The Flip-Side

0049-got_coffee_3-3-1Hi!

There is a flip-side to the clutter issue. This was something that I read about and I believe I heard of on the news around 6 or 7 years ago when I last moved. I was researching the subject of reducing clutter in anticipation of that move.

Homeless person, with shopping cart

Homeless person, with shopping cart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my research I found something about the folks with a with disabilities that are on the road to eventually being homeless. The issue is that with each move they are forced to make — to less and less expensive accommodations — they are forced to divest themselves of possessions.

There are many exceptions of course, represented by those folks living out of a multitude of shopping carts or living in a warren of appliance boxes and crates.

Large and small skillets

Large and small skillets (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is that problem of a person basically losing a bit of themselves with every move they make. Precious keepsakes get lost, sold, or stolen. House-ware such as the basics like pots, pans and linens are reduced until not enough to sustain a household are left.

Eventually a person ends up with just the clothes on their back; the shoes on their feet; and perhaps a shoulder bag with a few prized possessions. They end up losing that mooring in life we call possessions. Writing as a person with issues surrounding hoarding and clutter I can see this sort of thing being a double-edged sword.

English: Photo of the living room of a compuls...

English: Photo of the living room of a compulsive hoarder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the one hand, we can be anchored too soundly by our possessions. They can keep us from doing those things we most want to do by taking up every nook and cranny of our lives. “Excess baggage” is the term that comes to mind. But I have seen images fo the homes of hoarders where even the kitchen becomes a closet and no cooking can be done… or safely done. A person that might get joy out of cooking no longer has access to their stove. Too many possessions can be a burden.

On the flip-side, slowly losing everything is like cutting ties with your past. You lose the treasured photos of friends and family both alive and dead. You also lose any record of contact you might have with these people. You lose the ability to move into a place with a kitchen and be able to cook without repurchasing those pots and pans that you got rid of.

In some ways you lose your place in society.

Compulsive hoarding in a private apartment

Compulsive hoarding in a private apartment (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know there are some that live quite well with a minimum of possessions, in fact people who are quite happy in a Spartan environment.

I don’t know if these are the exceptions or the rule?

I would have problems living without familiar possessions — though i think I might like being in touch with some things that those possession represent.

But, I don’t want to get rid of my Father’s portrait and his old hard hat. I don’t want to get rid of my library of books that I have collected over the years. I don’t want to get rid of the tools that I use for painting, sewing, leather-work, or computer repair.

I wouldn’t mind getting rid of some broken things and a build-up of recyclables. For some reason they keep piling up… oh yeah, if I get rid of them they won’t pile up… if it were only so simple, for me.

Dusty
D. Cluttermouse.

Weight Reduction

got_coffee_mod-4I’m still looking for the energy, or friends to allow me to implement my organization strategy for my hoard. I’ve started another course of treatment for a couple of the health issues I have that are causing fatigue.

Perhaps, with those treatments I might have the energy to work on improving things. Time will tell.

In truth, my clutter is greater than it was when I started blogging. Setbacks have led to the back-slide, but I do still hope to organize and reduce my hoard. I’ve gotten rid of tons in the past…

On a positive note, I have the clutter outside my suite under control!

Bye for now,

Dusty
D. Cluttermouse.

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House Guest Imperative

got_coffee_mod-4I have a plan on how to approach my hoard. I mean I know how I would go about it. Like what I would organize how and in what order — but I have a problem.

I have a number of health issues that sap my energy causing me to be in a near constant amount of fatigue. It only gets worse of course if I do much. There’s also that sort of energy to get-up-and-go. More of a spiritual thing perhaps. However I get fatigued very easily to the point of total exhaustion.

I figure that if I could get one or two trusted friends to come over and give me a hand I might be able to accomplish much. I’d need the tools like plastic storage bins, garbage bags, labels, markers, and perhaps pizza and beverages. I think really I only need the bins and a few cleaning supplies. Of course it doesn’t help that almost all of my friends are out of the area. At least ones I trust. One has recently returned though and I think I might see what they think of my idea. Perhaps if I can get them to come over once every one or two weeks for a while, perhaps alternating with another friend.

I still have hope.

That’s important.

I have a plan.

That’s important too.

Now to actually ask a friend or two!

Bye for now,

Dusty
D. Cluttermouse.

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Break a Leg!

0049-got_coffee_3-2…well, break a chair in any case.

Dusty has… had a favourite chair. It was an old off-white tweed-like swivel rocker that Dusty had for over 15 years and had been in the family for perhaps 5 or 10 years before that. It had been the accent chair going with a full sized sofa in the family, family-room. The sofa was something Dusty had hated to get rid of a number of years ago when forced to downsize — from a nearly 900 sq foot — two-bedroom apartment suite with large closets and storage unit — to a 450 sq foot basement suite with one small closet… which Dusty could luckily add an 8×8 storage shed to.

…getting back to the story…

I did love that rocker. My Dad had fixed it once, welding a broken piece back onto the swivel base where it had broken off. It was an earlobe shaped loop used to fasten it to part of the base — one of 4 on the swivel rocker base. That repair worked for a dozen or so years until perhaps 6 years ago when the weld gave way. I had no way to weld it and Dad wasn’t in a position to be able to help. The head of the screw on the remaining lobe on that side had broken off and the screws in the supporting piece of wood loosened allowing the whole base to pivot… not good. Anyway, I fixed it by taking the good screw from the side with the broken lobe and fastening the swivel base with only 3 screws and lobes and taking extra wood screws and good white glue and reworking the wooden supports for the base.

Black recliner (arm chair)

Black recliner (arm chair) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That worked for the 6 years… but bang! the chair broke a few weeks ago! This time, I figured I couldn’t fix the base again. I removed the base and put the chair on a board (to protect the carpet)  and sat on it (a lot lower to the floor) and pondered getting a replacement. I really used the chair more as a recliner than a rocker anyway so I started shopping for a recliner — even on my low budget.

I actually did my shopping online seeking out the best store to buy from. I looked for the greatest selection and best prices… good quality and a store with a decent name were important as well. I wanted a place that I could trust in case there were issues with the purchase like damaged merchandise. Actually the best place I could find was a chain called “The Brick“.

“The Brick” had a good selection and good prices even though their sales came and went like the tides. (regular and frequently) I went there and actually got a great deal on a very nice recliner… because it was a colour that most might not care for… but Dusty could live with.

Some call it “Spice”.

…most would call it “orange” or “pumpkin”.

That sounds pretty bad, but actually it goes well with warm wood grains and adds a splash of colour to an otherwise dark room. Besides it is high quality and very comfortable and I like it. (I might prefer brown or a dark colour but… the price was right.)

…getting on with the story.

English: art deco club chair

English: art deco club chair (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The chair is a fair sight larger than the swivel rocker and it doesn’t swivel. It also needs room to recline even if it can be placed fairly close to a wall. I also wanted to place it in a different location… and there were boxes there.

clutter clutter clutter

It also meant that they had to deliver the chair which meant delivery men had to get in the door and move in Dusty’s rather cluttered nest. That meant one thing… some organization was needed. (Maybe even some de-cluttering?)

It took a lot, but I reduced one box, moved four more to a more convenient place and got rid of a bunch of long past due recycling. When the recliner finally came, it could go straight where it belonged. I placed a floor lamp where it belonged and two side tables et voila, I had a living-room!

I really hadn’t had a living-room since I moved here due to the clutter.

I have a bit of inspiration to do a bit more clean-up and de-cluttering as well.

The point?

It seems that one way to de-clutter is to make a change in your life. In mine it was the need to replace that old favoured chair. What might you change… or what change might be forced upon you? Can you deal with the change, or will it break you?

Bye for now,

Dusty
D. Cluttermouse.

Lonely in D.Cluttermouse’s Nest

got_coffee_mod-4Sometimes it strikes me that I might go for days without seeing another human being in person. I have a few people that I speak with daily, but that is either by telephone or via Skype. There is a closeness to that, to be sure, but, actually being in person with someone else, that is missing from my life.

For a large part it is because I don’t get out . Other than going out to the mailbox at the front of the house, I stay in. I see the same walls, the same clutter, the same very familiar surroundings.

A relative passed away last weekend. They were terribly close, but I remember them from childhood and playing with their children when I was little. I remember them from those large family gatherings like weddings and funerals — where family members that went to different churches than yours went to came to. There was always an interesting feeling of completeness and that all was well with the world when your extended family might come together… perhaps not for a funeral of course.

Silly Cousins

Silly Cousins (Photo credit: celeste343)

I am meaning the times when you saw Great Uncles and Aunts and second cousins and first cousins once removed and were reminded that your parents had cousins and your Grandparents had brothers and sisters too.

But with the passing of one of your parent’s cousins — not long after losing a parent — really marks a part of the whole issue behind compulsive hoarding — at least one root for many. For many the issue is that of loss. There is a fear of loss. Many start hoarding when they lose a loved one. For some it is losing a child in infancy. For some it is loss of a parent or spouse.

Arbeitszimmer einer Messies

Arbeitszimmer einer Messies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For others, there is just a need for stability and a knowledge that friends seem to move away and so many relationships in their lives change, even in childhood. There is a need to create a nest of stability where “things” create a form of emotional stasis.

I reality a hoarder would very much probably wish there was a way to keep family and friends close by. But they know it isn’t healthy or possible. They know that it isn’t right to be possessive of people — or perhaps ones that don’t understand become jealous stalkers? In any case, recent losses make me realize that essentially I have created my own little museum, which is why it is so hard to lose any “artefacts”. They all have meaning to me — even if they are broken, even if they are junk.

I don’t quite know how to fix that though. I am working on that. First to get rid of the stuff I can. Actually I have gotten rid of a lot. However the more of the easy stuff I get rid of, the more I get down to just the difficult choices.

Bye for now,

Dusty
D. Cluttermouse.

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A Glass of Frustration

Waste bins in Toronto for municipal pick-up - ...

Waste bins in Toronto for municipal pick-up – the green bin is for organic waste (compost) (picked up weekly), the grey bin is for garbage (picked up bi-weekly) and the blue bin is for recycling (all recyclables) (picked up bi-weekly). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

0049-got_coffee_3-3-1Hello everybody,

Dusty’s feeling a little frustrated now. I just found out that in the metropolis I live in they’re changing who’s taking care of waste management. They’re the same people who also take care of the recycling program. They’re thinking of making a major change next year. They want to stop taking glass in with the other recycling materials. We have a three bin recycling program. One bin is for general garbage; another is for general recyclables; and the third is for organic wastes including kitchen and garden waste. The general recyclables include — at least for the moment — glass, metal, paper, cardboard, and plastic. They are most of the traditional recyclable materials in western cities.

The new company however says that broken glass contaminates all the other recyclables. That is why they want to stop collecting glass in the bin. They want to just collect glass in centralized bins at grocery stores and recycling centres. They’re saying that in other cities people have no problem with taking the glass products to the centralized collection centres. On the news in fact they did interviews with people in the cities. Everyone seemed to be happy with the system — taking the jars and bottles to the depots. Of course these were all people who were able to get the depot with no problem. They didn’t interview people who had problems with getting to a depot.

Recycle for Greater Manchester

Recycle for Greater Manchester (Photo credit: The Laird of Oldham)

What of people who had no cars? How are they to get bottles and jars to the depots? There are many people who don’t have cars in this world today. Some by choice; some for economic reasons; some for health reasons; and some for legal reasons. We encourage people to get out of their cars and take public transit. This means people are giving up their cars because they don’t need them. For others cars are not an option. How are they to get their recycling to a depot? Do we expect them to take their recycling on the bus? Essentially are they expected to wash their garbage put it in a bag and take it on public transit to the depot whether it is at a recycling station by a grocery store or in some industrial park?

This is why Dusty is frustrated.

It is a step backward. Many people who are currently recycling their jars and bottles will simply say “No!”. They will begin simply placing their jars and bottles in with the general trash, or mix it with the other recyclables. This will be a problem for the recycling company when they try to separate it.

Recycle-get this...

Recycle-get this… (Photo credit: practicalowl)

The secret to making recycling commonplace for the average householder is to make it simple and easy to do. It is already a lot to ask people to divide their garbage into three categories. Things are simplified by having three large bins to throw it into — but the more things that are exceptions and have to be taken to a transfer station in some industrial park, the less people are apt to comply.

Like I said, this is why Dusty is frustrated.

Bye for now!

Dusty
D. Cluttermouse.

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Dusty’s Back!

0049-got_coffee_3-1-1Hi!
Dusty’s back!

I hope I can be back a little bit more frequently than I have. At least it’s been less than a year since my last post here. I wish my blog was little bit more cluttered than my living space. I guess my workspace being cluttered makes it so that my work calendar is less cluttered.

The more things change the less is changed. Things are still cluttered, I still haven’t got those plastic bins, but I still hope to get them soon. You’ll be the first to know what I’ve got bins.

PET bottles in a trash can (Prague)

PET bottles in a trash can (Prague) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hope I still love anyone still reading me that you’re doing well. Let’s see if we can get our clutter and control together.

Bye for now!

Dusty
D. Cluttermouse.

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