Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I feel...accomplished.

We decided to work on cleaning up the back porch today, although it's technically a patio, since it's not closed in. It's just what Hopper started calling it when we bought the house, and it's stuck. It's not a one day job. There's stuff on there that's been there for literally years. But we felt we needed to tackle it before emptying the pod on the driveway. Besides, the code enforcement officer said she would extend our time on that, if we needed it. Mostly, there is stuff in the pod whose permanent home is the porch/patio, and it doesn't make any sense to stick it out there, if there's no room for it. It will just be ruined, and we've ruined enough stuff.

I worked out there a from 10:00a.m. until about noon, took a break, ate lunch, and went back to work about 12:30. We were out there until about 4:00 when I had to stop for a heating pad break and some pain medicine. We were in for about an hour for this break and went back out and worked until shortly after 7:00 this evening.

All told, we got rid of 4 huge (39 gallon) trash bags full of garbage. There were 2 dog blankets that my husband had to throw, because the smell about took me down. They smelled very much like dog, and being allergic, I couldn't be around them. But just for reference-we haven't had dogs in over 2 years. There were also 2 large tarps that had started to steadily disintegrate from the elements. It was hard to see the waste, but it was such a relief to have it all gone.

Hopper helped me re-bag 3 of the 39 gallon bags with aluminum cans. We'll recycle those. We probably won't get a lot of money, but we'll be getting more than, if we didn't turn them in. The money will go into the Found Money Fund. Before we turn them in, though, we need to get an aluminum truck topper ready to go with them. We have to remove the screws, gaskets, and glass, so it's only aluminum. We're hoping for a little extra change from it, too. And for what it's worth, I tried repeatedly to give that truck topper away, and while people would promise they were going to come and get it, they never showed up. So we may as well get the money from it.

But I digress...

Although it's not technically gone just yet (my friend will be picking it up tomorrow), we did get a heavy wooden cabinet off the porch. It's made sort of like a baker's rack, with shelves up above and doors down below, but it's old. It needs to be refinished or painted, but it's a good, solid piece of furniture. I had plans and dreams for it, but I don't anymore. I don't need it, but my friend does. She's helping me tremendously by taking it. I'm just glad it will help her.

Last summer, we bought a twin sized bed. The footboard had a cedar-lined blanket chest/toy box attached. I had grand ideas of fixing it up and painting it for Scooter's bedroom, but it never happened. So I stuck it up on Craigslist. It was still solid, although it was a little weather worn, but I did say that it needed painted or refinished. There were 6 or 7 people who responded to the post. It was gone within an hour. We also gave them a couple of bedrolls/camping mats, because let's face it, we're not going to use them again.

Bugster even took a few things. One was a wooden medicine cabinet that's about twice the size of the one they have in their bathroom. She's going to paint it and spiff it up a bit. She also took a little rose bowl/fish bowl thing and a thick cardboard tube that she'll either be using for her gerbils to play in and chew on or to organize cords. I'm very proud of her, though. She didn't take anything she wouldn't use. She's very much aware of her own hoarding tendencies, so she's making very wise decisions and takes nothing she won't use. Hopefully, she'll never be in this position ever in her life.

I went through several boxes and emptied them out, saving less than 1% of the contents. The rest of what was in them went to the trash or recycle piles. All told, I think we got through at least 1/4 to 1/3 of the stuff on the porch and got rid of it. It's a good start. I'll take it.

Plus Hubster got the lawn mowed, trees cut down and hauled over near where we will chip them, (although they were small, so Hopper loved stepping up to the plate and hauling most of them!), and pulled weeds besides helping me on the porch. It was a fruitful day for sure.

Now, I'm going to go enjoy the rest of the weekend with my family. We'll be celebrating birthdays tomorrow, finally, so all I'll have to do is frost Scooter's cake and wrap a few presents before I have the day off. Looking forward to that!


  1. That's a LOT to get done in a day!!

    Amazing, really.

    And happy birthday to your girl!

  2. What a productive day! Great job! I know how hard it is to sort things out and get rid of them when you had grand plans for them at one time.

  3. WoW You go girl! What a lot you got done!

  4. Amazing amount accomplished! Geez, and I was a total sloth!

  5. I feel I need a lie-down just reading about all the things you've been up to!!

  6. WOW! Way to go, that is A LOT to do in one day!!

    So my aunt came to help me with the baby and she helped me "gut" the toy room and the boys' room, we were hoping to do the kitchen and my bedroom too, but we didn't get to it, I was shocked when she called me a pack rat, and even more shocked when I realized it was true!! It was SO hard for me to let go of some of my boys clothes and toys, I can totally relate to the sentimental side and the "what if I need this later", it was quite the eye opening experience.....

    So we put away 2 large garbage bags of clothes for the younger boys to grow into, gave away 4 large bags of clothes to goodwill and 1 box of clothes that I need to take to try to sell at a kid to kid place that gives you money or credit for your gently used children's clothes. Toys, oh my, 1 huge box to goodwill, and lots of broken or incomplete toys thrown away, it was rough, but feels SO good to have it done.


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