Sunday, August 16, 2009

Swimming In Material Stress

I have been away from my blogging because I am facing my own clutter problems and feel a little overwhelmed right now. Generally, I am able to tackle tasks one at a time and then move onto the next one. What is different this time? Well I am trying to generate business for Clarity, freelancing as a graphics producer and trying to prepare my weekend house as a 12 month rental in order to generate additional income. This last point is the one that is stressing me the most.

When I bought my little bungalow eight years ago, I really had no housewares to speak of, so packing the place up after the summer for a rental was easy – everything fit in my garage. Fast forward to 2009, after using the house full-time for five years, well let’s say I am equipped +.

My first task is to go through the garage. I’ve seen a lot of garages and mine is not in bad shape but I have been storing items for friends and family that now need to find a new home. To keep myself from hyperventilating, I am scrutinizing everything I have and deciding if I really want to pack it and store it indefinitely. So far, I’ve given a friend a set of acrylic tumblers and re-usable plastic flatware in anticipation of her beach house purchase. I know I’m not making a dent of any kind, but I’m really taking baby steps on this one. While I consider myself not even close to a hoarder, I was fascinated by an episode of A&E’s Obsessed which focused on a this disorder. It was very sad to see a grown man be afraid of tossing junk mail addressed to his dead mom because it would diminish his connection to her. The entire ranch house was COVERED with belongings, garbage and who knows what else. Thank God Smellovision never caught on because I can only imagine the stench.

Hoarding is a very serious problem, so much so that now A&E is devoting an entire series to the topic on Monday nights at 10pm beginning August 17. Some of my clients have this problem; they think by letting go of something that they are somehow dishonoring themselves or the person/event associated with it. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a practice that helps hoarders deal with their quality of life issues. I am not a therapist but this is my understanding of this therapy – basically clients are asked, “what is the worst that can happen if you throw this away?” Some respond well to that question, others just shut down – it’s a complicated behavior. Well I am pushing forward on my garage and so far managed to get rid of some bottles of bubbles, hedge trimmers and a hanging basket just by putting them to the curb. I also took my own advice and went to Best Buy to recycle an old television. It was so easy. I happily paid the $10 recycling charge in exchange for a $10 BB gift card which I used immediately to buy new camera batteries. I told the salesperson that BB should really publicize this service since it’s so simple and worthwhile. The bag for the thrift shop is growing and I am feeling lighter already!

2009 Rosemary Flannery All Rights Reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment