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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Boxes Little Boxes

Hey!

I my quest to go through all my stored clutter “One box at a time” I have a new approach to try. I want to get away from the stacks of cardboard boxes. I would like to start using plastic bins and crates.

This idea is many-fold. One, cardboard deteriorates and gives off paper dust into the air which does not help for a healthy environment. This deterioration also means that the boxes collapse and do a poorer and poorer job at protecting their contents. The cardboard boxes also add to a more cluttered appearance. The plastic bins will also with luck protect what I value, but need still to store.

The very action of switching over a box at a time from cardboard to plastic gives me a chance to go through all of my possessions and hard as it is, perhaps get rid of some — whether by donation, selling, recycling, reusing… using or trashing. With luck I can reduce the space taken and number of containers. Optimistically perhaps by 2:1 cutting 2 cardboard boxes down to 1 plastic bin of comparable size — and perhaps the plastic bins will take less room. Pessimistically perhaps it will only be 1:1 meaning 1 cardboard box goes into 1 plastic bin. But I will have checked on what I own and things will be in better order.

I do believe it will be closer to 2:1 —  maybe 4:3? I hope that at least I’ll be able to control where things are and know where they are.

But it will have to be one box at a time… or two, hoping to cut them down to one.

Ahhh, but where can I get very inexpensive bins? They need to be sturdy, protective, and I need to be able to count on getting more of them as I progress because I want to be able to stack them. I rather like the sort with the interlocking lids which are hinged so that you open them without removing the lids. But I suspect they cost a lot. I am using a lot of bankers’ boxes… you know the folding file boxes that offices use as well as a certain number of moving boxes.

I want to make a start by collecting all of my tools into one bin. I want to put hobby supplies into another one or two. Then I want to keep those bins in an easily accessed location. Another bin or two will be used for storing out of season clothing, linens, and fabric.

So, do you have any ideas?

End of Summer – Warning Trees Planning to Clutter Up Yards!

Dusty - D CluttermouseHowdy!

I guess it is only a month since my last entry. Not much has happened. It is so interesting that with such a cluttered environment, my life is so uncluttered. Meaning I don’t really get much accomplished. Well, that is not entirely true. I have started getting out of my cave and into the world, if only to my parents’ place. I did take care of some important tasks in the last two weeks — well, important to me — which is very good.

I am trying to psych myself up to do some possession reduction. Perhaps if only to get rid of the obvious recyclables and trash to start, I might then move on to some other things. Of course many folks don’t understand emotional attachments to mundane objects. I don’t quite, but they are there and can be very strong and I can sympathize with others who have them. Perhaps my calling is to council those who must cope with downsizing?

Later!

~ Dusty
D Cluttermouse

The Dust Lay Thick and Deep, Like Freshly Fallen Snow

Your Host, Dusty

Hi! It seems my last entry was about an extended absense…

Gee… and that was over just short of two years ago! Depression can be like that. To start off with you don’t have energy to keep up with things and so you begin to live by triage. You start doing only what is necessary. After a while you forget some of the things you only did infrequently that were not “necessary” to life.

That is what happened to “No A’s B’s or C’s”

The depression still lays heavy upon me. I’m not sad… I wonder what percentage of people with major depression actually are sad? In any case the depression mostly takes away my energies. I say “energies” because as well as emotional energy, there are physical energy issues and spiritual energy issues. Anxiety, one of the main issues in Chronic Hoarding, also plagues me more strongly — I think. I find it difficult to get out. That restricts what I can do in my quest to put order in my life — even the small amount of order that “I” desire… and in truth I do desire an ordered environment.

People who know me and the rare few who have seen my living space comment that it is very well ordered. I think that is true of certain types of hoarders. I’m not one to obsess on pictures that are hung slightly crooked. But, if someone were to put a glass on the wrong shelf or rearrange stuff in my bathroom… I will feel uneasy.

I must say that many things are more organized. I must say that my shed, while a success in giving me the storage space I needed, has become a black hole. I have not even looked into it for over a month except when some sneak thief opened to doors to check it out for valuables. I checked that nothing was missing… strangely I could tell what had been shifted even will all that is in there. But that is a sign of the order involved. I do still have a half dozen or so moving boxes in my living area in addition to the file boxes I have stored in my bedroom semi-permanently. It is difficult… I do need help to cope with the clutter and I am just barely coping.

Perhaps starting back in with my writing is a good sign? We shall see. You will probably be able to judge by the duration between this and whatever post will follow it.

For now, that is the ending of this entry.

~ Dusty

D Cluttermouse

When the plow breaks the nest will fall

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. I have so many things I want to do in order to get things under control — many are just small steps and projects — but feel totally incapable due to current health issues and feel that time is racing by.

Robert Burns wrote about a ploughman ploughing a field and upturning the nest of a small field mouse — ruining it and the fine grain stored within for the coming winter — at a time when it was too late to rebuild nest or supplies. That was where the oft quoted “of mice and men” comes from. No harm meant… But time was a crucial factor in there.

I worry about the time factor even though I am not doing so well right now health-wise. Oh I am not dying — no cancer, heart disease, wasting illness, or autoimmune disorder — but I am in enough discomfort from the symptoms of what is bothering me not to be able to even gather a box to me and slowly sort through it, tossing out the dross¹  and putting what is left back into the very same box or combining it with the next which had the chaff removed.

I really can’t help my health problem, but time still passes onwards and I know that my landlord can’t be too happy that it is taking so long for me to get my boxed possessions off the porch and into my suite. I am trying but… “best laid plans of mice and men…”

The solutions of course is “to put more men on the job”, which I quote from a Benny Hill sketch about a crew evaluation with immigrant workers and immigrant owners in England. The trick is to find help for someone who is on a low fixed income… also non-judgemental and caring help as they also have to cope with someone who does have some emotional issues to do with the clutter.
But I don’t want to sound like a broken record about that.

Even feeling my best I will need that help and feeling the way I am I am not even up to seeking help. But perhaps I still will avoid the plow.

~ Dusty
D Cluttermouse

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¹ “dross” is something regarded as worthless.