Hoarding Woes: Momentum Lost…Let’s Waste the Day

The hoarding cleanup at my Aunties: we took a break to leave town and recharge the psychic batteries. If I thought we needed a charge then, well we really need a charge now.

This happened at my mom’s hoarding home. We eventually hit a wall and took a break. Too long of a break and we could not muster the effort for quite a few months to attack the problem.

The back of the tent is bulging toward me in this shot. You can't tell that the tan tarp is sticking back some 2-3' because the boxes on the other side, so neatly stacked at first, have collapsed outward. I could not push them forward into their original spot. I left it as it was found for now until I have enough help to muscle the contents into place and better secure the tent's rear wall.

When we arrived back at the house today, the senses were struck by the visuals: the dirt, the left over piles of scrap metal that have not been removed yet; the new canopy/tent has part of the load collapsed and pressing against a back wall and parts at the front have become uncovered and exposed to the recent heavy rains. The smells: ah the smells, the musty, moldy, wet stench…mostly outside, thank goodness. But, that smell must get accepted into the brain because today it was so strong as before I was just use to it.

 We have done so much elimination of crap that the residual stuff is seen for what it is…a massive amount of stuff. OMG! The sales will be massive and tedious to price. We are, more looming life’s interruptions, looking out two months before a first sale can be staged. The Team is set on not having a multitude of little sales. Rather they want large, blitzkrieg sales. 

 I will stay out of that part. I just know that there remains a lot of stuff to stage and back fill. 

Today we decided to check out to never before reached closets in the first floor bed rooms. What might be tucked away in those closets which were blockaded by either boxes or just piles of all manner of stuff. So, we proceeded to dig away and clear paths into the closets.

A ceiling high wall of boxes stood before the back bedroom closet and some six feet out. We cleared several rows of boxes away to allow access to the doors. Finding a place for those boxes was not easy. In the end, after we inspected the contents of the closet, we re-stacked all the boxes back into that narrow slot.
The contents was a lot of dry cleaned clothing marked 'vintage' and 'fancy'. There had been a fire at the house in 2002. All the clothing had 2002 tags affixed to the plastic bags protecting the clothing. Pretty interesting retro, women's garments. Given the Portland 'vintage' scene they might be of interest to someone from the N. Mississippi or SE Hawthorne areas.

Interesting finds I suppose. So, we moved down the hallway to the front bedroom. The piles of stuff were much less organized and cascading. This took much longer to sort through and find a place to stack atop pre-existing stacks. Moving the same stuff again and again can get to you. But, finally we arrived at another double doored closet and popped it open. Again a lot of vintage clothing in dry cleaning bags, but also some very cool old luggage, some of it in pristine condition.

When you look into the closet and see the older luggage, you realize the transition that has taken place in luggage and travel. Just having returned from traveling, it is so obvious that some time ago travelers moved away from the luggage in this picture. Here sat this luggage. The vertical brown leather pieces, flawless and 1950's beautiful.
There was a set of four pieces of white luggage with gold metal work. I tore open the plastic covering to look at the tag. It had my aunt's name. She never traveled after her husband died in the late 60's. She only traveled by train. Here was a whole set of luggage that sat unused and in perfect condition albeit dated by contemporary standards.

It was a spin your wheels sort of day. Not wasted but somewhat aimless. It quickly brought attention to our collective slow motion mentality. Right now we need to formulate a new plan that is not so focused on cleanup and now more on preparing the venue for sales and pricing. Also getting the signage ready. 

In the Summer of 2009, my yard and my aunt's yard looked pretty darn good. My aunt maintained her's and I because of hosted high school graduation parties and no injuries kept our yard looking darn good. Then my mom's cancer saga commenced and then her hospice/death, quickly followed by my aunt's medical, dementia, hospice saga and death. Some how through all this, I just turned away from the yard(s). Now it shows. My yard is in dire need of attention and my aunt's is in need also. Often in all this care giving and working through the long process many things fall by the side. When you come back around to them, you realize how much you singularly focus on the crisis or crises at hand.

 As we drove away today from the hoarding home, my wife and I agreed we must think in a patient, long term manner. There will be interruptions, unplanned for crises or events. Slow and easy…week by week. Much remains to be done.

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