Books, paper and memorabilia filled our house. When my father passed away, I realized just how difficult it was to clear out his house while dealing with my grief. He had so much stuff and there was no rhyme or reason as to how it was stored. I had no idea what had been important to him and what was just the flotsam and jetsam of his life.
If you have diabetes, you don’t refuse the doctor’s help and sit around wringing your hands, declaring that you should be able to manufacture insulin if you just tried harder. You get help and get on with your life. Why should needing help with the clutter in your home be any different?
My Dad was on the hoarding spectrum and clearing out his three story Victorian house in just a week was the motivation for finally founding my business.
When I flew home to England for his funeral, it had been decades since I’d seen my childhood home. My Dad visited us regularly and to be honest, flying with two small kids with ADHD to England was a challenge I was happy not to have to meet.
I was immediately struck by how full the house was. Papers were crammed into every nook and cranny. He must have kept every piece of paper he’d come across in 40 years. Over the years he’d joked about how organized my house was compared to his but when I offered to help, he’d tell me he wasn’t worried because he knew where everything was.
With only a week to clear the house before the dump trucks arrived to haul everything away, I worked round the clock. At the last minute, I found my birth certificate in a pile of receipts and shopping lists from the 1970s. I still wonder what else I missed.
Here’s the Thing
I know my Dad was so much more than his cluttered house. I’m sure he didn’t want to leave me the burden of dealing with his clutter, but shame prevented him from getting help while he could. Being on the hoarding spectrum isn’t a personal failure any more than having diabetes is. It’s just something you deal with.
I’m passionate about preventing others from having to go through the same situation with their loved ones. I take the long view because I know that if you can get a handle on the clutter now, the years ahead are going to be less stressful.
With my ongoing training through the Institute of Challenging Disorganization and experience in working with ADHD, I bring a creativity and breadth of perspective that all my clients appreciate. I’m calm, compassionate and completely nonjudgmental. I can see how to untangle all the clutter and I’ll work with you to make it happen.
When I’m not helping people corral their clutter, I sing in a community choir, hang out with our beloved mutts Baxter and Daisy, and tend to our collection of cactuses – no small challenge. They love the intense summer heat but can’t handle our winter temperatures, so I know the value of having a basement that’s cleared out and ready for the annual cactus migration.