Hoarding Woes: “Why don’t you just hire someone?”

During the grueling phase of cleanup at my mom’s house, the toll was evident to those  around, if not to me. The frequent refrain was “Why don’t you just hire someone to do all that work?” It seemed impossible. I needed to be certain that I found all the keepsakes and photos amongst all the clutter, stuff and debris. Eventually I ground to a halt and the effort to regain momentum through the Winter failed.

The seed was planted to hire a qualified person to stage the house’s contents for sales. I resisted. Trust was part of the problem. What if they discarded pictures, books etc? Also, the cost; they would take 25-40% of the take. In the end, I gave into the suggestion and the crew was hired. I was skeptical. 

Last night I stopped by after they had departed. The house was beyond my comprehension. It was a time warp into the past. Once my dad had passed away, my mom quickly withdrew into her own world and did not allow anyone into her home as the stuff/mess accumulated. So, after my mom passed, it was incomprehensible the enormous clutter (5-6′ + on the sides and pathways that had filled and were a foot + high in clutter that she walked or crawled upon). Water, mildew, mold, filth, smells added to the mental/visual assault. So, imagine my swirling mind as I stood in empty rooms sans the smells and mess. Empty that is save the staging of stuff and notable stuff.


The displays were primarily the lesser items with much more to follow after the initial sale. I have to say, I would not have had the steam to clean, sort, price, display the house’s contents. It was a good decision to hire the crew.


Last night, I also went to my Aunt’s house and assembled 25 cardboard boxes and stacked them in  a dry place. This weekend, I will start the first major project of cleanup on her property. I am pinching my self that she is going along with this yet she is. She sat by the driveway mess as I assembled the boxes and discussed the repacking of the items. I also raised the issue of the garbage that needs to be removed and she did not contest the concept of removing “garbage” from her property. 


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