Hoarding Woes: Digging In, Sorting, De-Stuffing

In a delirious moment last Summer at my Aunt's hoarding mess, I found this action figure from long ago in a bin, full of swamp water, salvaged him and adopted him (I said I was delirious) as my symbol of optimism (No Job Too Big....or, if Fly Fishing: 'No, really, it was this big')

The hoarding cleanup can seem never ending. A whole day will be spent gaining a 2′ x 8′ section. Such was the case yesterday. Actually we did much better than that, but we salvaged that size section while actually de-stuffing (my new hoarding phrase…feel free to use it) a bigger area. Yet, the area is still piled high with more. And, if you let yourself think about it, there are a half dozen more areas just like it on the property, not to include the interior of the house. So, don’t dwell. Plot, calculate the time involved, the money involved (it adds up quickly) and have faith that week by week some portion will be handled. Keep it in perspective because there still will be umpteen sales to be had and life’s unexpected interruptions (events you can’t miss on a weekend, sickness, injuries, no help, lack of energy for the day, vacations, weather).

Now this area is an example, the only one for yesterday, of space gained. As you look at the picture, you see the box on the floor with the aluminum pot. That is where a narrow trail entered the area and went as far back as the black post. The stuff was stacked left and right at least 8' and higher up against the house to the left, blocking the windows, and also higher to the right. Each box was carefully pulled down to inspect and sort through. This takes a great deal of time and decisions are made on keep for resale, donate, toss, maybe even keep for self. If you had the hoarder with you it would be an overwhelming, SLOW process...ordeal is a better word. I went through that with my mom and aunt. So, that stuff to the left is deemed salvageable for resale. The space gained held stuff that was deemed either scrap metal, junk or to be donated. All that moved out of this area around the corner to the driveway. Out of view, to the right, is a vast, uncharted territory to be attacked today.

Ok, burning daylight. Heading down to the full drop box, which will be picked up within the hour and a new one dropped. On the way, I will buy more work gloves, boxes and strapping tape, light bulbs and first aid supplies (everyone sustained cuts yesterday through gloves and clothing). Which brings to mind, don’t ever wear anything you don’t mind ruining from tears and stains. And, if after you leave you decide to stop for a beer or a bite, remember you stink from the unavoidable hoarding smells. Your shoes, your clothes, your face and hair will smell.

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2 thoughts on “Hoarding Woes: Digging In, Sorting, De-Stuffing

  1. Thanks for sharing this with us. I am drawn to your posts as I know about the hoarders in my family. In the end, my sister essentially walked away from her house as she wouldn’t let anyone near it when she was there. I guess her neighbor who bought the house got to clean it up. I bet he just had it all hauled away. I know it is an overwhelming task as I cleaned out my parent’s mobile home, which was nowhere near as bad as the house you are cleaning. It is good you can mentally break it up into pieces and take them on one small area at a time. Anything else could make it too overwhelming to even begin. Good luck with the weather, with your health and with keeping good helpers to assist you in this huge task.

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