I am not a hoarder, but my garage says otherwise. It is an ongoing battle. As I watch the show, my garage lingers in the dark recesses of my brain. I know that if I can get it all cleaned out and orderly, life is good. If I only get it part way cleaned out, watch out! If I don't get back in there for awhile, the piles will grow again, and let's be real here, how often do I get out and have that kind of time in my garage? It's so easy to put stuff out there and have it out of sight.
Although I know everyone is different, there seem to be a few characteristics that the show illuminates. Here are a few of what I think are my non-hoarder-esque characteristics....I have no problem chucking things. I actually LOVE doing it. I also don't need someone to tell me to do it. I'm motivated. I would LOVE to have the time to get out there uninterrupted and just tackle it. It would be wonderful. That just seems to not be my season in life (I hate that term, by the way).
Also unlike hoarder's tendencies, I'm not a big shopper. I'm kind of the opposite. I'm the kind of person who, if left to walk around the store long enough, will put whatever I intended to buy back on the shelves or racks. I hate having stuff. The less the better, in my book. You've read my stuff on minimizing and my great desire to do so, right? So where does this garage thing come from?
So how am I like the hoarders I see on the show? I have a tendency to think or hope that someone's going to come along and do it for me, but along with that comes some amount of anxiety about having someone else come and take care of it for me. What if something important gets thrown away? I also feel that I have to go through each and every thing a piece one at a time, and I'm the only one who can do that.
I think of the amount of time I think it's going to take me to get it done, and that alone overwhelms me. I am not at a place in life in which I can go out there each and everyday and do "just a little bit." It really is an all or nothing proposition.
Also, if given the chance to hang out with my kids or be in the garage cleaning, I'm sure you already know who or what's going to win that battle. Actually, that's no battle at all; that's not even a minor argument. But really, what mom, in her right mind, would choose a messy garage over her little darlings? Definitely not me--darlings win every time.
I think my garage affects my life. I think it is continually on my mind--way in the back, but it's there nonetheless; maybe this is just an affect from watching Hoarders. But, I really do think that if it were clean, it would help me feel more motivated to do other things. It would free my brain up from some of the space it currently occupies.
Tonight, I watched an episode about a guy who isn't yet a hoarder but is working his way there. The psychotherapist said that hoarding is a progressive disease. Yikes! Does this mean that if I allow my garage to overwhelm me too much, I could get depressed and let other parts of my house fall into the same pattern?
Anyway, tonight, I approached the Warden and asked for two days. Two days in which someone else would keep the children busy so I could focus on the garage. I told him that I need to clear the shelves and label them each so that they would hold particular things so that as I go through the boxes, I will have a place to put the things that we need--camping equipment, sports gear, emergency supplies, etc.
The next day off from school is this coming Friday. I figure the Warden can keep track of the youngest kids so I can get out there. Give me Friday and Saturday, and it'll be done. Friday also happens to be my birthday, so he thinks I'm ridiculous for asking such a thing, and maybe I am, but it would be so delightful to be free of it.
|This is how I think I'll feel after its done--so worth it!|
At this point, we have a car parked in there, so it's not dreadful, but it would be nice to have two cars in there. That will be the goal--the car, no more piles and orderly shelves.
Boy, if I keep watching this show after the garage is clean, I wonder what place'll bug me next.
The happy thing is that I feel like we've hit a good spot with the rest of our house. Once all the kids are home each day, I call them all together and set a timer for 15 minutes. I ask them to work hard on the area of the house that's been assigned them for the week for just that length of time. It works beautifully, and the evening is much more orderly and peaceful.
I really do feel for these people on the show. One of the women said, "I knew I needed help. I just didn't know who I could go to." Sad! They claim that three million people suffer from hoarding. If my partway messy garage bugs me and makes me feel this way, I would hate to feel what they feel. Just so overwhelming and despairing.