Wednesday, July 4, 2012

At Mom's Place

I've been over at her place every single day for a week and a bit.
We're "declutterring" on a massive scale.

How massive? Here's an example: the cleaning supplies. Over the past week, as we came across them, we piled them onto a big black shelving unit. (It's in the upper left hand corner of the photo below.)

Today, I put them all on her kitchen table to sort through.

It took all day.

I don't have any more pictures: I don't want to embarrass her. Let me just say we started last week by clearing some paths so we could take things to the front porch (donations) or out the back (garbage) -- and we're just grabbing the low hanging fruit.

Take a look around the room you are reading this in. Multiply by five and twenty. Now think of every room in your house. Multiply again.

As you can imagine, it's stressful, mentally difficult and physically exhausting for both of us--and I'm terrified that the minute we have an empty spot, she will see it as a spot to be filled up.

We've been talking a bit about limits, boundaries and how to say No to herself when she wants something. Yesterday, she wanted a dresser. ("The drawers were just the right size for sweaters," she told me. "They were so deep!")  Today, a new bathroom vanity. ("It's an $800 dollar vanity on sale for $300!)

We talked it through.

I am hoping that as she moves through her cleared out hallways and entry ways, as her eyes make out each object on a flat surface and she sees empty spaces around her, she will feel their peaceful effect. I'm hoping that that feeling will be so wonderful it will help her change her hoarding habits.

It's a lot to ask of a feeling, really.

It may be working. She's always delighted --and relieved-- to have the stuff gone at the end of each day. And I'm going back again tomorrow.


scb said...

Oh my, Alana! I wish you well with this project. May your Mom see the freedom of having space and lightness in her life. *hugs* to you as you go through the challenge and stress of this.

onshore said...

Oh dear. I feel exhausted for you. I know what it is like to try to convince someone (my boyfriend) to let go of things and not to buy new things. And he does not even have anything to that extent, he has just a bit too much stuff, so nothing like your mom's.
All the best, I'm sure you are making lot of progress even thought it might not seem like that at first.

Carol-Anne (Use the Good Dishes!) said...

You know, after reading your blog and seeing the struggles you've had, I kind of figured you must have someone with a hoarding issue in your life....

Wishing you the strength to cope with this. It sounds like you have the right attitude at least ~ compassion & understanding (although no doubt mingled with frustration!).

Alana in Canada said...

Very perceptive of you, Carol-Anne! I had wondered if it showed!

Thanks for you empathy, Leena and Beth.

You support is encouraging. We go on Holidays next eek: I'm scared to let go--and yet getting anxious for my mountains!

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