Reaching out…

BY tarps 2011

I/we have not been posting as much in this stage of life. But, I see folks linking to Hoarding Woes & You on a weekly basis. So, I thought I would once again extend to anyone in the midst of this crisis in life to feel free to write re questions for me and/or other viewers. Please feel free to write and I will get back to you.

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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.

HH4

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!

kitchen-stairs-to-dining-rm1

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.

driveway

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!!! 🙂

 

 

 

precursors to hoarding…

Elders…Family…Children

The pitfalls are most evident now on how one can inadvertently become inundated with too much stuff. We have found the following mess/lessons before us, and actually to our great surprise. Given all we have been through the last 5+ years it is a bit frustrating. Hoarding was, heretofore, a mental health issue coupled with buying everything in sight to turn it into a profit (Mom/Aunt). Emotional distress reigned for my Mom and Aunt.

But imagine our surprise, as we moved this past Fall, that there are other pitfalls no less cumbersome. We found that for sentimental reasons we kept wayyyyyyyyy too much stuff that belonged to, as follows: My Dad, my Mom, my Aunt, our three sons, our daughter and our own accumulation over the years. 

This past week, we had one last repository of stuff that had to be moved asap with our old home selling and the sale pending…the attic over the garage. Long forgotten save shoving every extra item up there and apparently forgetting them. Not just old camping equipment or excess old ski gear of children’s toys…no somehow hundreds of other items had become wedged atop the garage. Down came, load after load of keepsakes, treasures and must keeps. Every and I mean every art project for the four kids. Every treasure my teen sons thought important over 20 years ago. And there was the problem. We could not separate with those musty smelling treasures even though we had not laid eyes on them for 15-30+ years. We kept them, boxes of them, and moved them! Sentimentality, Nostalgia, Uncontrollable Impulses ruled.

So now, I am looking at dozens of boxes that have been sorted yet not culled out. There they sit at our new home….if they are stuck away, they will be in the way. The kids don’t want these artistic efforts. Just an example of how but one facet of decision making influences clutter.

This coupled with “I might need it someday”…..”That was expensive”….”I don’t want to mess around with CL or eBay.” (actually I have sold dozens and dozens of items on CL from large furniture pieces down go gym sets and office furniture, plus gobs of free stuff)…

So these traps to be dealt with in the months ahead….I am just sharing the layers of accumulating stuff and how it might have, at one time, impacted the hoarder in your life….and perhaps your life in the near future.

me celebrating garage
Yes, the attic was finally empty after hours of work.

bucky garage
My wife still had a hint of a smile even as the once empty garage filled up again.

bucky empty attic

Change of Plans….Oh my

photography-renovation-kitchen floor-hoarding house-swittersb“Oh no, that new flooring cannot go down over the existing covering. That wouldn’t work.” We didn’t think we had picked anything unique with the floor, but the color we chose had to be shipped from Pennsylvania to Portland, rather than from Reno. It will take weeks thereby pushing things backwards.

IMG_0829-1The flooring shock is a messy reality. The counter tops on the left have been split apart 24″ and the peninsula moved toward a new, smaller window.

IMG_0828

Some new cabinets needed to be made and much of the wood came from cabinets that were removed to make room for the stove and refrigerator in a new configuration so as to not block the entry door into the kitchen off the dining room. The stove will go in straight ahead with a microwave/vent fan above. 

Messy as it seems, I think you will be pleasantly surprised along about Mid-April or so. The adage of Rome wasn’t built in a day must have come from General Contractors pulling their hair out.

IMG_0842

The Whore: Unredeemable, Spot On…….

If you are easily offended by profanity or harshness move on re this post. I have to write about ‘the whore’. I have repeatedly written about our experiences at the Spring/Summer/Fall Sales extravaganzas with the people who ventured up the driveway into our Hoarding Woes cleanup. Thousands came to peruse, buy or say thanks and move on. All but two were amazing in their kindness and respect toward us. It was a unique experience and it is, despite this post, what we have come away with and are blessed.

The Whore

However, the other two must be dispensed with for the sake of a learning experience and that vindication one wants when you know someone is an asshole, bite your tongue and take shit and wish you had kicked their sorry asses down the driveway….but you didn’t.

The lesser of the two evils: the thief…the mother using her young daughter as a shield to switch pricing labels. She only came once, taught us a lesson to speak up and got away with a fast one. 

Now for the most egregious of the two…’the whore’. It is just an unflattering nickname my wife arrived at out of anger. Repeatedly this woman came to the sales and brought with her rudeness, lies, attempts at switching prices, deceit and such profound arrogance that eventually it was agreed if she came up the driveway we would order her, yes not ask, order her off the property. The tag became so well known amongst the Team that we all knew who ‘the whore’, ‘that whore’ was without needing to verify. 

So recently my wife was researching businesses closing out and selling their tables or shelving and low and behold she came upon pictures of merchandise atop shelving (the shelving was for sale). My wife recognized several of the pieces as similar to pieces that we had once had but that ‘the whore’ bought. Yes the whore bought stuff but only after the most rude negotiations and only because no one wanted to make a seen and say ‘hey! take your money and get out of here’. There just didn’t seem like a nice way to boot her ass. Ok I digressed.

So, my wife dug in deeper into the owner of the shelving and low and behold there was ‘the whore’. Further digging revealed she had/has multiple complaints against her with Oregon DOJ as well as criminal complaints. She ripped off families all the time! ‘The Whore!!!’  

“I was so excited when I found some great old Cole Porter records, but the woman (the whore) behind the counter was not only less-than-helpful, she was also rude and condescending when I asked for the box with the records. She told me they weren’t priced yet, and when I asked when they would be, she told me I didn’t understand what she was saying. Really? Because my question seemed very relevant to her answer. I then made the effort to control my anger and ask nicely if I could leave my number so they could call me with information later, which in turn led her to act as if she was going out of her way to provide me with a card to write down my information and request for the price of the item after being sorted. I would most certainly think twice before going to this shop again, solely because of this unhelpful and irritatingly rude woman. I have honestly NEVER had a more insulting experience at a retail store in my life. So disappointing.” (Source Yelp…Online Reviews, July 2012)

“Owner (name redacted…you can use ‘the whore’) listed three pages of credentials titled “qualifications in brief”: 27 years as a professional appraiser; three retail antiques businesses she had owned; 29 years of estate liquidation services; affiliations with the American Society of Appraisers “Senior Grade Member” and three auctioneer associations; Portland Art Museum volunteer council member; Rotary International Central Eastside Portland Chapter fundraiser; and member of the Northwest Fraud Investigators Association.  Not obvious was the paper trail of lawsuits and complaints.  Since 2004, 16 clients have filed complaints against ‘the whore’ with the Oregon Department of Justice. Among them were people who claimed consigned property went missing or they had to pay to store unsold items or get them back.”The state alleges that (‘the whore’), operating over the years under 18 different business names, made false or misleading representations about the cost of her services; knowingly took advantage of customers’ inability to understand the agreement they entered; and failed to deliver services promised.” Source Oregon Live, 2011

Yes, there you have it. ‘The Whore’ was the appropriate nickname all along and aptly justified. I have no doubt that if she puts her name down for the estate sales there will be a come to Jesus moment in front of the house that I won’t want to miss. I know, I know…it will probably be anti-climactic but you never know. 

The sad thing is ‘the whore’ is still in business running two shops in the Pearl District. She has reportedly moved, to where I am not sure, but I bet we cross paths again. Predator drone strike coming.

Dreaming the Sale…Living the Dream

We have been away from the Hoarding House for several day. Resting our bodies and recreating a bit. What is so intrusive, is we dream about the sales, the hoarding cleanup all the time! 

We recently ventured hours away into a remote area and surrounded ourselves with solitude and beauty. We still are so saturated with this endeavor that it consistently invades our dreams (nightmares?). Some day it will fade to its proper place, but not soon enough.

Christmas Valley, Oregon. A dark, brooding day. Windy. Cool. But, a sun break, if even for a few moments reminded me of such transitions across our minds.