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The story behind Kimmy's photos

Words cannot describe

The Before-and-After photographs on the next 13 pages are of the house where Kimmy lived in squalor for years. The 'Before' photos are at the top. Scroll down to see the 'After' photos.

Kimmy had enough courage to do what many people wouldn't: take photos of the mess. She had the courage to face up to her problem, and deal with it. The photographs document her awesome achievement over the next four months, freeing herself from her intolerable burden of squalor.

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I really want to help myself

On May 20, 2001, Kimmy started a thread (it would run to 17 pages, with 661 replies from 62 contributors) on a forum at www.juliemorgenstern.com with a title guaranteed to stand out: Living in third degree squalor...where do I start? (Internet Archive copy)

I have just read Julie's book and found it makes the most sense out of all the organising books. I have had a lot of trauma in my life and as a result, I am now at what psychiatrists call "third stage squalor", which means that my house is like a tip! I am not being dramatic in saying that! Papers spread all over the floor, empty food cans, some rotting away food, animal waste not cleaned up, items absolutely everywhere, tossed as though a tornado had been through! I really want to help myself but I find it hard to start, as it is so overwhelming. I am still depressed, but want to really get this three years (yes, no cleaning in that time) of mess and filth clean and tidy. Words cannot describe the state it is in, honestly. Bags of trash in house, etc, and I cannot have anyone inside, as I am very embarrassed, even to post here was an effort.

Before this happened to me, I had a pristine apartment, so clean and tidy, not a thing out of place, so please understand, I am not just lazy or nuts!!! Just some terrible things happened to me.

Any ideas would be so appreciated...and Julie, if you have a prize for the worst case of absolute mess, then I think I've won!!


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Check out the Resources section in the menu on the left for the Living in Third Degree Squalor... Where Do I Start? thread available as a free download in a variety of formats.

This document was last modified: Thursday, 03-Jul-2008 20:48:19 NZST