This week I spent traveling to conferences and speaking across the country and Toronto. It was a great week and helped educate a lot of people. I met several hoarders as well as others that work with hoarders which was wonderful to see so many people taking interest in learning about this disorder. A few of the hoarders that I spoke with all said the same thing...that they are stuck, frozen and overwhelmed. This is something that for those of you are in the weekly suppoort group we address regularly.
Todays task is to pick your starting point. Some of you have already done this, but for those of you that are newer, you just have to start somewhere. For the new members, pick something small and an area where the items will not be as difficult. You just need a small area where you can complete the task without getting lost in memories, or frozen in fear of making the wrong decision. The area needs to be small enough that you can complete it within 15 to 30 minutes. Examples are, one night stand or end table, a coffee table, or a top of a dresser, 2 feet of kitchen counter, or one drawer in your dresser or kitchen. Once it is picked, have a trash bag by your side as well as a box for keep items, and if needed one for donation items or recyclables. For those of you in the support gropu, pick another space today and get it done!
This small excercise is designed to teach you that you can start making progress without giving up or becoming so frustrated. It is meant to show you that you can complete a task, and no matter how small it is, it is still progress. The only way to get to the finish line is to begin at the starting line! Every day, every couple days, or once a week these small tasks will add up and as your confidence grows, the size of your tasks can grow.
The important thig is to start, and realize you can do it. IMPORTANT...do not complete your task, then turn around and see the rest of your house still a mess and become discouraged. Just look at your new clean space and smile, realizing that you did it and it wasn't as painful as you thought. Then, promise yourself, no matter what to keep this area clean! Defend your space!