Post by fourmonths on May 12, 2012 21:45:00 GMT -5
I signed up a couple of days ago and have been reading a lot of stuff over the internet in order to learn. Many people share very personal stories so it is only fair that I would also introduce myself.
I recently learned that my brother has been having problems. He and his family are actually living in a trailer behind their house because it was unliveable. He asked for my help.
Most of the house is filled with trash, but it is also the home where we grew up (inherited and legally owned by both of us) and under the trash it is still filled with our parents' possessions. The original plan was that he would live there and close their estate...which never happened.
Between going to the landfill and the scrap metal place, so far almost 10000 lbs of stuff has been removed. I am more than half but less than two-thirds of the way through the detrash phase.
Anyway, that's just a quick intro.
I am trying to learn about the situation and am concerned about what will happen after this cleanup. Right now, however, my only goals are to make the house liveable for his family and to try to get my brother on disability as he is unable to work. His wife has health issues and is already on disability. Neither can really participate in the cleanup but they are cooperating by trusting my judgment.
Hello Fourmonths, welcome, I am sure you will find a lot of insight here into the issues of hoarding, squalor, clutter, etc.
It sounds as if helping your brother get onto disability allowance will be helpful, good on you for doing that. Do you think your brother would like to access this site too?
If he is amenable to you arranging for the house to be cleared out, that is excellent. In regard to what happens after the cleanup, a lot depends upon his beliefs and thoughts and feelings about the house you grew up in, and how it came to be filled with trash. Sometimes people just don't have the know-how, strength, or focus to maintain a place, or may lack good trash pick up services, etc - and can be assisted with regular cleaning help and so on.
It sounds as if you have been doing a tremendous job with removing stuff, well done! It is important for you to look after yourself while you are doing it too of course - pace yourself and drink plenty of water, get what assistance you can for moving heavy stuff etc. Regards, Lizzie
I'm glad you're reading and learning and doing your best to understand.
It must be upsetting to see the home where you grew up overrun with stuff. But it sounds like you are working on being calm and non-judgemental.
You're right to be concerned about what happens after the clean up. Do your brother and SIL participate to the extent of at least being present for the clean up?
I think part of recovery is knowing that there is no magic wand, no solution that allows us to maintain denial. So while they may not physically be able to help, perhaps they need to face the realities during the process as well, not just see the house when it's finished. I'm no kind of expert on this - far from it! - but I spent much of my life wishing for someone to miraculously sort out aspects of my life for me.
But you understand their individual circumstances better than we ever can.
I hope your brother and SIL find their way here too
*~*~* It's gonna be a bright, bright, sunshiney day. *~*~*
It's very good of you to work so hard for your brother and his family. If neither he nor his wife grew up this way, and have had no trouble before, it is likely that this is a situational problem. Meaning they got ill, overwhelmed, lost control of the house, and could not get it back because of the physical illnesses.
In such a case, a big clean out can work if you set their house up in such away that they can keep it that way with the physical limits they have. We have threads about maintaining and cleaning even if you have physical limits, so it can be done. You may want to make sure they know to come to you before it gets bad if they start to lose control again, too. One ending up in the hospital and other not able to keep up alone can put them right back over the edge.
Please note that this site is really for those of us who live in messes and are trying to change an clean up. Since you are not in the situation. remember that some here have been badly ridiculed or abused for having our trouble. Thus be gentle before giving out advice from an outsider's point of view, please.
Here you can learn how we think, how things spiral out of control, how to help your brother and sister-in-law get back in control again. If you can get them here, also, that could be a good thing. They have to want the help, though, and it sounds like they may since they called you.
Thank you again for stepping up to assist them; if all relatives and friends could be so understanding, we would have an easier time recovering.
NOTE: Before you ask me, know that my answer is "No!" and my reason is, "It's for your own good!" Printed on mommy's coffee cup.
Post by joyinvirginia on May 20, 2012 11:29:44 GMT -5
Welcome! Glad you found this board and hope you keep posting. Sounds like you have made great progress so far! As long as your brother and sil are not refilling the home, you are on the right track! You may also want to check out hoardingcleanup.com if you need referrals to local companies that are trained to help, or cluttecleaner.com for some practical advice