It’s back to work on the hoarding issue for me, today. A few updates for you on the last hoarding blog, and a new direction, borne of necessity.
I miss having dinner, at a table, with my husband. We eat on the couch – not because we want to watch television (a new year’s resolution is no more eating in front of the TV) but because we have nowhere else to sit.
This…is our dining room:
This room becomes like this (occasionally worse) in stages. Each time we have people over, this is the war zone of things from other areas of the house so that we can just shut the door and the rest of the house is neat and tidy for visitors. It’s also used as a work area for all kinds of projects which are started and not finished. I have read that people fill up space because in emptiness there is loneliness.
I don’t think that’s necessarily my case. I think for me it’s more the product of being a Jill-of-all-Trades (and mistress of none). There are always five or more *things* going on in our lives at once, and the mixing of all of them is a recipe for catastrophe. Nothing gets finished before another thing is started. There are school projects, genealogy projects, photo projects, cooking projects, work projects, house-moving projects and more. I manage to meet my deadlines, but it’s a constant just-in-time system, usually because of stopping everything to search for things. How do you handle multiple projects?
Unlike the basement, which was created during a hyper-organization phase, the dining room is one of the closed-door areas when we have company. Today I had to send an email asking our Florida renters to please mail me their rent payment for February, so I can deposit it here and then electronically transfer it back to the bank in Florida. Why? Because the deposit slips I usually send them to use at their local bank, like the records and all other information, are buried somewhere in the OCD disaster zone of our house. Yes there is a place for it (well, some of it) but no, it’s not in its place. I have my guesses on location narrowed down to the dining room (where I occasionally shove back half the table and work on things) and office (yes, I get the irony that I don’t use the office for paperwork and that the filing cabinet there is empty).
After reading a little more on hoarding self-help, I think starting in the dining room is a better way to go. It will give me measurable success in a shorter amount of time, and the things hidden within it are of more practical value, so I will see both the results of being able to use the room as well as (hopefully) the results of taking care of some other things, like managing the Florida rental in the process.
The bad news is that it adds more delay to finding the letters from my father. It takes a lot of effort to not rip through boxes just searching and searching for those letters. Unfortunately I’ve tried that route before and did not succeed, so I think this slower process, with input from you, is still the way to go.
UPDATES: Kurt weighed in on the items from the lasting hoarding blog picture, and we have made a few decisions. He will be off a couple days this week and we made a pact to work on each of the items. 1) We are keeping the wedding dress, for now. We found it has a hole where a mouse has eaten into it, so we have to inspect for damage to the dress and then take it to have it cleaned and re-boxed in hopefully a more mouse-proof container. (2) I will clean and prep the mudroom and basement stairs and Kurt will install the carpet this weekend, putting his other projects on hold to help with this quest (LOVE HIM!). Any remaining carpet will be taken to http://www.constructionjunction.org. Photos to follow on here! (3) Kurt will get the lamp working as well this weekend, complete with a new lampshade and it will go in the loft where it was originally slated. (4) The mattresses are still in discussion, with your input taken into great consideration.
TODAY’S QUESTIONS: See today’s photo.
QUESTION 1: See that giant thing lurking in the background? It’s a homemade rendition of a Baby Bean’s doll from 1970. Kurt put a lot of time and effort into making it for my 40th birthday celebration, although he’s willing to part with it or whatever I want to do (did I mention how much I adore this man?). Naturally I’m attached to the nostalgia of it, but I find I can part with it as long as (you know the chorus here) it doesn’t go into a landfill. In my entrepreneurial little mind, I could see someone wanting to purchase this, because it’s not easy to make, and there are a lot of other whackos like me out there who are obsessed with collecting Baby Beans dolls and would use it for their own party. When we get to the basement again, you’ll understand more of the Baby Beans collection (I have one of the largest collections in the world, or did at one time – even had a baby beans website, ha-ha). Kurt’s mom previously made a good suggestion that it could be repurposed as a Santa Clause if it were repainted. We like that idea but I’m not sure if it were Santa that I would have any interest in keeping it taking room in the house just waiting for once a year. Thoughts?
QUESTION 2: In this room are a lot of gifts for other people. As noted in earlier blog, I’m one who will buy something if I think a friend or family member will like it, but in trying to save it for birthday or holiday, bury it somewhere in the process. Do any of you buy gifts ahead of time, as you see them? If so, what’s your strategy and organizational tip for knowing where they are when it’s birthday time? What happens to me is that I end up buying another gift at birthday or holiday time because I don’t know if or where their gifts are located.
Thanks in advance for your encouragement and helpful input!
For more information about OCD and hoarding, please see this helpful website: http://www.ocfoundation.org/hoarding/