Okay, this is not a how-to guide for decluttering your home or environment, although I could certainly write an article about that. I was born to organize and declutter. However for almost two decades, I lived with a man who was a hoarder. At the time, I had no word for it. It started slowly and grew exponentially as our my spouse and the relationship fell out of center. Every room had a path through it that was about two feet wide. Boxes, clothing, computer pieces, camera parts, papers of all kinds and other assorted flotsam filled rooms to bursting. Sometimes up to the ceiling! There was no rhyme or reason to it, and none of the items had any use or value.I could not staunch the flow, no matter what I tried. I could hardly live like this and combatted it daily. It crept under my skin during the day, and practically exploded out of me at night. It was like a thing that lived with us that was evil. But my spouse would have a week long fit, exploding in rage, if I were so rude as to mention ‘the mess.’ He didn’t see it that way and he felt I was nagging and unfair to him. Apparently I was the bad guy in this scenario.
I begged to clean up on the weekends when we had time. He’d oblige, and then ten minutes into it he’d have this ‘great idea’ to go to the hardware store to get materials for building shelves. Shelves for more junk. Shelves to organize the junk. Or 30 large plastic tubs to store all the junk in. To this day I can’t stand the sight of those big blue plastic tubs. We would spend all day at the hardware store, come home, spend ten more minutes on cleaning and quit. Now not only was there a huge mess, but a mess of building materials on top of everything else clogging up one of the few free areas left to me.
When we moved to a small 350 square foot apartment in Manhattan, I thought for sure we’d downsize. He insisted we take everything. In his absence, I threw out as much as possible. When we arrived, it took two full days to unpack the largest moving van money could rent. It all went up inside my tiny, clean, perfect apartment. There were stacks of boxes now that stood almost 11 feet high! Again there were only small paths between them. Almost no place for a bed. Nothing changed most of the nine years we spent there. Needless to say, we rarely had company.
After Manhattan, we moved to New Mexico. Finally we had a piece of property and some room to stretch out! However the home soon filled up with junk. A second building filled up with junk, soon Continue reading