Video Fitness Forum  

Go Back   Video Fitness Forum > Video Fitness Reader Forum > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-05-22, 07:00 PM  
sugar rose
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
OT - Need advice on a sensitive issue

Hi all, maybe you can give me some advice. I'm trying to help a sweet older relative clear out her house. She's had lifelong struggles with multiple mental disorders, and it's very hard for her to sort and organize, and also to part with things. She's also had to pinch pennies her whole life. She doesn't have much in the way of mental health support.

I just don't know where to start with her stuff! Most of it is just ordinary household stuff - clothes, lots of books, kitchen stuff, craft & art supplies, also mail and papers - but there's just too much of it. When she tries to sort through things, she gets overwhelmed with anxiety and cries... It really breaks my heart and I want to help her.

My siblings are helping a little, but they are not nearby. One of my siblings is also a little bit "ruthless" and it upsets her.

The nitty gritty of deciding between two sweaters, for example, is hard for me - I don't know which sweater is scratchy, or which color she likes better...

Has anyone had experience dealing with this sort of thing? (Maybe this problem is outside the scope of most people's experience...)

I'm so distressed over this! - Thanks for reading. All replies are appreciated.
__________________

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

William Shakespeare, Hamlet
sugar rose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-22, 08:01 PM  
mimikz
 
mimikz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Maybe social services in your state or town can help?

Hope things work out for you.


M
mimikz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-22, 09:33 PM  
SpiritYogi
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Spiritual Bliss
Maybe some steps to lessen her anxiety before or during the sorting process would help? Perhaps you can play some calming music (or whatever music she enjoys that relaxes her), do some deep breathing exercises, have an aromatic cup of tea, coffee, and/or hot cocoa for her to sip on, or maybe have the TV or a radio talk show on to actually lessen her focus so she's not so immersed in the task (if that makes sense).

It also may be good to start with the small, easier tasks first. For example, start with the mail with the intent of discarding all the junk mail and setting the rest aside for another time. Or sorting through the kitchen stuff and getting rid of duplicate items or those she has not used in years.

Regarding the arts and craft supplies, perhaps once she goes through them, you can take her to a local school or nursing home to donate them. Seeing the joy her items will bring to others could make it easier to give them away and even put a smile on her face!
__________________
Being able to say what you want is something most people support......until you say what others don't want to hear.
SpiritYogi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-22, 11:27 AM  
annette
VF Supporter
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Ohio
I've been through this twice and you have my sympathy, it is NOT an easy or simple task. I had to keep in mind how I would feel if someone was going through my things and tried to be patient. The two folks I dealt with were more willing to let things go if they were going to someone they knew. I know it was mean of me but I got to the point where I'd say "yes, so and so would like to have this or that" then I would just donate it or if it wasn't worth donating just threw it out.

You mentioned a sibling that was a bit "ruthless". I guess that was me but sometimes you have to go there or nothing gets accomplished.

I am determined to have so much less stuff for my kids to deal with.

Editing to add the people I "helped" were pretty much hoarders and while I know it is considered a sickness there's only so much tolerance within me.
annette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-22, 12:08 PM  
toaster
Exchange Moderator
 
toaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Western NY
There are services that do this. My dad is in Philadelphia, and I found several services geared towards the elderly in particular that will help. Unfortunately my dad was not willing, so I can't make any specific recommendations (And my sisters are not nearby.)

If there are things that just need to be hauled away, 1-800-GOT-JUNK provides this service; my mom has used them and loves them.
__________________
Beth aka Toaster (she/her)

Follow me @YogiBethC

YouTube|Instagram|Facebook
And yes, I am Reviewer Dr. Beth on Amazon.
toaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-22, 12:53 PM  
bzar
Exchange Moderator
 
bzar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: PalmTreeVille
Quote:
Originally Posted by annette View Post
I know it was mean of me but I got to the point where I'd say "yes, so and so would like to have this or that" then I would just donate it or if it wasn't worth donating just threw it out.
this is a good strategy - you were kind compared to what my mom and I did w/dad's stuff!

with Dad, there was a large collection of old magazines, maybe 5 banker boxes worth. i showed my mom, and she nodded that I could get rid of them. they were originally stored out of sight, under the house. so i secretly got rid of them. magazines were just one of many groups of items he owned.

before he passed, he had a workshop in the house full of tools and parts for his last job. while he was alive, he occasionally used the tools and supplies for some of his clients who still kept in touch with him. we tried to find a buyer for the items, but only one person came.

i got his permission to donate the items to my kids' band/orchestra teacher (dad was a musical instrument repairman) if we were unable to find a buyer. on the side, i told my mom we would wait until dad passed away to do this. when that time came, i took a video of all of the items and gave it to the band teacher, who was elated - he even came down to help pack and transport the items a few times.

a few months after my dear dad passed away, my mom purged a great deal of his things by giving them away to the grandkids.

you need to do it in chunks - otherwise you will get overwhelmed and burned out.
__________________
~jeannine


Miyagi: Wax on, right hand. Wax off, left hand. Wax on, wax off. Breathe in through nose, out the mouth. Wax on, wax off. Don't forget to breathe, very important.
[walks away, still making circular motions with hands] ~ Pat Morita, The Karate Kid, 1984


disclosure: in the years 2002-2004 i had a professional relationship with a distributor of fitness videos; see profile.
bzar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-22, 03:13 PM  
kat999
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ohio
I'm not a hoarder, but my spouse and I have different ideas about what constitutes "clutter." We decided to clear out our home office a few weeks ago, and what helped was timers, segmenting the room into small quadrants, and playing very calming music. We gave ourselves permission to take very short, under 15-minute breaks whenever we needed it, but we also agreed to work on it for six hours and not really dither too long. You can always try the Marie Kondo question of "Does this spark joy?" or the series of questions about clutter that goes, "Do I use this? Is it beautiful?" and if it fits neither, it goes.
__________________
peace.tranquility.calmness.serenity
kat999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-22, 01:08 PM  
CharM
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
I'm not the OP, but still want to thank those who've contributed ideas. Big thanks to Linda for sharing Camember's post here. (waves to Camember ) I like the 365 15 minutes a day plan and will share that with my MIL who's a bit of a .... uh... hoarder. She and her SIL have been cleaning up little by little but I don't know how well it's working. Also, my MIL has health issues and spends so much time and effort trying to get an area taken care of, but the next day she's exhausted, so 15 minutes at a time seems doable. I'm not much of a hoarder or collector, I hate *stuff* but I've been inspired to get things in order so I've been moving things out of the guest closet that shouldn't be in there and donating/tossing/making room elsewhere.

Thanks for starting this thread, sugar rose, and I hope you can put some of these ideas to use.
CharM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-22, 01:16 PM  
bee
VF Supporter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Camember and fanofladyvols, thanks for that great bit of wisdom. Having lived in the same house with a bit of a hoarder husband, and thinking about saddling my kids with all of this stuff (or not), I like the way it's boiled down to something I can (probably) do. Fifteen minutes a day!
__________________
I am @summitbee on instagram.
bee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-22, 01:24 PM  
bzar
Exchange Moderator
 
bzar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: PalmTreeVille
we have a great decluttering check-in with lots of posts. please join us!

2022 Decluttering Support and Motivation
__________________
~jeannine


Miyagi: Wax on, right hand. Wax off, left hand. Wax on, wax off. Breathe in through nose, out the mouth. Wax on, wax off. Don't forget to breathe, very important.
[walks away, still making circular motions with hands] ~ Pat Morita, The Karate Kid, 1984


disclosure: in the years 2002-2004 i had a professional relationship with a distributor of fitness videos; see profile.
bzar is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
decluttering

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:06 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2009 Video Fitness