I've started watching a new show.
That's the first thought that comes to mind.
Then it goes along the lines of 'omigodhowcanpeoplelivelikethat'.
Clutter is one thing.
I think everyone has some form of clutter in their lives.
This goes beyond clutter. It's a complete behaviour.
From the Squalor Survivor website:
"3-part definition of clinical hoarding:
- The acquisition of, and failure to discard, a large number of possessions that appear to be useless or of limited value (Frost and Gross, 1993).
- Living spaces are cluttered enough that they can't be used for the activities for which they were designed (Frost and Hartl, 1996).
- Significant distress or impairment in functioning caused by the hoarding."
During one show, I can remember the homeowner calling it her 'dirty little secret.'
I felt bad for her.
I couldn't believe the condition of her home.
She looked completely overwhelmed, and defeated.
I think many more people than we realize have this dirty little secret, to varying degrees.
I know I do. I always have.
Don't get me wrong. My house has NEVER looked like any you've seen on the hit A&E series.
Or anything like THIS ... EVER!
Pic taken from ScienceDaily
or this ...
Pic taken from Ugly House Photos
As I wrote this post, I walked around the house and snapped pics of a few rooms in their current condition.
You can get through my front door, without falling over something.
OK, maybe a sneaker or two will be laying around, but you CAN walk in the door without walking into furniture.
Or over it.
Then, there's the dining room.
We eat at our table regularly.
Yes, sometimes there's other 'stuff' on it, at the 4th person's place setting, but for the most part, you can always still SEE our table.
In the living room ...
you will occasionally find something that the dog has dragged from the garbage, and the boys are forever throwing their jackets on the couches, but ...
when your butt needs a place to park at 6:30 when you're waiting for your coffee to heat up around the corner, you HAVE a place to sit!
Yes, there's 'stuff', hanging around in some areas there shouldn't be, but overall, you can move around without stepping on anything.
Be that as it may, today I'm coming out and admitting that for particular items, and particular AREAS of my house, I have hoarding tendencies.
This is my dirty little secret.
Why am I exposing it to all of you?
Because watching those people, live in that squalor, scares me to death. And makes me look at my own shit and think 'gotta go gotta go gotta go!'
And now that I've DONE something about it, maybe it'll be enough to give someone else the kick in the ass they need to look at their OWN stuff, and think 'well hell, if SHE can do it ...'
So , let's start with the little thing.
I've always been a book (and magazine) hoarder. My mother, ex and kids can easily attest to this one :-)
There are books in most every room in my house.
Yes, that includes the bathroom, too.
And sets. Maybe not complete sets, but once I find an author I like, I kind of go nuts and get everything I can find on them.
And I can't get rid of them. Cause, ya know, you can't get rid of the books you like.
So, with that in mind ... Hello, my name is Kim, and I'm a book hoarder.
Then, there's the BIG things.
And what would a hoarding post be, without a shot of my (W)rec(ked) Room.
Gawd. I can't believe I'm doing this.
Although one side looks somewhat livable.
The other ... not so much.
This is what was supposed to be the toy/playroom.
OK. Here's the deal.
Have I mentioned I hate my (W)rec(ked) Room!
It was supposed to be a fixer upper project for the Ex, that didn't quite get fixed ... up, down, left, right ...
And I certainly don't have the skills to do it myself, or the finances to have someone do it properly for me.
So it's stayed as is. Partly finished. Partly not.
I've sat in this (W)rec(ked) room, watching Hoarders, and then glanced across the room to my dirty little secret.
And I hate it.
But I don't know where to start.
Yeah yeah yeah, I know, start small, give yourself small accomplishments and the job won't seem so big.
All wonderful, sensible advice.
When you're not the one looking at your own personal nemesis.
Finally, one night last month I got up, literally yanked up my sleeves, looked at all the junk and said out loud to the empty room, 'it's ON Baby!'
Picked a spot, worked my way through it and either tossed, donated or found a home for it on a shelf or temporarily in a bin.
Again, yeah yeah yeah, I know the bins are cop outs, but I was going for the quick fix in some areas. Especially toys!
And after a bit of work ... progress!
Threw a bit of carpet on the floor, strategically place a few 'toy bins', and more progress ...
It's by no means perfect, or pretty, but it's functional.
And for now, functional works for me.
We can work on the pretty.
Now that I've tackled and conquered the beast that is, the (W)rec(ked) room, I'm going to tackle the other hoarding spot in the Korner.
Oh yes. There's another one.
Although one side is (mostly) organized ...
... the other is a complete disaster.
What started as a 'catch all spot' has exploded into the 'pit of shit'.
However, that's another post for another day.
One dirty little secret at a time, People ;-)