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.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Circling the drain.

I didn't get to sleep when I was hoping last night. I got about 4 hours of sleep before I had to get up to get Hopper off to school. Scooter stayed home from school today since she wasn't feeling well, so once Hopper was up, I needed to stay up for the day. I decided I'd face my fears and stay home to meet the appraiser and take her through the house with my husband.

So I cleaned up here and there as I could. I got some laundry started and worked in the kitchen a bit, cleaned up in the bedroom, made the girls beds and straightened up in their rooms. At that point, my back was hurting, so I sat down on my heating pad for awhile. I thought I was just going to sit for a minute, but my heating pad felt so good that I started to drift off. I set the alarm on my phone to go off in 30 minutes, figuring it would give me enough time on the heating pad, and I'd be able to work on something else.

Yeah. That didn't happen. I had the time set right for my alarm to go off, but I forgot to click it over to AM, so it stayed on PM and didn't go off. Scooter was watching The Price Is Right, and I heard in my sleep that they were showing the showcases, and I woke up immediately. I ended up sleeping for a full hour instead of just the 30 minutes I'd wanted. At that point, I only had time to shower and get ready for her to show up, so it probably worked out for the better.

The appraiser showed up when she was expected to show, and my husband went out to meet her. (You know the best way to get the phone or doorbell to ring, don't you? That's right. Listen to Mother Nature's call and take that exact moment to use the restroom. Happens every time!) She'd brought an assistant along. I met the assistant while my husband brought the appraiser to the back yard. She took a couple of pictures and they came inside. Both women were very nice. The Hubster had called the appraiser yesterday to explain that we were recovering hoarders and to explain the situation. He was as nervous as I was about it.

Did I mention that they were both very nice? I also think they were expecting much worse than they got with how the house looked. Thankfully, they just noted that there was a garage, and they didn't go in or take a picture. It was more obvious to The Hubster and me that we really have gotten rid of a ton of stuff when we were taking them on the tour. The appraiser did say that the house appeared to have good bones and was structurally sound, so that gave us hope. We also showed all the things that we have done since we bought the house to improve it.

Part of our fears, aside from having our dirty little secret exposed, was that 2 of the 3 bathrooms we have are in rough shape. One has been ripped down to the studs, but we have gotten the new subfloor installed, gotten the backer board up, and installed the shower pan, but that's as far as we've gotten. We do have the tile needed for the shower and floor, the new pedestal sink, the new matching toilet, and the drywall tape and texture stuff all out in the garage, but that's part of the problem. It's in the garage and not installed. It will happen, though. We absolutely will get to it. It's just a matter of when.

The other main bathroom upstairs is going to need to be ripped down to the studs eventually. The bathtub is not level. The subfloor is sunken or rotted away by the toilet and bathtub. But to be fair, it was when we bought the house. We just didn't know about it until after we moved in. The elderly woman we bought the house from had throw rugs all over the bathroom floor with furniture on top of them, so the inspector didn't catch that there was that much damage when he went through that room. It was also obvious that tub surround ineffective at keeping the water out of the wall, because the first time we used the bathtub and put our hand on the wall, it caved in. Again. We didn't find this out until after we moved in.

There was also evidence of the wall having gotten wet and having been replaced beside the bathtub. They hadn't done a really good patch job. And someone took great advantage of the elderly woman we bought the house from when they installed the new sink. Instead of getting a regular sink to put into the counter, the idiot got a sink with a backsplash but didn't remove the existing backsplash when he installed it. In spite of the fact that it sticks forward further than it should, it isn't far enough forward. The old vanity that's in the bathroom is about 4" deeper than the sink is, so the sink is way too far back. He should have gotten a sink to drop down into the existing hole in the vanity. Not a sink that was basically a vanity top.

And when this scam artist installed this sink for her, he broke a bunch of the tiles around the sink. They were the really ugly dusty pink from the 60s and an even uglier brownish mauve. As you can see in this picture, he didn't even attempt to replaced the brown one that fell off.

Instead of looking for anything that looked even close or trying to save the old tiles, he installed white ones that hang over the edge of the vanity. The broken tile in the picture broke from one of the kids putting their weight on it. Installing it to stick out over the edge made it weaker than a tile normally is. We were just very thankful that the girls didn't get hurt.

Seriously! It's not that hard to cut them down to the correct size! It's an absolute mess. And we know that with all the work that needs done in there that it will definitely affect the value of the house. We can't wait until we can get it renovated, but to spend money on doing it right now just isn't an option. Believe me, if we had the money, it would be the thing I'd fight for the hardest. I hate that sink! It kills my back every time I wash my hands!

Anyway, the appraiser said that we'll know in a week or so what the appraised value of the home is. We think we'll do okay, but we also know that in spite of the fact we've made improvements that the bathrooms will definitely count against us, so we're still a bit nervous. At the same time, there's nothing we can do to change it. Things are what they are, and we won't know what they actually are until next week. Hopefully, we can just put it out of our minds until then.

After the appraiser and her assistant left and Hopper got home from school, I worked on painting on the back porch again. I think I'm done with the bookshelf, but I'm not 100% sure. I'll need to see it in the light earlier in the day tomorrow. The sun was in my eyes when I was looking at it today, and I just couldn't tell. I was also able to get some sanding done on another piece of furniture that will be used downstairs. I'll finish sanding it tomorrow and will hopefully get it primed and get a coat or two on the doors, so we can get them installed this weekend.

I didn't get on the treadmill yesterday, even though it was my scheduled day. I was too nerved up, and today my back is hurting so much that I've decided to give myself a break. I'll work out tomorrow instead of risking hurting my back even more.

And hopefully, tonight will be different.

I'm counting on wonderfully deep and restful sleep.


  1. you got through it! Hopefully now you can have a good nights sleep. Glad they were nice

  2. I couldn't believe those pictures! What a rip-off!

    That was a good idea to have Hubster call the appraisers ahead of time and let them know that you guys are recovering hoarders. I'm sure that would have prepared them and made the experience better for you.

    I'm still in shock over those pictures, especially the ones where the tiles stick out. Seriously... wow...


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