearranging, he's found a few places where the mice clearly chewed themselves some big holes. He commented that they looked like mouse holes but he didn't think they could chew through that kind of material. He wants to replace the baseboards anyway but he showed me the holes and I was feeling really embarrassed.

He's on a break from school (he's finishing his degree in the spring) so he's been using his time to clean. He completely cleaned up and rearranged the living room (which exposed one of the mouse holes), and the dining room (which exposed 2 more). He's done a really nice job but it means the areas I've worked on look even messier in comparison. Yesterday was garbage day and by the end of the day he had already completely refilled both the garbage and the recycling bins.

Truthfully it's kind of nice to just come home to all this stuff already cleaned up as long as I don't think about it too much. He said it's very relaxing for him to clean. I feel so lazy just coming home from work and sitting on the couch in the living room that he cleaned up and rearranged and eating the dinner that he cooked for us. And I feel guilty that I made this huge mess and he's doing so much of the work to clean it up. I just don't want him to feel taken advantage of. I try to tell and show him all the time how much I love and appreciate him and all his hard work. And he tells me he does it because he enjoys it. But I just can't relate to that at all.

I just started ordering Christmas gifts and I'm starting to feel anxious about the extra stuff and extra boxes. I know it's temporary but still.

I hope everyone is having a good day!
Posted: 11 December 2014 - 10:47 AM
Honestly, I'm feeling a little strange about my last post. As moved as I was to help this family they really are receiving massive amounts of assistance. And they will probably need to turn around and donate much of what they will receive.

Generally I like to help the people who go unnoticed. Please forgive my presumptuousness. There are so many in need, follow your own hearts. Even if all we have to give is loving thoughts everything around us is blessed by that.
Posted: 11 December 2014 - 10:23 AM
There are so many people in need here on this board and in our own communities that I hesitate to suggest a place to donate. But these are exceptional circumstances. Last Monday there was a terrible tragedy in our area. A mother and two of her darling children were killed when a small plane crashed into their home, destroying it. The father was at work and the young daughter was in school.

They have received a huge amount of support on Go Fund Me. If you google ~ Gemmell family Germantown Maryland ~ you'll find info as to what they could use.

Laura and I are taking some things over today. I am not on Facebook or Twitter and thought this would be a good place to let people far away know about the Gemmells. Please keep them in your prayers this holiday season.
Posted: 11 December 2014 - 09:54 AM
Tat, what a great idea to move everything out of your bedroom and only put back what you really need/want! Your bedroom does sound very pretty and it will be the perfect oasis when you have it just right. :)

WTG for getting done what you chose to do last night! I bet someone will pick up the extra chair before garbage takes it. For the right person it will be perfect.

Mel, it's good to hear from you! I depend on the kindnesses shown on this board and the support we give each other. Thank you for your compliments. :)

{{{{hugs}}}} to both of you and loving thoughts that you continue progress and bounce back quickly from setbacks!!
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