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, February 26, 2019


I'm exhausted, but I'm feeling very hopeful. I've had more of that relentless forward progress happening since I last blogged.

Are you ready for this?

The garage and the back porch are.....empty.

Ok. Maybe not entirely, but enough that the builder was 'flabbergasted' that I had gotten as far as I have with it. So now we're finally in the planning stage!!

There are still a couple of things in the garage. The big plywood fireplace that we bring into the house every year to hang stockings on at Christmas is out there, the spare refrigerator that we keep water and eggs from the backyard chickens is in there, and there's a bedroom set that we've got to get into Scooter's bedroom. The grill is still on the porch, as is the porch swing and a table. I'll be selling the table, but we're keeping the swing and the grill, so they'll just need to be moved out of the way when the time comes. Oh. yeah. There's also a barrel on the porch that has camp chairs in it. I'm not sure where I'll be storing those until we use them, but they have to be washed at the car wash before I put them away until we use them again.

Considering that the porch was completely covered and the garage was full top to bottom, side to side, and end to end, I'm feeling pretty good about it. I've sold several things and made a few hundred dollars. Hubster took the bath surround we'd bought a few years ago back to the big box store. Thankfully, it was still in stock, so he was able to return it. We now have a credit to be used toward the renovations we'll be doing, so that will be handy.

I can't even imagine how many hundreds, (thousands?) of pounds of stuff has been thrown away! There's been some stuff donated, as well, but for the most part the stuff has gone to the trash. I've kept some stuff to look through later, because I just couldn't think clearly enough to make any more decisions about it at the time. I think that what I actually kept was only between 10-15% of the total that was out there. That total will go down, as I have the time to sort through it all when I'm thinking more clearly.

I'm having problems deciding whether or not to keep the stuff we'd gotten to redo the bathroom years ago, or if I should sell it and go a different route. The toilet and sink are a matched set, and I love the look of them, but the toilet is just a typical height. We're so used to the taller toilets that I don't know, if we should keep that one...I'm wondering, if it would be a fall risk for Hubster, since it's shorter. We're also wondering, if it would be better to have a small vanity in there instead of the pedestal sink that matches the toilet. We'd be able to put a reverse osmosis machine in a cabinet, which would allow access to purified water without having to go upstairs. Granted, we wouldn't have any storage, but we've gone all these years without it that I don't know, if it would matter, anyway. I could always hang some cute baskets on the walls for storage, so there are options.

Decisions must be made, but the fibro fog is thick, and it is so hard to think clearly.

I think I need sleep.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Good Decisions and All.

For years the back porch has been filled to overflowing. In fact, there have been varying degrees of full since we bought the house 18 years ago. It has seen many things come and go over the years, but it's always been pretty packed . At one point we actually tried to tarp it off, so the things on it wouldn't be ruined by the weather, and so it wasn't as much of an eyesore for the neighbors, but the wind and the sun destroyed the tarps, and we had a mess. 

A few years ago when we started working on cleaning up the backyard, we actually had the entire porch cleaned off. Ok. Maybe not completely, but it was close. We still had a stack of chairs, and a big metal footlocker that Hubster had used in his work truck for years, but for the most part it was clean. Unfortunately, it didn't stay that way. It didn't take long for it to be filled with overflow when we tried to clean out the garage. (I did, however, get rid of the stack of chairs several months ago, and the footlocker went a few weeks ago. Yay me!)

I'd hired a neighbor kid to help me with it, but it was more than he could handle. Heck, I couldn't even handle things. Frank has helped me with it here and there, but he really isn't into working much, so it's been very hit and miss. Awhile back, I asked Atticus, if he was interested in earning some money and helping me to dehoard. He's between jobs, so it was a good fit. He also grew up with hoarding parents, so he's familiar with the mindset, and he's been a huge encouragement without pushing me to make decisions I'm not quite ready to  make. As a result, we've made huge progress! 

We finished cleaning the back porch off completely a few weeks ago. It's since been somewhat filled with other things, but it's because we're using it as a staging area. In one area, I've got the things I'm selling, in another there are things I'm keeping, and in another area I keep the stuff that's being donated. It's been nice, because as I go through things in the garage, Atticus can take them to the appropriate place on the porch, and I can deal with it further from there. 

I've sold a few things and donated a bit, but by and large I've either given things away or thrown them out with the trash each week. I've been able to get rid of things that I've hung onto for years with relative ease, and when I struggle to get rid of something and finally  make the choice, Atticus chimes in with, "Good decision!" It's encouraging. 

One of the big decisions I made last week was to get rid of papers I've held onto since I was in high school close to 40 years ago. I took classes in architecture and drafting back then. I liked it well enough, but I wasn't quite suited to it. I struggled to get the perspective perfect in spite of the tools I had at my disposal to draw them correctly. I just couldn't get it quite right. In a weak moment my junior year of high school, I cheated. I took another student's drawing, (with his permission), and I turned it in as my own. I was found out, and I ended up with a poor grade. I don't recall, if I got an incomplete in the class, or if I only got an F on that paper. It's been a long time ago, and a lot has happened in my life since then, so the details are blurry, but it has hung like a millstone around my neck all these years. 

I'm ashamed that I was so weak as to think that cheating was an option just because I was overwhelmed and I had a looming deadline. I'm not proud of myself for that. I think it's one of the reasons I've hung onto the blueprints all these years. I wanted to punish myself for my failure, because I didn't deserve to forgive myself. How could I forgive myself for such a moral failure? As a result, I've paid for that single moment of cheating many, many times over the years. 

Last week, I went page by page through the blueprints, as I told the story to Atticus. As hard as it was to admit, it was so freeing. I was able to forgive myself, to put the past in the past, and to move in to the future. 

Good decisions.