Same theme, different characters…

In case you have a comment or question, please feel free to reach out here or over at SwittersB & Exploring. Life continues with struggles of old, just the cast of characters have slightly changed. The same issues are apparent: procrastination, fatigue, illnesses, decline, a kind of gloom that prohibits momentum on their part to take control of their surroundings and create space. Right now, I see illness and no energy from it, creating frustrations.

Red rose-long stem-backyard-SwittersB.jpg


Catching up…

but only regarding communicating with you. Not catching up with residual stuff left over after two massive hoarding cleanups.

BY tarps 2011

I few observations re how things might happen to us and to others:

I have remarked before about the sentimental stuff we kept after the two hoarding cleanups. We kept way too much stuff that we will never use.

BY corner

We are still and probably permanently mentally drained from the effort. I think damage was done to our mental capacity to absorb new challenges. We drained the batteries down and we seem incapable of recharging to full capacity.


Take that mental capacity and now join it together with recently suffering health on both our parts and we find ourselves mentally and physically in a hole. My partner has always been the driving force behind organizing and getting it done. I was fortunate beyond belief in having her steadfast resolve in seeing every cleanup project through. Now that has become severely compromised by health and I find without her, I do not have the same resolve either. This is frustrating for us both because we do need to finish up those final cleanup phases!


We also have pending cleanup likely of a family member that has all manner of stuff. Not of a massive nature but still a lot of stuff that will have to be dealt with in the not to distant future.

And so it seems we might be in a position similar to where our passed loved ones were in life when the saw their dilemma, but did not possess the mental or physical capacity to address the issues. We don’t have a shame factor so letting someone in would not be the problem. But right now, we would feel overloaded and befuddled to delegate or organize a push for a completed solution. A far cry from five years ago when we conquered every obstacle in our pathway.


So I think the take away is don’t leave or create loose ends if burnout or physical debilities are going to thwart your abilities to take on those last vestiges of finishing up. It may not get done later and then what?

I don’t mean this to be a do or die moment in life for us. But it shows how you can be a few steps away from the place our loved ones were and then they compounded it all with more and more acquisitions…

Almost Done

So we pray Springtime and a bit of warmth and sunshine will lift the Winter doldrums and give us renewed focus and energy to once and for all be done with stuff that lingers from the hoarding past. It sure as heck is a very long ways from the old days for sure….. thanks for reading!!!

Should note, so as not to alarm, these are photos from the cleanup days and not now!!! ūüôā




Perspective & Fatigue

I write less frequently now. We seemed to have climbed the massive peak sometime ago and started the descent. Almost fearful to look back, not wanting to revisit all that came with those two hoarding cleanups and the grueling loss of two dear ladies.

I mean look at this stack of boxes…this was one load of three loads we handled one March morning when we had to empty out my Aunt’s storage locker and bring it to the hoarding house. It was mentally defeating to re-insert stuff into the mix…but we did it and we kicked ass! We did it then…we had to do it now.

We mentally settled into our new home. We felt the tensions start to release. Ah, but wait. We seemed to have forgotten the large elephant (I guess they’re all large aren’t they) standing in the room. We still owned another home that needed to be cleaned out and renovated and sold…the clock was ticking. Mortgage payments continued. The house, whether to be rented or sold had to be cleaned out and fixed up.

Should have been a simple matter compared to what we had been through? But, whether ignored, not immediately recognized or suppressed some bothersome patterns of old re-emerged and might again be of use to you.

We found ourselves dealing with the following repeat offenders: sentimental attachments…’might be worth something’…’I might need it someday’…’I will do it later’…and just honest to God damaged bodies and some suppressed mental fatigue thing that seriously clouds momentum and decisions. Both my wife and I found ourselves at a standstill.

We had set aside way too much of my Mom’s and Aunt’s stuff. Really, unless we rotate items we found ourselves with boxes of stuff stacked at the new home with no place to put the items. Some had collector’s value and some were sentimental keepsakes. They added up.

Our kids had moved out sometime ago. They moved out into student housing or small, shared environments and we still had all the years of accumulation that had not been adequately thinned out along the way. Books, toys, sports, clothing, stuffed animals, drawings, pictures, furniture in grand scale given my Mom (the hoarding Mom) loved to give many presents on the scale with which she accumulated stuff! ‘Here grandson how about a large fire truck…no how about two and you can pretend you are a whole fire department!’

We found we had moved lean into the new home in keeping with the new life style we wanted to see. But somehow those old bugaboos of holding onto stuff had snuck into the mix! Procrastination had entered into the mix and we let down our game face intensity and it up and left us! No energy to stand up and kick ass and get rid of that old house!

So we have mounted the offensive to have the old house on the market one month from now. Carpets have been gutted out. Each room is receiving unmerciful (well not quite that ruthless) scrutiny of what stays and what goes with the ‘goes’ pieces a substantial amount. A trailer is making trips to the dump. We have coordinated ¬†with an estate sale planner to infuse a great deal of the items (good quality items) into a low quantity estate sale (the client would/must be ok with such an intrusion). Renovations have been commenced. We and dear old members of ‘the Team’ (those stalwart family members that suffered through the hoarding cleanups) have offered to help with this final blitz.¬†

So much of this is mental (timelines, plans, action steps to complete toward large goals, constant assessing Plan A and Plan B, and helping each other to stay on course when one would rather stay home, stay down, get more sleep, just do it later). But there is the undeniable physical component I have often alluded to. If you are out of shape or suffer physical ailments there is an inescapable price to be paid on your body. The Team could equally be called the Bad Back Sciatica Team. 

So to recap…the obvious you are thinking…yes I know, I know: If you are involved in a hoarding cleanup strongly consider what you are bringing into your own home along the way because you will suddenly have that full garage, basement, spare room (all of the above maybe) and getting to it later equals when you are older, tired, ill, battered and cannot fathom sorting through all that stuff. Be careful what you decide to keep.¬†

stuff heavy-load

Kick your kids in the ass to make decisions of what stays and what goes and be ruthless with them to avoid the decision making pitfalls of sentimentality, practicality, worth etc. A little bit will enter into it, but boxes of stuffed animals or clothing for their children is not practical and most importantly where will it be stored in those years they are off finding themselves and establishing a life???

Well, we are off to the ‘old house’, the Team is waiting on us. Lastly, anyway that you can recruit and retain help will greatly assist you in maintaining momentum and help you over come procrastination, sharing the physical toil and ‘enjoying’ the process.

Yes, we had to stop, turn around and climb partway back up that hill but the reality is our perceptions were blurry. This was a small task compared to everything we have done (size, difficulty) but the ability to see that was difficult when mental fatigue and maybe even just damage has taken hold. Much like life is a journey where you learn as you go or reflect back and see how you have changed along the way. We just wanted to reflect; soon…very soon.

Stress Relieved……………..


Relief flows over you 
like an ocean breeze, 
cool, refreshing with a lift. 
It brushes away the strife 
your life was clogged with 
that dragged your soul down.

Relief lifts you up 
from the depths 
that have saddened your soul 
making you feel whole again. 
Ridding you of the feelings 
that have slated your life.

Relief now lifts you 
and gone is the emotional turmoil 
that blighted your being. 
Refreshed you feel 
a new wellspring 
in which your life can unfold. 

David Harris

The meeting with the Estate Planner was a much needed breath of fresh air that cleared the mind and lifted the spirits. The infusion of hope and relief was palpable. Hope is renewed and the tired mind feels a bit of renewal.


This Blog Is A Benefit……Even For Us

storage locker 1 yr agoI have noted before that this blog was started more for my expression of emotions way back when my Mom had passed away and left us with a massive, hoarding mess. It has evolved along the way through that cleanup and into my Auntie’s hoard, illness, dementia, hospice and death.

Along the way, we have pushed hard and occasionally stuttered and sputtered. It is good for us to look back and see what we have done. Many of you have reminded us of that time and again, but life confuses and distracts and then obscures our clarity. The above pictures were a year ago. A very disheartening time when we had to empty a large storage locker, of my Aunts, and move all the contents to the hoarding house.

It was a set back in our mind, at the time. But, of course, it all worked out. Now we are faced with more set backs of a medical nature. We had just reinvigorated our minds to charge forth, but health concerns now derail that momentum.

You know the routine: symptoms, tests, more tests, waiting for results, inconclusive, symptoms, more tests……………….waiting……………you know the routine.

Plan B? In this type of effort, you have to think through the many options (sometimes it doesn’t seem like you have any) and plan for the what if’s. What if this or that happens. Some of that involves money. Some of it is muscle. Some of it is time management. When all three are reduced then the mind comes to a halt. This is very troubling to the Team that wants to scratch out success after success. Looking at the pictures above, I know we can do it again. We just have to develop alternative plans of action.

What if’s………………………………. ¬†