Saturday, August 19, 2017
A rude awakening
Ooops --- I knew I missed the post on Friday, but what happened to Thursday? Oh - I guess I missed that one too. Well - there is a good reason.
But I'm back home now having arrived late last night and while it was nice to be away, it's super nice to be home! The girls and I had a great time at the park and now it's time to get to work. But wait - there's a story here. A story that is dirty, disgusting and well - a very rude awakening.
You see my Mother is a hoarder. There is no question in our minds - she NEVER EVER threw anything away. There are two houses on the farm. Both are filled with stuff. And they have an apartment which has stuff - but I'm not going to deal with the apartment. Not today and not until, well not until she isn't around. It's just better that way.
Since they moved, my Dad will go out with a list of things to get. Thankfully he's going out less and each time, it appears that there is less to bring in. But what to do with all the stuff that is still there?
My brother and I had (finally) free rein to roam the houses to take assessment of the situation. Let's suffice it to say that it would be way easier to just leave everything and let it go than to figure out how to deal with it. I'm not kidding when I say that. The responsible part of me says - it should be cleaned up but as no one will likely ever like in either house again - what's the point? Well one of them for sure. Box after box of stuff. Bundles of old papers, bundles of book catalogues, books, knick knacks - you name it - it's there.
We looked in the kitchen cupboards of the older house which no one has lived in for thirty years so you can well imagine what it looks like inside the house. An old farmhouse empty for thirty years - need I say more?Well, the kitchen cupboards are filled to the hilt with dishes. Why? Where did the dishes come from? I've no idea - I can imagine, but seriously it's a serious mess. No - she has a serious addiction and there were several well meaning friends who went to garage sales to "help" her.
Never mind the dead bat that I found in the newer house. ICK ICK ICK!!!!
I know how I would solve the problem, but I won't put that to pen and paper!
I did take pictures and I could go on forever, but here is the thing. I learned some lessons and I'm going to share them with you.
1. NEVER EVER let someone give you their crap. Unless it is something you will absolutely use. I mean like books you WILL read or dishes you WILL use or whatever. It's for this reason that I will NOT give or sell my fabric and craft supplies to an experienced quilter. They already have their own mess to deal with. I do have a couple of bundles here that I need to get in touch with my "new" quilters.
2. USE your garbage or recycling bins often! Look at the paper as it comes in - why are you keeping this - does it have a home? If you don't have a good home or a good reason to keep it - get rid of it! Old bills, receipts - there is absolutely no need to keep most of it. At least get in the habit of getting rid of what comes in so you're not adding to the problem. I can't even begin to tell you what we found that should have been tossed years ago - god - it should never have been saved in the first place. Our only saving grace is that she was an organized hoarder. Like things are stored together.
3. Pick a spot in your house and go through it. Like the cup cupboard or the pantry or whatever. Do it once a year. once you get rid of the bulk of the stuff, the second time around won't be so bad provided you haven't filled it up again. I'm happy to note that there is a lot of space in the apartment kitchen cupboards. Why? Neither of them can reach the space!!!!
4. Think twice before you buy ANYTHING! Do you need another shirt? Do you need that new kitchen gadget? If not, don't pawn it off on someone else. I really really hate to say this, but throw it out!
5. Get over the sentiment of things. I mean - get over it! Take a picture - that's all you need to evoke the memory. And it you have something that you treasure - then get it out in plain view. I retrieved a painting for my mom that had a note on it as to how precious it was to her and it had been in the newer house for the last two years, tucked way back in a corner that she would never have seen the painting when they lived there. If you love something - put it on display!
While I was there, I made a vow to myself. I will get my house in order and trust me - it looks empty compared to what we saw. BTW since I know that you will all be thinking of my studio - I'm going to get the rest of my house in order first and then deal with the studio. Yes - it would be amazingly overwhelming for anyone and I realize that a lot of it would be thrown out.
So I'm taking today off! I'm going to tackle the office. I took a couple of before pictures and I'm going to get the recyling bins outs and have fun. I know I'll feel better, but I just never got around to it or there was something way more fun to do. But after seeing that - well - it would make you sick!
Look around you - is there some area of your house that you would like to tackle. Take a couple of hours and get it done. Think about if you didn't come home today and how overwhelming that space would be to someone else to clean up. We found three boxes in the house - one was labeled pens, the second was labelled pens and the third was labelled MORE PENS. I mean - seriously???? And I bet that all of them were dried up!
On that note, I'm going to tackle this area and see what I can accomplish by the end of the day!
Have a super day!!!!!