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4/4/12 3:41 P

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I was doing really well for a while but now with living with my parents and having them both being hoarders that are in denial I seem to be slipping back into old patterns. I need to seriously get back into getting rid of things especially paper. I need to committ myself to a minimum of 30 minutes a day to getting rid of or tossing things each day for the next 10 days.

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FLYBABY54 Posts: 185
3/27/12 1:00 P

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pray for me on my start of daily purge, 15 minutes at a time....thanks

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SUNSETINAZ's Photo SUNSETINAZ Posts: 1,624
3/27/12 11:58 A

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Carol
Take care of yourself. Take a breather and some time to hear your heart. You've more than earned it!
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Hugs,
Lynn

Change yourself. You are in control.

Happiness is when what you think, say, and do are in harmony.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Check out our Spark Team: Hoarding - More Than Simple Clutter

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3/26/12 12:56 P

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Lynn, I read your blog & we could be twins. I start new hobbies going all out to get everything I need & more. Than just when I start to get good at it something else catches my fancy & I'm throwing myself into that. If I don't have several irons in the fire at the same time I feel worthless. My medical problems have slowed things down some but not completely. How long will it take me to use 4 lg totes of yarn? especially when the projects I want to do call for different yarns then what I have. I do share what I have with others but I keep getting more.
For as long as I can remember I've kept myself very busy with the kids, church, my jobs, youth groups, sports etc. Even in school I took every advance course I could, plus clubs & a job, never allowed myself any down time.

Carol

DEJU_DIKE's Photo DEJU_DIKE Posts: 788
3/20/12 7:45 P

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What would I do if it was all cleaned up? I'd freak. My sister tried to help me move one time and she was going to pitch something. I said in a panic "NO! " she asked me what was it. I told her it was the pregnancy test I use to find out I was going to have my son...Can you all believe it! I kept a stick I peed on! She responded by telling me I didn't need the stick, I had the results live and in person! Sometimes it takes an outsider to see the ridiculousness of things I keep like envelopes. I suffer from the, "I might need that...it still works a little, I can use it for parts or fix it and the it has sentimental value" itis!

Kitty, you inspire me. I remember when I gave away all my baby clothes to the church for the garage sale. We weren't planning to have more kids and so I decided to donate them. I cried and cried thinking what if I have an oops baby. I knew God would honor my intent and provide if I did get pregnant. I had to keep repeating, "God clothed the lillys if the fields, He takes care of them and the birds of the air... How much more He will do for me... And... Give and it will be given unto you a good measure... Pressed down, shaken, and over flowing! "

As a credit to me...I don't go garrage selling because I realize I have enough of my own junk...I don't need someone elses. Plus... Getting geared up to start a new contest with a new sparks buddy so when my dad asked if I wanted their old tv I said no! Woo hoo for me! ! !

SUNSETINAZ's Photo SUNSETINAZ Posts: 1,624
3/16/12 5:52 A

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I was going to respond, but decided to blog instead. I will say that I, too, have lots of materials - more than I will ever use in my lifetime unless I can learn to stay focused.

Change yourself. You are in control.

Happiness is when what you think, say, and do are in harmony.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Check out our Spark Team: Hoarding - More Than Simple Clutter

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www.squalorsurvivors.com/index.shtml
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FLYBABY54 Posts: 185
3/15/12 5:04 P

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"It WAS a beautiful pumpkin" makes me smile and really put things in perspective. I love it. Does anyone have an 'issue' with starting a hobby, let's say, like collage, then all of sudden, you find yourself hoarding stuff for that hobby. I haven't really collaged that much, but when I was trying to organize the collage material, I realized I had 'collected' a lot of materials. Maybe, even more than I will be able to ever use, lol.

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SUNSETINAZ's Photo SUNSETINAZ Posts: 1,624
3/5/12 6:46 A

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Kitty
Haven't heard from you in a while and wondered if you were still working your plan.
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Lynn

Change yourself. You are in control.

Happiness is when what you think, say, and do are in harmony.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Check out our Spark Team: Hoarding - More Than Simple Clutter

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KITTYF54's Photo KITTYF54 Posts: 7,852
10/28/11 10:49 P

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Some of my ideas come from Flylady.net and some I can only credit the Lord for, cause I pray about this a lot. LOL

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6


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SUNSETINAZ's Photo SUNSETINAZ Posts: 1,624
10/28/11 12:49 P

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I don't know who is helping you understand all this absolutely necessary information, but you and that person nailed it.
Some of these I need to relearn... that elephant is sticking in my throat - smaller bites, I think.
I like the idea of doing little things as the opportunity presents itself and more out than comes in. Eventually, all of that has to add up.
Thanks Kitty!

Change yourself. You are in control.

Happiness is when what you think, say, and do are in harmony.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Check out our Spark Team: Hoarding - More Than Simple Clutter

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ndividual.asp?gid=26306


www.squalorsurvivors.com/index.shtml
365lessthings.com

www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7059/20-insp
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KITTYF54's Photo KITTYF54 Posts: 7,852
10/27/11 12:08 P

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I agree Gryphon, a lot of it is inside growth. I'm slowly learning that as I learn to hate my present circumstances, I'm gradually more willing to view previous treasures as clutter and pass them on. I'm more willing to get mad at the clutter on the floor and toss a few things. I'm gradually more willing to bend down and pick up one or two things, and put them where they belong, either garbage or kids clothes. I'm gradually less willing to look at a huge pile of laundry on the couch as normal. More willing to fold it and put it away. I'm pushing back the clutter on the floor.

Learning that it's a daily, hourly effort. I guess this is what BO people already know. that you have to work at it a little at a time, but it's not a once a week thing, it's a once an hour, or once every 15 minutes thing. something you do frequently, but not a lot at once. at least that's how it's turning out to be with me. I don't set an alarm for every 15 minutes, but I try to jump up between emails and do SOMETHING. if I'm getting up anyway to get a cup of tea I'll grab a few things to put away. I'm keeping a box by the door for the good will. or a walmart bag sitting there to shove kids outgrown clothes into.

Barbara, Don't get discouraged. If that hook thing looks like clutter, then try to imagine if there's a better solution. it might take you a month of looking at it to imagine a better way. If I have that kind of thing staring at me I'll pray and ask the Lord for a better idea. After all, he's the Lord of all "Creation" so he's infinitely creative. he always gives me an idea eventually.

two maxims are a big help to me on this journey.
you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time. (baby steps)
a Wise man falls down 7 times and get's back up. (don't give up)

And remember, there's joy in the journey. if and when we every get the peaceful clutter free home we envision, it'll be maintainable because we learned the lessons to get there, and keep it there.
Some of my lessons so far are,
pick up more than you dropped
put away anything you got out (still working on that one)
Don't buy it if you don't have a place to store it
Don't buy it if you don't need it or love it
don't keep it if you don't need it, use it, or love it.
If you buy it, you HAVE to get rid of another, or even two others.
If you have two of something, bless someone else with one and trust God to provide for you at the time that the first one breaks.


Edited by: KITTYF54 at: 10/27/2011 (12:12)
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6


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SUNSETINAZ's Photo SUNSETINAZ Posts: 1,624
10/19/11 7:35 A

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What you just shared is what I hoped for the heart of the group. You make me proud I started this group. Thank you both.
Lynn

Change yourself. You are in control.

Happiness is when what you think, say, and do are in harmony.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Check out our Spark Team: Hoarding - More Than Simple Clutter

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ndividual.asp?gid=26306


www.squalorsurvivors.com/index.shtml
365lessthings.com

www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7059/20-insp
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GRYPHONQUEST's Photo GRYPHONQUEST Posts: 485
10/18/11 9:36 A

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Hey, Barbara - I get EXACTLY what you mean. Both my mother and I are hoarders; I've figured out that I am one, and veeeeerry slowly, I'm letting things go. It is HARD. For example, I was good and tossed some ugly, scratchy usless green yarn... only to have a potential use for it as Halloween decoration at at a friend's house. WHY did I toss it out? BECAUSE IT WAS UGLY, and but for a random comment from a friend, I would NEVER have used it. It's better it went when it did.

My mother hasn't really come to terms with hers yet. Right now, she's boxing up everything on her back porch (which was completely full) and putting it in the attic. Now, we did go through that attic and get rid of a LOT of things (from the 70s when my parents bought the house!), but it's going to be full again. And the rest of the rooms of the house are still impassible, but she feels she's Doing Something by shifting things around. (And to be fair, she could eat off her floors... if she could see them!)

Right now, I'm trying to leave things out so I *do* have to step over them and get annoyed by how inconvenient they are. And it *is* helping (a bit) to get things out of the house. Electronic files (which I can somehow manage to organize?) for music, movies, magazines, TV shows and books have helped cut down on the top-level clutter a LOT - one hard drive takes up a LOT less space!

There *is* real change. A lot of it happens inside you, though, and that takes time. You'll get there.

(And this group really helps - just because it's wonderful to know I'm *not* the only one, and it *can* get better!)

And in my other life, I knit. craftygryphon.blogspot.com


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BARBARAWEBSTER's Photo BARBARAWEBSTER Posts: 1,728
9/5/11 5:50 A

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emoticon I haven't done anything on this team, but I want to start. I have been a hoarder all my life, and even with council I make very little progress. I clean and clean, but then I bring in more stuff I have an idea I can use, which turns into clutter. The other day I was so happy to have mounted several pictures on the wall, and a small shelf with hooks on the bottom. I put my hot pad holders on the hooks and a couple pictures I like on the top of the shelf. I was pleased to get the clutter off the piles and up where it belonged. But yesterday, I came into the house, and looked up at the wall, and thought: That just looks like a cluttered wall!!!! Is there ever any end to it all? Is there ever any REAL change? I'm so tired of pushing piles around the place. I've been trying for over a year to clean out this new apt... and it just doesn't happen. My adviser keeps telling me I can't organize it cause there is too much of it. But it overwhelms me, and I give up trying. It only takes a week, and the whole place is a mess!!!!

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SUNSETINAZ's Photo SUNSETINAZ Posts: 1,624
9/1/11 1:26 A

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One of the reasons I want to stop hoarding and manage my clutter is so my family does not have to go through for me what yours went through for your mother after she died. It is painful enough to mourn without having to deal with mountains of stuff.

I admire your courage, Lou, for maintaining a connection with your mother, despite her reaction to everyone's efforts to 'help'.

My partner has tried to 'help' me and finally realized she needed to find out what I can see as help. The best thing she did was to stop shaming me. What I did for her was to agree to keep the common areas 'dehoarded' and as decluttered as I can. She still gets frustrated when she sees 'the abyss' - my computer room. Her solution is to stay out of it and close the partitions when we have people over.

I don't want anyone to have to deal with my areas of abyss - is that where the word abysmal comes from? So I am on a dehoarding/decluttering journey.

Lynn

Change yourself. You are in control.

Happiness is when what you think, say, and do are in harmony.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Check out our Spark Team: Hoarding - More Than Simple Clutter

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APRILNYC's Photo APRILNYC Posts: 2,851
8/30/11 10:26 P

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I really like Clean House, but I don't have cable tv and hardly ever get to see it.
I watched all the episodes on Netflix.
I feel inspired to make changes when I watch shows like that, they tackle a lot of situations and they do follow up on occasion. Hoarders is a little more depressing, but informative.

"You are done eating for the day." Richard Simmons


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KITTYF54's Photo KITTYF54 Posts: 7,852
8/28/11 4:35 P

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I saw that episode too. LOL

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6


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STARTWME's Photo STARTWME SparkPoints: (0)
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8/28/11 1:05 P

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It WAS a beautiful pumpkin. was a phrase a woman used to explain the rotten pumpkin in her living-room (Hoarders TV series). That phrase has become my toss mantra for things that were quite lovely and are now moldy, broken, water damaged, missing a screw that I haven't replaced in years etc.

Such a weight of guilt is lifted; why? Because every time my eye lit on one of those objects the "I really should ___________" would kick in and rankle. Life and Love are too lovely for all those regrets.

Christine

"We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once."

Calvin Coolidge (30th President)


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KITTYF54's Photo KITTYF54 Posts: 7,852
3/6/11 10:21 P

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My daughters were trying to help clean once, and ripped down a map of the locations of different indian nations that I'd put up some place. who ever ripped it down thought it was junk so she tossed it. I cried. after that none of them will do anything to help cause they think I'd cry over everything.

Whatever.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6


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IUHRYTR's Photo IUHRYTR Posts: 20,701
3/6/11 1:26 P

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"If you came home to find all your stuff gone and your house cleaned, how would you react? Once you got over the initial reaction, then what?"

Interesting question that brings to mind my mother's reaction in the '90s when she came from caring for her mother out of state. The family, as what we thought would be a treat for her, boxed, but didn't discard, piles of records, books and other things from her bedroom, cleaned everything, put up new window and shower curtains, painted, remade her bed linens and gave her so much more room than she had before.

Her negative reaction drove my older sister, her husband, my brother and sister away. Mom yelled that she didn't want anything thrown away and wouldn't listen when we said it wasn't, that things were boxed in the next bedroom. Then she didn't like the color of the shower curtains. "Okay, what color would you like?" "Why didn't you just leave everything alone?"

So, for the next 12 years, we left everything alone. Now, six years after her death, I'm still going through things and finding important papers mixed in with recipes, bills from the '70s, etc. Pictures are scattered among many bins and boxes as are other family items.

Such a shame that she chose to live like that. It's caused me a lot of time sorting, discarding, donating and shredding. Some bill receipts went back to 1952!

Lou

Published Writer/Experienced Editor


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KITTYF54's Photo KITTYF54 Posts: 7,852
11/22/10 6:43 P

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You know, thinking about this, the nostalgia of remembering making all those things is worth more than the actual book, in a way. in other words having the book won't really make a better memory.

The only recipes I remember I'd like to make again are the apple and egg pancake dessert and the venison recipes, (we eat a lot of venison).

I'm really almost afraid to bring anything more into the house in case it becomes lost in the clutter or just becomes more clutter. YOU know what I mean

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6


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HELSDOTTIR's Photo HELSDOTTIR Posts: 1,605
11/22/10 1:07 P

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I may actually have that. somewhere. in a box. several spiral-bound 5x7 . cooking of various countries. Or, they might have gotten damaged in one of my several moves. Leaking storage - water damage - mold. I did lose some books that way.

I also have a hardback "The New German Cookbook", by Jean Anderson and Hedy Wurz.

Wait!!! Here they are! Time-Life Books Foods of the World.

"Recipes, the Cooking of Germany". Water-damaged but salvaged. Great recipes. Yeah, carbs, but not all, and not all bad. roast saddle of venison. how to make a gingerbread cake. and, yes, Pfeffernuesse. not ue, but u umlaut, which I don't know how to do on my computer.

have several others of this set. Vienna, Russia, Scandinavia, Africa, British Isles, etc.



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KITTYF54's Photo KITTYF54 Posts: 7,852
11/2/10 6:10 P

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hmm, I thought I had written a response, maybe it's lost. Anyway, I guess I shouldn't bother you about that cookbook since I'm diabetic now and don't use many carbs and you know german food, mostly carbs.

However, one of the recipes was eggs sugar and flour beaten and poured over several thinly sliced apples on the SANDWICH grill I think. it pushed the lid of that grill up like it was a texas toast sandwich. LOL

I used to make Schnitzel, and Pfefferneuse and a bread with nuts and cinnamon in it that wasn't sweet like a sweet roll but much less sweet and drier even though it was a yeast bread.

The name of the cookbook was probably just German cooking or something like that but it was distinctive because it was a booklet format that was intended to be housed in a hard-backed notebook about 10x7 and the booklets were 6x9 they were of the type thing which you buy one every month through the mail and the binder to keep them in. each booklet was for a different country, locale or speciality.

I accepted it at the age of 16 for nonpayment of a months worth of babysitting from the ner do well who lived behind us in Colorado.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6


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SUNSETINAZ's Photo SUNSETINAZ Posts: 1,624
11/2/10 5:46 A

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OMG - I have my Grandma's Fannie Farmer's Boston Cooking School Cookbook. It's the oldest cookbook I have with notes and a few recipes she added.
Ain't life funny?!

Between HELSDOTTIR and me, I would bet we might have your cookbook, even if it's not the same physical book. Give us a try : )
emoticon
Lynn

PS HELSDOTTIR Would you share a first name or nickname we could call you in this group instead of HELSDOTTIR?

Change yourself. You are in control.

Happiness is when what you think, say, and do are in harmony.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Check out our Spark Team: Hoarding - More Than Simple Clutter

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www.squalorsurvivors.com/index.shtml
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HELSDOTTIR's Photo HELSDOTTIR Posts: 1,605
11/1/10 1:15 P

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PS, Kitty: Do you remember what cookbook it was? I may have it, and would gladly send it to you.

I have a whole bunch of never-used cookbooks.

Mostly the only cookbook I ever use is a 1933 edition of Fannie Farmer's Boston Cooking School Cookbook. (Which I can't find at the moment.)


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HELSDOTTIR's Photo HELSDOTTIR Posts: 1,605
11/1/10 1:11 P

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With "help", there needs to be the clear understanding before hand that the person being "helped" has the final say, otherwise it's just too stressful.

If I came home to an empty house, I would put it on the market and hit the road in an RV.

In fact, I'm already planning to do that. All of you can most likely understand how difficult and overwhelming this will be. I have to do it one box at a time.

I plan to take another box/bag of books to the library this week. I have promised certain pieces of furniture to folks, who will make arrangements to pick them up.

I've been thinking about why it is so hard to turn loose of useless objects, that is, objects that were purchased but never used, for some reason.

I've decided that it feels something like selling your stocks when the market is down. The loss is realized when they are sold.

But in reality, the loss already occurred when I spent good money for something useless. It will never become worth what I paid for it, because it even wasn't worth it when I bought it.

Now, I'm not talking about well-used things that are still precious, but stuff that was never or seldom used, for whatever reason.

It's almost as though I thought that getting rid of this object is finally admitting that I made a mistake purchasing it. As long as that wrong-color/wrong size/wrong style shirt is hanging in my closet, there is the completely irrational idea that it may suddenly become the right color/size/style, and that my purchase will turn out not to have been an error after all.

Now, isn't that insane?


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KITTYF54's Photo KITTYF54 Posts: 7,852
10/28/10 11:24 P

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My favorite cookbook was stolen when I was in High school. I used that cook book a LOT before loosing it.

Still remember some of the recipes but not well enough to make them again.

I cried when my daughter tore down a map I'd put up on the wall and said it looked awful and tossed it in the trash.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6


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10/28/10 8:10 P

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KITTYF54, I cried so hard over things my son through away during our move to this house that I made myself sick. Somethings I was not asked about & some were from the area that we had set aside as saves because I had went through them. Very bad time I still miss some of the things like my cookbook collection. Carol

KITTYF54's Photo KITTYF54 Posts: 7,852
10/28/10 4:56 A

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true, but they do give these guys the right to say no, the whole way through.

What *I* like about this show is that they help with making those tough decisions. the do I need this or not, the how many the but I really LIKE this, or But it was GRANDMA's and she's GONE!! AND it would be easier if there were more people than ME there trying to do something.

However, I will say that when my KIDS started "helping" me without letting me make the final decisions I did end up in tears after an hour or so and now they won't help at ALL cause I might cry.

Well, excuse me!!! LOL

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6


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SUNSETINAZ's Photo SUNSETINAZ Posts: 1,624
10/28/10 4:10 A

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I have seen this show several times. I have several concerns...

I know how to be organized. If it were that simple, my house would be pristine! I have tried to handle my 'mess' on my own. It's difficult enough with the help of a therapist and the support of our group.

Somewhere in all my diatribe, I remember asking the group - If you came home to find all your stuff gone and your house cleaned, how would you react? Once you got over the initial reaction, then what?

I haven't posted it for a while so we'll give it a try. I wonder what we will find out?!

Lynn

Change yourself. You are in control.

Happiness is when what you think, say, and do are in harmony.

- Mahatma Gandhi

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KITTYF54's Photo KITTYF54 Posts: 7,852
10/27/10 7:01 P

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I've been watching Clean House for at least 3 years now.

They do talk to the people about why they clutter/hoard, and what they are going to do differently when they get rid of their clutter to prevent relapse.

They've done some followup shows and the ones they've shown have been pretty good about maintaining. several kept their public rooms nice but got a Little bit messier in the bedrooms.

One, the "messiest" had a whole basement of bins when they got done full of stuff they couldn't let go and I'd say the mom, and unrepentant hoarder was happy to have a livable home but angry that she couldn't find her various pieces of clutter.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6


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KSGROTHE's Photo KSGROTHE Posts: 4,596
10/27/10 6:07 P

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I've seen the show Clean House a few times. It's fun to see how they clean up people's houses. I think the biggest difference between Clean House and Hoarders is that Hoarders acknowledges that the people probably need some psychological counseling to keep them from reverting back to (or continuing) the behavior that led to their homes looking the way they did, while Clean House seems to try to teach some organization and encourage decluttering without really addressing any underlying psychological issues. When Clean House did their "Messiest House is America" shows, those homes looked a lot like the homes we see on Hoarders. I think since Clean House doesn't really offer any followup assistance the way Hoarders does, a lot of the homes they clean up end up just as bad as they started out within a few months or a year.

Edited by: KSGROTHE at: 10/27/2010 (18:08)
- Karen

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." -- George Bernard Shaw



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10/27/10 3:29 P

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Today I saw a show called clean house. They showed the before rooms & they looked a lot like hoarding to me but they were calling it clutter. The people invited the show to come & get rid the their things & redo their homes with money raised from yard sale selling the clutter. Only saw the 1 show but some of the places looked the bits & pieces I've seen of Hoarders.

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