I thought we would provide an update on two levels: where our (my wife and I) minds are at now post hoarding cleanup and what is going on with the hoarding house. I may provide some photos now and then because some of you had an interest in not just the hoarding journey but also in the house itself and the mid-century modern/vintage state.
This was the kitchen while my Aunt still lived in the house. She let us reduce by a third the quantity of stuff in the kitchen and blaze a foot path through the kitchen. The dining room in the distance was greatly reduced in quantity. Originally the stuff was piled well above the shelf you see on the far wall of the dining room. Note…reducing the size of stuff did not mean anything was removed from the house…nope…just relocated in stacks elsewhere.
One area that needs some upgrades and alterations is the kitchen. Countertops, lighting, tile work and floor covering will be changed along with some adjustments to walls to open up the lighting/view of the room.
As you can see there has already been some significant changes in progress. Additional wiring, plumbing, heating/cooling, windows, siding changes are in the works. The yard will wait for a while. I will try to provide some progress reports here every once in awhile re the renovations to the Hoarding House.
As for our mental state: As for my wife and I, I think I can speak in generalities that represent what in an evolving state of mind. We are excited for the physical changes to the hoarding house. I believe we both see those changes as a means to helping renew our life and minds. We know that in and of itself the renovation is not the sole means to healing.
I say healing…yes healing of the mind, the heart, the soul even. Speaking for myself here, I am in ways numb, tired, perhaps damaged. From the hoarding house cleanup? Only in part, a smaller part. Life itself and other events in my life have taken their toll on my mind. So the hoarding house cleanup and the preceding hospice events (Mom/Auntie) definitely took their toll as they do for everyone. For the most part, I believe we have a sense of blessings, honor and privilege to have journeyed through those life ending phases with those two women.
The cleanup of the two hoarding homes is not anything I ever want to endure again. I have an inner harshness now when a hoarding show comes on TV that I was not as aware of before. Yes, we were gentle and patient (for the most part) with the hoarding sisters. But, if push came to shove, I am not so certain now how I might react with these two hoarding cleanups under our belt. One does pay a price for undertaking such cleanups on the scale that we encountered. The smells, filth, volume of stuff, waste, health concerns, physical damage, mental damage are not to be taken lightly. There are tens of thousands of decisions to be made. There is a constant assessment of worth, value, sentiment, history, family involved. There is a constant mental assessment of the hoarder and yourself that takes place ad nauseam.
Interesting, fascinating from afar. In the trenches, it is not in my makeup to ever want to face projects like this again. I know my wife agrees. I speak of hoarding cleanup. Care giving, love and support for the elder, the painful demise, the passings….there are more before us and we will be there and provide the love and strength we have gained from our previous experiences.
We will attempt to provide more pics along the way to show the progress of the renovation and interior/exterior make overs.
The heavy, ornate metal work on the doors and windows have come off (the vinyl siding too). Immediately the sense of being locked into your home is gone. The fortification removal is refreshing. Perhaps some day if a siege ensues I may wish I had those bars, but for now the removals are a good thing for us. Frees up the mind….not a bad thing right now in every little way we can do it.