Hoarding and calming

Hoarding and calming

We moved in 2004? Seems so long ago when I actually think about it. There was nothing really wrong with the other house- oh wait it was old (had character but money pit) and wasn’t in the best of neighborhoods. We didn’t know how long we would stay in this house but we wanted to make it home. We painted the main floor before we even moved in. We knew how hard it is to paint or do anything after you are moved in. Over time we painted all of the bedrooms and most of the bathrooms. Our bathroom is still the crap wallpaper from when we moved in but since we don’t generally hang out in there who cares.

The family room is whole other story. We have never painted it. It is white and we hate it. It also has overhead fluorescent lights that are just obnoxious. We usually call them the surgical lights. We have lamps throughout the room that we use because you don’t need the overhead lights on unless you are doing surgery. HaHa aren’t we funny.

When we moved in we basically threw our old living room furniture from the old house down there. Also a table from our old breakfast nook that we refused to part with. It is pretty cool pub table with pub chairs (I guess that is what you call them) but it sits in the corner unused. We have talked about painting & remodeling down there since we moved in. It is past its time.

The couch that is down there is beyond uncomfortable. On top of being old, uncomfortable and completely out of style it is now also broken. Oh darn. So I had had it one day and bought a hug chair that I had tried out at an autism conference. I really didn’t care if it fit in or anything else. I decided it was my space and I was buying what I was comfortable sitting in. As I wrote about here my son has discovered it and won’t vacate. When we aren’t in it a cat is in it. After much discussion I have convinced my husband we are buying more.

This started a whole discussion about what he wanted in the space. His parents were poor so he gets all house proud and what the house looks like. I finally convinced him a) we have a sitting area on the main floor for company b) we rarely entertain and when we do we usually do so outside c) I don’t really care what people think. It is my space. This was all helped a bit by when the cousins came to visit they also wanted to sit in the chair. HA!

So now we are picking out colors and making plans. The hug chairs or bean bags have a spot. The pub table has a spot because we know if we positioned elsewhere we would sit there to eat and enjoy the space better. I actually sat there to work the other day even though it is shoved in a corner it was nice to have place to sit with laptop with the family. We just have to utilize the space differently.

Which then comes the next dilemma. My husband wants to get rid of my desk in the corner. Where it is I don’t use it but more use it for storing home office needs. Not home office for work but home office like envelopes & software discs and medical bills and all that crap that we struggle with where to put. I used to have a whole room but it was taken away long ago. I have found pockets to put stuff but it hasn’t really worked out well. I do have hoarding tendencies so I understand why my husband sometimes questions some of the stuff I keep. Admittedly there is probably stuff I could get rid of. Some things we just need to keep for a year or 7 years or whatever. I am not very organized but I do keep everything. This has come in handy on a few occasions. For example the mortgage company at our old house did not file the paperwork correctly and it looked like we had 2 full mortgages on the house. Um no. The realtor finally told me the company couldn’t even find the paperwork for the title agency. I had it. Of course I had it. The extra mortgage lien removed and we were able to sell our old house. Instances like that just fuel my hoarding. Sigh

So my husband and I were discussing this desk yesterday. I really don’t want to get rid of the desk. It was at my grandmother’s house. I know it isn’t an antique but there is sentimental value. I stayed at my grandparents a lot. I have other furniture from her that she insisted we bring over when she moved in but the desk has meaning to me. I remember carving into it. nothing that makes sense but the act of carving soothed me. I don’t know why. I would get scolded but would do it again. I felt compelled too. I don’t know why but I tried to remember that feeling when my son did destructive things that seemed to have no meaning. They have meaning, the internal calmness that comes from the act.

My husband and I were also discussing the huge built in closet in the family room. Most of it we converted into a food pantry when we moved in. There is a space that just has stuff piled up in it. We were discussing how maybe we could use that space better. The pub table is currently in front of those doors to the poorly used space. All around we need to move the table to have better use to the space.

I couldn’t sleep last night. I should have slept like a rock. I had clearly made bad food choices and was taking phenergan. That should have knocked me out for the night with my usual sleeping pills. Nope. It dawned on me in the middle of the night. Duh put the desk in the closet.

I measured this morning and yep I think I can make this work. Will have a little home office behind closet doors. I can hang shelving or drawers or whatever above it. I can have my crap without my husband finding a pile somewhere and freaking out. I can be somewhat organized.

But first I have to clean out the crap that is currently behind the closed doors. There is a whole other dilemma. Which is why I am writing this post. Avoiding. Avoiding getting the bags to sort out garbage vs. good will vs actually needing to keep. Oh that is so hard. I hate to throw stuff away. We clearly don’t need the VHS tapes, we don’t even have a player anymore but how can I part with them. oh boy… If I think of another child enjoying I can probably part with them. I will just have to think of that. And being able to keep my “lovely” desk with my lovely carvings. off I go to de-hoard.



  1. My mother hoards like crazy too. I think most people do to some extent. Her thing is knitting, there’s yarn scattered all around our house that se doesn’t intend to use. Makes me crazy.

  2. Hmmmmm. Is it hoarding if it’s well-organized? I thrive off of organizing stuff. I could hop on a plane and show up at your house with wide, excited eyes. Cooking though–blah. 🙂

    • I would love for you to come help me organize!! It isn’t exactly organized at the moment but I blame the fact that my “office” stuff keeps getting moved. My husband doesn’t want to see it. So I am hoping we found the perfect solution. I already cleaned out the space and put the desk in. So I am well on my way!!

  3. Those middle of the night solutions can be pure genius. Hope the desk in the closet idea works. I really think making your space fit your needs is what it’s all about. We don’t entertain much either, plus the beauty of my 40’s is I don’t really care what others think anyway, so I make my space function as I need it. Plus I have found making my home a wonderful space has made it my sanctuary from the world, and girl, I sure need a sanctuary from the world! Enjoy your project, they are great fun! 🙂


  1. […] I wrote recently here about how we are getting organized!! I have sooooo much stuff. Regular office stuff and then all my […]

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