The diary of a compulsive hoarder, desperate to change but struggling to change.
- Becoming Minimalist
- Being More Through Having Less
- Chez Larsson
- Christine Kane's Blog
- Clutter Control Freak Blog
- The Clutter Diet Blog
- Confessions Of A Hoarder
- Declutter A Little Each Day
- Declutter It!
- Disorder 2 Order
- I'm An Organizing Junkie
- Jeri's Organizing & Decluttering News
- Making This Home
- Married With Luggage
- Move To Portugal
- My Zero Waste
- The Non-Consumer Advocate
- Non Consumer Girl
- On Simplicity
- Organised Thoughts
- Organizing Queen
- Organize With Sandy
- Organizing Your Way
- Remodeling This Life
- Small Notebook
- Your Life. Organized
- Zen Habits
- 320 Sycamore
- Adventures in Voluntary Simplicity
- Apartment Therapy
- Bakelite Doorbell
- Balanced Organizing Solutions
- Blissful Home
- Bust Clutter
- Buy Nothing Day
- Charmed, I'm Sure
- Chile Chews
- Clean Freak Confessions
- The Clutter Princess
- Complete Organizing Solutions
- Consumption Rebellion
- Creative Changes
- Creative Mama
- Creative Organizing
- Crunchy Mama
- Debt-Free Kid
- Declutter You
- Declutter Your House
- Design a la Mod
- The Feng Shui Art of Space Clearing
- From the Desk of Janet Barclay
- Get Organized Now!
- Goodlife ZEN
- The Happy Living Design Blog
- The Happy Slob's Guide to House Cleaning
- Hoarder's Son
- Holly Is Stopping Shopping
- Home Organize It!
- Hooked On Houses
- Ikea Hacker
- The Inspired Room
- I Organize You
- Keeping the Castle
- The Lazy Organizer
- Leanne's Getting Organized Blog
- Less Is More (Balanced)
- Let's Talk Organizing
- Living Simple Diva
- Minding Your Matters
- The Minimalist Mommy
- Modern Muse
- Mrs Normal Saves the World
- My Super-Charged Life
- My Year Without Spending
- Neat and Simple Living
- Nesting Place
- New Urban Habitat
- No Impact Man
- No More Garbage
- Nurturing Hope
- Online Organizing
- Organized A to Z
- Organized Home
- Organized With Style
- Organize In Style
- Organize to Revitalize
- Organizer U
- Organizing LA Blog
- Organizing Without Agonizing
- Organizing Your Life
- The Positivity Blog
- Pretty Organized Palace
- Productivity Cafe
- Professional Organizing: Custom Living Solutions
- Robin Dini
- Rubbermaid: Adventures in Organization
- Shop. Organize. Live
- Simple Mom
- Simple. Organized. Life.
- A Simple Walk
- Simply Organized Life
- Sister To Sister
- Small Space Ideas
- A Soft Place to Land
- Songbirdtiff: Cleaning & Organizing
- Sort-Things-Out Blog
- Space Clear
- Store and Style
- Story of Stuff Blog
- Take Control Organizing
- Think Simple Now
- Time Savers
- The Urban Minimalist
- Virtually Organized
- Your Online Handyman
- Your Organizing Business
- My Amazon Store
- My Amazon Store
- Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding
- Everything (Almost) in Its Place: Control Chaos, Conquer Clutter, and Get Organized the Buttoned Up Way
- Hoarder to Order (Get a Life!)
- How I Lived a Year on Just a Pound a Day
- It's All Too Much: Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff
- Making Peace with the Things in Your Life
- No More Clutter
- One Thing at a Time: 100 Simple Ways to Live Clutter-Free Every Day
- Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding: Why You Save and How You Can Stop
- The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential
- Secrets of Simplicity
- The Thrift Book: Live Well and Spend Less
- Throw Out Fifty Things: Let Go of Your Clutter and Grab Hold of Your Life
- Thriving On Less: Free eBook
- Too Much Stuff: de-Cluttering Your Heart and Home
- Your Spacious Self: Clear Your Clutter and Discover Who You Are
- 30 Minute Clutter Solution
- Come To Order
- Compusive Hoarding Website
- Compulsive Hoarding - Wikipedia
- Don't Dump That
- Get Buttoned Up
- Happy Slob's Cleaning Tips & Helpful Hints
- Helping Hoarders
- How To Clean Stuff
- It's Not About Your Stuff
- Life Hacker
- Mailing Preference Service
- No More Clutter
- Oprah on Hoarding
- Professional Organizer Tips
- San Francisco Bay Area Internet Guide for Extreme Hoarding Behavior
- Real Simple: Organise
- The Simple Living Network
- SOS Tips
- Squalor Survivors
- Still Tasty - Your Ultimate Shelf Life Guide - Save Money, Eat Better, Help The Environment
- Style At Home: Organizing
- The Time Manager
- Totally Organised
- Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Hoarding
- What Is Compulsive Hoarding Syndrome?
- World of Compulsive Hoarders
- 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge
- Finish It Friday
- Friday Declutter Challenge: Home Office
- Org Junkie's Monthly Round-Up #2
- 15 Great De-Cluttering Tips
- 18 Five-Minute Decluttering Tips to Start Conquering Your Mess
- 25 Things You Can Do With Books Besides Reading Them
- 5 Simple Steps to Clearing the Clutter Painlessly
- 6 Secrets to Clutter Control
- 6 Small Things You Can Do When You Lack Discipline
- 7 Ways to Move Beyond Procrastination
- Anti-Hoarding Strategies from a Hoarding Therapist
- Chile Chews Index to De-Cluttering Posts
- The Cost of Clutter
- De-Clutter Your Life
- Declutter 101
- Declutter, Declutter, Declutter!
- Declutter Your Life
- FlyLady: How To Declutter
- How NOT To MultiTask - Work Simpler and Saner
- The MomAdvice No Spend Challenge
- No More Clutter Tips Archive
- Possessed: A Documentary About Hoarding
- Stuff-onomics: The Hidden Side of What You Own
- What Is Compulsive Hoarding: Oprah
- Why Do People Hoard: Oprah
- Zen Mind: How To Declutter
- The Household Helper Talk Show
- Mom Advice
- Office Zen: Audio Tips on Focussing onOne Task T a Time
- The O Myth
- The Savvy Organiser Podcasts
- Vicky and Jen Podcasts
- The Collector
- Dr Phil: Extreme Hoarding
- Hoarders Aren't Alone
- My Mother's Garden
- Seven Dumpsters and a Corpse
- The Story of Stuff
Get a free web counter at website-hit-counters.com
It's all Happening
So, last time I posted the family visit was nearly here, and the work on the new bathroom was also on its way. I haven't been able to update because I've been so very busy, but things are going quite well.
The family visit went well. The house, while still cluttered and messy, was such an improvement on last year that I didn't feel too embarrassed, and the workmen started their work a few days later.
It is quite difficult for me to have so many people coming in and out of the house, when even with people I know well it's not easy, but somehow I'm getting through it.
They are mainly working in the kitchen and the bathroom so most of my efforts are on keeping those rooms, and the stairs and hallway clear. I'm being forced to learn how to maintain these areas, rather than do crisis cleaning when it gets bad.
It's hard, and I'm working on it a lot, but I'm getting through better than I might have expected.
Feeling Slightly Better
Feeling a bit more like I can get back to the tidying. I hate the flu! Still very tired.
I need to focus on the upstairs landing today I think. It has lots of random clothes and books on the floor, and on top of a book case there are all sorts of miscellaneous things that have been there for a long time. This is one of the areas I have to clear before the work starts on the bathroom, plus if I can clear it before the family visit it will look better for them too.
So I think that's my goal for today. Slow and steady wins the race. But I'm not sure I have time for that, ironically!
Just when I really, really need to be blasting the tidying in preparation for the family visit and the workmen, I've got the flu. I can barely move. I can't believe it!
Really hoping for a quick recovery!
I have discovered a new helpful list tactic. It is for when I really feel like I can't carry on with this gargantuan task, and I have called it Micro Lists.
A few days ago I had been doing some annoyingly slow tidying, and I was annoying myself with my lack of energy and action. I was sitting in a chair and all I could see was what needed doing, and all I could do was sit there and look.
I got my notebook which contains my lists, and wrote Micro Tasks as a heading.
I then wrote a list of tiny, tiny tasks that I could see needed doing. It was literally as simple as
* pick up the pen off the floor
* tie the top of the rubbish bag
* fold that skirt
I felt better writing down exactly what needed doing, and then I felt energised and set about completing the 8 tasks on the list, which took in total about 3 minutes. I then crossed each item off with a sense of satisfaction, and my frustration with myself had completely disappeared.
With day-to-day decluttering this wouldn't work. You would spend more time writing the details than you would doing them. But when you are completely paralysed by being overwhelmed, it is a trick that is worth trying.
Problem Areas #2: Trying to Maintain the Kitchen
The kitchen is the room that my mental health worker and myself always focus on first, when she visits. We sort it out so it looks great. Then in the two weeks between her visits, it gets disgusting.
This is the room that varies the most! I need to get much, much better at maintaining in this room.
Because it's used frequently, and cooking uses utensils and can be messy, the variety between clean and bad is massive.
I clearly need some kind of maintenance habits to start introducing.
DAILY: wash up all dishes and pans
clear up spills and mess
put away food
WEEKLY: wash the floor
properly clean all surfaces, which will be easier if I wipe up properly every day instead of leaving it
Problem Areas #1: Clothes that have been washed
I have a wash basket by the washing machine, where clothes that need washing go. That's fine and under control.
Then I wash them and hang them up to dry, which is also fine and under control.
But then... I'm useless!
They stay on the clothes dryer for ages. Then when I do my next wash and need to move them to dry the next lot, I pile them on the kitchen chair. Then, when I need the chair, I pile them on the stairs. The stairs piles grow and grow. I choose what clothes I want to wear from the piles!
I clearly need to get into better habits. The problems start when the clothes are dry. I always INTEND to take them straight upstairs to the bedroom when they are dry, but it never, ever happens.
1. put them on the stairs, but make sure that every time I go up the stairs I take them into the bedroom.
2. make sure I always choose what clothes to wear in the bedroom, then I might be more motivated to make sure my clothes are in there.
3. have a basket or container specifically for taking the clean, dry clothes upstairs. Piling them up in my arms as I currently do makes it difficult.
Maintaining as well as Dehoarding
I am now in the position where I am trying to maintain tidyness in some rooms, while still having to dehoard in others.
I've become a bit of a dehoarding expert, but not so much maintaining. I think a lot of it must be about regularity, habits, and doing a bit every day. I'm used to dealing with crisis tidying - I find it hard to get motivated to pick up the odd bit. I leave it til it's bad then sort it all out.
But with the upcoming workmen in the house I need to keep certain areas clear for the length of time they will be here, which will be about 4 weeks. This could be a good learning experience for me. Or it could lead me to a nervous breakdown!!
Areas to maintain: living room, kitchen
Areas to do a bit more work on and then maintain: hallway, stairs, landing
Areas to still dehoard: spare room, bedroom.
The combination of focuses is overwhelming and confusing me a bit, I have to admit. This is all new to me.
What I Need To Do To Prepare
* Nothing in the hallway
* Nothing on the stairs
* Nothing on the landing
* Nothing in the bathroom
* Clear kitchen so they have access to the electrics
* Path to the boiler in the spare room
The hallway and stairs isn't a big job - I've been working on those anyway so not too much work to completely clear those.
The landing will be a couple of hours work I suspect. Perhaps a bit longer. There are clothes and books and papers and junk piled around, and I need to move the bookcase on there too.
The bathroom will be maybe an hour's work, maybe not that much. Again, I've done quite a lot of work in there anyway.
The kitchen is good today, but is one of those rooms that messes up EASILY!! I need to try and do maintenance so it doesn't get disastrous, so that it's not too much work. Challenging.
The spare room is the absolute nightmare. I need to get started, rather than looking in there, saying to myself, "Woah, too much to do, don't know where to start" and walking away again.