The first day I worked at the Hoarder’s house, I realized things were going to be a little trickier than I thought. I brought a bunch boxes with me to set up “Donate,” “Keep” and “Maybe” boxes. I decided to start in the living room as I figured the clothes would be easy to put a good dent in and maybe the couple could actually watch a movie together that night.
After two hours of going through all the clothes, I had ten boxes of “Keep,” a half a box of “Maybe,” and nothing in the “Donate.” At least everything is in boxes, I thought. I stacked the boxes up in the corner and surveyed the relatively clean living room. Maybe we can just fake it. How do you feel about a storage shed? I hear they are all the rage for the minimalistically challenged.
Then we moved on to the kitchen. Same drill. And same results. Six boxes of “Keep” and a little over a half of box of “Maybe.” The “Donate” box was empty yet again and I was out of boxes. Note to self: Buy stock in box company.
“The kitchen hasn’t been this clean in years,” she said with a smile across her little cherub face. Poor thing.
“Let’s take a break,” I said. So we sat down on the couch, which I swear sighed with relief at being free from the Mount Everest of clothes weighing it down, and chatted about our course of action.
“We made a lot of progress today, but if you’re not willing to get rid of some things, this house is going to look like you just moved in and haven’t unpacked yet.”
“I know,” she said. “But every time I think about putting something in the donate box, I feel like I’m going to have an anxiety attack.” How do you feel about Xanax? I hear it’s are all the rage for the anxiety challenged.
“Well, I can try to help as much as I can, but unfortunately I’m not a psychologist. If you want, I can try to find someone who specializes in this sort of thing.”
“No, please. You’ve been so patient and kind. I don’t want to try to do this with anyone else.”
“Ok,” I said. “But I’m going to give you a little homework.” I told her I wanted her to watch at least three episodes of Mari Kondo’s show and three episodes of “Hoarders” before I returned next week. Maybe the real-life psychologists on the show will strike a chord with her and help get to the bottom of her her disorder. Never be afraid to call in the big guns.
Stay tuned for Part 3