Seems like I am harping on this issue over and over again. I won’t be long this time. I just want to know if you feel a desperate need to change and get this Museum of Modern Junk closed! Are you ready to apply more science to clutter?
Anyone who is contemplating change needs:
Support: If you do not have patient, delightful, humorous friends and relatives around you, get some!
- Beware of the Bullies. If you watch the shows about hoarders, most of the ones produced in the USA have gruesome, demoralizing, and frankly abusive family members throwing fits and threatening their supposed loved one with abandonment, violence (psychological or otherwise), aggressively waving their arms around, shouting, name calling, and even physically threatening with small gestures such as poking, jabbing, nudging, or throwing things. I have written to these shows that this is abuse and should not be tolerated. Eventually the interventionist (shows experts) stop the abuse, but usually it goes on long enough to be really upsetting. Warning: do not let those people into your home. Do not call them. Do not ask them for help!
- Be thrifty. If you can find people who are willing to help you without berating and making noise, find them. Start by trying to do this with just friends. Most people who curate their own personal Museum of Modern Junk in their homes are also tight with money and they have reason to be. It is a hard time to survive. Shopping addictions (even thrifting) can lead to a seriously leaky budget. Close that leak now and put a moratorium on out flow of money.
Energy: This is the time to go to bed at the same time every night. Get up every morning at the same time. Take a shower and dress for a battle. Clean comfortable clothing (find some in that pile!). Energizing music. Get that sleep apnea C-Pap near your bedside and USE it. Keep it in a zip lock bag during the day to keep it clear of dust and fluff. Make sure you have taken care of yourself physically before you even start. Energizing music has been shown to improve exercise intensity and time. Put that music on because we are going to be exercising your brain and body! We will also be talking about friendly DELEGATION.
Ability: Set some limits. This is critical. If you have been curating and hoarding for a while, you have to relearn new habits. Fatigue and feeling overwhelmed are enemies. Pick a small area and get to work. Work alone everyday for 15 minutes. Call in the troops when you have studied your problem and begun to chip away at it by yourself. This is testing ability. This is learning to be in control. This is feeling like it is your decision! Our job here is to help you feel ABLE. There are a few things that immediately sabotage ability (and energy). You must deal with these things:
- PETS. If you can afford to ship your animals to a friends for a while, do it! If you can afford boarding them, do it. If you have more than 2-3 pets, you will probably be unable to attack your clutter. This is the reality. The energy you spend cleaning up after even one pet is enormous. If you are truly giving them a good home and feeding them twice a day, healthy amounts, and giving them a clean place to stay, then you are doing a great job. If not, it is time to make tough decisions and re-home pets. Many people are interested in fostering (to see if they can be good pet owners). Several rescue programs will help a person out if they have health problems and will relocate or adopt out animals or even care for them. You can put up signs at places of worship. This is a good job to delegate to someone you know who loves animals.
- Physical and mental limitations. If you are fragile, unable to move freely, nursing a fracture, in a brace or splint or cast, battling cancer, super depressed or anxious, you will need help. We will talk more about that.
Knowledge: Remember in a previous entry I talked about learning about birds or music, and suddenly the world opens up and you hear and see things in a new way? Knowledge can lead to reawakening. Next entry will have more about this. First step, read about the problem (do I need to remind you one book at a time so you don’t get fines for “library book hoarding?” The brain needs re-training if it is going to be helpful and not a hindrance. Let’s get started!
Remember: Don’t watch TV about the problem. This is part of the problem at times. Leave that for later when you have guidance as to What to Read and What to Watch. Coming soon!
Book to read: Have you finished Stuff?