Hoarding Woes: Vacuum Packed

I worked slow and steady today at my aunt’s house: driveway cleaned once again of recyclable materials and swept. Neighbors have a wedding reception across the street this coming weekend so keeping things tidy on the exterior. Regarding the interior: exceptional efforts in the den (literally jammed full before and now so consolidated that over 1/3rd remains available for storage while the dining room is empty. The kitchen is still clean, although a bit of a staging area for garbage going out the door (drop box after the wedding reception). I put the finishing touches on the hallway, which now affords a clear path and an uninterrupted circular route on the first floor! That hallway has been blocked since 2002. Bedrooms remain, the bathroom is partially done but quite filthy. The downstairs is another matter and not an urgent matter although I will show you a few pics of that. The living room is down in volume considerably and along with the bedrooms the last remaining challenge. The remaining room in the den will probably house much of the living room/bedroom stuff.

The hallway has been blocked for years. The three closets and built-ins are finally available. Inside are linens that were cleaned and shrink wrapped in 2002 after the fire. They remain in the closet untouched. Now one can travel down this hallway to a bedroom or take a left to the kitchen. The bathroom is just to the right in the shot and behind me is a jammed front bedroom. Progress to clear that hallway, which has been stacked 6′ high for a long time.
The front bedroom has not been used in years. My aunt hesitates to use it because of a fear of being blocked or trapped inside a small room. It is full save a narrow (6") foot path once the doorway is cleared. I have cleared it a half dozen times yet it is always blocked with new materials. I had done a pretty good job of accessing it right after Christmas as I put some decorations in there. In short order it was sealed off like an Egyptian tomb. Mostly clothing and more clothing.

I wanted to raise a point that I have alluded to before. Once you drastically clean an area, don’t be disappointed if it starts to fill up again. It becomes a staging, sorting area for an adjoining mess. It gives you room to work in, but it will nag at you to again clear the area. Oops…it may partially fill again. This has happened 3 times to the driveway. Just the way it is and I don’t over think this as long as the previously cleared area is touched up now and then.

This window and the shelved glassware was pretty much obstructed from view because the dining room was full and all access into the den was blocked off. The area from the dining room into the den has amazingly changed to allow an unobstructed view of the backlit glassware.

Really a wonderful effort inside. Outside room was gained by removing damaged goods. Inside, little is damaged or filthy (sharp contrast to my mom’s house), so room must be found and repacking/consolidation is paramount. Darly has worked magic on consolidation into boxes from cascading, unruly plastic bags. Now the basement is another, less pressing matter. But, it is down there and a bit more musty and chaotic.

The laundry room. Not bad but definitely musty. This is the area, way in back, where my aunt would venture to in order to turn off the furnace. She could not figure out the thermostat, so the next best thing was to walk down stairs into the back of the laundry room and flip the switch to turn off the furnace.
This a very nice party room, circa the 50's, with an awesome inlaid floor like the one in the den. It is loaded with one little path suitable for a 94 y/o elf. This will wait. No point now.

When I visited my aunt tonight she was complaining of  considerable knee pain. She didn’t ask when she was headed home. Her calendar, on the bed, had the doctor’s appt. highlighted for this coming Friday. She was in a pretty good mood. Bizarre given how she recently reacted. The miracle of modern meds or just the cycling of dementia and stress. I was warned this would happen. As I worked away today, I vowed to be more patient and not take things so personal. She thanked me for stopping by. Later she told my wife that she had no idea how she would ever be able to make her home like the care facility…a very nice, clean, orderly environment. My wife remarked that we could try to make a dent before she got home to make it safer. My aunt responded that maybe we could make a start. I think she knows something is already afoot.

Some things never change though


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4 thoughts on “Hoarding Woes: Vacuum Packed

  1. Mary

    You are really making wonderful progress. I am impressed with the new open spaces and especially enjoyed seeing the glass shelf. Have any of the neighbors commented on your huge effort to get the outside cleaned before the wedding? I’ll bet they are pleased with the results of all your hard work.

    It will be a challenge to keep your aunt’s house clean enough for her to move around. Based on her reorganization of her room at the care facility last week, she will be very anxious to get started on her home once she gets home! I hope you can convince her to at least keep a clean path so she can move around easily. Good luck on Friday – hopefully the doctor will say another month, especially since she is complaining of pain.

    1. SwittersB

      Thank you Mary. Actually, the neighbors are ecstatic. The visual eyesore, smells, rodents, etc etc were tolerated in a fairly nice neighborhood. Not sure why but it was. But, once we started cleaning they might as well have started carrying pom pom with all the cheers….. yes, very satisfied neighbors.

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