Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Yesterday, I drove my elderly client to her beauty shop appointment and accompanied her inside.  The hairdresser operates the shop out of her home.  I was literally--not figuratively--SHOCKED to enter an actual HOARDERS' place.  I have seen hoarders on television, but it was indeed shocking to see it in person.   We entered through the back door and as we passed through the kitchen, a dog was constantly yapping around my feet.  I could not see any counter space because of all the stuff piled there;  the table and chairs were completely covered with paper, magazines, and food boxes;   the place where I thought the sink must be located was piled with pots, pans, and dishes, stacked up to the middle of a window.  When we went into the "salon" part, on one side of the room there were newspapers piled at least 4 feet high and STUFF strewn all over the room. There was another client under the hair dryer.  The place did not appear to be filthy, just unbelievably cluttered and dusty.

Later, I asked my client, "I can see HOW this could happen if one were alone in the world with no outside contact, but how can she operate a business like that?"  My client told me that she had been fixing her hair for 30 years and had operated a salon downtown for many years but she just takes care of several elderly clients nowadays. As my client has an immaculate home, I asked, "How can you stand to go there?"  She said it was difficult but the price was good and she liked the way she styled her hair.   

Shall I try one more time to follow my New Year's Resolutions from several years to DE-CLUTTER?  I had a modicum of success in 2016;  we had a fundraiser rummage sale to benefit our local political headquarters.  I promised Les that I would NOT bring anything back home. We packed up the remainder and took it to a local auction house. In surveying one of our spare bedrooms today, I notice we have a collection of STUFF there.

Having the wits scared out of me by the hoarders home, I began packing!  When I told my best friend about the hoarders house, she said, "The difference is that all your clutter is organized!" I said, "As Mother used to say.........".  She didn't allow me to finish, just laughed and said, "Yes, Gladys, a place for everything, etc."  (She and I call each other by the names of our mothers when we sound like them!)

Below is a BLOG article which I published in 2010 titled:


When people marry, it should be a law that one of them should possess the ability to get rid of "stuff"! Unfortunately, this is not the case in my marriage. Both of us find it difficult to discard anything. "You never know, I might need that", is a typical refrain when it's suggested by one to the other that one could dispose of something.

My brother and I were saying that we never thought that we would sound like our mother, but we do.  If I heard my mother say, "A place for everything and everything in its place" once, I heard it a million times in my lifetime. My brother and I call each other "Gladys" when we sound like our mother which happens frequently the older we get. One of my brothers is able to get rid of stuff, but another one is like me. My New Year's Resolution for this year, as it has been for the past nine years, is to "get rid of STUFF"! The past nine years have been unsuccessful, but since January 4, 2010, I have taken two bags to Goodwill!

When my husband and I retired, several people asked if we were going to "downsize" and I always answered that it would take me ten years to move. People oftentimes ask me why we live in such a large house and I readily admit that I have a bit (others say a lot) of OCD. On one hand, I can't get rid of stuff, but on the other, I can't stand clutter. All of my end tables, coffee tables and other pieces of furniture are chests--for storage--to prevent "clutter".  My husband is not bothered by clutter. When I see the horror stories on television of those "hoarders", my heart goes out to them because I think that they just need "more room", instead of my brother's opinion that they are just plain nuts. To ensure harmonious relations between my husband and myself, years ago we came to an agreement: the house is MINE and the two 2-car garages, workshop, attic, and basement are HIS as far as "clutter" is concerned. The house is free of clutter. When I go to one of his areas, I cannot stay very long because of the clutter. I have not been to one of his garages since 1984; I know there are two vehicles in there because I can see them through the door window. I've been to the basement twice this past year and to the attic once.

This past summer, he built a storage shed because he didn't have enough room for "stuff";  he did a very good job on the shed, but I do notice that some of the things he said that he was going to put in the shed are still in the yard.

On the other hand, recycling is practically a religion with him. One day in Chillicothe, he saw a 2x6x12 board fall from a truck and he ran after it, picked up the board and brought it home with him! I asked, "Are you going to cut that up for firewood?" and he said, "This is worth $30.00; if I can't use it for something, your brother can!" You just gotta love him.  After investigation, he told me it would be worth about $5.00.

Recently, Wayne, a former co-worker of mine, emailed me to ask me about the last name of the person named "Eddie" in the "RK" article. I couldn't think of it immediately, but I knew that I would have the information in file cabinets from 1982-1988. Climbing up those attic steps, I thought, "Am I out of my mind?" because I had had to take file cabinets to the attic, because I'd run out of room downstairs and they were now in his "Clutter Zone", but when I located Eddie Sharp's name and photograph, it gave me such great pleasure to e-mail Wayne with the information and to reflect on the happiest times of my work life.


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