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, October 27, 2012


I haven't been purposely staying away from the computer, but I just haven't been online much lately. I find that I've been staying busy with family, doctors' appointments, tomatoes, apples, and dehoarding. You know. Life.

When I finally slow down and come to a stop for the day, I fall into a deep, deep sleep. It's rare that I have enough mental energy at the end of each day to check email let alone write a blog post, and I've been okay with that. I honestly feel the best I've felt in months. Maybe even years. 

I've been making progress with dehoarding here and there. I've even tackled some jobs I've been putting off for years...

Several years ago, there was a local company that went out of business that manufactured craft paints. They donated the leftover paints to the thrift stores, and we happened upon them. The price couldn't be beat. They were bagged 6 bottles for just under $1, but they were half price the day we were in the store. So we got some to resell.

We bought several cases of 48 bottles each. I packaged up sets in pretty gift baskets, selling the sets for the price of $2 per bottle of paint in the basket. It was a fun little hobby while it lasted, and it helped out financially at the same time. The problem was that I ended up having a few cases of paints left even after I got to the point of giving several sets of paints away. 

In the meantime, I never had an official place to store the ones I wanted to keep, and several of the bottles had started to dry up. I didn't want to just throw all of them in the trash, because a few were dry, but I could never seem to find the time to start the daunting task of sorting through them-until the last few days, that is. 

I finally knuckled down and dealt with them. I tried to deal with them a couple of years ago, but I was conflicted about throwing out 'brand-new-never-opened' paints just, because they were dried out. I know. I doesn't make sense. Then again, hoarding is like that. Sometimes, it just doesn't make sense. 

I felt like I was somehow responsible for finding a good home for each and every bottle of paint. Including the dead ones. I knew that hot water thins some paints, and turpentine or paint thinner has been used to thin other paints, and I felt like it was my job to figure out what would thin this paint and bring it back to life once again. So I shelved the whole thing and let it weigh me down for the last couple of years while I tried to figure out what to do.

It happens that the craft cupboard that I want to store the paints in permanently is in my line of vision from the treadmill. So for the last 3 weeks, I have thought of the paints every single time I've been on the treadmill walking. And I finally took the time to tackle the colorful beast.

While trying to figure out what to do with the ones that had started to dry out, I realized that all of these were permanent paints. Once they were dried out, no amount of paint thinner, water or turpentine would resuscitate them, and I need not feel guilty throwing them away. 

Huh. Imagine that.

I had to check each bottle of paint to see, if the paint in it had dried out. A lot of them had a dry plug of paint in the top, but many were fine, so I pulled the plugs on the ones that needed it, trashed the dried ones and set the good ones aside to sort. I pulled out 1 bottle of each color to set aside for Bugster, Hopper, Scooter, Mom, my sister, and myself-roughly a dozen for each of us. I also set aside 3 dozen bottles for Scooter's classroom to use and sent the rest of them, (probably 11 or 12 dozen), to the day program the girls attend. 

I will get my sister's and Mom's paint sent to them this week, and Hopper will pick hers up in the next few days. In the meantime, the drawer which I had set aside to store paints is neatly organized and ready to use. It will be so nice to know whether or not I have a certain color for a project, so I don't go out and buy duplicates of colors I already have. 

It will be so nice to have this monkey off my back once and for all...

...even though I had to pry the thing off one big fat hairy finger at a time.


  1. Sometimes it's just like that. I find that when I want to do something I have to put it in my line of sight.

    Which is why the elliptical is sitting smack in the middle of the living room... in the way of the television.

  2. Hooray for you! :0)
    One day at a time my friend. (((hugs)))Pat


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