Post by CourageouslyLion SeeksSerenity on Apr 27, 2011 16:53:42 GMT -5
I just updated the link in the very first post on page one of this thread ... for the "children of hoarders" website's definition of the Stages of Change. (Their website had moved the link, so I updated to correct URL)
Post by dtesposito on Apr 28, 2011 10:43:12 GMT -5
I love this thread. Unfortunately, I think I'm at the same place I was when I answered it last time (didn't look back, but I think I remember). I'm in action (not maintenance because I don't have a cleaning routine at all yet) in everything except my books, at which I'm somewhere between contemplation and PRE-contemplation. I'm determined to keep a large percentage of my books, and I'm still convinced I can do it if every other form of clutter is gone, which goal is about 90% complete. That's a bit of PRE-contemplation, because maybe I'm kidding myself. But I'm also in contemplation about it, because I realize I have too many books, my apartment isn't big enough for them (per the cubic foot rule). So, lost of work to do there yet.
Post by sunshineshouse on Jan 19, 2012 10:43:00 GMT -5
I thought I was in the "Action" stage, but after reading some of the links, I realize I am still in the "Preparation" stage. I have not fully embraced change - I am cleaning the house, but I have not made the necessary changes to ME and have not changed my bad habits (shopping).
Post by joyinvirginia on May 30, 2012 0:33:29 GMT -5
Thanks for bumping the thread. I voted action, but some rooms are maintenance, and others are receiving action. I help teach a counseling class based on a curriculum that is based on the Stages of Change model. In the model we use, the final stage is Relapse. it is not expected that the client well be perfect in the new behavior, andyou want them to know that a relapse does not mean you have to return to the old ways. I think I prefer Relapse, because I do not want someone to think automatically now they never have to worry about cluttering again. I think all serious hoarders who post here know just how close they can be to hoarding again, with certain triggers.
Post by dairy2mama on May 31, 2012 22:24:16 GMT -5
I am in Action and I am seeing progress, finally. What is holding me back is full time work, a part time volunteer job at the farming museum, and helping my elderly parents and my becoming elderly in-laws. What is important is that I keep plugging away and when I have a bit of time I try to use it the best the I can. My married dd's room is as clean as it can be until she gets the rest of her stuff out of it Level 0 for me . The bathroom is clean but I have not finished deep scrubbing it Level 1. Three hall closets are cleaned out Level 0. Toiletries and apothacaraies are under control and I have just a few more surplus to use up Level 1. The yard is more presentable Level 2. The cellar has pockets of organization like all the animal food storage, furnance wood pile, recyclables, and bottle returnables Level 0 for what is done. I am really trying to keep newspapers under control. My biggest accomplishment is keeping clean what is clean. My next goal is finish deep scrubbing the bathroom and continue on the mudroom.
I read this thread a little while ago and keep thinking about it. I have no idea what stage I'm at. Here is my problem -- I'm very short on time. This sounds like a big old excuse, and I'm trying to figure out if it's really just an excuse. I know I need to change, I'm ready to change, and I've been actively working on it -- posting here, reading books about hoarding/clutter, cleaning parts of my house and maintaining them. But, other parts of my house (and car!) are either not getting cleaner or are getting worse.
This problem prompted me to start a thread about "prioritizing" because I thought, maybe my lack of time is an excuse. Or maybe it's not an excuse, but it's a big obstacle to my change and I need to do something about it -- maybe if I'm really ready to change, I need to take some more drastic action!
I thought maybe if I posted here, you all could help with a reality check -- am I making excuses, holding myself back?
First of all, thanks to everyone who responded to my "prioritizing" thread. I was taking 2 summer courses and I still am, but although I wasn't able to actually drop one of them, I am just ignoring it, not doing the work and will get an "F" (which was a suggestion from that thread, thank you!). That won't be a really big deal, but the extra time that has afforded me (and less stress) is, so it was a good choice. In that thread, I also mentioned that I was helping my parents out -- my mom had had surgery and wasn't able to drive for many weeks, and my dad doesn't drive. So I was driving them around. Also, my parents watch the kids from time to time, and they weren't really able to do that for a while. As of a few days ago, my mom is able to drive, so that's a big relief to me and will give me a few extra hours per week at least. So. those are good things -- BUT school (for my kids) is done in a couple of weeks, and that will obviously take many hours of my "free" time away, probably more than I've gained.
I've made some progress, but it's very slow. Two bedrooms are nicely cleaned and organized and are being maintained. But others, as I said, are worse. I only have so much time and from the minute I wake up until I go to sleep, I am running around doing things. I fit in cleaning/de-cluttering when I can, but really there isn't much time to fit it in. I've found that working in big chunks of time works much better for me, and that's how I got the 2 bedrooms done. I've been chipping away at the other rooms, but without really organizing them and having places for things to go, it's very difficult to maintain any progress I make. I keep waiting until I can reasonably make another big chunk of time to clean another room, but every time I think I might have some, something comes up -- a birthday party, an important event I need to prepare for/attend, etc.
A big huge worry that's always in the back of my mind is that I need repairs done in the house -- toilets, windows, stove, etc. These could all be FREE because I'm renting, but I can't have the landlord in! Also, I'm quite sure that at some point this summer 9in the next couple of months! ), I'll get a 24-hr. notice in my mailbox for window repair -- and the windows are all over the house so I couldn't just do a quick stash-and-dash and close up some rooms -- they'd be repairing windows on every level and in many rooms. I should also add that my house is very, very, very cluttered, although not very "dirty" with the exception of a couple of areas in the kitchen or another room from time to time, or things like a lost old lunch in a corner somewhere under a bunch of stuff, and my carpets are mostly not great either.
I know that eventually I could get my house cleaned up, but one thing that has often happened in the past is that I make slow progress, then I get a notice about a landlord inpsection, then I have to do a mad stash-and-dash where things look half-decent but aren't organized in the least, and afterward I can't find anything, have to open boxes and undo my "clean" areas, and things are often worse than before. So I don't have an unlimited amount of time to work with.
I remember once talking about school with a PhD student I was working with, when I was stressed about trying to balance a heavy school work load and home and other responsibilities (being a single mother with 2 young kids), and I said something like, I wish I could pause time, or I wished I had an unlimited amount of time to finish my assignments. Besides being young, not being in a relationship and not having children or many outside responsibilities besides school, he was one of those highly motivated achievers who doesn't like to hear excuses. I always worked hard and didn't go around compaining about things; not many people at school even knew I had kids. But he responded by saying "no one has an unlimited amount of time". Of course that's true! That's stuck with me because I thought -- AM I making excuses?
So, about the stages of change -- I feel as if I'm trying to take action but it's very difficult. I sometimes give up because other priorities take over for a while. I am overwhealmed. I think about stages of change for other issues and I feel as if some problems are different because they don't require the same amount of time, always (I don't want to downplay this, I know there is time required for attending meetings, etc.) But if I really want to change (which I really, really do!) -- is my lack of time an excuse on my road to change? If it is, or if it isn't, what does this mean for me?
"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing; the next best thing is the wrong thing; and the worst thing you can do is nothing". -- Theodore Roosevelt
"The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run." -- Henry David Thoreau
Hi messyme, I'm very sympathetic to anyone who has multiple responsibilities, because I'm having trouble maintaining what I've gained and I'm only working part time--with only me (and my animals) to take care of. So I think that lack of time is a very valid reason for progress to be slow.
However, this line in your post:
I should also add that my house is very, very, very cluttered
makes me think that you're trying to achieve order while still keeping way too many things. For most of us, it seems that after the first real resolution to change, we have the thought that our problem is organizing the stuff--if we can just get "organized" with the right organizing containers/furniture, then all the stuff will be contained and our problem will be solved. That's when you start moving things to places where you think they'll be better stored--but that doesn't seem to work as well as you thought it would, because somehow there's just never enough room.
If you have too much stuff, (too much actual square footage of physical stuff), it'll never fit into storage containers that have less square footage. So if your entire room is piled full, it's not going to magically condense down when you "organize" it. (Except for things that fit into those vacuum bag thingies! ) When that truth finally hits you, it's a different level of "change" because that's when you sadly realize that you have to get rid of major amounts of stuff, if you want your home to look less cluttered. Yes, you can organize some of it, but usually not the amount that folks with our problems have.
This may not actually apply to you, your idea of cluttered may not be mine. But since you put this in the stages of change thread, a favorite topic of mine, I thought I'd throw it out there. You said you're ready to change, but you might need to become ready to give up a lot of stuff, which is a separate step.
If this does apply, it helps to approach it more from the "here's how much space I'm willing to devote to (____), now I have to choose what I'm keeping in this category, everything else has to go" point of view. When you start thinking like this, and get past the first few categories (where you think--oh, but I can't give up these extra items, I'll expand my first idea of how much space I'll devote to them...) you start to realize that you can't do that for everything, and the concept really starts sinking in.
That's why I always say it's hard for people to clean up quickly, it takes a while to go through these thought processes. And, to purge things, because generally it takes several times going through each category of item, being able to let go of a little more each time until you have the "right" amount.
I went through the process with all of my possessions except books, and am now, finally, after several years, working on the books too. It's not easy.
But having more open space also helps the actual cleaning process (something I have trouble with too) so that gets better as you reduce the amount you have.
But, back to the time issues, if you've thought about your obligations and really are using what time you have in the most efficient way, then you'll have to just keep plugging along as best you can with the time constraints. It's important not to backslide though, so if you're still bringing a lot of excess stuff into your home you have to work on that angle too.