Posted: August 4th, 2011 | Author: Dariane | Filed under: Blog, Recap | 10 Comments »
It’s been one year since I eagerly embarked on the incredibly daunting task of cleaning my childhood home, what I called “The Purge of 2010.” My goal was to clean at least 75% of the house in hopes that I would help my family and help myself in the process. I hoped to finish at the end of two months, working on the house like a full-time job.
If you followed along, or even if you’re just discovering this blog for the first time, you’ll see that the last time I posted anything was, well, 10 months ago… just 3 months after I began the project. Before I explain what happened in the past 10 months and what happened with the project, let me tell you a little bit more about what allowed me to start the project to begin with. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 17th, 2010 | Author: Dariane | Filed under: Blog | 2 Comments »
I signed up for Ustream.tv and I’d like to test out the live broadcasting feature. This is going to be kind of an experiment for me.
If you’re free to hang out today (Sept 17, 2010) at 5pm EST/2pm PST, you can join in at:
The Stuff Project Show [http://www.ustream.tv/channel/stuff-project]
You can ask me questions, give me suggestions, comments, or just hang out for a chat! See you there!
Posted: September 12th, 2010 | Author: Dariane | Filed under: Blog | 6 Comments »
This past week, I’ve made several minor changes to the site. Some of you may have noticed!
The Archives Page
I realized that many newcomers to the site may have a hard time navigating it, especially if they want to read my progress in chronological order. I’ve created the Archives so you can easily see all of the posts in the order they were posted. I’ve also moved the Category links to the Archives as well if you’d like to browse the posts by topic.
Footer Navigation Menu
I noticed that when you get all the way to the bottom of the page, the easiest way to go back up is to click on “The Stuff Project” link, which many users have clicked. This is a no-brainer for web design, but I finally added a navigation menu at the bottom of the page so you can browse much easier.
Instead of text links to my RSS feed and Twitter, I’ve decided to use easy-to-find images. There are now links to my YouTube channel, Reddit account, and…
New Tumblr Page
Often I find that I take more pictures of my stuff than I can use for my site. Tumblr is now my “dumping ground” for all that other, interesting stuff I have found while cleaning. Ch-ch-check it out.
And finally, I’ve compiled a list of links of various organizations that specialize in compulsive hoarding and chronic disorganization, as well as links to related (and relevant) sites and people. If you’re new to the condition, definitely check those websites out. I also have a list of books I’ve read and recommend for people who want to learn more about hoarding and want to begin to declutter.
Hope you like all the new changes!
Posted: August 17th, 2010 | Author: Dariane | Filed under: Blog | 1 Comment »
First of all, WOW! There have been lots of new visitors the past couple of days and it’s been just a huge outpour of support! Thank you all so much!
I just wanted to let you all know that I truly appreciate all the feedback, suggestions and support you’ve given me through emails, retweets, and comments. I try to read them as I receive them; I’m not at a computer for the larger chunk of the day unlike most bloggers. I do have my smartphone in my pocket and when it goes off to notify me I often pause from cleaning to check. It’s definitely been distracting, but I can’t help it. It’s like ignoring people who encourage you. Why would you ever want to do that?
Anyway, I want you to know that I am definitely reading what you send me (and sincerely appreciating it) even if I haven’t responded right away. With the cleaning and the documenting and running various errands for my family, I am most definitely working on responding as soon as I can.
Thanks for your understanding!
Posted: July 21st, 2010 | Author: Dariane | Filed under: Blog | 27 Comments »
My childhood home is a mess. Each room is filled with piles of stuff almost as tall as me. Often, the only way to get through is a narrow path just inches wide in the middle of the room. Other times, you have to step on or climb over things to get through a room. Then there are areas of the house that are just completely inaccessible.
How did it get this way? Probably through hoarding. Or compulsive shopping. Or both. Who’s to blame? I’m not so sure, but I’m testing out some theories. Who does it affect? My entire family, and the people closest to us. Even after I moved away to go to college, I could still feel the effects of growing up in clutter, of growing up in shame.
I’ve decided to stop sitting around waiting for things to get better. I’ve decided to clean my entire house.
Why ‘The Purge of 2010′?
There are several reasons that have brought me to make this decision and embark upon this project. Here are some:
- The house is becoming more and more unsafe.
- My family understands that the accumulation of clutter is a problem, but:
- We don’t have enough money to spend on hiring a professional organizer.
- My family is too ashamed to go on a show like Hoarders.
- My parents are growing more and more physically incapable to clean the whole house themselves (i.e. they’re getting old!), so their safety is even more endangered.
- I can totally do it.:
- I’m really good at organizing things. Maybe it’s a reaction to my house. I’m also physically capable.
- I really enjoy organizing. Notice the list and bullet points? Love it.
- I’m not some person outside of our family. I know there are some excellent professional organizers out there who help people who hoard, who understand the condition well and treat their clients with respect. But unfortunately given our financial situation and the unwillingness to bring someone else “in,” I guess I’m the next best thing.
- I’m done with feeling ashamed and with feeling the weight of this “secret.” As I start this project I figure if I share this project publicly and achieve my goal, then the source of shame will turn into a source of pride.
- And for some strange reason I feel that cleaning this house will help me overcome the issues that I’ve accumulated over the years, some of which came as a result of the clutter. For me organizing the literal mess of my house is also organizing the figurative mess of my life.
What exactly is The Stuff Project?
I’ve given myself TWO months to clean my entire 4-bedroom 2-bathroom house, I’m going to document it every step of the way and I’m going to share it here with you.
As I go along I’m expecting my ‘List of Things to Do’ to expand almost exponentially. I’ll find broken items that need to be fixed and various household problems that need to be solved. There will even be moments where I’ll just want to “finish” a room off by rearranging furniture, painting it, adding shelving, decorating or more. As such I’m setting some standards as to when I know my job is complete:
- All Floors and surfaces are cleared and visible. Light to medium clutter is relatively easy to manage (and imagine) for most people. But when you’ve got so much stuff that almost the entire VOLUME (length x width x height) of a living room is 80% full of stuff, seeing across a room let alone an entire floor space is a huge accomplishment.
- All doors can open fully and shut properly. Again this may seem like a small goal but we’ve broken enough closet and bedroom doors while trying to pry (or shove) a door open kept shut by clutter.
- When a house party is possible. This means that every room must be accessible. It’s been years since we’ve had anyone over to our house and it’s been even longer since we’ve hosted a party. I live in a small community where there is absolutely nothing entertaining to do and the highlight of any given weekend is to attend a family house party. So yes, I’d say that not having anyone over at my house when growing up definitely contributed to my social ineptitude.
- When 75% of our belongings are organized and in their place. Things need to be organized in order for us to find them when we need to use them. I anticipate that the remaining 25% of stuff not in its place will be items that we want to keep but dont have a place for it. For example, if I find that shelving in a bedroom closet is broken, we’ll need to repair it before we can put our things in it.
And that’s it.
I’d also like to say that I am NOT a professional organizer. I’m just someone who wants to clean the very messy house I grew up in. I don’t know whether or not someone in my family can be clinically defined as a hoarder or a compulsive shopper. Maybe they are. All I know for sure is that my house is messy, and I’m going to do what I can. If someone in my family is indeed a hoarder or compulsive shopper then I’m prepared for the likelihood that once I finish this project the house will become messy all over again. But when I finish the project my hope is that we will at least know that even the most overwhelming and frustrating circumstances can be overcome.