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All TopicsForum: Moving Beyond Cancer → Topic: Not quite a horder - decluttering

Topic: Not quite a horder - decluttering

Forum: Moving Beyond Cancer —

Managing life after a breast cancer diagnosis, including rediscovering intimacy, coping with fear of recurrence, reconnecting relationships, sharing hobbies and interests, and finding inspiration in daily life.

Posted on: Mar 21, 2011 11:00AM - edited Feb 21, 2012 10:21AM by suzwes

suzwes wrote:

 

Okay friends, I'm updating this info.  I love the picture though so I'm leaving that!!  I continue to look at a very unorganized house.  My friend Zogo had an idea about a thread for decluttering and I thought why not get one started.

Feel free to share decluttering or organizational ideas or hold yourself accountable to us. We have a fun group to share with and want you to jump in!  Below are a few links and info that might be helpful to get you started or to review from time to time.

Fly Lady: http://flylady.net/

Wonderland shared Jeff Campbell's Clutter Rules. Go to www.jeffcampbell.com/Rules-Clutter/ for more details on each rule.

1. When in doubt, throw it out

2. Use it or lose it

3. Efficiency counts, so store things accordingly

4. Handle something once (this is my personal favorite. Another way to state it is "Touch Paper Once")

5. Recycle it

6. Pick a number and stick with it

7. Use a file cabinet

8. Do Something (another personal favorite)

9. A place for everything, and everything in its place

10. Items displayed in the house have to pass a test

11. Don't do things "later"

12. Label things

13. Call in a professional


Suzette Dx 4/3/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 3, 2017 03:38AM - edited Nov 3, 2017 12:01PM by DivineMrsM

Poodles, my gosh. That is super impressive. Quite a dramatic drop in clothing size! It's as if the universe was congratulating you for all your effort by unveiling those hidden gift cards from Macy's!!!

found lump 12/22/10~er+/pr+/her2- stage iv bone mets~chemo~lumpectomy~ radiation~arimidex~
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Nov 3, 2017 05:38AM NativeMainer wrote:

Poodles--WooHoo!!!!!!!

"I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival." Audre Lorde Dx 3/9/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/14/2007 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 3/28/2007 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 4/9/2007 Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/4/2007 Hormonal Therapy 4/24/2008 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/14/2008 Mastectomy: Left Surgery 6/20/2010 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Nov 11, 2017 07:48AM Teka wrote:

My one and only decluttering project during Fall......Daughter's side by side bedroom windows.

Husband removed the worn out air conditioner from the 1st window, but duct tape glue remained on the window panes. Daughter did keep the bugs out. I used a lot of rubbing alcohol and elbow grease.

The side by side windows sill with an extended plant sill under the 2nd window also needed cleaning.

The windows now look spiffy!!

Note to self: I don't have to take this day all at once, but rather, one step, one breath, one moment at a time. I am only one person. Things will get done when they get done.
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Nov 11, 2017 08:31AM HoneyBeaw wrote:

Ladies

I don't post much but I do read , while always trying to DE clutter I continue to bring more crap in as I carry stuff out

We had a sad story in our town yesterday and I guess its made me stop and think . a lady died in her home and the clutter was so bad the family had to go in and clear a path for the EMTS to get it. Now while Im a long ways from that form of clutter , people say how can that happen, how can you let your house get that bad.

Well its would be easy, she was ill and had been for years. With any illness comes depression. Her husband clearly had no issue living in that mess and her child didn't know any different as he grew up in it .

They say they found her still in her nightgown on top of 4 ft of filth she must have died right after her husband left for work , Im thinking that poor lady was so ill and depressed that she may never got out of her nightgown all day and had no clue how to control what she was living in..

I didn't know her , never meet her but my heart breaks for her. She was not a old lady mid 40's husband and child and I assume in laws. How awful to be ill and live like that , how could someone not see what was going on and get some help in there. you can bet the state will step in now and take that child out of that house

Surgery 11/27/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 12/5/2016, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/26/2016 Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 1/16/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Nov 11, 2017 06:11PM glennie19 wrote:

Poodles: Congrats on the weight loss and the new wardrobe!

Divine: I like the feng shui decluttering advice and the power of words!

Honeybeaw: that is a sad story.

Being inside in the cooler weather and decluttering is great for all of you up north,, for me in FL,, NOW is the time of year I can work in the yard without dying of heat stroke! But I'm still cleaning out a little here and there. Got the shed out back cleaned out and organized with the paint cans and gardening stuff. Can easily walk in there now and find things.

Fibromyalgia and Truncal Lymphedema,,, some of the fun things I live with. Total hysterecomy 9/29/14 Dx 6/27/2013, Paget's, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/7/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Dx DCIS
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Nov 11, 2017 07:17PM - edited Nov 11, 2017 07:18PM by Mominator

I found this sectional by the side of the road. It was from a rarely used room. A couple was downsizing and wanted to replace this sectional with bedroom furniture for visiting grandchildren.



In our house, this sectional is replacing a very old sofa and two chairs from hubby’s grandma.

I was so happy how nice the room looks that it inspires me to keep decluttering.

Mominator, BRCA2+, STK-11 VUS, wife, mom to 3 children of various special needs, musician, volunteer, 55 yrs young. My Mom dx DCIS at age 62, ILC stage IIIA at age 79. My Grandmother died of ovarian cancer at age 48. Friend to Lori M, died 5/25/16. Surgery 11/10/2015 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 1/18/2016 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Nov 11, 2017 07:46PM mustlovepoodles wrote:

HoneyBeaw, it really is sad when you read something like that.  Sometimes people are so attached to their things that it interferes with relationships and normal life. My sister's in-laws had a similar story.  The MIL had signs of dementia, but the FIL wouldn't allow anyone to intervene. They were Class A hoarders--like, they would be seriously eligible to be on TV. Every room in the house was piled high, to the ceiling, with little rabbit trails throughout the house.  MIL had taken to falling on the stuff, but she was always able to get back up. Then, one night, she fell out of bed. She couldn't get up and she was in too much pain for FIL to get her up. He had no other option but to call 911. 

It took the EMTs almost 20 min to get to her because of the immense hoard. They had to clear paths through each room just to get the stretcher to her. They called Adult Protective Services right at the scene. FIL was furious--he just wanted them to put her back in bed and leave!  Totally in denial. 

Unfortunately, MIL broke her pelvis and her lower back.  Her dementia took a dramatic turn for the worse while she was in the hospital; she went to memory care upon discharge and died shortly thereafter. The FIL was not allowed to return to the house unless he cleaned it up. He finally was forced to admit that it was far beyond his capabilities and he entered an assisted living facility, where he absolutely thrived.  My sister and her husband  came down to clean up the home and put it up for sale. It took them 6 WEEKS to clear it out and they filled up 7 of those giant dumpsters. His mother was one to store important things with trash things, so they had to go through every. single. box. and. bag. Six weeks. They swore they'd never do that again. And then OUR mother died and left almost the same situation, but not quite as bad. 

Which is why my DH and I have been on a tear since June to reduce our belongings to the minimum needed to have a good life: it all fits in a 10' x10' storage shed. We have moved into our 33' RV, so there is really no room for things that aren't necessities.  I think our kids will thank us for it one day. 



Oncotype 23. Positive for PALB2 & Chek2 gene mutations. My breasts are trying to kill me! Dx 7/20/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/19/2015 Lumpectomy Surgery 9/2/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 10/19/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 2/3/2016 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 10/18/2016 Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Surgery
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Nov 11, 2017 07:49PM Teka wrote:

DivineMrsM,

You really enjoyed your time out from decluttering during the Summer.

mustlovepoodles,

I wish your weight loss was mine.

HoneyBeaw,

I stopped watching TV shows about extreme hoarders like the ill lady.

I find members of this thread toss junk that slowly creeps back over time.

My favorite decluttering rule......1 new in = 1 old out. ;o)

glennie19,

I've finished outdoor Fall clean-up and now housework and decluttering for the Holidays!

Mominator,

You lucked out.

Note to self: I don't have to take this day all at once, but rather, one step, one breath, one moment at a time. I am only one person. Things will get done when they get done.
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Nov 12, 2017 06:02AM Jazzygirl wrote:

Good morning friends- I continue along with my quest of decluttering. Still getting rid of home decorations that no longer fit (nor need to be stored) and clothing that is too big for me. Each time I go to either consignment or thrift, I bring many items and come away with some nice treasure. This week it was this pair of never worn leather boots from the thrift shop I take a lot of my donations to. Only $6 too! I have two more apts with consignment this month to get rid of more things, including some holiday wear that I have too much of (don't seem to go to as many holiday events anymore....)

Mominator- that is one seriously NICE find by the side of the road. That sectional is in mint condition and looks perfect in your space. One of the nice things about clearing out of things you don't want or need is to have space for something like that which is just perfect. Enjoy your new sectional and keep purging!

Teka- I am doing outdoor decluttering too as I broke down the outdoor things this week. Throwing out a bunch of old pottery. Muy rule is usually something like 10-20 things out, 1 new in!

Honey and MustLove- sad stories about the hoarders and the people around them who seem to just sit on the side lines, but think it is harder than one might imagine about how to deal with this. I have a friend whose father was a hoarder and used to make the kids rummage through the dump for junk. The family tried for years to get him help without his willingness, but did manage to get him to keep his hoarding in a garage space, that was floor to ceiling with is stash. But when he became ill, they took over and got a company in to clear things out. Stories of hoarding do keep me on my toes and constantly purging......

Gennie- it was very hot here this summer and so some of the decluttering in the garage had to wait to the fall with the cooler weather. Good luck getting things done now that you have cooler temps too.

Keep going ladies......


Dx 9/14/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/14/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 12, 2017 06:41AM NativeMainer wrote:

Teka--Hooray for spiffy windows!

Honey--oh, my, what a sad story. I can see how all the junk can pile up when someone doesn't feel well, or has depression, especially if they live alone. Even with family it can get ahead so sneakily. I can picture her striving mightily to keep her husband's work clothes in decent shape and not having any energy to do anything else. I was functioning that way for quite a while, keeping up with the work clothes and letting everything else go because I just did not have the energy left to even think about it. It took a major change in my life to turn things around. The cleaning out is still not complete, but I've cleaned outmore than 20 cubic yards of junk, trash and clutter since spring and am still making progress. I feel so badly for that poor woman who never had a chance to change things and feel the sense of control and accomplishment that brings.

Glennie--Good for you getting the Shed cleaned out and organized! Yup, time for me to focus more inside than outside, got to take the environment and temperature into account while doing this work.

Mominator--WHAT A FIND!!!

Poodles--I'm sure your kids are thanking you now for downsizing and minimizing!

Jazzy--nice boots!

"I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival." Audre Lorde Dx 3/9/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/14/2007 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 3/28/2007 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 4/9/2007 Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/4/2007 Hormonal Therapy 4/24/2008 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/14/2008 Mastectomy: Left Surgery 6/20/2010 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Nov 12, 2017 07:23PM glennie19 wrote:

Mominator: Awesome find!!!

Poodles: good for you for thinking of the kids. Been trying to get my mom to de-clutter, she's not a hoarder by any means,, but there is still a LOT of stuff in her house.

Fibromyalgia and Truncal Lymphedema,,, some of the fun things I live with. Total hysterecomy 9/29/14 Dx 6/27/2013, Paget's, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/7/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Dx DCIS
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Nov 13, 2017 05:40AM DivineMrsM wrote:

Mominator, it isn't every day you come across such a great cast off; the sofa is a terrific find. The bonus is you have the perfect spot in your house for it! It looks fabulous!

Yes, the hoarder stories are sad. Ocassionally, local news here reports on situations similar to that. Once it was a fire and the woman inside perished because she could not be reached over the mounds of debris in her house.

I've read up on hoarding, and two brothers, the Collyer brothers from Harlem, became infamous in the 1940s because of their bizarre hoarding. It may have been one of the first kinds of these hoarding stories to come to light. They were accomplished men whose lives disintegrated into this behaviour over the years. From Wikipedia: "they obsessively collected books, furniture, musical instruments, and myriad other items, with booby traps set up in corridors and doorways to ensnare intruders. In March 1947, both were found dead in their home surrounded by over 140 tons of collected items that they had amassed over several decades."

Heres a link if you want to read the article: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collyer_brothers

Glennie, you're right, the cooler weather in Ohio brings me indoors to tend to household matters. Many people like to spring clean, but I do it in the fall; in the spring, I want to be outdoors caring for the yard and flowerbeds enjoying the nicer weather.

Poodles, we camped in the summer for several years in a 27 foot RV. No way could I downsize that much for every day living, even at 33 feet!

We've been really good about not allowing stuff to creep back into the home after discarding old stuff. Our house was originally a side by side duplex that we opened up to live in the whole thing. This means we have lots of room and rooms and it is easier to take on more than you need if you are not paying attention. We are more vigilant about that at this point in our lives.
found lump 12/22/10~er+/pr+/her2- stage iv bone mets~chemo~lumpectomy~ radiation~arimidex~
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Nov 13, 2017 09:12AM Jazzygirl wrote:

Divine- interesting article about the brothers in NYC.


Dx 9/14/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/14/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 14, 2017 04:01AM NativeMainer wrote:

Wow, what a story about the brothers in NY.

"I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival." Audre Lorde Dx 3/9/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/14/2007 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 3/28/2007 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 4/9/2007 Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/4/2007 Hormonal Therapy 4/24/2008 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/14/2008 Mastectomy: Left Surgery 6/20/2010 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Nov 14, 2017 10:58AM Wren44 wrote:

Hoarding to the extreme is definitely a mental illness. Hard to treat because the person who has it isn't the one who's distressed by the mess. Sometimes I worry about DH. Yesterday I noticed a 2 pint container in the basement full of twisties to fasten bags and the flat fasteners that come on bread. I'm sure there's a small container in the kitchen as well.

Lumpectomy and re-excision followed by mastectomy of right breast. Five years of anastrasole completed.

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