You barely make it in the house. There’s hardly any room to walk? What the hell is going on you ask.
How did it come to this? When did it all get out of hand?
I am here to tell you that knowing why things have gotten out of hand is not necessary.
You heard right. Getting through the chaos does not require an answer to WHY?
Instead, ask yourself..”how best can I get out of the chaos.”
Accept the fact that perfect is not a goal. Trying your best is all that is required.
Remember that getting rid of some of your things does not mean they are not meaningful to you. Certain things you do not forget . Perhaps you are not aware of the many tools there are to help you navigate through the mess that has been created.
Sounds too simple doesn’t it? The steps are simple because they can work if you use them. You can’t expect to go forward by just thinking and wishing for it to happen. Action is always required in order to get results.
How long ago was it you started collecting things? One year? Two? Maybe more. You didn’t really think It would take you just a little time to undo all of this did you?
Your memory is a powerful tool that can help you as you move forward.
Use it. Take a photograph of the object. Keep an album of your treasures. This way you have preserved them while at the same time making space in your home so that you can enjoy it.
Just like anything else we want to do you have to learn the methods, take one small step at a time until you get use to the idea, and work at it.
Read that again….work at it.. Does that seem impossible to you? It isn’t. Not if you make up your mind that this is what you want to do.
You are having a relationship with your possessions that has reached fever pitch and now you are looking to curb it.
This is great. Don’t worry about what others think. This decision is yours and yours alone. Once you make it you should feel a sense of relief. However, thinking about it may make you uneasy, but that’s to be expected. Don’t let the anxiety get the better of you.
There are times when we all question our sanity.
How many times have you heard or used the expression….Am I nuts? Or what the hell was I thinking?
Rest assured you are not alone, we all say that from time to time.
What you need to remember is that no one else sees things through your eyes.
We all do things for different reasons.
This is why you are here. You didn’t really think you got here by accident did you? Something drew you to this posting.
You have the faith that you can get through this. That is wonderful.
You also feel fear as well.
This is where I tell you that you can’t have both.
Let go of the fear. the things you have to do are not insurmountable .
I will talk to you as if we were friends and you came to me for help. I am and will remain your friend for as long as you wish. When ever you need a shoulder to lean on or want someone to share your thoughts with let me know.
If you wish to vent, rant or just chat. I will never break your confidence. Everything we discuss is strictly between you and I and totally private.
Are you ready to start now ?
I will give you a bit of direction. It sounds foolish but it will help.
If your a tea or coffee drinker I want you to make yourself a cup then go sit, enjoy your hot drink and imagine your home clear of all the clutter. You can have friends , co workers and relatives over to visit. Using your imagination will help you get there.
Think about entertaining loved ones. How much pleasure you will get from sharing a meal, sharing memories, or just having long conversations.
While still sitting think of where you want to start. Nothing too dramatic. Lets start with a small area. You mentally chose the room and the space where you want to begin.
When you have decided that, you will need to get several boxes and mark them. #1 trash..#2 donate..#3 Keep….
Wait, don’t get too happy.. the keep box is temporary. Later we will revisit it.
For now just think about the journey you are planning.
Just like when we take vacations ,we make plans so our trip will go smoothly .
You may have already tried navigating the chaos in your home,and for that you deserve credit.
You “fell of the wagon,” who cares.
The bigger and more important thing is that you came here trying to find a way to help yourself.
This is where I come in.
I wont baby you. I wont placate you or treat you with anything less than the respect you deserve.
Before I can help you must be willing to give it all your efforts as well.
You may or may not be aware of the many tools out there that help compulsive shoppers and hoarders. Perhaps you have already tried a few on for size with no luck.
By using simple small steps and staying focused you too can help yourself get out of the chaos.
You hear it all the time. You can’t !
Your family members tell you you can’t. Your best friends tell you you can’t.
Just who the hell do they think they are? You have tried everything you can think of.
The anxiety is overwhelming. The clutter has taken over your life.
You have reached the end of your rope.
Even you can’t stand it any longer.
Who the hell told you you cant? YOU DID ! You spoke those words in silence to yourself.
You allowed the chaos to take over.
Never in a lifetime would you have admitted that to anyone. But, you admitted it to yourself.
The first step has been taken. With your eyes finally opened you decided to get through the clutter, clean up the mess and throw out the trash and begin to live a life you had only imagined.
Do you realize the importance of the decision you have made?
Oh, you hadn’t intended for it to happen, I know. but it slowly took your life over one small step at a time until it just didn’t matter anymore.
First you just bought a few extra cans or boxes of food. Or did you just not throw out the junk mail and let it pile up?
Maybe you thought you would throw out the trash later, but didn’t. The dirty dishes in the sink could wait to get washed until you finish watching your favorite television show. You never got around to it did you?
It took a long time to realize that the only thing holding you back was yourself.
That realization has made a huge impact.
You are looking at the chaos and clutter in a new way.
With new eyes you are slowing seeing the need to organize your life in a way that you can manage. There are many ways for you to help yourself if that is what you truly want.
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will walk you through some simple steps to start your journey out of the chaos.
When you have made the choice to put a stop to the clutter in your home,a major step has already taken place.
The first thing you must know is that this choice is always yours to make, no one else can make it for you.
You made it and you own it.
The credit is all yours.
You wont be needing shovels and brooms. Boxes and a bit of patience are required though.
Why you became a hoarder or compulsive shopper is NOT important.
You read that right.
It serves little purpose to know the why’s.
The fact is that you want to do something about it.
Today you decided that you would begin the process of making your life better.
You alone decided that you wanted a more comfortable living space.
Yes there will be times that you think you can’t, but I am here to tell you that you can. The most difficult choice has already been made. You sometimes cant decide whether or not you want to make the effort to clean up.
Your mind is having a difficult time and that’s alright.
Do not find fault with that.
When we travel on a new highway we are bound to be somewhat apprehensive.
Remember,you have chosen to be here . You. No one made that choice for you.
Never let others cajole you into something you may not be ready for.
Picture in your mind the results that you are aiming for.
See the clutter gone and your home not filled with stacks of books, papers, clothing, food or anything else.
Imagine yourself having friends over for a visit and opening your door to welcome them into into your home. Visualize your improved life. Embrace it, it will be a reality if you keep trying.
Now we begin.
Chose a space you want to work on. See it in your mind as having been decluttered.
Are you ready to begin?
You need to set a kitchen timer for 5 minutes.
Have several empty boxes marked..Garbage…Donate and Give away.
Once you pick up an object you have only a few moments to decide which box to put it in.
When the timer goes off at the 5 minute mark you are DONE.
Yes done. This will take time and you cannot rush yourself.
Do now try to do more than that.
You need to ease into the idea that you are getting rid of the things that clutter your life and suffocate you.
Enlist the help of a friend you trust. Hire someone to help if need be.
You are not getting rid of the things you cherish. If you come across something special take a photo. Now you have salvaged the memory and at the same time made additional space in your home.
You will begin to have a sense of relief. Embrace it.
Sit down with your favorite cup of tea or coffee and realize that you have just taken a giant step on your journey.
Enjoy this moment.
You need never go on that journey alone if you don’t want to.
You can always reach out and get help leaving the chaos behind.
There I was.
My mouth dropped and my eyes enlarged like saucers .
I was trying to hide the shock that must have been written all over my face.
How was I going to even get into the house?
The doorway was almost totally blocked with boxes and scattered magazines and newspapers.
It was unbelievable.
Its been several years since this happened and the vision is still imprinted in my mind.
How can someone have reached this point ?
Well, it really doesn’t matter.
I repeat, it really doesn’t matter.
Knowing why is not going to help you in any constructive way.
The fact that you have made the decision to do something about it is what is really important.
Finding a solution is what is paramount. You only seek help when you have reached the point that you cant stand the clutter.
Knowing why you hoard or collect too many things isn’t going to help you get organized.
Only when you make the decision to end it can you begin.
Sounds too simple ?
Well lets see.
If you don’t make that major decision what will happen?
You will remain overwhelmed with your surroundings.
Think about that.
Okay, you thought about it. You conclusion is ?
Right, the clutter will continue. You put your health and well being at risk and it can turn into a fire hazard.
Before you reach the point of wanting help you need to be motivated by your lack of living space as well as your loss of friends that are reluctant to visit you, because of the clutter.
Also, don’t discount your loneliness from being isolated from the world.
Many roads we travel cannot be traveled alone. This is one of them.
In this case trying to do it all alone will be impossible. You need to enlist the help of someone close to you that you trust or a personal organizer.
Do not be intimidated by asking for help.
Asking for help is the first and most important step you will ever take in getting out of the chaos.
There are many places to turn where the help and support you need are available.
With simple steps to help you in making sensible choices you too can help yourself get through this journey.
Reach out to someone.
There is no shame in asking for help.
No one can do everything alone. There are hurdles that need assistance in getting over.
How many times have you told your friends and relatives that we will clear out, or clean up the mess?
Did you mean it?
Were you really going to start to de clutter or were you just trying to get the family off your back?
I know. You meant it at the time.
Well , let me tell you something. Its okay.
Don’t beat yourself up.
Sometimes our “good intentions” have to be taken into account. If your serious lets get started .
Here are a few tips on getting started if you really serious:
1. Keep it to yourself. Telling anyone will only put you under more pressure, and that’s something you don’t need.
2. Now you have to chose a day on which you will start. Gather a few empty boxes or bins.
Mark them …….Trash- it……Love-it………Donate-it.
3. Prepare yourself for some misgivings. That’s alright..you are attached to these things and its going to be difficult.
4. Keep in mind that de cluttering takes time. Don’t start too big or you will discourage yourself.
Okay, so now you are ready to begin…
Get a kitchen timer and set it for 15 minutes. (you can use the oven timer as well)
When the timer goes off you must STOP. That’s it for today.
You don’t want to overwhelm yourself.
Remember this is a process and there is no rush. Just as it took time to get into the chaos it will take time to get out of it.
If you find yourself in need of help , its as easy as sending me an email…….email@example.com
Now you are ready to begin.
Do NOT pick up anything. Yes, that’s what I said. I REPEAT…..Do Not Pick Up The Object.
LOOK at the object and decide whether of not you absolutely love it, hate it or are willing to part with it.
Once you make that decision pick up the object and place it in the corresponding box.
REMEMBER….15 MINUTES THEN STOP ! Do not push yourself to go past the 15 mark. At that point your level of anxiety may be high. Its important that you NOT try to do too much at a time.
Let me know how you do.
LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS AND i WILL GET BACK SO YOU
Lets talk about your goals, desires and what you want as an outcome.
Remember, I already said that this wont be easy.
Its up to you to want to live in an uncluttered home.
Using simple steps is the solution for many.
There will be days when you do more than on others. Some days you wont do anything.
You desire to let go of some of the chaos is what’s important.
Yeah, yeah, I know its difficult..and ? What have you done that isn’t?
No more excuses. No more…”I’ll wait till tomorrow.”
Today try leaving the house with only enough money to get through the day.
The logic is that if you only have money for carfare, or gas and lunch you CANT spend on anything else but the essentials.
See ? It can be as simple as that.
The hard part is that YOU have to want to make the changes.
Only you can make the changes. There isn’t a solution.
It takes work.
Are you ready?
Need help ? Can go it alone ?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell me your not tired of being alone, or spending you days surrounded with all the clutter of the useless things that have collected over time.
Better yet, tell me how you manage to get around when there’s no where to sit, and probably no where to lay down for a nap.
When was the last time you actually cooked a meal or sat at the kitchen table to eat?
Here’s a good one. When was the last time to your recollection ,that you invited someone to you home?
Can’t remember ? GOTTCHA !
Your too embarrassed to have company come over, aren’t you ? You don’t want them to see how you live.
Well “DON’T” be.
Being a hoarder is something that is difficult to contain. Its not that you just didn’t hang up your coat or you decided not to wash the dinner dishes last night. It goes much deeper. It probably has to do with ..here’s a good word….DISPOSOPHOBIA..your relationship to the things that belong to you.
Oh, sure you say. Everyone has a relationship with the things they own. Yes, I can agree with that, however, NOT everyone saves everything putting it everywhere and creating a hazard.
Remember when it all started? Probably not.
Why did it start? Well I’m going to tell you that it.. DOESN’T MATTER WHEN OR WHY..you started hoarding.
That’s NOT IMPORTANT. What is important is whether or not you want to take some sort of control over what is apparently taking control of you.
So, do you really give a damn or not ?
If you do, there are many ways you can help yourself .
I am always available to chat about it if you make up your mind to start the journey out of the chaos.
Stop by, and send me an email. Let’s begin what you have been putting off for too long…. http://www.hoard-not.com
Thankfully my hoarding had not reached major proportions.
Sure, I had collected frogs and turtle miniatures over time. Some had been gifts from loved ones, some I had gotten myself, but 100 or so wasn’t too bad. Right?
WRONG. Aside from spending time dusting and rearranging them I found that I was actually fond of each and everyone. They all held a story of their own.
Friends and relatives constantly made remarks as to when would I have “collected” enough of them.
Well, enough being subjective, I just replied, “soon.” But soon never arrived.
It was getting a bit annoying to have to dust them, clean them and rearrange them constantly, I was beginning to recent the time spent on caring for them. Why didn’t I just stop I thought. Even to me it appeared that they were consuming too much of my time.
One day I will get rid of them I thought. Just not today.
The time had arrived.
The memory is so vivid still. I woke up one day and decided to clean all of my collection. Bathe is a better description. I actually took them a few at a time and carefully placed them in a pan of warm soapy water. You believe that? I was treating them like babies.
The realization woke me up. As I sat by the kitchen table I knew that I was becoming obsessed. Not good, I told myself.
It was there and then that I made up my mind to stop collecting.
Now all I had to do was figure out how to find “homes” for my babies.
Not wanting to dwell any further for the moment I went about my business for several days.
While cleaning out a closet that weekend I saw the junk I had amassed .Hmmm. What to do with the shoes that didn’t fit, the blouse I no longer wore.
Like a smack in the head I knew the solution to the frog and turtle collection. I would find them homes where they would be loved and appreciated.
I made a list of all the people that had gifted me them and decided to have each person “adopt” a few of the gifts they had made me.
As my list grew so did my spirits. Soon they would all have good homes and I would only keep the three my father had given me.
Understand, I know that my solution will not work for everyone,however, there is a solution for YOU as well.
Let me help you on your journey out of the chaos.
The palms of your hands are damp, you forehead is dripping sweat , the anxiety has started.
Taking this journey has been a challenge. Everyday you need to push yourself to do anything, yet the desire to do it is there.
You really want you place to be comfortable and spacious.
How the hell did this happen you wonder.
It does not matter how it started. What matters is that you made up your mind to start clearing up your home.
For today just do one simple thing. You decide what it will be, then stop everything else and go and do it.
Set the timer for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, STOP ! Your done for now.
Appreciate what you just accomplished. Relish in it. It was difficult, but YOU did it.
Give your self a treat for succeeding in this effort. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee. Put your feet up and congratulate yourself.
Call a friend and share the news. You were amazing.
See ? Some times life doesn’t “stink.”