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 27, 2011

Don't think I'm going to make my deadline, but at least I have pictures.

*Every cancelled check and check blanks for bank account that we closed 26 years ago before we got married.

*My metal Pinocchio lunch box from grade school.

*The test results from Hopper's DNA karyotype that changed our lives so completely 21 years ago.

*Unopened Sesame Street and Highlights For Kids magazines from 15 to 18 years ago.

*Card from Hubster's grandmother from 1997. It still had the $5 she sent for us to buy ice cream in it. We did.

*Birthday card from Hopper's 4th birthday from her uncle that still held the $5 he sent her. That was 17 years ago.

*Box from mug Hubster and Bugster got me for my birthday when I was expecting Hopper. Mug said, "I Y my job like I Y having my finger slammed in the car door." with an adorable note from Hubby on the inside flap.

*The beginning lines of a story Bugster started to write when she was about 10. "There was a boy named Jack, who didn't know the difference between a Life Saver and a nickle. He was a very lonely little boy." And that's where it ended. I would have loved to have read more.

*Bugster's beginning music book for French Horn and her beginning, intermediate and Christmas music books for flute.

*Plastic glasses from a comedy show we saw in our first year of marriage.

*The boxes from Hopper's first set of hearing aides.

*The assembly instructions for the wheelchair Scooter used until she was 7.

These are just some of the many, many things I've found in the boxes of paperwork I've sorted through the last couple of days. 

I set a goal to get through all the boxes of paperwork in the study before the end of September, but I'm not sure, if I'm going to make it or not. The whole situation with Scooter set me back a bit, so I will probably have to be okay with finishing up in October instead.

And just so you don't have to go searching for the before picture, or clicking on a link to see it, I've uploaded it below.


In the meantime, I can see the back wall of the study where the boxes were stacked 3 deep and all the way to the ceiling. The first row is completely gone, and the second row no longer reaches the ceiling, but I still have a long way to go. 

I sent 4 more bags of shredables out the door this morning after sending 7 bags out yesterday for a total of 25 grocery bags of preshredded for the month of September. I've also sent 4 huge black contractor bags of trash out that consisted of paperwork I could throw.

I've been able to let go of things I've hung onto for years in the hope that I would eventually fix them. The most liberating of these items has to be the story books that were torn up. I always felt such a huge obligation to repair them to the best of my ability and practically laminate each page with tape, so they couldn't tear them again. I did manage to do this a few times with some of the books over the years, but more often than not, they were just tossed in a box. I am sure some of the missing pieces of pages I never found ended up in someone's digestive track somewhere along the way. I didn't check too closely.

I'm just glad that I was finally able to dispose of them guilt-free. 

I've come to the conclusion that I'm not responsible for everything that goes wrong. It's not my job to fix it all. I don't have to save everything associated with our children's lives to be a good mom. 

It's better to throw it away than to throw my life away worrying about it. 


  1. Holy cow!

    You're doing great!

    And so glad you finally bought the ice cream. Good thing it wasn't a check...

    ...did you ever see the Sienfeld episode when he finally cashed Nana's brithday checks... too funny! :)

  2. You are doing SO GOOD!! Amazing work. That last part about throwing it away rather than throwing your life away worrying about it. That's gold right there. We ALL need to keep that in mind.

  3. You are just amazing. And I love your insight into how you got where you are and your thought process, so eloquently stated here about how you're getting OUT of there.


  4. Too bad that $5 wasn't earning interest all these years ;) Look at your progress!! You are doing amazing!!

  5. I look at those pictures, the before and the after, and all I can say is... WOW!!! What a great job you've done. I know there's more to go, but you are making incredible progress, Judy. You should be VERY proud of yourself!! Keep up the good work, friend! :-D

  6. Thank you all! I really do appreciate it! :)

    And the ice cream was delish! :)


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