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Thread: Nothing like cleaning out a hoarder's house to motivate

  1. #41
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    Yes so his office has junk as well as the 1 car garage and shed. The rest of the house is neat and uncluttered. His areas are a mess. Unfortunately, he can't find stuff and rebuys it. I am convinced that he probably has 3 of every tool between all his spaces but he disagrees.

  2. #42
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    DH isn't really a stuff accumulator. Most of the awesome stuff around here belongs to me!

  3. #43
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    Well, there is some comfort in being reminded that I'm not the only one. lol. Will miss the kids when they are gone, but not their stuff!!! lol
    To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. - Anon.

    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. - Dalai Lama

  4. #44
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    I just returned home after what was supposed to be a 1-week trip to clean out my mother-in-law’s home. She passed away 2 years ago. We’ve worked on the project for weeks at a time during these years, but hadn’t gotten to the meat of the problem yet.

    She lived in a huge 4-story Victorian home for 60+ years, and was a bit of a hoarder.
    Update. On the project described above 2 weeks ago, we worked with our realtor to hire a local junk hauler to remove the remnant materials from the home, the "3 flatbed trucks" part of the project. Took him and his helpers 3 more days beyond the orginal 1-day estimate, even though it was "empty". It took them that long because they were sorting the stuff into recyclable and thrift-storeable items, even though to my eye it was dumpster material. They removed 4 flatbed trucks worth, and left the firewood.

    The 3.5 truckloads of material that had been sent to the auction house (mind you, this was stuff also that was essentially junk to my eye) fetched about $4000 at auction, we got the check for ~$2000 in the mail Saturday, after the commissions were deducted and the labor costs for moving the stuff from the house. This was pure gravy, I had initially intended on simply dumpstering the items, which would have cost money.

    $500 for a house cleaning, some thoughtful market analysis on the offering price for the home then happened.

    We received 4 offers the day we decided on a price, all from neighborhood people who had wanted this house forever and wanted to restore it and move into it. It never made it to MLS or the open market, we sold it, as-is, no conditions, within hours, for probably the best price or near-thereto. Carrying costs on the property sitting empty were about $1800/month, and the opportunity cost of the capital represented by the property was about $3600/month.

    Just waiting for the timer to tick past on the closing, but this is a *huge* weight lifted off our shoulders.

    We were about to head to Michigan to do the same process for the father-in-law's house, but simply do not have the energy at this time. We both collapsed with the flu the day of our return home, and would likely die if we left town for another month-long excavation effort.

  5. #45
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Bae. Well done. Or done, anyway. It took years, that is ridiculous.

  6. #46
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Bae. Well done. Or done, anyway. It took years, that is ridiculous.
    I am continuing my relentless practice of "one box a day" at home now, to radically reduce the clutter in our lives.

    The "box" counts if it:

    - Goes to Goodwill via givebackbox.com
    - Goes to the transfer station via the garbage truck or my truck
    - Goes to the library book donation station if it is books
    - Goes to the "Exchange", our local re-use/recycle center via my truck

    Books are the hardest for me. Over the past 6 months, I think I've removed 120 boxes of books from the home. Good high-quality books, books that I'd read. Books that I *might* someday read again. But they take up a lot of space, and at a certain point you have to ask yourself: how likely am I to *really* re-read or refer to one of these books? Simply *finding* a book takes a certain amount of time. We have conservatively 4-5000 volumes left around the house.

    But the very nature of how we use books has changed over the 20 years we've been in the house. I rarely use the reference books unless they are very specific technical manuals - otherwise the Internet provides a faster, more up-to-date reference. I use Kindle for most trash/fun/ephemeral books now, I haven't bought a physical book of that type in probably 8 years, though people still insist on giving them to me for Christmas. Art/coffee-table books pile up, usually as a result of a gift, but never get looked at.

    Make it stop :-)

  7. #47
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    Last time we moved we gave away 40 boxes of books. Now if we get more then 30 books in our home I give away the ones I have read to people to keep the number below that.

  8. #48
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    Glad you finished at least one hoarder home cleanout, bae. Is the m-in-law related to the father-in-law you mentioned as the next cleanout?

    Asking because if they were married at one point and both had the same hoarding issue that would be unusual. Either way I think everyone here has compassion for your having to do this herculean task twice.

  9. #49
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    Bae, sounds like MILs home was more of a museum... glad you are finished with it! Not surprised you both got sick- the release of all that stress, yikes!
    Hope the FIL home goes quicker when you get to it.

    I, too, gave a tremendous amount of books (didn't really count, a pickup truck full of tightly packed boxes) to the local library sale last year, I have about 400 books left. I've bought exactly 4 books in the last 2 years, and already passed 3 of them on to other people. The other one I haven't gotten around to reading- so, exactly, how important was it to buy it?!

    Thanks for the reminder about givebackbox.

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