Hoarding Woes: The Immensity vs. Space + Time

It is not as if I haven’t been down this road several times before. The size of my Aunt’s hoarding mess has not been lost on me, nor probably on you if you have followed here since last year. But today it gave us all, that were helping, that this project is gigantic and begs some decisions.

There is not enough room to move and sort. There is little room to move boxes to available space and sort. We have filled up a good portion of the patio and storage shed. The carport, garage and shop we just spent the last month emptying of debris, stuff and filth must wait for now. There is just so much stuff in the house on all levels and it is so densely jammed.

The Garage and Carport (foreground) are locations for portions of the sale. But, we cannot fill it up again in anticipation of pricing and display because across the top of the picture is a white border...that is a portion of the garage sagging because of all the metal that was stored above and caused structural damage. The door itself is unusable and now I will have to have it torn out and a new garage door installed for security and function. Also, notice the little specks or bubbles in the pic? That is the dust particles always in the air that one inhales.

 This is not insurmountable, just daunting. Sales will be held and multiple locations in the yard will be set up for the sale. As items leave new merchandise will be brought out and on and on it will go. But, that pre-sorting, pricing and warehousing will be cumbersome, in our estimation, after today’s efforts. Everything is keepable. Everything is salvageable. Everything could be sold. Yes, some will be donated (we are even considering donating all the contents of the Storage locker (worth thousands I imagine) to a charity (yes, http://magstheaxe.wordpress.com/ we will surely inspect the contents of every box before it goes out the door…check her recent comments).

But, in the end, we have more stuff than we may be able to sell in a dozen or more weeks of sales and that is exhausting and not fair to the neighborhood. We will price stuff to sell and move stuff off the property. But, boy howdy, is there a lot of  stuff. More than we realized and we have only scratched the surface of the interior of the house. No, I am not bringing in outside help. Been there, done that. Not as efficient as you might assume.

The load of chemicals was headed out today. In the end, it was a heavy load of all manner of household chemicals. Much of it was damaged in the basement laundry room due to moisture.

More scrap metal has just continued to pile up and up. Another load will be hauled away this week by the Team once the drop box is picked up tomorrow. Now on a lighter note…..

Me, 1951 and almost 9 years old. I am standing on the patio. The one shown in recent cleanup pictures, then without the roof and sides. That is how I recalled it as a little guy and yes my mom made me where pants like that.
Here I am around the same time standing in front of the house I would someday be tasked with cleaning up. There was no hoarding woes in 1957. Fifty five years later, a lot of junk has been coming down those stairs.

Today was just one of those weird days: snowed, then sunshine, then hail. Stuff Overload coupled with all the What if’s and How will’s of strategizing. In the end, we will push forward and prepare as best as we can. I said I would not let this one get to me. Slow and easy.

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5 thoughts on “Hoarding Woes: The Immensity vs. Space + Time

  1. annietiques

    I look upon your youthful self in front of that beautiful outdoor fireplace………….I know you could never imagine yourself in the hoarding clean-up you are faced with today…………may god bless you and your wife and your team as you face head on the mess you have in front of you. In my heart of hearts I cannot imagine that your dear sweet aunt meant for this mess to be left to you. In my heart it was no where near this big in her mind………thus being the crux of the truth of hoarding…….

  2. Veronica in CA

    My heart and thoughts are with you as you deal with the grief of losing your aunt and the immense clean-up of her home. Rather than doing garage sales, have you considered donating all saleable items to Goodwill and Salvation Army? No need for you to prepare for sale, make price stickers, advertising, etc, and you’d be raising money for a worthy cause. Less stress. And it’s a deduction on your tax return. I usually claim 50¢ per item, and it does add up. Keep receipts when you donate, but they don’t have to be uber-detailed: “400 kitchen items, 500 household items, 200 clothing and coats, 4 chairs and a table” is fine.

  3. Veronica in CA

    P.S. Last time we moved, east coast to west coast, I donated 1500 pounds of excess clothing and household items we didn’t want to move to CA. I filled the trunk of the sedan and dropped off at Goodwill on my way to work each day. At least 30 trips. It resulted in over $600 worth of deductions on our taxes that year. Not to mention becoming friends with the good people at Goodwill. The guys actually hugged me on my last visit, the day before I moved to CA.

    I also donated several large pieces of furniture: a leather living room set and an oak bookcase. They picked those up with their own truck, carried them out of the house for me. I valued those at $20 apiece. I am conservative when it comes to valuation of used items for tax receipts.

  4. Veronica in CA

    P.P.S. One more thing: I donated over 300 used books to the Public Library (no encyclopedias or National Geographics, please), and 20 LARGE Italian clay pots to the Botanical Garden (3 trips in the sedan for those.)

    Okay, I promise not to take over your comments section anymore!

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