Prompted by next week’s workshop, Saying YES To Less (hosted by the Tualatin Public Library), the local Times did a nice feature on ACP. After the interview, I asked the reporter if he personally had experienced any issues with stuff. A young guy who recently went through a move, he admitted being surprised at how much he had accumulated in a short time and in finding things stored away that he had forgotten about. Yep. That’s a common tale. Dealing with stuff has no generation boundaries. It can get to the best of us … and bring out the worst in anyone. I love sharing the how to’s of getting and staying clear and the immediate relief it can bring to any space. And there’s no time like the present to start! Read the Times.
Getting rid of stuff is just one piece of the downsizing puzzle. There are many other components including where, how, what and who gets the items you are letting go of. Community Warehouse has been on my Resources Page for years as one of the best places to donate household goods and there are lots of reasons why. Their mission of “redistributing donated furniture and household goods to neighbors in need” continues to grow in demand along with the number of working class poor. The nonprofit is one of the few places that accepts mattress donations (no kings/always in need of twins), drop off is open 7 days a week AND they offer pick up service ($30 nominal fee).
I recently toured their newer Tualatin location and was impressed by its organized and efficient operation as well as the welcoming staff. Like its parent location in NE Portland, the warehouse is divided into two sections. The largest area contains about 90% of the donations and it’s where clients are outfitted with everything from linens and a set of cookware to dining chairs and a sofa. Their Estate Store sells select items at great prices to benefit the mission. It’s open to the public 7 days a week. CW networks with over 200 agencies between Portland and Corvalis and in 2014 helped over 7,000 neighbors in need. AND kept 550+ tons of stuff out of landfills. Now that’s a WIN-WIN!
Visit Community Warehouse to learn more about scheduling a pick up, location hours and items most needed. How you let go of your stuff matters. Contact me if you need guidance. As always, thanks for being mindful of where things go … and for doing your part in making our Earth a lighter place!
TIP: Not in the PDX corridor? Use the nationwide donate/recycle guide at Earth 911 (another favorite from my Resources Page). Just put in your zip code and up pops a list of who in your area accepts what you what to donate. Easy!
You win on so many levels when you clear out your stuff.
This PDX homeowner saw firsthand the magic that can happen when you say YES to clearing out. Find out more and get FREE ACP Sorting Guide.
HAPPY EARTH DAY … thanks for making it a clear one!
Introducing House Call options from A CLEAR PLACE! No blame, no shame one-on-one private consultation by Jane Green, author, teacher and creator of A CLEAR PLACE and STUFFication© workshops. Expert advice in using what you have in a better way and letting go of what isn’t working for you. Lighthearted, tough love for you and your space. The doctor is in!
Choose from 60 minute or 30 minute phone consultation OR email photos of your challenge for a focused quick fix. You can also combine the options.
I designed the House Call to give people a fresh pair of eyes and expert insight while maintaining their privacy. This can eliminate the guilt trip, the excuses and putting off what needs to get done. It’s surprising how much comfort and reassurance can be shared with just one phone call. Wheels start turning, challenges dissolve and rooms come into focus once the “Green” light is on.
House Calls make great gifts, too. Ideal for weddings, holidays, birthdays or new home. View consultation options and purchase on Etsy.
A reminder from my Resource page: Clutterers Anonymous holds weekly meetings for anyone needing help with clutter or hoarding issues. There are two Portland locations to choose from including Thursday evenings at the beautiful Alano Club in NW PDX. Click here to get details and please pass this on to friends or family members who could use support around stuff issues. Meetings are free and always held in confidence. Often times the emotional issues attached to extreme clutter or hoarding prevent loved ones from asking for help. Having a third party or anonymous support can provide the encouragement needed to get started and stay on track.
You don’t have to watch the reality show to experience the horror of hoarding. It is alive and growing right here in PDX. And cases aren’t limited to low income, uneducated welfare recipients. Most people are shocked to learn that their sweet neighbor, elderly aunt or retired college professor lived in floor to ceiling filth – sad but true. It happens much more than you realize. I completed a project last month that required two 2.5 ton dumpsters of garbage, eight loads of scrap metal and five trips to the recycle center. This woman had been a scientist, artist and world traveler. After a fall prompted her move to assisted living, the family called for HELP!
It seems ironic that hoarders are often articulate, well educated people who offer sophisticated reasons for saving and acquiring. Recent studies on the brain activity of hoarders show an inability to deal with focus, attention and decision making. The pattern of behavior generally increases with age. Hoarding is a disorder and it’s important to understand its symptoms and warning signs. There is no medical cure at this time. Originally thought to be treatable with drugs used for OCD, medical science has found patients do not respond to the same therapy and/or medication. This calls for compassion and understanding.
Common symptoms of hoarding:
assigning value to worthless items such as: food cartons, scraps of paper, junk mail, soiled clothing
rooms filled with clutter, boxes, etc. with only a trail to walk through
defensive or “keep out” behavior
- fearful of anyone touching their things
Dealing with a friend or family member who has a hoarding issue can feel like a frustrating battle. It is. The best thing to do is remember that you cannot reason or argue your case. The person will only become hostile. If possible, get outside help to intervene on your behalf. Someone detached from the emotional setting will be more effective in attending to the safety and health of the individual which should always come first. For more information on hoarding visit the OCD Foundation.