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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » am i a hoarder?

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Author Topic: am i a hoarder?
lpkayak
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hoarders: isnt there a difference between them and ppl like me who have piles of stuff around cuz i
1. cant get to it cuz it is so hard to take care of me
2-have trouble making decisions what to do with it
3-when i decide what to do i have major problem s moving it

i live in a mess and hate it. i am so happy when i finally get the kitchen the way it should be or any other room...or my taxes done or bills done and put away on time...

i dont think i am a hoarder. i may have more than one thing(like 2 coffee pots) cuz i have kept 2 houses for the last 20 yrs (first it was one near my kids and one near my work) then it was one near my work and one to retire to...then it was a safe one and a crappy one that wouldnt sell...

so i dont believe i am hoarding houses either...my plan is for the extra stuff to be packed in totes and labeled---im broke and when something breaks it helps to not have to buy new...

but i am having trouble getting there altho i do make progress...

and i am happy when things are in their place and there is regular cleaning-but not by me

and i do decide to yard sale or donate stuff...but only when i go thru it...cuz there are personal things that are important to me and with all the moving i lose them...or dont get to unpack them...and on top of that having to live in camper and only part of house while i get rid of mold

please tell me i am not a hoarder...i have closed head injury...i am disorganized and cognitively messed up...but the mess i live in is not something i like

--------------------
Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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Marz
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This is just a brief def:

to store up or keep large quantities of (something), often in secret

So I doubt that you are. I was curious because I have a friend who definitely is a hoarder. I don't think hoarders talk about it.

You're just in bad circumstances right now.

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KentuckyWoman
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I doubt that you are.. Not being able to move or organize, etc bc of the Lyme or other physical inability is understandable. I am in the same situation here. I'm usually very organized, easy to toss things etc.

But with Lyme, my decision-maker is broke. My lack of concentration keeps me from seeing tasks thru too often. And my lack of energy has dust piling on the TV etc. (not the normal "me")

Ask yourself this: If somebody came to your house and offered for FREE to help you clean it up and carry stuff off, would you accept?

Their physical effort and help with decision-making..no guilty feeling about being unable to do the things yourself.. (i fight that..not wanting to accept help, just bc I don't like not being able to do it myself)

If you would accept, then you are not a hoarder.

I write myself notes all over the place to remember stuff. Guess what? I have notes all over the place and they are disorganized. If I try to look for one, I can't find it.

If something is not right in front of my eyes, I forget to do it. I leave a hamper in the hallway to remind me I've started a load of laundry.

I set timers on the stove and my curling iron so I don't forget I've turned them on. :/

I KNOW mine is Lyme.. I was NEVER like this before Lyme.

[ 06-10-2013, 05:43 AM: Message edited by: Robin123 ]

--------------------
KentuckyWoman
tired of medical run-arounds

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ ~ Robert Frost

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BoxerMom
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lp I've been asking myself the same question.

I have more piles than I've ever had in my life.

Both tables are cluttered.

Dishes collect before someone gets to them.

Laundry, clean and dirty, collects before someone gets to it.

There is dust on everything.

I can't remember the last time I mopped a floor, and it SHOWS!

The upstairs, which used to be the study and computer room, is now the junk room. This is where stuff hangs out when I'm trying to figure out what to do with it. That may take a year or more, so stuff enters the room, but nothing ever really leaves.

The cat loves the upstairs and uses it as a vomitorium, giving me even less incentive to deal with it.

I won't even enter the garage.

All of this could be organized and cleaned in a weekend. If my husband and I had any motivation to do it. Which, obviously, we don't.

I don't think I'm a hoarder. I don't even think I'm a messy person.

I think I am so physically and emotionally beat down and exhausted from this illness that I just don't care. I was much sicker in my first two years of Lyme treatment, and yet I managed to both work and maintain a livable home.

Now I just don't care.

I am very worried about changes to my brain. Illness and isolation and depression and hopelessness have changed how I relate to and function in the world. It's scary.

I can't remember the last time I laughed, which is a much greater concern to me than the state of my house.

Anyway, now that I've totally hijacked your thread, what I want to say is that the conditions of our homes and brains are circumstantial.

It took over two decades of Lyme and five years of treatment to get me to this place. And it has sucked. Every stupid bit of it.

But brains are plastic. They respond to stimuli and adapt accordingly. I'm focusing on healing my brain this year, because for me, the state of my house perfectly reflects the state of my brain. Stagnant and in need of a good scrubbing.

So please don't beat yourself up about your house. Take care of YOU!!!!

When you are in a better place, the house will follow.

(OMG now all I can picture is being snuck up on by my own dirty house. Well that's a new nightmare.)

You are not a hoarder. You are healing, and that deserves your best attention. Don't worry about the house. Apparently, they sneak up on you anyway and how helpful is that?

Right. It's not.

Since I am no longer making an ounce of sense, I'll stop here.

Please take care of yourself.

Just had a thought. Maybe I'll just pitch everything out and convert my house to a spa.

You're invited, of course.

--------------------
 - Must...find...BRAIN!!!

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randibear
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i don't really know.

all i know is that his sister is also a garage saler...she shops at every garage sale she finds because "i might need something".

i think buying things that you already have tons of and not using them, or keeping items that no longer have function and don't work might be hoarding. when you have a garage piled to the ceiling, now that, to me, is hoarding but it could also be just that you need somebody to do it for you but she refused help even when we offered numerous times, she flat out said no.

and when he did help, she picked up most items and put them back, like empty boxes.

it's a hard call because i'm not a hoarder, i'm the opposite...which can be just as bad.

you don't want to leave anything laying around in my house, it will disappear!!

if i could i'd come to each of your houses and clean and organize for free!!!!\

it makes me happy.

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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Lymetoo
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I doubt you are, kayak. I think hoarders keep stuff that no one else would want.. like empty boxes or lots of things they "might need" later... like years later.

They buy things they never open.

I have clutter too. I tend to just do it and not know where to put stuff or what to save and what to throw out.

I prefer to take stuff to charity than throw things out. I NEED to have a garage sale but am unable to do the work to have one.

Things are worse now that my feet are not working well. I can barely do filing. I finally figured out that I can set the file folders in my lap and file the stuff, then put it in the filing cabinet. It just takes things like that to work around the foot problem.

Randi.. come on over! At least most of my rooms are OK. My biggest problem is just little things on my computer desk and on my chest of drawers in the bedroom. My kitchen has a nice stack of bills and papers I need to work on. I'm going to work on it TODAY!!!

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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randibear
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you're right. this woman had four bedspreads still in their plastic wrapping from the store.

and here's another tip. she bought outdoor furniture cushions and she doesn't have outdoor furniture!!!!

and who has an industrial floor polisher??? you know the big metal push kind that janitors use. why in the world would somebody have one of those?

i think you're just fine...but my sil, well, that's another story....

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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lpkayak
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THANK YOU ALL!!!! that helped.

"my decision-maker is broke." - yep-mine too. i like the way you put it.

"Ask yourself this: If somebody came to your house and offered for FREE to help you clean it up and carry stuff off, would you accept? " ---ummm. this is more complicated for me...i would accept it if they understood my problem with making decisions. i cant be rushed or i shut down. when i know i dont want it i'd love for someone to take it. but a lot of my special stuff is mixed in with get rid of stuff so it can be hard.

"I have more piles than I've ever had in my life.

Both tables are cluttered." me too.

"Dishes collect before someone gets to them.

Laundry, clean and dirty, collects before someone gets to it.

There is dust on everything.

I can't remember the last time I mopped a floor, and it SHOWS!" --me too-sigh.

"The upstairs, which used to be the study and computer room, is now the junk room."-i have 3 bedrooms a shed and a portable garage with stuff...periodically i do sort and organize and label but i never finish it all. no cat thank goodness and cleaning up after little dog pottie pads is a priority...if i dont she "yells" at me...stands in front of me and barks...that is helpful.


"All of this could be organized and cleaned in a weekend. " - often friends do pick up and clean and organize a space...but i cant seem to keep it that way for long...i am so happy when the kitchen is clear enough for the wc...or i can take a pic without being embarrassed about background

"Now I just don't care.

I am very worried about changes to my brain. Illness and isolation and depression and hopelessness have changed how I relate to and function in the world. It's scary.

I can't remember the last time I laughed, which is a much greater concern to me than the state of my house." ---this makes me really sad. this disease really sucks. i cant say i feel the way you do altho there were times when i did. i do laugh...i set up situations to make laughing easy and i tell myself it is good for me and i do it. i reach out...on here and to the few friends i have found that accept me the way i am. and i guess i accept me the way i am. i know its not my fault and all i can do is the best that i can.

"Anyway, now that I've totally hijacked your thread, what I want to say is that the conditions of our homes and brains are circumstantial." ---i dont care one bit about hijacked threads...this is a conversation for all of us to help each other. and i really like this"the conditions of our homes and brains are circumstantial"


It took over two decades of Lyme and five years of treatment to get me to this place. And it has sucked. Every stupid bit of it.

"I'm focusing on healing my brain this year, because for me, the state of my house perfectly reflects the state of my brain. Stagnant and in need of a good scrubbing."---excellent!!!way to go!

thanks for the reply boxer.

i have saved empty boxes twice...once cuz the storage guy wants them on the floor of the storage unit and once cuz i put yard sale stuff in them and it is easier to find the stuff cuz it is in cardboard not plastic totes...i think thats ok. i save it but for a reason.

i dont yardsale except for specific things...and craigslist or freecycle is better. like i found pots to put my trees in. and i sell or give away stuff there too.

the cusions for the furniture she didnt have...that seems over the top ... unless she had another use for them.

i really believe if i wasnt having so many house and health issues...this all would have been sorted and had "homes" by now. this week i have lived in the new "moldy" house for a year.

so i really thank you all for your replys and hope maybe this thread will help others with similar doubts....

--------------------
Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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randibear
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i think the major difference between her situation and ours is that she's HEALTHY.....

well i mean she has no physical limitations, you know, like weakness, loss of motor functions, and all that.

she just collects stuff and won't allow anybody to help her. i would think she'd allow her own family to help but even they admit she's a hoarder and won't do things.

but at least i don't have to put up with her and can go stay at my sister's now without him along...

whew...so something positive did come out of all this.

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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beaches
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Big hugs to all.

I am a "neat freak" and "organized" by nature but you wouldn't know it now by walking through my home.

I am embarrassed by all the junk that has piled up in rooms that others don't see. That was NEVER the case with me.

Thankfully, I am still able to do the basics for the family...meal prep/clean-up, laundry (most of the time), disinfecting the kitchen and bathrooms. The mopping of the floors, not so much, but I manage to do that little by little.

And I also have "good days" where I go through the medical stuff and submit claims to the insurance co. That takes HOURS.

I de-clutter on a regular basis as best I can. I am by nature a "thrower-outer" so that task is rather easy for me.

Hubby and one of the kids are the ones who have a problem with this. Not surprising, since MIL was a hoarder extraordinaire.

Me, I'd just as soon throw everything out. If I need it in the future, I know I'll be able to find it somewhere/somehow.

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poppy
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The problem I have is lack of clear thinking. Get rid of small things that actually might be needed later, and keep big useless things. So now I am afraid to declutter anymore. Would like the garage to be a bit more organized but can't lift anything heavy and anyway it is too hot out there now.
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Edessajarrue
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I completely relate to this post. Pre-bite I was an amazing organizer and had my place whipped into shape. My fiance moved in and I was still getting things organized in my tiny 2 bedroom condo AND helping him clean out 16 years of hoard from his condo that he was foreclosing and in the middle of this all pausing for a hernia surgery and still working full time.

Fast forward to tick bite. I realized something was really wrong when I tackled the pantry and it took me 3 days instead 3 hours to clean and organize. It's just a small coat closet that I put a few shelves in.

Then the spare room started piling up. Vitamins, medications, wound supplies from from umpteen surgeries in the last 3 years. Then went any sense of organization. I'd start crying even at the thought of organizing, it was too much to even think about. Heck, a shower takes organizing and if I manage one a week it's good, twice a week and I'm golden! LOL

The stress of having a dirty and EPA declared disaster zone inside the house has left me in tears multiple times and my Fiance never got it. I would say - the floor is dirty and needs to be vacuumed. He'd look and reply 'Looks fine to me'. I'd get really upset with him. Then I finally asked him why he thought that way. His response was: 'I don't see dirt until it can support agriculture.' GAH!!!

Now I'm on coumadin and the one room I have to go into several times a week is an nightmare of sharp edged boxes and a few Leaning Tower of Pisa(s). I've tripped and lost balance in there more than once previously.

My saving grace is that my sister has agreed to be my organizer. I insist on paying her (she's between jobs and can use the cash and my Fiance agreed to pay an organizer).

I know most people are on a tight income and cant pay someone to come in and organize for them or with them. And until my fiance agreed to pay for this service (I can't afford to pay anyone and my sister would help to a limited extent cause I'm family. It just makes it more formal and I can be more bossy LOL)

Before the arrangement with my sister, I literally just had to let the clutter be and let it pile up. I figured I would feel better one day and get to it. If not, then heh, I'd get to be on that tv show Hoarders. [Razz]


So now for me it is: whatever is not being used now, donate it and take a tax write-off. I decided that a rummage sale is just a pipe dream. People are more likely to shop for my clothes and books at Good Will than my dinky driveway sale anyway. A lot less work bagging it once and having your my helper drop it off as well.

Tip: Up to $500 donated doesn't have to be tracked for taxes per my tax preparer, anything over that, big brother wants receipts for proof.

If someone offers help, especially for free, take the help. Lay down the ground rules at the beginning and then ask if they are willing to drop off the items at goodwill that you're not keeping.


I was able to get 5 bags of books out of my space and taken to goodwill by my sister yesterday. They aren't in my space anymore nor are they laying around creating more clutter earmarked for goodwill.

There are some 'odd' people like me, or like I used to be, that would help out my friends and family organizing. Actually did this as a kid and boy did my mom get mad at me for not doing the cleaning and organizing at home! I made up for it in my adulthood though. LOL

Interesting and fun and kind of sad thread.

lpkyak: Be kind to yourself. There is nothing wrong with you as you are whole, perfect and complete.

-Edessajarrue

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OptiMisTick
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[ 06-13-2013, 08:10 AM: Message edited by: OptiMisTick ]

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randibear
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As I stated before tho. I can undetstand having lyme and being a clutter bug bug. Lyme effected me differently. The opposite is true. I'm an ocd cleaner. It makes me happy.

But his sister has no heath issues. Has money and can pay for cleankng and organizing. She refuses help from her family when offered.

There is a difference to me.

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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Keebler
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"But his sister has no heath issues." (end quote)


No VISIBLE health issues. "VISIBLE" is the key.

Hoarding is now being studied by brain scientists who are finding remarking details that explain a lot.

Until we really read those some of their work, I think it's impossible to truly understand and it just takes too much energy to speculate (and we reach the wrong conclusions) if we don't have some expert views on this.
-

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Keebler
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For those who wonder, and those who want to learn more so as to better understand someone who may have this disorder:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/07/health/inside-hoarders-brain

Inside the hoarder's brain: A unique problem with decision-making

- By Maia Szalavitz, Time.com - August 28, 2012

2:30 Video & article

New BRAIN RESEARCH can help us better understand - and also help with hints as to how any one can - or cannot - organize.
-

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Keebler
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There are many other sites, and likely at least one professionally guided organization for skill building and family dynamic focus. Here's a very recent investigative piece that is just stellar:

http://www.psmag.com/health/hoarding-science-55196/

Why [Anyone Might] Hoard?

- April 29, 2013 * By Bonnie Tsui

Excerpts:

Most of us have a friend, a relative, or a neighbor who seems to pack his or her home with unnecessary stuff. Researchers are just beginning to understand. . . .


. . . Mathews' pilot studies have also evaluated the brain during simple behavioral tasks that test visual memory, categorization, information processing, and other standard functions in contexts that have nothing to do with hoarding.

When asked to identify objects' most prominent characteristics (shape and color, for example), or to group objects based on shared characteristics, people with hoarding disorder had difficulty completing the tasks.

They also had trouble remembering the sequence of things (say, a group of arrows and the direction they face), and performed poorly on tests measuring attention and response time.

The results show, in essence, that people with hoarding disorder have the most trouble when categorizing things. . . . (full article at link).


Excellent work by a seasoned journalist.
-

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Keebler
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http://www.nextavenue.org/article/2013-01/my-father-hoarder

My Father Is a Hoarder

When I learned how serious the problem was, I educated myself on what to do -- and not do

-By Leslie A. Westbrook | January 27, 2013
-

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Keebler
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Now, for MANY (not all) the issues of organization, sorting, order, etc. that go along with lyme are generally not the same as with hoarding.

Still, we might learn some insight about how the brain works - and some clues for organization - from articles such as those above.

MANY LL authors have written about the problems with organization. Some of that focuses on what happens with the brain but, remember that fatigue is a huge issue and a body with lyme is usually sentenced to large times of survival mode.

The brain does not have the energy to do more than just the basics.

I know that, somewhere in this excellent (but hard to read) article, there is detail about the very questions posed above regarding lyme and organization skills or energy to complete tasks:


http://www.thehumansideoflyme.net/viewarticle.php?aid=65&PHPSESSID=c0adeb1d4869cfb5a38f6447d9ed7a96

When to Suspect Lyme - by John D. Bleiweiss, M.D.

------------

Then, explore what OTHER LL authors have written. There is a lot and, after coming upon such detail over and over, it sure helps me to better understand and be kinder with myself.

DYSLEXIA is just one reason why we can have trouble. LYME and INNER EAR symptoms can cause a sort of dyslexia.

So much makes sense when we can see what some of the LL authors have written for us.
-

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randibear
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But how can his sister hold down a full time job as a service rep if she has problems?? I'm sorry it makes no sense to me

[ 06-12-2013, 05:40 PM: Message edited by: randibear ]

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do not look back when the only course is forward

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Keebler
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It makes sense, after reading the articles. It's very complex issue. Very.

For instance, some can sort OTHERS' junk mail but never their own. It's really rather fascintating. Very different brain processes involved in tending to others' matters than one's own.

That can be true for many people (and why a professional organizer can be so worth it), though it's often just much harder for some with a hoarding condition. And, still, there is so much more to it. So much more.
-

[ 06-12-2013, 04:08 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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lpkayak
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poppy-just want to say i really get this:

"The problem I have is lack of clear thinking. Get rid of small things that actually might be needed later, and keep big useless things."

me too.

randi-i was told once by an llmd that when lyme affects your brain it makes your weaknesses worse...like i was never a math whiz...but i managed to get my masters and do a thesus b4 the computer did it for me...but now...after the lyme and the 2 head injuries i cant do 4th grade math...so maybe with "organizing" being a strength for you it wasnt affected.

i have always like to be organized but my tendency was to not be so i worked hard at keeping it together. now i dont have the energy or strhength and the thinking is worse too

keeb...i will read that stuff and probably get the book about the dad being a hoarder. thx.

opti...thx. i dont really think i am still having active lyme. i know i had 2 head injuries and i have been so much worse cognitively since the last one. unable to work form that day. and neurols say it probably wont get better and i need to learn to live like this. that said...i have learned some new stuff...new learning is very hard but with lots of repetition and keeping calm(stress makes me useless) i can learn new things. i am very slow but i can. i had to learn about mold and now i have to learn about artificial knee revision. it takes me so long but i am aboe to learn and i feel it is pathways getting re-booted or something. but so far it is very inconsistant...i never know whan i will remember aor be able to recall a fact ...even tho i know i know it...wierd. but the brain injury ppl i have talked to say that is common. lyme in the brain can be a sort of brain injury too. but the brain injury ppl dont understand that...and to cure lyme you and i know you need to do very specific things.

anyway-thanks to the others...edessa i really could relate to what you said too...

and beaches...i can imagine it must be really hard to be a neat-freak and have to live like this. i hope you can find ways to be gentle with yourself. i learned to do that a long time ago.

--------------------
Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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randibear
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yeah but ya'll she doesn't HAVE lyme. i can understand people with lyme cause i have it. i'm just effected the opposite -- ocd. i don't clean i persecute!!!

no i don't consider anybody with lyme to be a "real" hoarder. we operate differently that's all.

but this woman has a full time job and won't accept help when offered. she's got plenty of money, i mean she put 100K down on a condo so she's not poor by any means.

ah well i just don't understand how she can live that way and never will.

but sniping at somebody who's trying to help and making nasty little comments is not part of the hoarding mentality. she's ungrateful and i won't be going back.

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do not look back when the only course is forward

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beaches
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kayak, I try to be gentle on myself and I do have to let some things fall by the wayside just because I can't physically do what I used to do. But it still bothers me.

It is SO much easier to manage an organized, uncluttered home. But it's SO difficult to get back to that point after lyme/cos enter the picture.

I still have to run a household and take care of other sick people, shop, cook (and with this GF diet you never can just get pizza or Chinese food so I am constantly cooking which is getting old, not having a break from it), clean, do laundry, manage all the meds and supps, doc visits, labs, bills, insurance issues, etc. etc. And there are a bunch more other non-medical stressful things in our lives that I have to manage too. It is very overwhelming to say the least.

The only good thing is that I still have half a brain so I do have days where I can organize my thoughts and the papers. But you wouldn't know it by looking at the mail piled up in the car-I just couldn't deal with more paper in the house, because I just went through so much of it in the house. So I'm leaving it there til I am ready to deal with it [Big Grin] You could call it my new coping mechanism.

I enjoy giving things to goodwill so that's a saving grace, but only when I'm up physically up to it and when hubby is on board so he can help me. He works very hard and long hours so this is a challenge.

When I think of the things I have to do given how I feel and what my responsibilities are I think I do a decent job most of the time. No one of course other than people here could possibly understand that.

How do you explain to someone that one day you can shop for food, clean two bathrooms (a lick and a promise, not a deep clean), make a few phone calls, do some paperwork, cook dinner and the next day you're in bed with a heating pad because you can barely walk and your hands hurt so bad? You can't so you don't.

Optimistick, very good points. And randi, good for you for avoiding that situation again.

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randibear
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i don't mean to sound unfeeling or uncaring ya'll.

i'm not. i understand about those days. some days i let dishes sit in the sink and say "we're eating out"...

today i slept in until 9:30 cause he went fishing. i walked around in my nightgown cause i just felt, well, off, my legs hurt and i'm soooo tired.

i have to force myself to put those clothes in the laundry, but hey, in this house, it won't get done unless i do it.

right now i'm back on meds but it's for diverticulitis. 1500 yes 1500 of lyme and amoxy per day for 14 days.....

i hate flagyl...

some days i just want to crawl in a cave and die. so believe me, i do understand.

and thank you for commenting on this thread too.

we have to learn when to retreat and trying to force a ocd cleaner to live with a hoarder is a receipe for disaster, i tell you.....

now tho i can go home and stay with my one sister who's also ocd clean like me. but i have to admit my other sister is a real slob, but she's got rheumatoid arthritis and has a tough life. i work myself to the bone when i'm there but at least she doesn't complain. she appreciates the help.

my other sister is married to a real hoarder and family has not been in her house for years. she meets us at restaurants or other places, never at her house.

so i do understand really.

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do not look back when the only course is forward

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Lymetoo
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Hope you start feeling better soon, randi!!

beaches.. I'm the same way. A neat freak who is unable to be one anymore. Drives me up the wall.

Then my housekeeper comes and I complain in my mind that she doesn't do it "right." So hard to deal with that sometimes!!

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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beaches
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I used to have someone come in to help clean house, pre-lyme. I rarely had a complaint about the way she cleaned, because, hey, things were clean! And I am not that fussy.

I didn't "inspect" her work the way a couple of my friends did. If she was able to knock out 85% of the major things I needed done, that was a good day for me.

But back then I was able to clear the way for her, so to speak and medical expenses weren't at the forefront as they are now.

My problem with her was that she became "too familiar" and began dispensing unsolicited advice of all kinds that I did not appreciate.

Plus, she handled and broke a special Lenox "baby's first Christmas" ornament that she should not have touched in the first place, didn't own up to it, and I had to find a replacement on the web at an exorbitant cost. And if she had admitted it, I'm not the type to ding her for it because accidents happen.

The last straw was when I caught her stealing from me. And this was someone I gave stuff like our old bedroom set, clothing, appliances to freely who worked for us for 10 years.

So as much as I'd love someone to come in here and help me clean, I'm leery.

One of my friends has a lady who charges $20/hour cash. Don't think so. Wonder what that translates into if you're on the books? I think it's more appropriate to give a price for the whole job.

Another friend has a lady that you have to drive home. That doesn't work for my health or my family life/schedule or my vision at this point.

So for now I'm "stuck" but I've been there for awhile. Eventually I'll climb out of this and figure out how to get the help I need.

Best of luck and hugs to everyone who posted here.

Thanks so much kayak for starting this thread. I think a lot of us really needed it. I hope things turn around for you in all ways.

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Keebler
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By the hour is the most fair way for housekeepers to be paid. However, if someone is slower, pay for task might work.

For housekeeing services, $20. an hour is very reasonalble, and much less than most charge, especially those in an agency (who get paid very little). That's what I pay . . . but I can only afford to have my laundry and vacuuming done every three months.

Still, I know that she does not get that full $20. as she does pay taxes on that since she's established her own business officially, needs to supply her transportation and insurances, etc. Overhead and operating costs apply to even independent housekeepers, too.

Some don't make enough to have to pay taxes so, for them, cash makes more sense and they don't have one more errand to attend to. They still have operating costs and often need someone to work on their body to offset the physical stress of the job.

So, most have to charge more. And it does seem reasonable considering how hard those I know they work to get so much done in so little time. The work is very taxing on one's body, espcially if they have to haul laundry to an outside laundry room, up and down stairs, etc.

But, even vaccuming and floor cleaning can be very taxing on joints and muscles. I think the person I hire actually deserves much more but I can't pay that so I just have her come less often and always pay for her gas and supply a some food in the fridge if it's over a meal time.

For the amount of excellent hard work, I'll really say she is worth much more than what gets. She can get more done in 3 hours than I can in a year.
-

[ 06-15-2013, 04:06 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Keebler
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Here, it says that may prefer a flat rate for the job:


http://www.brickunderground.com/blog/2010/03/are_you_paying_your_housekeeper_enough_and_other_essential_housekeeper_iq

Are You Paying Your Housekeeper Enough? 2010

Excerpt:

. . . Most independent housekeepers (versus cleaning services) quote a flat rate that varies by apartment size and the amount of work involved.

That rate works out to be around $15-20 per hour, with three hours being about the minimum amount of time necessary to clean a one-bedroom apartment well. Larger apartments typically require 4-8 hours.

. . . Many housekeepers will quote a lower per-visit rate if you hire them weekly instead of every other week, on the theory that the more time between visits, the more work will be required. . . .

. . . Most housekeepers don't do windows, and some refuse to iron. Others won't climb ladders or chairs to clean higher-up things, because they typically have no health insurance and may be unable to work in the event of a nasty spill. . . .

. . . You may need to pay a little more if you live in a walk-up and your laundry room is in the basement. . . .

[other good details and tips here, too.]
-

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Lymetoo
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You guys will hate me. Housekeepers only get $10 an hour here! So I am blessed! I TOTALLY trust my person. She is the daughter of my health coach.

My problem is that things are NOT that clean when she leaves. She FORGOT to clean the toilet bowl last week! She had to come back the other day to finish the vacuuming, and I asked her if she had cleaned all around the bowl. She said yes, she just forgot the bowl itself.

The bathroom counter tops were not clean if you ask me. I use a lot of oils and my counter top was oily when she left. ARRGGH..

She also didn't really clean the bathroom floor. Sigh... But overall, she is a pretty good worker. She is young and I just need to train her. [Big Grin]

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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randibear
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My friend pays 75 bucks for about half a day. Problem -o.....no English....she's also training her. Strictly cash.

So far I'm still good but man I'm super slow and it takes a day or so to recover.

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do not look back when the only course is forward

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Lymetoo
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Yeah, I have another lady who speaks very little English. She understands me for the most part, but I kinda need someone I can give direction to since I now have more needs than I used to have when she worked for me last year.

She's very good though and is thorough. Same rate. I may call her this summer to do a deep cleaning.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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Keebler
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An English to (specific) language dictionary is very helpful as each session's list is made out.

I was able to communicate with someone brand new to this country, having been bombed out by the Bosnian war - she had not even been here a week. That dictionary was splendid help to look up words for each chore (and a little pantomime and pointing) and she took it from there, doing a fantastic job.

Years later, I hear from the friend who connected us, that she has near perfect English now and is doing very well as an educational film producer.
-

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lpkayak
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i havent been here in awhile...but i guess there isnt anything new about hoarding.

i have problems with helpers...folowing directions, unable to work independently and even talking too much. visiting is too hard on me and it bugs me when they stop the work to stand there and talk when i really need the work done.

i have hired ppl for years because back when i was woring and sick i just couldnt do it all.

every once in awhile i get a good one and hang on to them as best i can. im going thru the hiring process again and i find im sort of scared since i am older and more disabled...i think i am an easy target...not sure for what...there isnt much to steal...altho im afraid my supps might look attractive to some.

anyway. one thing at a time. a neighbor is helping now-she works full time so cant come too much but at least i trust her.

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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KentuckyWoman
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The business I owned and lost to Lyme: "HopToIt" in home cleaning business.. I am trusted and was very well organized..

I charged $25/hr.. the low end of the rate scale for ppl who PAY THEIR TAXES. Rates for services that carry all insurances start at $40/hr.

My arrangement with my clients was that I explained the pay differences and why they were such. I explained that I did not carry all the insurances and that I would not touch anything I could not replace if I broke.

they were most happy to get me.

I miss this job like a death in the family.. I loved my clients and I LOVEd cleaning.. My house does NOT look like a "cleaning lady" lives here anymore. It breaks my heart.

--------------------
KentuckyWoman
tired of medical run-arounds

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ ~ Robert Frost

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lpkayak
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k woman...i think there would be a really good demand for someone doing that work

when the brain injury ppl hooked me up with someone i was supposed to pay her 75 and hr...including travel and she lived 2 hrs away...obviously i couldnt do it

i treasure good workers when i find them...wish you were better and in my backyard!

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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Keebler
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Those who are ORGANIZERS will generally charge far more than a typical cleaning person. Important to know this and it can sure seem like a fortune but, after understanding how much work they have to do, and how they set up a whole new system . . . I can see how SOME may be worth more.

Still, it's just so out of reach for so many with brain injury issues from trauma or infection.

Fortunately, I was "gifted" two 2-hour sessions with professional organizer a few years ago. It was amazing. Today, I still benefit from the organizing methods she set up for my files and what she taught me.

For the most part, she took the decisions out of my hands - and THAT made all the difference.

I had a say in some things, of course but had she waited for me to say "this" or "that" on some things, she'd still be here.

I find decisions, even small ones, just too much. I will put off important things just because I can't decide on very small actions that would move me along.

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lpkayak
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I'm the same way with decisions in addition when I finally decide something there are physical problems to getting it done but I would have a really hard time with anyone coming in or just boxing everything or just boxing everything up

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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Keebler
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They don't come in and just toss everything away. They DIVIDE, CATEGORIZE.

You get to say which categories stuff will fall into: keep; donate; discard / recycle.

They also help clients determine how to assess what is of value. It's making space for what matters most - & the most practical items of use - and letting go of clutter that keeps us from enjoying the best bits.

The best part is that they have some methods for HOW to organize and how to stay that way. Things I never thought of, certainly. My brain is too overwhelmed.

Recently "Katie" had a home office makeover. It was pretty amazing to see her home office before, the conversation before she turned it over to the organizer and then the re-do.

The "before" video is just amazing. LOTS of clutter, not at all inviting or possible to concentrate - and she was charming as she explained why she had so much stuff of no use anymore. Discussion was very helpful as the two worked through that.

I think many of us can relate.

I can't quite find the video clip for that segment of this entire show but this is the professional she used:


http://jeffreyphillip.com/blog/2013/02/25/katie-couric-comes-clean-a-declutter-makeover/

Katie Couric Comes Clean - A De-Clutter Makeover
-

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randibear
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I think his sister has real issues. I mean c'mon who would want to keep empty cardboard boxes?

Its the mental issues I.don't understand and the living in those. Conditions. Gives me the creeps....

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do not look back when the only course is forward

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Keebler
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Q: "who would want to keep empty cardboard boxes?" (end quote)


The articles and videos above explain why.

You can not like her, or even despise her - and it would likely give me the "creeps" to be in the space of someone with this disorder - my sensory meter would go off the charts, most likely.

But the research very clearly explains why she would want to keep boxes, as well as exhibit so many of the other behaviors that you mention.

Now, you may not want to learn about this because you dislike her for whatever reasons other than her disability. Still, many questions you have about this have been addressed in the articles above. It's actually rather fascinating.

I'm not a hoarder but have serious trouble with certain aspects of organization. I've learned a lot from reading about the brain science they are coming to understand when this is in an extreme state.

So many things won't make sense to most people. But, again, in the articles and videos, so much light is shone on this to help us all better understand others - and even ourselves.

It's unlikely that the two of you become new BFFs but, as she is family, it's more than possible that your paths may again cross. By learning a few basic concepts around this disorder, it may help your sanity as well as help you figure out how to better navigate (or avoid) any encouters in the future.
-

[ 07-01-2013, 07:27 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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randibear
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I've read everything and am learning a lot. You are right tho. We have history and it is nit good.

I believe that there are some things that people dont get over and when thats the case. Well you just have to back up and say I cant do this and avoid that person like the plaque.

It. Causes me too much stress so its better I stay away. Being forced to interact with individuals that you know dont really care for you and call you a hypochrondriac is not something that. People with lyme should have go endure.

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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Keebler
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Verbal insult history toward you - an entirely different matter from having a problem with hoarding.

I'm sure I'd not want to be around anyone ever again who treated me badly and who also could not bring themselves to even want to understand the truth about what you deal with.

It is important to know when to disengage. Avoidance can be excellent self-care and adrenal survival at the right time and place.
-

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randibear
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Thank you for your kindness. Is was especially difficult because as much as I didnt want to go at all I had to show support for my husband with his fAmily.

Niw thAt its over I can let go and return to normal. We have agreed that I will not visit his fAmily and go see my sisfers alone.

Much better arrAngement. Boy family relationships can be a witch.....

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do not look back when the only course is forward

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lpkayak
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i saw the katie show and could relate...but cant remember enough to do it

my ex used to save boxes to put the stuff back in when we moved...

i have saved boxes for storage and other things

like totes are for sorage i keep and label but boxes are for yard sale stuff...

anyway...im exhausted...probably shouldnt put in my 2 cents...i hope i have time to go back and read the links

when reading about brain injury i can so relate and it helps to know someone can describe it...but i can never take that info and fix it

--------------------
Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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randibear
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We all have our problems I guess.

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do not look back when the only course is forward

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