I sat in tears at a friend’s home. Finally confessing to the state of my apartment. I said ‘Have you seen that TV show ‘Hoarders’ well that’s me!’Â I don’t think they really believed me. On the outside I was always so well-groomed and professionally dressed, but inside I was an emotional mess.
My friends offered to come around and help me ‘ tidy up’.Â But they had no idea as to the extent of the problem.Â I was so ashamed. Too ashamed to let them see how bad things were.Â My lovely two-bedroom apartment had become a one-bedroom disaster zone, where I needed to navigate every step just to get into bed.Â I felt so overwhelmed I seriously just wanted to hire some men with a skip and throw EVERYTHING out of the house.
And I mean everything: everything heaped in cupboards; everything stuffed and spilling out of drawers; everything askew in kitchen cupboards and benchtops; everything littering the floor – clothes, clothes and more clothes, bags of craft supplies, mounds of books, broken electricals, old computers; everything hanging over chairs and door frames; every mountain of “stuff”; even the furniture.
Getting rid of every thing.Â Just leaving me with walls and carpet and empty space.Â Luckily a friend was a bit more level headed and investigated some other options for me.Â I took one week off work and with the help of a professional company, we decluttered – room by room, bit by bit.
I donated or recycled 30 packing boxes of all sorts of things and gave away bags of clothing, a couch, a sofa bed, an outdated computer and an old TV.Â Everything that remained was given a dedicated place.Â Clothing hanging in order in the built in cupboards – summer in one closet, winter in another, necessary daily items packed in see- through boxes or allocated drawers, rarely used or specialty items vacuum packed and neatly labelled, even necklaces hanging on a rack in the closet with matching earrings and bracelets neatly beside, ready to go.
What a sense of freedom!
I could then start fresh and create a home to be proud of – some minor renovations : new internal doors; new light fittings; new bathroom vanity; new lounges; new rug; and ‘voila’ a place to feel good about coming home to.
I had my first visitors dropping in for a cup of tea or a simple dinner or drinks with nibbles. Opening my home for the first time in over 2 years. What a celebration.
I hope the before and after photos below will encourage you.
If I can do it, feeling broken and overwhelmed, the ultimate hoarder, you can too.
Have courage.Â Nothing is impossible!!
From Colleen: I would like to thank our fellow 365er for sharing her story of hope and success in this post for us today. For obvious reasons she would prefer to remainÂ anonymousÂ but her contribution could possibly be a great help to someone out there in the same position she was in. So if you feel that your clutter has gotten our of control please follow this example of how you can find your way out with one simple step of getting professional help be that physical help like our reader or psychological help if you are having trouble letting go.
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter papers and the necessities for storing them ~ If you can be realistic about what papers you really need to keep or are even stillÂ relevant not only can you get rid of a lot of aspirational and sentimental clutter you can also reduce the space and containers in which they were stored.
Today’s Declutter Item
I bought this binding machineÂ for $6Â in a thrift store in America years ago. I thought at the time that it would be so useful for both crafting and for my children’s school projects. I have used it many times over the year but not enough to justify the space it was taking up in my craft room. I was comforted in the fact that both my son and I were of the opinion that if we wanted something bound we could just get it done at our local office supply store.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
Feeling like I had a productive day yesterday and not suffering physically in the evening for the effort.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast